The 411 on Census Bureau Jobs

Census Bureau Jobs As the 2010 census forms hit 120 million American mailboxes this week, the U.S. Census Bureau is currently looking for part-time, temporary employees to help them collect information.

With the existing climate of the job market, many anticipate that 3 million to 4 million applicants will apply for one of the 700,000 census taker positions. For many out-of-work Americans, a census job means steady income between the spring and summer months. But while we've heard about the influx of temporary census jobs, many of us don't know exactly what that encompasses.

According to a recent Washington Post article, the 2010 census job pool will be significantly different than it was 10 years ago during the job boom. Wendy Button, a Census Bureau hiring specialist told the paper: "We're seeing professionals with advanced degrees taking temporary jobs part time. It's incredible."


Where Do Census Employees Work?

Census takers usually work in their own communities, walking door-to-door to interview residents who did not turn in the mailed census questionnaires. The schedule is between 20-40 hours a week, depending on your community's need, and census takers generally work when people can be reached - i.e. during evenings and weekends. Workers make between $10-$25 per hour, depending on where you live. Census takers are also reimbursed for work expenses such as mileage.

According to the U.S. Census Web site, Census Takers have the following responsibilities:

  • locating households,
  • explaining the purpose of the census,
  • conducting brief personal interviews, helping neighbors complete their 2010 Census questionnaire, and
  • recording responses on paper forms.

If you are interested in applying for a census job, contact your local office to make an appointment to take the employment test. You can download the job application online. When you arrive for your test, bring the completed job application along with two forms of identification. Once you apply, you can contact the census office to check on the status of your application. Good luck!

Next: Census Test Taking Tips >>

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October 11 2011 at 3:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bird

ya know i wondered if that was going to be as big an issue as one might think given the fact that so many people don't seem to have a problem being dishonest. i'm surrounded by it and truth be told it wears on ya after a while. for the past two years i have been forced to live in a large complex i would not have considered in the past however we all have to do what we have to do to survive. here the majority of tenants are of hispanic desent and many many are illegal. many that i have talked with and i will not mention by name are here with anchor babies and getting welfare and foodstamps not to mention medical. on top of that many admit they work under the table selling home made tamales and other delish food which they sell to other residences or at weddings kincineres? and other events. to tell you the truth many have anywhere from 6 to 9 or more in these two bedroom apt's thats as big as these get. so for those collecting public support and working under the table and many awaiting permanent disabilitie settlements we may have to give serious consideration to what is happening to our system to help those that have paid into the system for certain period of time but find there is no money for them when they are in need. i know my parents and their parents worked and were never ever on any public assistance or received any breaks re: schooling or funding for starting a business yet they all either started businesses which employed others or some family members just were employed out side the family. i am the only person of all my family or extended family that has ever collected ui benefits and i didn't even get to the fed ed and congress stopped it. where did all the money i and my family members pay into taxes go now that i could really use the help.

June 29 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TIDDYBEAR

I am SO sick of people griping about the forms being filled out in pencil!! When you are standing at the door of a person asking questions, the goal is to get done and out of their face as fast as possible. When I filled out the form I used my usual handwriting. Later I had to go back and erase the E's and I's and 4's and make them the way they want them. They want E's to have a squared look, mine are like backwards 3s. They wanted I's to have the lines at top and bottom. I don't usually write like that. Then there are the times that you write somebody's name and misspell it and have to correct it. Or any other dozens of mistakes that can be made on the form. It would be a total mess to do it in pen and have to mard through stuff! The census takes the confidentiality of the information ANALLY!!! So, I am sure nobody is going to erase anything on the form and fill in something different.
My only gripe is that we were supposed to work until June 29. It only lasted 3 1/2 weeks.

June 29 2010 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diana

I just recently quit, I was working for the Census in the area of Compton and it was poorly ran. I was called for various positions but could only take the Enumerator position because of my school schedule. As soon as I started the training I realized how unorganized and unknowledgeable the crew leaders were. I began to think that people were being hired out of desperation from the lack of workers and not because of experience or any knowledge of how the job. Of course you are being trained but if those who train you are pretty much idiots like the ones who trained me, well then I guess training is and was useless. I began to have problems with the crew leaders after they began to change what we were told in training. We were told one thing and expected to do another then the next day it would change again. It was hard to keep up with all the daily challenges. Especially when a CL is giving authority to the CLA and then u follow the CLA's orders & then get in trouble & a write up from the CL because of an order you followed. Everything was just very un organized. Plus I had a problem with the CL because they expected me to go and turn something in on my graduation day, in which I had previously requested off & had approved! I also get a write up for this! WTF! They were crazy! Plus they took hours from me when I worked them! And was told that they could not count some hours because they were unable to verify that I was out on the field, and I told them that they could follow me if they wanted in order to make sure that I was. Plus the main issue was when they started from just doing the enumeration to having a quote of how many we were expected to complete a day to changing it again to completing like 15 in an hour! Are they serious! It took between 20 to 40 minutes to finish 1 form, depending on family size and whether the person knew all the information off the top or had to go back and forth with the information. But these idiot of CLs, CLAs, & the rest of the Census office workers didnt understand this! Plus its Compton which is not such a safe area, and I had an encounter with an unsafe situation & had asked to be given a different are because of that & they ignored my request & got in trouble when I refused to go back to it. I complained to headquarters and emailed and called the main line used for complaints and never received a response and at the main office the supervisor told me that pretty much they couldn't do anything about it but to talk to them and see what happened and that I seemed to have taken everything that happened over the top. And that pretty much my complaints didnt matter! So I quit!
This was not worth the measley money being paid! Especially in Compton!!! The Census needs to do something about everything from their main headquarters to the enumerators and their outdated systems!!!
The name of the CL is Lena Horton
CLA is Antoinette .....
Office #3241
Operation= NRFU

June 12 2010 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary

I was an enumerator and worked hard. It was constant pressure everyday to hurry, but that was OK. The leaders were inexperienced and incompentant and that was vexing, but the members of my crew were great.
I finished my 400 enumerations before most in my crew, and nobody said thanks, or good job--they said hand in your badge, you no longer work here. I'd worked myself out of my job. They made me feel like a dirty 'ol smelly dog. Their management style hurts the spirit--it's just inexperience tho.
I've never worked for the government before and I saw first hand how it's true--in a socialist society: the good, the hard worker, the creative, the entrepreneur, the intelligent is despised, and the incompentant and stupid runs the world. No wonder the government is running revenue shortfalls--who wants to pay a bunch of lazy fools who are very creative and intelligent and hard at work pretending their job is worthy.
I'm not saying anything new. Our Founding Fathers were trying to avoid the infamous: "government employee."

June 12 2010 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carol

to Dan Goor - You seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on this site - It was my first... and last.... time....and because I made a comment, I guess I deserve to be hassled by your foolishness... most folks out there are not terribly smart.... not unlike you.
Congratulations, you have been blocked!!! Feel better now!

June 12 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Delee

It is so true that outdated and non-operating date-collecting practices should not be a factor for the Census Bureau. Census Taking should be a science by now. It is tremendously vital information. Therefore, the Bureau itself should be monitored and over-hauled within the 10 period of enumerating data. After passing the exam, I was called for testing to a location that was 160 miles from my home - (I do not drive). When I protested, I was told that the testing sites closest to me were all filled and that it was just too bad that I was not a driver...(you must indicate on the application your driving experience). I was then told that it would be noted that I had refused the job. I reported this to The Census Bureau, (of course I have not heard back from them). Years past, I worked on The Eastcoast for The Census Bureau, the experience left me feeling like I had contributed something to my country. My experience on The Westcoast has left me feeling distrustful of the entire Bureau. "Sam's" revealing tale has sealed that distrust.

June 12 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gay

I hate it when people say "you must be stupid or you are a loser, or you must live here, there or anywhere" just because you misspelled a word on the comment page. How ridiculous!!!! Get a grip on what is really being said by people and understanding where they are coming from. UH-OH - she misspelled a word - oh she must be a "whatever" - Just listen to what people are trying to say and listen and maybe you will understand what the world is all about - not misspelling words!!! GEEEZZZ!!!

June 12 2010 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pwanless

I worked as a clerk for the 2000 census doing data entry and filing (didn't have to traverse the neighborhoods) and it was actually rather nice for the first couple of months. I was trained to compile data on pencil and paper, but the final entries were on computer and I was the one who got the bright idea to actually use the built-in spreadsheet app to do the final calculations instead.

But they screwed me later by hiring too many people after I'd been there about 11 weeks. I was one of two scheduled to work the 6-10 shift, while most others worked from 5-9. We started with only about 6 clerks, which worked fine, but then they hired six more for the same office. Unfortunately, there were only 8 computer stations and two spots by the filing cabinet, plus one spot by the phone. Unfortunately, I had no car at the time and was restricted by the train schedule, so I was usually the last to arrive at the office (the other 6-10 shift clerk caught on that he had to get there before I did after seeing there were too many in the clerk office), and of course there was nothing I could do once I arrived until one of the others relinquished their station. Somehow my supervisor could not see this, and I would get berated for not doing anything while I was there, though I was never told what I COULD do since every spot in the office was occupied. And of course, when someone did get up and I "stole" their spot so I could actually do something, whoever I replaced would grow resentful because then THEY had nothing to do and would be afraid of getting berated.

This only went on for about a week, until I finally got fed up and quit. Having a full-time corporate job which made my work schedule 70 hours a week on a normal day, I was about ready to do so anyway after three months.

June 12 2010 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dorothy

I worked for Census Bureau for 2 wks & was terminated because "I said the word illegals". I made a remark in front of crew leader that I believed one of the houses I went to had illegals living there. He got furious, jumped out of his chair waving his finger at me "don't ever use word illegals again. They are protected from the census". Next day I was terminated for some make believe reason which was absolutely not true. I complained to District Manager & next day he called back & said my work was poor & that's why I was terminated. Absolutely untrue as I turned in more completed assignments than anyone in my area. I decided not to fight it because I knew I would not win. That Crew Leader & District Mgr. should be fired because they are "liars".

June 12 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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