How To Get Job Working The 2010 U.S. Census

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United States Census 2010If you’re out of work or looking to supplement your income, you might want to consider working for the U.S. Census Bureau to help collect the 2010 Census. According to CNNMoney, the 2010 Census will put 1.4 million people to work and projected to cost $14 billion, $212 million in advertising. If you want to make some extra cash and have the time, you might want to get the ball rolling on securing a job with the U.S. Census.

Available Jobs

Pay varies depending on the region but Census Takers in Maryland earn anywhere from $11.34 an hour to $15.21 an hour. To find the pay schedule in your region, go to this regional offices map and click on your region. Then click on “Regional Employment” on the left hand side to open up the page listing all the possible openings. You may or may not find the pay schedules for each position on the Regional Employment page. The job will include four days of paid training too.

Census Taker: Most of the positions the Census is hiring will be as Census Takers, individuals who go around the community to verify address lists, conduct interviews, and collect the census. They estimate that the work schedule will be 20-40 hours a week with much flexibility involved. In the case of address canvassing (verifying address lists), you’d be expected to do it during daylight hours. In the case of interviewing tasks like non-response follow-up (finding out why people haven’t filled out and sent back the census), you’d be doing it at night or on weekends when people are home.

Crew Leaders/Assistants: These are more office and clerical jobs where you manage and coordinate the schedules of Census takers and meet with each census taker daily. At local offices, there may be standard office work during normal business hours, including shifts, but there’s a little flexibility involved.

How To Apply

If you want to apply for a job, the U.S. Census Bureau has a very easy to understand page on how you can apply. First, call up their Jobs line at 1-866-861-2010 to schedule an appoint to take their employment test. If you use TTY, the number is 1-800-877-8339 to get relayed. You can also download the Census Employment Application and a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, from this page. You will need to bring both to your test along with the necessary forms of identitication.

The Census Employment Test

The Census Employment Test is a thirty-minute test designed to test your suitability for field work. They offer a sample test for field employee positions [PDF] to help you prepare. There are five sections: Clerical Skills, Reading Skills, Number Skills, Interpreting Information & Evaluating Alternatives, and Organizational Skills. It’s not a difficult test but it does test a variety of areas, things you probably never saw on a standardized test before.

Regional Offices

When you call the number, you’re calling the national office but hiring is done at the regional level. After you schedule your exam, I recommend that you contact your regional offices to find out if there are jobs there that you can apply for. The main number is for census takers (“field employee positions”) but there may be alternatives in the regional offices. You can look on this map to find your regional office (there are twelve) and drill down to the local centers (there are 150).

Act quickly if you are seriously interested, they hope to hire most of their employees by May 2009.

{ 36 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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36 Responses to “How To Get Job Working The 2010 U.S. Census”

  1. Great ideas! Keep them coming.

  2. Matt Fyffe says:

    I never would have thought to consider this, but as I’m moving soon to a new area, it could serve as a great way to meet people. To make a good amount of money on the side and to get to know the area better, it doesn’t get any better than this.

    I’ll have to read further into it. May 2009 might be too soon for me though :-\

    • jk says:

      you may be wasting your time taking the test. Investigate first beforehand>>> i tok the test. p.s. they’ll tell you that if you applied for a clerical job @ the Census, there aren’t any avail. ( even thouhg they put this option on the application). Jobs may not become available until at least Sept.Good luck.

  3. This is a great opportunity! I wonder if they have any jobs for people under 18… If so, I might try to find time to help.


    • saladdin says:

      The notice I saw said 18 and above. Sorry.


    • Charles says:

      I went to take the test and was told if I knew anyone who was about to turn 18 the next couple of month and was interested, that they should apply. az

  4. Patrick says:

    Not a bad hourly wage to go around an interview people and verify addresses. This is a really great opportunity for those who are having a tough time trying to find a position now and could also help with our struggling economy.

  5. thomas says:

    My Uncle who was recently laid off was able to get a job working for the Census. Not a career, but definitely a short term solution to help you earn money.

  6. anonimouse says:

    There aren’t very many census jobs actually available. Most areas have already met their quota, although there’s always room for dropouts and attrition. I’m not sure that this is a viable option for those who have a near-term need to find employment.

  7. CrewLeader says:

    Actually, there are quite a few jobs still available depending on where you live. I’m a crew leader in Wyoming and every single area in my FOS district is short people. For my own personal district, I have an assistant and lister. I need about 8-9 more people. There are several other districts with only one lister.

    • Jim says:

      CrewLeader – Thanks for sharing your knowledge, hopefully someone reading in Wyoming will apply and you can fill up your spots.

  8. jk says:

    I took & passed the Census test after responding to a news ad that they will be hiring 105,000 people.That’s not the case.At first you are givne false impression that you will be contacted, which is not true.I followed up with a call.The numbers listed on their web. pge. doesn’t provide any information. It’s constantly busy. When you finally do get thorugh, you informed that the hiring will not come from your local office: only form the regional office. and they in turn aren’t that responsive. How are people supposed to get back into the workforce if there is a stall on hiring practices. The only jobs that are moving at a pace are in construction.

    • Crew Leader says:

      When you took the test a brochure should’ve been available for you to take home. It would have let you know that it may take them several weeks to call you back (depending on the need in your area). It also lets you know that you may not get a call back at all. However, in many rural areas they are still hiring, calling people back within 1-2 weeks, and putting them in training. I’ve noticed that most people who didn’t take the brochure home often say that they had problems after taking the test.

  9. SAUNDRA MOODY says:

    where is the supervisor’s sample test? i’ve looked and looked!

  10. Daisy says:

    I was a data transcriper in 1979 for the Census for California. I would like to work from home any chance this could happen. I retired 2 yrs from the federal govt. and was in for 27 yrs as a supervisor. Who would I contact.

  11. enumerator says:

    im currently working as an enumerator with the census. we go out and verify addresses and our part will be over soon. the next wave is the follow up people who go out to homes where the forms were not returned. there are no openings as far as we have heard for those positions as everyone already working wants to continue. half if not more of us wont even be picked because the amount of people is greater than the need. this is in so cal

  12. J Grimsley says:

    I worked as a Lister and then in Quality Control for about a month and a half. I have not worked in two weeks because the Crew Leader does not have any work. There has not been any direction at all but I still have the handheld computer.

  13. Monika says:

    I am looking for a practice test for crew leader and crew leader assistant. I have looked everywhere. Please let me know. Thank you.

  14. Nancy Phillips says:


    • B says:

      The original test that you took is what is used when they hire Crew leaders, Assistant Crew Leaders, Enumerators and clerk positions. There is not a special test for Crew leaders and assistant Crew leaders. You can not specifically apply for these positions. The hiring depends on your test score, how much work is in your area, veterans status, the number of hours you are available to work and if you are available for the training.

      If you want to take the supervisors test you will need to call 1-866-861-2010 follow the prompts to get to your local census office and see if there is a supervisors test in your area. This test will make you eligible for supervisor positions above and beyond the Crew Leader position. There is no practice test for the supervisor test but the questions are mainly based on how you would react to specific situtions as a supervisor.

      There are only two tests …. the original test and the supervisor test. From the first test they do most of the hiring (Crew Leaders, Crew Leader Assistants, office clerks and enumerator)

      FYI – Office positions typically pay a little less but your employment lasts longer and your hours are more scheduled. Field positions pay a little higher but your employment is based on what work is available in your neighborhood and you basically make your own schedule once you have completed the training.

      Hope this is helpful.

  15. Missy says:

    How much do you actually make workin for them is what I would like to know..

    • Anne Onymous says:


      The pay is actually based on where you live. Different areas of the country have different rates of pay.

      For example, I live in central Massachusetts, the rate for field workers was just over 14.00 an hour, plus mileage (which is calculated separately, included in your pay check) For this area, that is a very good wage. We were all happy with it. What is sort of sad, is that I also worked on the 2000 Census, and I did not see much of an increase in the rate, from when I worked a DECADE ago. It says a lot about the economy, that virtually the same pay rate from a decade ago, remains above average, for our neck of the woods. I wish the cost of living had stayed as stable, lol.


  16. salma says:

    I Need help in preparation for cencensus exam
    anybody know any book for that

    • Anne Onymous says:

      Hi Salma,

      If you just type “2010 Census Practice Test” you should find links to the sample test.

      It is about 13 pages, I think about 7 are the test itself. The test has 28 questions and you have 30 minutes to complete it.

      The test is checking for how efficiently you can put things into alphabetical or numerical order, if you can read a map, how well you can apply directions, in a given situation. It isn’t difficult, but it is easier to do if you go into the test with some idea of the type of questions, so go ahead and look over the sample test. Give yourself 30 minutes and test at home, before you go in for the real deal.

      Good Luck!


  17. Margaret Lynn says:

    Where can one find a copy or sample test for Census Bureau supervisory positions which is an hour long test and different from the basic enumerator test.
    ThANK yOU

    • charze says:

      Acording to a local regional supv., “No Sample test for the one hour, 29 question supervisors test.”

  18. Anonymous says:

    dos anyone know by what date you need to turn 18 t be eligible to work?

    • N says:

      You need to turn 18 before they hire you and most of the hiring will take place in April and May, if you are interested and will turn 18 around that time go ahead and take the test and once you turn 18 call the local office to update your application. You can find the local number at the 2010 census Web site, under jobs.

  19. Erin Tracey says:

    Be sure to call your local census bureau to find out if there are any jobs actually available in your area. I was just scheduled to take a test on Tuesday but after reading these comments I decided to check things out first. It turns out that there is no work right now in the Boulder, CO area however they may be hiring in early March if I want to take the test and “stay on file”. If you need work right away it is a good idea to follow-up first locally.

  20. olya says:

    how to pass cencus 2010 job test?

  21. idk says:

    i only got one question wrong on the test. does that mean i have a better chance of being hired?

  22. Jo says:

    idk, I only got one question wrong as well, and started getting called almost immediately for work. Problem was it was only for full time work and I needed part time. They called three times trying to hire me, and I kept having to turn them down.

    Finally they called with a part time job last week for the follow-up. Training is next week. But what I really need to know is if you can really set your own hours, as that is essential for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Jo: You have to be available for the first week of training – it is around 6 hours a day. Most are during normal business hours, but sometimes they do an afternoon/evening training. After the training, the hours are very flexible.

  23. aat says:

    what a joke, I worked in admin for 4 days from 8-5 the next day they said I was being transfered to other area due to no work in office and would be working 12 am-8 30 am. I told them I dont have transportation that time of night as my husband works 9 pm -6 am. They terminated me.

  24. aat says:

    ps. They will now have to train at least 6 people for 4-5 days at 6-8 hrs a day at 10.25 hr. and then only maybe if lucky keep one of them to work.
    What a lot of money our govt is spending on nothing…

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