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Working at U.S. Census Bureau — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about U.S. Census Bureau pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at U.S. Census Bureau

3.6Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect5
Benefits2
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth1
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From California — 08/19/2010

I don't understand all the negative feedback and political references, this is Title 7 shit of the U.S. Code folks...it needs to be done and is not a waste of money. Don't know about the rest of the country but here in California, we did it right.
I was an enumerator for two assignments. Sure, our crew (The 1117's) got to canvass North Long Beach, then Inglewood, which aren't exactly garden spots, but we got the work done. Only real issue was canvassing areas heavily populated by Hispanics, as they generally refused to disclose any informed because they though you'd turn them into ICE. Most of the time, you got a "No speaka English", then I'd go into Spanish (we had another gal on our crew write out the verbage to our survey in Spanish), then get a "No se" out of them. Fine, whatever....I see five people in the house, tell them "I'll just be a moment updating my report" and take the mapspot on my GPS transmitter. Why crews in other states told people they were collecting GPS coords was asinine (just look on YouTube for US Census).
Part time work, $17/hr., getting an "atta-boy" letter from one of the top Census management people saying our office was the best in the state as far as accuracy and production was uplifting...and I was even able to work it in with my other job of doing body removals!
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4.0Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Warren, MI — 08/18/2010

I feel very badly for the folks on this website who had such terrible experiences. It's too bad because it wasn't like that everywhere. I absolutely loved my job with the Census. I was a Crew Leader and then on this final operation I got the chance to be an enumerator. I thoroughly enjoyed both positions....although Crew Leader was the best. My FOS (Field Operations Supervisor) was terrific and the Assistant Manager of the LCO (Local Census Office) was great. Both were always very helpful and informative and willing to do whatever it took to make my job a success. I did have some awful enumerators, but such is life. I was overwhelmed by the caliber of crew that I had and by the staff of the office. Everyone worked hard and were diligent in doing their job to the best of their ability. I feel like I learned alot about the US Census Bureau (good), the American people (mostly good) and myself (hope it's good). It's too bad that not all LCO's were run as efficiently. Those slackers (for lack of a better word) make this whole process look bad and like a waste of money when in reality it is a very important function as determined by our forefathers. (look up some of the old census questionnaires and be grateful for the simple questions we had to ask!!!)

Glad I was part of the 2010 Census!!!
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect3
Benefits2
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth2
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From ny — 07/07/2010

The pay was pretty good, it was fun to work in my neighborhood, but it sucks the it was only temporary
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits1
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth1
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment4

From Lancaster, NY — 06/08/2010

Pay was pretty good for something part-time. I didn't have to deal with any idiots in the area that I had, everyone was very respectful and courteous. No benefits and you get laid off immediately once the work is done. I could do my area around my schedule which was nice. No career potential or growth since it's temporary employment. My area was less than 2 minute drive from my house. My CL and CLAs were very easy to work with and understood everything that was going on and highly competent. There were some nice days to work and then some hot ones where it really sucked wearing khakis and a polo.
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect3
Benefits1
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers3
Work Environment3

From algonac, michigan — 04/11/2010

I've worked for the census on and off for the past year. There is no job security because once you finish your assignment, your done. If they chose to call you back, you get another job. They payed me $16/ hour and $.50/mile. They keep you working in your general area which is nice. I loved that I could make my own hours except for training. No benefits because it's a temporary job. Some people I worked with were great and some not so great, just like any other job. As long as they keep calling my back for more assignments, I'll gladly keep working for them.
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4.0Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth4
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Santee, CA — 03/22/2010

I got hired at the census as an office worker for the santee office. I must say that the clerk jobs are meticulous, monotonous, and sometimes very boring. However, I needed a part time job and took what I could get. I worked my butt off and got promoted to Office Operations Supervisor, and that was really amazing. Not too many jobs will promote based on ability to work; often times it is favoritism and internal politics, but due to the fast-paced nature of the census, they only pick candidates based on test score, veteran status, and language abilities, and previous census work, which is fair in my eyes.
The reason why they overhire for training is because the census is on an extremely tight deadline. I had to train crew leaders and we invited 3 people in for 3 positions and all quit within the first week because of personal reasons so we had to do a second training, postponing the training for the class the crew leaders were to do, postponing the materials preparation-it was a mess. Its better to train more people (and the training and mileage to training IS paid) than to have not enough people and waste time.
There is a heck of a lot of waste going on, I will admit that. Our office uses a shredding company that recycles and we have a scrap paper box to save that way. The waste itself does not hinder job performance, but it is annoying.
Another downside is the work/life balance. One job takes place for 3 days and one of them is 12am-7am. no way. Also, for the operation that picks up anyone who did not receive a census form, the office is expected to stay open from 6am to 10 am or later. My shift is going to be 12:30-10 eventually which works for me, a single young adult, but for the veterans or people with families, those hours may be rough.
The census reimburses for mileage and any fees like toll booths and phone charges.
I love working in the office because my workplace is diverse, my coworkers are so nice and mostly hardworking, and we can see progress with our work. A job that for me, started as a temporary part time not to exceed 2 months at 12.50'hour ended up as a supervisory position at 17/hour full time temporary with possible extension to the end of the operation (aug-sept). I like my job overall and would recommend office or field work.
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect2
Benefits3
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth3
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment2

From FL — 11/11/2009

I have a year long term with the Census which will probably be extended an extra 6 months beyond that. The pay is fair for the area I live in. No benefits until I have been there a year, and then no employer contribution. Thanks Obama. There is no potential for growth in my office due to what are deemed as "battlefield promotions" and an LCOM that dislikes almost everyone and is a bully. The previous reviewer is correct in saying that they bring back people they like. There are ways to run a cert to get who you want and it is common practice. Also there are ways of not using people again that you just don't like. There is little job security, they can pretty much fire you at will if they choose to. I think the rating of your review has to do with what office you work in. My co-workers are great, my LCOM is awful.
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect5
Benefits1
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth1
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Manassas, VA — 06/08/2009

Hired in January as an enumerator, didn't actually start work until April. Pay was decent, $18/hour, plus mileage. You could set your own hours so if you couldn't work it was no problem. Only problems I saw were:

1. Testing - this process is WAY too long and drawn out...Thousands test for only a handful of positions. They overhire...our class had 20 people who passed the test & training session/test but only 14 hand held computers..you do the math..without the computers you can't work

2. Testing procedure...from the time you take your test until your phone call telling you that you are hired expect about 2 months....Also, you were told to bring with you copies of A, B & C...only to arrive for your testing session and some people didn't have the required documents or didn't fill them out and the entire class had to wait for everyone who didn't follow directions to do it then (this took up to an hour for you to sit and wait for those who didn't follow directions)

Hey GAO, next time you write a report on the hiring process include something like if applicants show up without the required documents completed they are asked to leave...save everyone time & money!

No benefits, but you are told that when you are hired so nobody should expect any

Job security - we were told we would be working 10 weeks on 10 weeks off...we only worked a little over 2 weeks...because of the large number of enumerators and authorized overtime the work was quickly completed for our area...local office is opening soon...hundreds if not thousands are apply for the 6 positions they have open right now

Co-workers - you hardly ever see them...you mainly work alone, at your own pace, on your own schedule...everyone in my training class was pretty smart, great group of people. Crew leader & assistant were great people, love to work with them again.
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