I got hired by the Census!

I applied much earlier this year, before things went sideways, and decided all along that if it was supposed to happen it would, and Saturday afternoon, I was finally contacted by them and had a phone interview.

Are you 18 or older? Yes
Are you an American citizen? Yes
Do you have reliable transportation? Yes
Can you climb stairs? Yes
Can you commit to 20 hours a week? Yes

So, I got a preliminary offer, and yesterday (Sunday) got an e-mail telling me where to go to be fingerprinted and have my badge photo taken. I made an appointment for this afternoon, and I must have passed the criminal background check, because they sent me even more e-paperwork, which I filled out and “signed”, and sent that back too.

They said the job should start in 4 to 6 weeks, but who knows, considering how quickly all this has happened? I don’t mind if it starts right away, and the money would be even better than I thought.

Going back to work after 8 years of self-employment will be a big change for me, that’s for sure, but I’ll get used to it.


Good luck and let us know how it goes.


They pay $19 an hour. And they pay mileage too. I did it as a student back in 1980. Most people were fine but there were a few nutty government haters I ran into.

Back in 1990, I lived in a ground floor apartment. One day, a census worker knocked on the front door of the building, and when I answered, asked me where the building at a certain address on the street was. I explained that it was a very short street, with a total of four buildings, none of which were the number in question. I pointed out that it might be a mistake on her paperwork, since that street name was very common in many nearby towns. She insisted that it had to be right. Sadly, I was unable to pull a building out of my pocket for her. Hope you have better luck.

Congratulations! I also worked for the Census during the count 30 years ago. It was a fascinating experience. I got to visit places and people that I would otherwise have never seen. And I could work at convenient hours. Good luck, I hope you enjoy it!

I worked for the Census last month. I was hired and trained in March, put on hold until May, then only worked for 10 days.

My title was Update Leave Enumerator, which means I dropped off questionnaires at the houses of anyone who doesn’t get mail delivered to their house. (The gvt won’t send mail to a P.O. Box.)

Looks like you’ll be NRFU (non-response follow-up) which I did back in 2010. You get to interview the people who didn’t respond by mail or online. They’re a fun bunch.

Congratulations, nwh - thanks for being a part of an important governmental function actually required by the Constitution, and good luck!

I did that for the 2010 census because as a genealogist, the process interested me. Most people are cooperative and some just shut the door in your face despite your identification being in plain sight. And some just give you a ration of shit because they think you’re part of some black helicopter conspiracy. I had been retired for about a year at that point and thought it might be good to dip a toe back in, but it turns out that I really, really love not working at all, and keeping any sort of schedule is just painful.

I’ve heard that they have a whole department devoted to things like vacant lots and nonexistent addresses, and dealing with them.

Last night, I was watching some You Tube videos about the whole process, and one permanent Census employee said that most of their budget is devoted to, as he put it, counting that last 2 or 3 percent.

Congrats - sounds like it could be very interesting! I had a friend who worked for the Office of National Statistics over here, she loved it because she got to interview lots of different kinds of people during the year for various reasons.

All they expect you to be is diligent, honest, and respectful of the respondents. If you encounter a scary situation, walk away, a supervisor will take over. Just like any other job – if you say you’ll be there, be there.

You’ll go through a very thorough orientation, and on your first day, you’ll feel confident. I loved it, one of the nicest jobs I ever had.

I got the call that I was accepted back in late Feb… fingerprinted, background checked, filled out paperwork, then nothing.

Web site said to call with questions, did so. Recording said to leave a message with call-back number… nothing.

So, I guess I’ll just keep waiting.

I saw on the website that door-to-door canvassing isn’t happening yet, so IDK what I will actually do, or when. Phone contacts, perhaps? I said at the time that if it was meant to be, it would happen.

Congrats! I went through the same process(application, fingerprints, form-filling), got the approval letter and phone call…and now I wait.

I got a call the other day from the Census Bureau basically asking if I was still interested and still available. I said yes to both questions and they said my training would start on July 31.

I’m not sure exactly what kind of work I’ll be doing…e.g. convincing people to fill out their forms, or?..

Well, this thread motivated me to call (yet) again. And this time I got a human.

(Very human. She asked me to spell my name and cracked up when I assigned fun words for each letter… “P as in Pirate, R as in Arrrrrrgh, matey!”…)

But she apologized for their being behind. So, even though my status online doesn’t look like it, and I haven’t gotten a phone call, I am on track to start training end of July.

Woohoo! I’m picturing myself trying to charm tough ol’ coots who hate the gummint, then dodging buckshot and coon dogs as I run away…

yes they sometimes think a vacant lot has a house on it. In some cases the house was torn down. In big cities one problem is when the building is locked up. I never ran into that so I don’t know how they deal with it.

It’s done in phases. The phase I was involved in was basically just a head count, primarily at places that housed more than just a family (dormitories, care facilities, etc.). It also included places like homeless camps and under bridges, which I wasn’t really comfortable with. The biggest blowback was from some group homes, particularly where abused women were living. Can’t say I blame them, but it was just numbers, not names.

I suspect that if I have to go door-to-door, I’ll just have to canvass in my own neighborhood, which mostly consists of apartments and townhomes, and people are always moving in and out so the head count will change frequently. We’ll see what happens.