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about 5 years ago
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Census Taker: Perfect College Job

As we round the turn into a new decade, the federal government is starting that tradition again of making you fill out the Census. To take care of the delinquents who don’t, the Census Bureau is hiring census takers this spring. It’s really a great job for college students; it doesn’t involve dealing with crazy government bureaucracy as you might think when you hear the words “government job.” It’s a steal, really, because you get paid (in State College, at least) $11.75 an hour to go around to certain houses who didn’t fill out their census forms and ask them the very same questions, but at the same time, it looks great on a résumé. You pretty much make your own hours, too, so you don’t have to adjust from college time to working world time.

To apply, you go to this web site to get an application. Then you fill it out and go down to the local census office – ours is at 3500 E. College Ave., down past the Nittany Mall – for an appointment to take a test to see if you’re qualified for the job. Speaking from experience, it is the single easiest test in the world. I finished it in about five minutes and got a perfect score. From there, they send in your paperwork, and you either get hired or not. If you do get hired, you have to go to four training days (that you get paid for), after which you can start.

A few caveats: if you’re male, you have to be registered for the draft, but seeing as you’re probably 18 if you’re in college, you most likely are already. Number two: the site doesn’t say anything in particular about needing access to a car, but since they do mention reimbursement for mileage, you might need one to get to where you need to go.

All in all, it’s more impressive than any typical summer job, you get paid more, and it’ll probably take less of a toll on you than manual labor or arguing with customers at the supermarket all day. So if you’re interested, you can go to the Census Bureau’s web site, or if you prefer, call the State College office at (814) 689-4370.

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