FAQs from Adult Students about Census Jobs and the Application Process

FAQs from Adult Students about Census Jobs and the Application Process

(A complete list of FAQs from the Census Bureau)


Q: What level of English proficiency and other skills should I have?

A: Required skills: Advanced ESL, digital literacy (due to using tablets in the field), and customer service, but no high school diploma or other educational attainment level required. The Census Bureau is especially looking for bilingual candidates. 


Q: If I get a temporary job with the Census Bureau, will it affect my benefits, such as TANF?

A: Each state and tribe makes its own decision about how temporary work with the Census Bureau will affect your benefits. Many states, such as Pennsylvania, and California say that temporary work with the Census will not affect your benefits.


Q: I am not a citizen, but I am a legal resident. Can I still apply?

A: The application process currently requires  that you be a citizen. However, if you have a Green Card and speak a language that the Census Bureau needs, you could get a waiver. We won’t know whether non-citizens will be hired until we’re in the middle of the census. So we recommend that you fill out the application, and then your name will come to the top of the list if your language skills are needed. (You do need an SSN to apply for a census job.)


Q: Are there other benefits to applying?

A: Yes! Once you’ve filled out the form and passed the background checks, you could more easily apply for other federal jobs.


Q: After the job is finished, are there any benefits I would be eligible for?

A: Yes! As a laid-off federal employee, you would be eligible for unemployment benefits (cash payments) and for re-employment services. That includes help with resume writing and a Career Action Plan, labor market information, job referrals, and assistance applying for financial aid for training and education programs.


Q: After I apply for a Census job, when I can expect to hear back from them?

A: The answer from the Census Bureau about this is, “Hang tight!” They will start hiring supervisors in January 2020 and enumerators in February and March. You may not hear from them until that time.


Q: As a census worker, how will I stay safe walking around the neighborhood and knocking on people’s doors?

A: The Census Bureau will provide training, including tips for staying safe. Enumerators will work in the area where they live, so they will be known in the community and will have a good sense about the safest times to be out knocking on doors.


(More FAQs coming soon…)