Earn $13.75 Per Hour With the Census This Summer

March 19, 2010 — The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting locally for temporary, part-time census takers for the 2010 Census. Census takers earn $13.75 an hour, plus a mileage reimbursement.

Census takers may occasionally work up to 40 hours a week, but the norm is 25 to 35 hours a week, primarily during evenings and weekends, said Jean Wyant, director of the local Census Bureau office.

The flexible hours and good pay make for a nice part-time or supplemental job, she said. "I highly recommend the work. It's really fun. And you get to know Virginia."

Wyant's office plans to hire 300 to 400 people for census work in Charlottesville, Albemarle County and eight adjacent counties. More than 90 percent of the positions will be census takers, along with a few crew supervisors, census clerks and recruiting assistants.

Census takers interview people who did not answer the census by mail at their residences. Assignments are usually within 50 miles of home, Wyant said. Workers must have a valid driver's license and provide their own transportation; mileage reimbursement is 50 cents per mile, tax-free.

Some census taker work will start as early as April 15, especially in off-campus neighborhoods near the University of Virginia, to catch students before they depart for the summer after classes end in mid-May. (U.Va. students, like everyone else, should be counted wherever they reside on Census Day, April 1.)

But the bulk of the fieldwork will be from May 15 to July 15, Wyant said.

The application process for census jobs requires passing a multiple-choice test of related skills – clerical, map-reading, number and organizational skills. A practice test, application (Form BC-170D) and related information can be downloaded here.

Census job brochures are available in the lobby of the University of Virginia's Carruthers Hall, 1001 N. Emmet St.

Testing sessions have already been offered several times in Albemarle and Charlottesville, and no further tests are currently planned for these locales, said Valerie Scott, assistant manager for recruiting at the Charlottesville office, which handles hiring for a 17-county region of Central Virginia.

Additional testing sessions are planned for several adjacent counties including Nelson, Fluvanna and Augusta, Scott said. Upcoming testing sessions include:

• Fluvanna County Public Library, March 23, 2 p.m.
• Staunton Public Library, March 23, 5 p.m.

To schedule a test or confirm dates and locations, contact the local office at 434-817-3976.

Regardless of where you take the test, you will be considered for census taker positions based on hiring needs in proximity to your home address, Scott said. "The selection goes basically, first by where you live, and then by how well you score on the test. It's pretty straightforward."

That means a Charlottesville resident may take the test in Staunton, but will appear in the pool of applicants for census takers based in Charlottesville, and will rise or fall within that pool based on one's relative test score, she said.

Test grading and a criminal background check require roughly two weeks to complete, Wyant said.

Those hired must complete three to five days of paid training, offered during daytime, evening and weekend hours.

— By Brevy Cannon