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Become a Census Taker

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Census 2010:

Every 10 years the government conducts a census of the US population to get a count of how many people live in each state. The results of the census help to determine each state's congressional representation and how much federal money each community receives.

The next census is scheduled for 2010, and will require thousands of census takers to complete. Apply to be one of them, and you could enjoy a temporary boost to your income.

What a Census Taker Does:

Census takers go door to door to verify the residential addresses in their community before the 2010 census is mailed, and then later return to the streets to interview any residents that haven't responded to the census mailing.

Who's Eligible:

To be a census taker, you must:
  • be a US Citizen (or a legal permanent resident or non-citizen with a work visa and a bilingual skill that no available citizen possesses)
  • be at least 18 years old
  • be able to read, write and speak English
  • have a valid Social Security card
  • pass a written test
  • have a valid driver's license (if you'll be working in the field)
  • pass a background check
  • complete four days of training

Hours and Pay:

Census takers generally work between 20 and 40 hours a week for 5-10 weeks, and are paid on a weekly basis.

The pay rate varies by location. To determine the hourly rate for your area, click on your state on the Local Census Office Map. Then, select the office nearest you.

How to Apply:

Call the US Census Bureau job line at 1-866-861-2010 to schedule an appointment to take the employment test. Then, print out a copy of the Census Employment Application and Form I-9.

Be sure to bring both forms to your appointment, along with all required forms of identification.

Tips to Land the Job:

  • Apply early. Hiring starts February 2009, and most positions will be filled by May 2009
  • Download and take the Census Practice Test before your scheduled appointment

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