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by Ana Radelat, AARP VIVA, June 2009
About 120 million census forms have already been printed and thousands of temporary workers hired as the nation prepares for the 2010 head count, dubbed “A New Portrait of America.” The federal government will hire thousands more, beginning in the fall, to help count everyone.
Census-related jobs will be temporary—ranging in length from six months or more for field office managers to up to several weeks for census takers, or enumerators. Salaries range from a high of $44 an hour for field office managers to $11.50 to $25 an hour for census takers, depending on the local cost of living.
In choosing workers, the Census Bureau looks to those who have roots in their cities or towns. “We need to make sure we’re hiring people who know the community,” says U.S. Census Bureau spokesperson Raul Cisneros. That makes retirees attractive candidates for census jobs, he says.
Cisneros also says the ability to speak Spanish, or any language besides English, is a plus.
About 140,000 temporary workers have already been hired to verify the accuracy of addresses to which the Census Bureau will mail out millions of forms next year. But hundreds of thousands more workers will be needed to staff the nearly 500 field offices the Census Bureau will establish from coast to coast and to knock on the doors of households that haven’t return their census forms. In most cases, census takers will need a vehicle and a valid drivers license.
Census questionnaires will be mailed out in February and March. Then some 1.2 million census takers will fan out across every community to interview households that don’t return their forms by April 9, 2010.
Hiring for field office personnel will begin in the fall and for census takers early next year. Information about census jobs can be found on http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/howtoapply.php (in Spanish, http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/spanish/spanishindex.php) or by calling 866-861-2010.
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