Author Topic: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?  (Read 1983 times)


  • Stubble
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Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« on: December 21, 2019, 06:12:31 AM »
Has anyone done this job? I was thinking it would be a way to combine lots of walking with a bit of talking! Opinions?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 10:15:12 AM »
I have not doneit, but around here they are offeing 25$ per hour I dont know if they take part timers or not.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2019, 10:51:14 AM »
I worked as a census taker in high school. People were friendly and the pay was good and I was able to set my own hours as long as I had 4 census forms/hour completed (I don't remember the exact number.) It was part-time.


  • Bristles
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2019, 07:10:43 PM »
I worked the 2010 census. A few thoughts on the subject:
1. Overall, I thought it was a great side gig and I enjoyed supporting the important public service of counting the country so the government can better plan things for the future. There was solid training on how to do the job properly, and I found it to be enjoyable work.
2. The job is has a built-in factor of diminishing returns. You have to visit the same properties a set number of times if the first visit doesn't work, so what ends up happening is that the first time you run a route, most of the people you catch are nice and happy to see you. On subsequent returns you eventually catch the really busy people who are on average less than happy to see you, as well as figure out which properties might be unoccupied/avoiding you.
3. The tone of the job is set by the type of neighborhood you are assigned. Generally, they will try to assign you routes as close to where you live as possible, the theory being that if you are from a given area, you are likely to be more successful as an Census enumerator there because you can find the addresses easily, have a sense of how to safely conduct yourself in that place, and possibly speak other languages if those are common where you live.
4. If you have any apartment buildings in your zone, they can be a pain in the ass. Sometimes the post office or building staff mistakenly put one person's census form in a different person's mailbox, and that can mess up the tracking of who's already filled their form in. Also, you may have issues with building security. Things go smoothest in single family home areas.
5. There are a lot of forms to manage (just the nature of the job). Not sure if things will change for this round, but my favorite one when I worked the Census was a sheet saying "I am a Census taker, blah, blah, blah..." in about 40 different languages, so that you could show that to someone if they answer the door and don't speak the same language as you. There are steps you can take to arrange for a translator if needed. That form made me feel strangely patriotic. America as "melting pot" and all that jazz. I barely had to use that form at all, but I felt it showed that the Census administrators had put forth good effort into planning for all possible situations.


  • Stubble
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 07:15:47 PM »
I did it in 2010 as a college student. I'll echo that it depends a lot on the blocks you're assigned to. Most of mine we the sorry of neighborhoods where nobody answers the door, which just seemed like a waste of my time. And the whole thing seemed badly managed, especially on the front line. My manager was retired and meant well but was totally incompetent, and as far as I could tell whoever he reported to either didn't know or didn't care.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2019, 03:08:46 PM »
I was an office manager in 2010.
This one will necessarily be very different, but in 2010 it was very strange work, a combination of supremely over qualified and desperate for work folks suffering from the recession, as well as the students /party timers / Patriots that the work normally attracts.

The census is mostly designed so that everyone involved can be hired, given minimal training, work, and then almost immediately get let go.  Which honestly doesn't exist, and isn't in my opinion a valid management style.  So corruption, cheating, incompetence, mismanagement are all extremely common.

That said, it was phenomenal to meet and work with such diverse people.  A great time as long as the inefficiency didn't bother you.

Plus I got to hire 2500 people and then fire them, which was pretty cool.


  • Stubble
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Re: Has anyone worked as a Census Taker?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 05:41:08 PM »
I was offered a job as a “Enumerator”. I’ll be paid $17.50 and hour and 58 cents a mile. They said it would be from April-May and be around 20 hours a week and mostly nights and weekends. I will still substitute teach during that time and pick the days I sub. Anyone else get an offer? I’m sure the Census is fairly desperate for “Enumerators”.