The 2010 US Census is almost here. The national census is such a massive undertaking by the federal government that in order to do it properly, the Census Bureau will be hiring tons of temporary help to actually get out into the field and make sure census forms are completed and handed in on time. In addition to door-knocking and following up with people, the enumerators also help make sure that address information is accurate, confirming street numbers and other such information so that every house and family are counted.

If this sounds like it might be a fun job for you, or you just need the extra money, now's the time to get to work on getting hired. A lot of folks were actually hired during 2009 and the US Census Bureau has been conducting job testing for at least a good half of the year. I'm sure there are still plenty of jobs available at this point, but the early bird catches the worm. In other words, I'd find out now where to take the census jobs test instead of waiting for 2010 to get here.

Now you might be wondering exactly how you become an enumerator for the U.S. Census. The first step is to sign up to take the test for field representative positions. As an enumerator, that is what you will be, a field rep. You can call the Census Jobs telephone number, 1-866-861-2010, and usually they will refer you to your local or regional office. Once you contact your local census office, they can tell you when and where they are next offering the test and all you need to do is sign up to take it.

While most of the test question are common sense (your standard clerical questions), there is a bit of time pressure involved in the testing. There are 28 questions that must be answered within 30 minutes. So you'll want to do some preparation so you don't sweat the timer. The census practice test is the answer to that and I recommend running through it a few times, making sure at least once is done with a timer set for 30 minutes. You will find the practice test is very similar to the real test.

On test day, be sure to bring at least two forms of ID suitable for employment purposes. In other words, you'll need a driver's license, social security card, passport, birth certificate, etc. Allow plenty of time as well. In addition to taking the test, the proctor will have you complete a job application form and will also verify your identification and the fact that you are eligible to take a job in the United States.

Once the test is over, you can often just sit and wait until everyone is done and the proctor will grade the tests. This may not be true if you have a lot of people at the test site, but most of the time this is feasible. So you won't have to wait to know whether you passed or not.

Once you pass the test, the next thing you'll need to do is wait. And then probably wait some more. The regional office will call you once they are ready to hire in your local area.