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Canvasser: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Canvassers require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, and requirements of this career to see if this is the right career for you. View article »

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  • 0:00 Essential Information
  • 0:26 Job Description
  • 1:00 Job Duties
  • 1:56 Job Outlook & Salary

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Video Transcript

Essential Information

Degree Level None
Key Skills Strong communication and customer service skills a plus
Job Growth (2012-2022) Varies by job title (0% growth for door-to-door sales workers; 5%-8% growth for interviewer jobs)*
Median Annual Salary (2013) $22,210 for door-to-door sales workers; $31,410 (for interviewers)**

Sources: *O*Net Online, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Canvassers often work in neighborhoods or shopping areas to inform the public about specific goods, services, political efforts, or charitable causes. They might be considered salespeople or interviewers, depending on the type of organization and work being performed. This career has no formal, step-by-step education or career path to employment, although strong communication and social skills can be important.

Canvasser Job Description

A variety of nonprofit groups, private companies, political organizations, and government entities use canvassers to gather data, sell merchandise, solicit donations, or distribute information. Canvassers must combine customer service and listening skills with marketing knowledge to persuade people to buy a product, support a cause, or volunteer information. Canvassers usually spend most of their time initiating contact with the public and often must walk through neighborhoods, school campuses, or shopping malls to connect with people in their target markets.

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Canvasser Job Duties

Specific canvasser duties vary by employer, but all canvassers must exhibit professionalism when directly engaging with the public. Sometimes canvassers are expected to find their own contacts, while others are given a list of potential customers or donors. Canvassers may be required to present informational materials promoting a certain product or cause. They often must spend a great deal of time on their feet or walking door to door.

Nonprofit or political canvassers are often used to fund drives and must ask for donations or volunteers. Canvassers who work for market research organizations are expected to keep accurate records to maintain the integrity of research findings. All canvassers must be familiar enough with the service or cause they represent to be able to respond to inquiries. They also must be able to assist customers, donors, or interviewees with properly completing any surveys, forms, or questionnaires.

Salary Information for Canvassers

There are limited occupational statistics for canvasser jobs, but O*Net Online categorized the position as a combination of door-to-door sales worker and interviewer (www.onetonline.org). The site reported a job growth of 5-8% for interviewers and little to no change in job for door to door sales worker jobs for the period of 2014-2024.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a door-to-door sales worker as of May 2015 was $22,210, while interviewers earned a median annual wage of $31,410 that same year (www.bls.gov).

A canvasser travels around to contact people and tell them about products, ask survey questions, solicit donations or to obtain and provide other information for an organization.

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