Dear Savvy Senior,

The U.S. Census Bureau is in the process of recruiting thousands of workers for temporary jobs to help collect valuable data for the 2020 Census, and retirees are ideal candidates. Can you write a column to get the word out? Thanks for your help!

– Census Recruiter

Dear Recruiter,

I’m happy to oblige, and I agree. This once-a-decade job opportunity is a great fit for retirees who have some free time on their hands and who wouldn’t mind earning some extra income while helping the community.


Attention, Retirees!

The United States Census Bureau is currently in the process of recruiting over 500,000 temporary workers to help carry out the upcoming 2020 census national head count of every person living in the U.S.

The U.S census helps determines each state’s representation in Congress and how funds are spent for schools, hospitals, and roads. It also provides information to guide many decisions made by government agencies, private businesses, and institutions.

Jobs within the census vary, from working in the field canvassing, updating maps, and conducting follow-up interviews with citizens in your community to working in the office as a clerk performing administrative tasks or as office operations supervisor, who oversees the field staff.

Some jobs will begin this summer, but the majority of positions will begin in late April 2020 and last a month or two.

These temporary, part-time positions are located in every county throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Some positions require evening and/or weekend shifts because you must be available to interview members of the public when they’re at home. And all positions require several days of online and classroom training.

The pay ranges between $13.50 and $30 per hour depending on position and location. To find the pay rates in your area, see


Job Qualifications

To be able to work for the 2020 census, you must:


• Be at least 18 years old

• Have a valid Social Security number

• Be a U.S. citizen

• Have a valid email address

• Complete an application and answer assessment questions

• Be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959

• Pass a census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting

• Commit to completing training

• Be available to work flexible hours, which can include days, evenings, and/or weekends


In addition, most census jobs require employees to have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle, unless public transportation is readily available. Job holders must also have access to a computer with internet and an email account to complete training.


How to Apply

The first step is to complete the online job application at The process takes about 30 minutes and will include some assessment questions about your education, work, and other experience.

If you’re a veteran who would like to claim veterans’ preference, which provides preference over nonveteran applicants, you’ll need supporting documentation.

For more information on the 2020 census, or if you have questions or problems with the application process, call (855) 562-2020.

After you apply, an interviewer will reach out to potential hires to conduct a phone interview, but not all applicants will be interviewed. Job offers are made verbally, but candidates will also receive a letter by email.


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book.

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