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Westat MEPS - Data Collector in Spartanburg, South Carolina


Job Title:

MEPS - Data Collector

Job Description:

Westat is currently seeking motivated and detail-oriented individuals to collect data for the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). MEPS, a study of health care costs and usage in the United States, is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Every year since 1996, MEPS has collected data on specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held and available to the U.S. population.

MEPS data collectors conduct interviews with adult members of households that are part of a nationally representative sample. In-person interviewing is the primary mode of data collection, unless pandemic conditions are in effect. In that situation, households will be interviewed by telephone. Data collectors are responsible for contacting these households by phone and/or in person to gain cooperation; for example, setting up appointments and conducting interviews using a Westat-provided laptop computer. Data Collectors report regularly to a field supervisor, complete and submit administrative paperwork, and comply with data security and confidentiality requirements.

Protecting the health and safety of our employees and survey participants is a top priority for Westat. Based on recommendations from the CDC and other public health authorities, we require staff to protect and monitor their health while working on their assignment, which may include the use of personal protective equipment, regular testing for COVID-19, or other screening activities.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates must

  • Be at least 18 years old;

  • Be available to complete Web-based training prior to virtual training; and

  • Be available to complete an extensive virtual training program, including scheduled synchronous sessions, prior to beginning data collection. This virtual training will take place between January 20 and January 30.

Minimum Requirements

  • Reside in the geographic location determined by the project;

  • Be available to work during the two data collection field periods: one from January through mid-July, and one from July through early December;

  • Be available to work a minimum of 25 hours per week, including daytime, evening, and weekend hours, and complete a minimum of four interviews per week when work is available until the assignment is complete;

  • Work flexible hours, based on the preferences of households in the assignment;

  • Be willing to travel locally to your MEPS assignment during in-person interviewing. If in-person fieldwork is halted due to the pandemic or as directed by your supervisor, data collectors must conduct MEPS interviews by telephone;

  • Be able to meet the physical requirements of the position, with or without reasonable accommodations, which include lifting and carrying 20 pounds of equipment and materials; walking several blocks; and climbing stairs while carrying equipment to gain entry into sampled households;

  • Have unlimited regular and reliable access to a high-speed Internet connection for data transmission and virtual trainings;

  • Have regular and reliable access to an insured vehicle;

  • Have a valid (current) driver’s license that is not under suspension; and

  • Have strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the ability to understand complex oral and written instructions and adhere to study protocols.

Preferred Criteria:

  • Be able to read, write, and communicate effectively in English;

  • Have experience using a computer, smartphone, and/or tablet, with skills including connecting to Wi-Fi, conducting web searches, and using/sending email on a mobile device;

  • Have CAPI experience/previous interviewing or public contact experience;

  • Have telephone interviewing/cold calling experience;

  • Have good recordkeeping, time management, and follow-up skills;

  • Be comfortable working in unfamiliar locations, knocking on doors, and communicating with people from all kinds of backgrounds and socioeconomic groups;

  • Have experience using Internet applications to find information including GPS mapping services; and

  • Be enthusiastic, self-motivated, and detail-oriented.

Skype or FaceTime may be used to conduct interviews with candidates for this position.

Any offer of employment may be contingent upon receipt of acceptable results from a post-offer background screening, if required for the specific position, which may include, for example, identity verification, employment history, motor vehicle driving record history, and criminal or sexual offender records history.

This is a part-time non-exempt position not initially eligible for health insurance. Data collector pay rates are based on the location where the work is performed. This project is subject to the Service Contract Act (SCA). A supplemental hourly fringe benefit of $4.54 per hour will be deposited in a 401(k) for each hour (not counting overtime) worked on this contract. Working on this study can be a fascinating, rewarding experience. If you are a reliable self-starter, this position may be right for you.

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law.

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