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How to Apply

So, you're ready to work on the 2020 Census?


Getting Started

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

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Social Security number
  • Home address (physical location and mailing address)
  • Email address and phone number
  • Date and place of birth

In addition, if you’re a veteran who would like to claim veterans’ preference, you will need supporting documentation. For more information, visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Veterans’ Preference page.

If you run into issues during the application process, you can call 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020) and select option 1 for technical assistance or option 3 to speak with someone at your area census office. You can also refer to the frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page and on our FAQ page.

Ready to Apply?

Take the next step toward joining our team! Complete your application today.



Census taker displaying her badge at an open front door of a home, while holding a phone in her other hand with a Census bag on her shoulder.

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by logging in to the account created when you applied. You will receive an email notification when the status of your application changes.

Next Steps

The U.S. Census Bureau will reach out to prospective hires to request additional information or to conduct a job interview. These interviews are conducted by phone.

If a job offer is extended, you must then complete a background check and training.

Application Timeline

Because the Census Bureau needs to fill thousands of positions across the country, recruiting efforts start several months before job offers are made. Therefore, depending on when you apply, it may be several weeks or several months before hiring begins in your area.

The good news is that your application can remain in the applicant pool for the entire 2020 Census cycle (unless you ask us to no longer consider it). As a result, whenever the Census Bureau has openings in your area, there may be potential for your application to be considered. You can update the information on your application by logging in to the account you created when you applied and submitting the changes.

Applications: After you submit your application, you can keep track of your status by logging in to your account.

Job interviews: An interviewer will reach out to potential hires to conduct a phone interview. Job offers are made verbally, but candidates will also receive a letter by email.

Background checks: Once an offer has been extended, you must submit fingerprints and may be required to submit additional security documentation. Your offer may be rescinded if you do not pass the background check. The process can take several weeks from job offer to your first day on the job.  See 2020 Census Fact Sheet: Hiring and Background Checks for more information.

Training: Your exact time commitment for training will be determined by the position and operation that you’ve been selected to fill. You should receive this information during your interview or by email. You will be paid for training time.

Getting started: Selected applicants are officially hired when they are sworn in and have taken the oath of office. This usually happens on the first day of work or training.

Census taker verifying information in his phone while walking through a neighborhood.

How to Apply: Frequently Asked Questions

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Most applicants can complete the job application and answer the basic assessment questions in approximately 30 minutes. Applicants interested in being considered for supervisory positions must answer additional questions, which take approximately 10 minutes to answer.

In some cases, applicants may also be asked to take an English Proficiency Test. This is a timed test with two sections. The test takes a total of 15 minutes.

Your application will allow you to be considered for census taker, recruiting assistant, and office clerk positions (if available in your area). You must answer the supervisory assessment questions to be considered for census field supervisor and office operations supervisor positions. Openings for positions other than census taker are much more limited.

For technical help with the online application:

You can reach our Customer Engagement Center by dialing 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020) and selecting option 1 for technical help. You may also use the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY/ASCII.

For other questions regarding the application:

Contact your area census office for more information. Call 1-855-JOB-2020 (1-855-562-2020) and select option 3; when prompted, enter your ZIP code to be routed to your area census office. You may also use the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY/ASCII.

All hires in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., must be able to speak, read, and write in English. Therefore, the application is available in English only.

Hires in Puerto Rico must speak Spanish. Therefore, the application for Puerto Rico applicants is available in Spanish.

There is no need to reapply. All qualified applications will remain active for the duration of the 2020 Census operation. You can update your application information by logging in to the account created when you applied.

Pay & Locations

Positions for the 2020 Census are located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Explore our interactive map to find the pay rates in your county or municipio.

The U.S. Census Bureau is an equal opportunity employer.