Census Worker: Options and Job Descriptions

Census workers, or enumerators, typically require no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and further job options to see if this is the right career for you.

View 6 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

The U.S. Constitution charges the federal government with conducting a nationwide count of U.S. residents every ten years, and the U.S. Census Bureau employs people in various kinds of roles to perform this duty. Most census takers work in the field conducting interviews. Permanent employees typically need at least a college degree; preferred education requirements for temporary employees can vary.

Required Education None for temporary census workers; college degree may be necessary for permanent employees
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) -1.6% (for all federal government workers)*
Average Salary (2015) $18,161 (for Grade 1 federal employees with no prior work experience)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Census Taker/Enumerator

Census takers or enumerators are typically temporary employees of the U.S. Census Bureau. They work in the field and interview residents of an assigned neighborhood according to strict instructions provided by the Census Bureau. They are also responsible for recording the information they elicit through interviews with citizens and implementing quality control measures with regard to the integrity and accuracy of collected information.

Supervisor

Various types of supervisory positions, often temporary, are available through the Census Bureau, including those that oversee administrative office operations, automation operations, field office operations, recruiting office operations and field operations. Typical job duties may vary slightly among the supervisory roles, but in general, they include supervising and training census takers, among others. They may also oversee personnel levels and workflow according to agency standards, and perform employee assessments.

Geographer

Graduates of cartography degree programs may be qualified to work as geographers for the U.S. Census Bureau, and these are typically permanent positions in headquarters. They create maps to be used by census takers in performing field work such as mailing census questionnaires and interviewing residents. Preparing instructions and custom maps may also be part of the geographer's typical tasks.

Statistician/Analyst

The U.S. Census Bureau employs statisticians and analysts who concentrate on either economics or demographics. The economics statistician or analyst usually collects business and trade data, analyzing and reporting on it to provide a snapshot of the U.S. economy or business activity. The social science statistician collects information about U.S. populations through surveys and prepares reports on how and where people live, including employment, family, fertility, housing and neighborhood descriptions.

Those who specialize in economics typically hold a college degree in economics, marketing, finance, business management or statistics, while those who specialize in demographics usually hold a college degree in demography, criminal justice, sociology or psychology. These are usually permanent positions located at agency headquarters.

Salary and Employment Outlook

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't have employment predictions specifically for Census Bureau workers, it did note that employment for all federal government workers was expected to decline by 1.6% between 2012 and 2022. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the salary for a grade one federal employee with no prior work experience was $18,161 in 2015. With additional experience, employees can earn higher salaries.

Show me popular schools

Related to Census Worker: Options and Job Descriptions

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Student Government Gender Gap

From Hillary Clinton to Sarah Palin, women today are vying for the most prominent positions in American national politics since...

How a Government Shutdown Might Impact Education

Partisan disputes over budgeting issues threatened to 'shut down' the government late last week. Fortunately, Congress and...

How Good Manners Can Help You Land a Great Job

We all know that it's a good idea to be friendly and nice to prospective employers. But being well mannered beyond simple...

Can You Get Fired for Complaining About Your Job on Facebook?

It's not unlikely for news stories to focus on social media activities. Whether it's changes on Facebook or inappropriate...

Could Your Debt Lose You a Job Offer?

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • California (17 campuses)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BA - Liberal Studies (Integrated California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics