OVER 7,500 people contacted the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last week to register interest in working as enumerators for the 2011 census.
The surge in interest for the 5,000 positions was recorded within three days of CSO launching its census website.
Although the application process for the census will not open until 4 January, prospective candidates have been able to register their interest since last week.
A spokeswoman for the CSO confirmed to the Sunday Tribune that over 7,500 people went online and requested an application form.
Among the preferred skills required by the CSO is that applicants are "comfortable around dogs", capable of tolerating "people who may be irate, confrontational or very unpleasant" and able to cope with frustration "when people refuse to answer the door or speak to you".
Short-term contracts will be offered to successful candidates who will be expected to deliver census forms to some 400 homes in their area, collect them on completion and compile a population report on their assigned area.
Successful applicants will be trained after they make it through the selection process and will be paid an average of €2,200. They will have to be available to work from 8 March to 13 May and will have to work a minimum of 22 hours a week, most of which will be on weekends and evenings.
A CSO spokeswoman said about 15,000 people applied for the enumerator positions before the last census in 2006. This suggests there will be a significant rise in numbers of applicants this time.