The Census Bureau Is Hiring Hundreds of Thousands of Temporary Workers for the 2020 Census

updated Feb 9, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: rblfmr/Shutterstock

Surveying the entire country for the Census is a huge undertaking, and it requires a huge, temporary workforce. Right now, the Census Bureau is taking applications for “hundreds of thousands” of positions, and the pay is not bad.

“Jobs for the 2020 Census offer competitive wages that are paid weekly,” explains the Census Bureau website. “Authorized expenses, such as mileage, are reimbursed for employees doing field work.” You can browse pay rates by location with this interactive map. They appear to range from $14 to $29.50, depending on cost of living and type of position.

Right now, there are six positions listed on the website: census takers, census field supervisors, recruiting assistants, clerks, and office operations supervisors. Census takers are most in-demand; the bureau seeks hundreds of thousands of them to the other positions’ thousands. These are the people who will visit the homes of those who haven’t yet responded to this year’s Census, and collect their data in person.

“Ironically, the Census Bureau since 1970 has been trying to automate its processes and reduce its reliance on door-to-door enumerators,” writes George Anders in an article about temporary Census jobs on LinkedIn. “An early wave of changes involved nudging most U.S. residents to complete their census forms by mail, rather than sharing their information via face-to-face meetings with enumerators. Internet options now exist, too.

“Even so, many people either forget to reply or aren’t comfortable completing the forms. As expectations of an accurate census have risen, so has the need to deploy huge numbers of enumerators who can track down non-respondents.”

On the Census website, you can see a preview of the kinds of questions the application will ask. In addition to an English proficiency test and typical questions about your work experience and education, you’ll also be asked things like how your previous supervisors or teachers would rate your self-discipline, and whether or not you dislike being the center of attention. Learn more, and maybe even apply, here.