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Government Benefits Interviewers

At a Glance

  • Work with welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and housing programs
  • Keep detailed records
  • Often speak more than one language
  • Regularly work with people
  • Train on the job
  • Have good organization and communication skills

Career summary

Government benefits interviewers help determine if people qualify for government assistance.

#no matching wois description, checked 2/17/15 lh

Government benefits interviewers explain what government help is available to people who request it. They explain how to qualify for various programs. These include programs such as:

Interviewers answer questions about how to apply for benefits. They help applicants complete forms. In some cases, they may use the native language of applicants or interpreters to communicate.

When the forms are complete, interviewers review them. They look over personal and financial information to determine if applicants meet the criteria to receive assistance. Interviewers may verify the information. In addition, interviewers interpret and explain rules to applicants. They also explain the applicants' legal rights.

Interviewers deny or end eligibility if applicants do not qualify. They may schedule an interview for applicants to appeal the decision.

If clients qualify, interviewers authorize the amount of assistance. This may include grants, money, food stamps, medical care, or other assistance. Interviewers talk to people periodically to certify that they are still eligible for benefits. They refer people who receive unemployment benefits to job openings or to interviews with other staff.

Interviewers who work for housing programs refer people to public assistance or housing agencies. They figure out the amount of rent for public housing in proportion to the tenants' income. In addition, interviewers receive and record security deposits and rents from tenants. They may also conduct housing reviews and home visits to ensure rules are being followed.

Government benefits interviewers:

Related careers

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to government benefits interviewers.

Common work activities

Government benefits interviewers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, government benefits interviewers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Government benefits interviewers frequently:

It is important for government benefits interviewers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for government benefits interviewers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Government benefits interviewers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a government benefits interviewer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

The education requirements vary by agency. In some cases, you may qualify with only a high school diploma. However, many employers prefer applicants who have an associate degree. Some require applicants to have a bachelor's degree. Majors in sociology, social work, or other related areas are favored. The ability to speak a language other than English can be helpful.

Work experience

Work experience in clerical or community service jobs is best. Civil service positions often require passing a written exam.

On-the-job training

Government benefits interviewers receive training after they are hired. This may be in a classroom setting, on the job, or both. You study eligibility rules, work procedures, and interviewing techniques. A trainer or supervisor closely checks your work and guides you through the process. You work on a small number of cases at first. As you gain experience, your caseload increases. Typically, on-the-job training lasts up to one year.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers require some education after high school. Some may also require related work experience.

Employers look for people who are compassionate, detail-oriented, and organized. They also look for people with good communication skills.

Costs to workers

Workers who chose to join professional associations may need to pay membership fees and annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Eligibility interviewers, government programs (SOC 43-4061)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $17.64 $19.79 $24.09 $26.58 $28.67
Monthly $3,057 $3,430 $4,175 $4,606 $4,969
Yearly $36,690 $41,150 $50,120 $55,290 $59,630
    Bellingham Hourly $12.63 $16.28 $20.26 $25.95 $27.73
Monthly $2,189 $2,821 $3,511 $4,497 $4,806
Yearly $26,274 $33,861 $42,144 $53,955 $57,665
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $18.46 $20.26 $23.47 $26.57 $28.63
Monthly $3,199 $3,511 $4,067 $4,605 $4,962
Yearly $38,384 $42,141 $48,818 $55,271 $59,540
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $17.48 $18.48 $19.97 $25.65 $26.58
Monthly $3,029 $3,203 $3,461 $4,445 $4,606
Yearly $36,358 $38,441 $41,552 $53,345 $55,281
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $18.45 $19.41 $23.48 $26.58 $28.63
Monthly $3,197 $3,364 $4,069 $4,606 $4,962
Yearly $38,376 $40,380 $48,822 $55,285 $59,538
    Longview Hourly $18.45 $19.35 $22.36 $25.95 $28.62
Monthly $3,197 $3,353 $3,875 $4,497 $4,960
Yearly $38,374 $40,251 $46,504 $53,962 $59,527
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $16.84 $18.57 $24.69 $26.58 $28.62
Monthly $2,918 $3,218 $4,279 $4,606 $4,960
Yearly $35,018 $38,619 $51,336 $55,284 $59,535
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $17.62 $19.81 $24.09 $25.33 $27.23
Monthly $3,054 $3,433 $4,175 $4,390 $4,719
Yearly $36,642 $41,203 $50,104 $52,680 $56,635
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $18.46 $21.28 $25.32 $28.29 $30.98
Monthly $3,199 $3,688 $4,388 $4,903 $5,369
Yearly $38,384 $44,272 $52,673 $58,846 $64,456
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $17.33 $18.46 $23.47 $25.33 $26.58
Monthly $3,003 $3,199 $4,067 $4,390 $4,606
Yearly $36,044 $38,390 $48,812 $52,683 $55,286
    Vancouver Hourly $16.41 $18.56 $22.98 $26.77 $29.55
Monthly $2,844 $3,216 $3,982 $4,639 $5,121
Yearly $34,122 $38,612 $47,806 $55,693 $61,472
    Walla Walla Hourly $18.27 $19.16 $22.88 $26.58 $28.63
Monthly $3,166 $3,320 $3,965 $4,606 $4,962
Yearly $38,011 $39,866 $47,592 $55,283 $59,538
    Wenatchee Hourly $17.34 $20.26 $22.56 $25.93 $28.62
Monthly $3,005 $3,511 $3,910 $4,494 $4,960
Yearly $36,070 $42,147 $46,930 $53,946 $59,529
    Yakima Hourly $19.35 $21.51 $25.32 $26.58 $27.94
Monthly $3,353 $3,728 $4,388 $4,606 $4,842
Yearly $40,251 $44,738 $52,672 $55,282 $58,115
United States Hourly $15.17 $17.77 $22.12 $26.53 $29.89
Monthly $2,629 $3,080 $3,833 $4,598 $5,180
Yearly $31,550 $36,970 $46,020 $55,180 $62,180

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The interviewer's level of education and responsibility also affect wages.

Government benefits interviewers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs (SOC 43-4061)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 3,711 6.8% 16.1% 383
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 165 10.3% 13.4% 18
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 94 11.7% 8.6% 11
    Benton and Franklin Counties 116 6.0% 15.0% 12
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 128 4.7% 11.9% 13
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 200 8.0% 15.2% 21
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 281 7.8% 14.1% 29
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 197 8.6% 14.6% 21
    King County 1,309 3.9% 19.6% 126
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 259 2.7% 13.8% 24
    Pierce County 439 8.4% 15.2% 47
    Snohomish County 296 8.4% 12.4% 31
    Spokane County 315 9.2% 13.9% 34
United States 145,200 4.4% 5.2% 14,700

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand is expected to grow about as fast as average for this occupation. Many people will soon become eligible for Social Security and Medicare which will increase demand. However, budget cuts in government may slow some growth.

Job openings will occur as people retire. Job prospects will be best for those with a bachelor's degree and experience.

Other resources

American Public Human Services Association (external link)
1101 Wilson Boulevard, 6th Floor
Arlington, VA 22209
National Association of the Deaf (external link)
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301.587.1789 (TTY)
301.587.1788 (Voice)


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster