A census taker greets a resident at their home.
A census taker greets a resident at their home. 

2020 Census Jobs: What they are and how to apply

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau takes a count of everyone in the country. To do this, they recruit thousands of people from across the nation. 



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The 2020 U.S. Census is a fundamental part of American history. Since 1790, every 10 years a census has been conducted to determine the proper representation in Congress, meaning the number of representatives per state in the U.S. House of Representatives, and to decide how funds are used in each community. From the census, communities decide how certain funds are spent on schools, hospitals and roads. Making sure that everyone--including citizens and non-citizens--is counted is the only way to do this. 

The U.S. Census Bureau is actively recruiting thousands of citizens from Philadelphia to across the country to make sure everyone is counted. Jobs include going door-to-door as a census taker as well as recruiting assistants, office positions and supervisory positions. These are temporary jobs and will last several weeks. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring people to work in the communities that they live in because they recognize that people are most familiar with their own community. 


According to the U.S. Census Bureau website, to be eligible to apply, applicants must be:

  • 18 years or older. There is no age cap to apply.
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have a working email
  • Complete the online application and assessment questions
  • Pass a criminal background check and review of criminal records, including fingerprinting
  • Commit to completing the training 
  • Be available to work flexible hours, including days, evenings, and or/weekends


Most jobs require employees to: 

  • Have access to a vehicle and a valid license, unless they live in an area where public transportation is easily accessible 
  • Have access to a computer and the internet for completing the training


Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply, but are required to speak, read and write in English. 

How to Apply

The online application will take about thirty minutes to complete. For people who are interested in supervisory positions, applications take an additional 10 minutes. In order to start, job applicants must create a login.

On the U.S. Census Bureau website, applicants will be asked to provide their: 

  • Social security number,
  • Email address,
  • Home address,
  • Phone number, 
  • Date and place of birth. 


In the application, they must answer questions about their education, work, and other experience related to their past job performance. The online assessment can be completed in either English or Spanish. Applicants who apply in Spanish will be required to take an English proficiency test, which takes about 15 minutes to complete.


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