The U.S. Census Bureau is seeking to hire about 5,000 Utahns to help with its once-every-decade count next year — and is taking applications.

“We need to hire up to 5,000 census takers in Utah. The pay rates vary depending on the county you live. For example, in Salt Lake County the pay is $17 an hour,” the bureau said. In rural areas, the pay is $13.50.

Those interested may obtain more information and apply online at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs/pay-and-locations.html

“We need people to apply now so they can be considered for part-time census taker positions next spring,” said Timothy Olson, Census Bureau associate director for Field Operations.

“Recent high school graduates, veterans, retirees, military spouses, seasonal workers and applicants who are bilingual are highly encouraged to apply,” he said. “It’s important we hire people in every community in order to have a complete and accurate census.”

Census takers will be hired to work in their own communities and go door to door to collect responses from those who do not respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail. In some remote Utah Indian reservation areas, census takers will be the only way people can respond to the census.

The bureau says its positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks.

The selection process for census taker positions begins in January, with paid training occurring in March and April.

Actual enumeration of nonresponding households throughout the nation begins in May through early July.

Most households will receive invitations in the mail to respond (online, by phone or by mail) in March 2020. The Census Bureau will begin advertising nationwide in January 2020 to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of participating.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of residents be conducted once every 10 years. Census data are used to determine congressional representation in the states and how nearly $700 billion in federal funds are distributed to states and local communities every year.