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Help wanted: Census takers!

Submitted by on 1, March 11, 2010 – 5:45 am3 Comments

Times are tight, but someone’s hiring: The U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau is hiring a million people nationwide – Walmart numbers, people – to go door to door for eight weeks this spring to complete and collect decennial census forms from people who haven’t yet mailed them in. The pay is (a decidedly non-Walmart) $22 an hour, and the bureau will start hiring at the end of this month.

If you’re interested in the gig, there’s a test (practice test and all the info you need are here), and you can schedule it by checking in with the nice folks in the bureau’s Alameda office, at 764-2941. If you pass the test, it sounds like you’ll join a pool of applicants selected in a random-type computer drawing (though it sounds like the computer takes skills like multiple languages into account).

“Our pool of applicants is big. We’re testing a lot of people,” said Edel Orantes, the very nice person who answered the telephone when I called the bureau’s Harbor Bay Parkway office. Orantes, who has worked previous censuses, said she thinks high unemployment is a reason the number of applicants is so high.

Despite the numbers, Orantes encourages everyone who calls to take the leap of faith and apply.

“Take the chance and take the test because you never know,” she tells prospective applicants. “God is good. You may get picked.”

Incidentally, those forms are supposed to be going out in the middle of March, and in addition to providing us buckets of information about our little Island, the federal government uses the numbers to figure out where to spend about $400 billion. They’ve got a whole website for the 2010 Census (translatable into a boatload of languages!) right here.


  • Charlie says:

    Actually We are almost finished with the testing phase, those interested in a job should call and schedule a test
    soon at 510-764-2960, the recruiting number for our area.
    Applicants are offered a job from a computer generated list using test score as main criteria with language, location and
    availability contributing factors.
    You can take the test as many times as you want with the highest score being the one used to recruit an applicant.
    You must live within our locale area boundaries and most likely will work in your own neighborhood. We cover South
    of Lake Merritt to San Leandro, and 580 to the Bay.
    Good Luck.

  • Charlie says:

    Census Update,
    The Alameda Census office has reached their quota for recruiting and is no longer offering Census testing.
    If you have taken the test and passed with a good score stand by for a call as they are starting the hiring phase
    now. A crew worked over the weekend calling and offering jobs for field workers.

  • Linda K. Brillhart says:

    I am interested in becoming a census taker. I live in West Mesa in Dobson Ranch. Please send me an e-mail about being a census taker.

    Sincerely, Linda K. Brillhart

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