The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting temporary, part-time census takers for the 2010 Census. These short-term jobs offer good pay, flexible hours, paid training and mileage reimbursement. Census takers also are usually assigned to work in their own communities. Some full-time, temporary positions also are available.
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau takes a snapshot of the U.S. population, to determine how many people reside within the nation’s borders, who they are, and where they live.
The results help determine your representation in government, as well as how federal funds are spent in your community on things like roads, parks, housing, schools and public safety.
As a census taker, you play a vital role in making sure that everyone is counted.
Census takers are hired to follow-up, face-to-face, when census forms are not returned or incomplete and/or to conduct brief interviews.
Hourly pay can range from $10 to $20. Be prepared to work hard for those dollars. There are daily and weekly quotas, and you may be required to work between 20 to 40 hours a week, mainly nights and weekends because that’s usually when people are at home.
The length of your assignment will depend on how much work there is to be done in your area.
Competition for these jobs is tough, considering the current economy. To qualify, you must:
- Be able to read, write, and speak English. (And being bilingual can help your chances of landing the job.)
- Be a U.S. citizen, or a legal permanent resident, or non-citizen with an appropriate work visa, and you possess a bilingual skill for which there are no available qualified U.S. citizens.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Take a written test of basic skills (including map reading)
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Pass a background check.
- Commit to four full days of (paid) training (generally during the week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
For this phase of the census, there’s a multiple-choice test for reading, clerical, number and organizational skills. You can take a practice test on the Census Bureau website.
Application forms are available online at the Census Bureau website, http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/ which are brought to the testing site. Mailed applications are not accepted. Use the Web site’s interactive map to find the local phone number of the nearest Local Census Office and find out when and where testing will be held.
For more information, call 1-866-861-2010.
Posted Dec. 1, 2009
Editor’s note: I worked for the Census Bureau in April and May of 2008, updating their maps. I recently received a call to ask if I would like to work for them again. I believe that testing begins soon, but that actual work will not begin until April or May 2010.