How to Become a

Census Worker

The complete career guide to be a Census Worker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $32,930
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

A Census worker is a worker under the US Census Bureau, and performs routine tasks at office as well as field environments for collecting demographic, housing and other statistical data from specified neighborhood areas.


What is a Census Worker?

Duties

The census worker must perform a number of essential duties including:

  • Conduct research in assigned areas after reviewing field site and establishing an effective route for travel.
  • Conduct interviews with residents in the neighborhood and assist them with completing a census form accurately.
  • Interact with residents by helping them interpret the census form and answering any questions regarding the details needed for census taking.
  • Update or correct any discrepancies in existing census data, e.g. if a house is no longer occupied or cannot be considered a household.

Day In The Life

If you are an aspiring census worker, you should be willing to commute door to door, meeting residents in a local community at their homes before or after the 2020 census is mailed. It is your job to make sure that people are correctly filling up their census forms and mailing them in a timely manner. You may have to do frequent visits to residences in order to explain why the census is conducted and record the responses given by people. In addition, your day can include organizing and storing the submitted forms correctly, mailing them, etc.

In their daily work, census workers have to be undertake asking a wide range of questions, some of which may make individuals uncomfortable. For instance, questions may involve a person’s ethnic origins, income range, marital status or place of birth. The federal government uses this type of data to make large-scale policy or budget changes. While responses are usually kept confidential, census workers will have to face situations where individuals are unwilling to provide an answer. All the data collected in relation to census information, as well as records of time taken, expenses and miles traveled by census takers are reported to a U.S. Census Bureau crew leader.

Typical work schedule

The US Census Bureau often employs different people to help with the constitutional mandatory nationwide count of US citizens every 10 years. Accordingly, the majority of these jobs are temporary with the payment based on the hours registered or the number of people surveyed. There are still some permanent full-time jobs related to the long-term administration of the bureau. These jobs follow the regular schedule of 40-50 hours per week. Temporary jobs include working as census taker / enumerator where they work in the field interviewing people and collecting information from a specified district with accuracy. It does not require specific degrees, but it is quite time-consuming, exhausting and requires longer working hours. The permanent jobs include working as a geographer who prepare maps and other instructions for the census takers as well as statisticians / analysts who have to collect, analyze and make specific reports about the collected data. The permanent positions follow the standard working hours except on some occasions when longer hours may be required to meet specific deadlines like during the census year.

Projected job growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information about the employment of various census workers. However, it is noted that the overall employment of statisticians is expected to increase by 33 % from 2019 to 2029 which is much faster than other jobs. For other temporary positions, it is hard to make a prediction because they are in high demand only twice in a decade. On the other hand, there will be few opportunities for the permanent positions within the Bureau. However, there may always be a room for advancement to full-time permanent worker for the Census Bureau especially for those who have the proper education as a college degree on statistics and enough hands-on experience with the required specialty within the Census Bureau.

Typical Employers

Census workers work for the federal government, specifically working for the US Census Bureau. However, their skills can also be employed for other purposes within the federal government besides the general census, like administrating different polls and reporting specific data on multiple matters that may affect the public. This can also be of high demand during the various elections in the country when polls are greatly valued.


How To Become a Census Worker

To become a census worker, you must inquire with the census office that is closest to your neighbourhood or local community. Most relevant materials for creating and submitting a job application are available online. To become a full-time employee of the US Census Bureau, you would require at least a college degree, while temporary positions would vary based on location and job duties.

Candidates must complete a 30 minutes employee selection test that comprises of approximately 28 questions that will measure the skills, abilities and knowledge needed to execute census jobs. Questions in the test will pay special attention to your reading abilities, skills pertaining to recording information, mathematics and clerical work. While the test is not very tough, it can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the concepts. Practice tests are a good way to overcome any challenges in this regard.

It is important to note that you may be subject to a background check before being hired as a permanent employee at the Census Bureau, due to the fact that employees have access to privileged data while executing their tasks. Maintaining confidentiality throughout your lifetime is essential, as penalties for violations may include a prison sentence or heavy fines.


Census Worker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$25,640

Average

$32,930

High Range

$47,730

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$12/hr

Average

$16/hr

High Range

$23/hr

How do Census Worker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Census Worker's can make an average annual salary of $32,930, or $16 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $25,640 or $12 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #658 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Census Workers

  • 1.1%   Doctorate
  • 5.7%   Masters
  • 18.4%   Bachelors
  • 15.8%   Associates
  • 33.7%   College
  • 23.8%   High School
  • 1.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

198,000

2024 Est. Jobs

208,300

Job Growth Rate

5.2%

Est. New Jobs

10,300

How does Census Worker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 10,300 jobs for a total of 208,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #425 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Census Workers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 62,500 1,000 1%
Offices of physicians 10,400 1,800 2%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 10,000 2,100 2%

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