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Career and Education Opportunities for Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewers in Columbia, Maryland

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 1,370 people work as eligibility and occupancy interviewers in Maryland. This is expected to grow by 10% to about 1,510 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for eligibility and occupancy interviewers are expected to grow by about 9.2%. Eligibility and occupancy interviewers generally determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

A person working as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer can expect to earn about $21 hourly or $44,610 annually on average in Maryland and about $18 hourly or $39,310 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for eligibility and occupancy interviewers are better than in the overall category of Human Resources and Customer Service in Maryland, and better than the overall Human Resources and Customer Service category nationally.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an eligibility and occupancy interviewer. Given that the most common education level for eligibility and occupancy interviewers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be an eligibility and occupancy interviewer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer

Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, eligibility and occupancy interviewers determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers interpret and explain data such as eligibility requirements and applicants' legal rights. They also answer applicants' questions about benefits and claim procedures. Equally important, eligibility and occupancy interviewers have to initiate procedures to grant or terminate assistance, or refer applicants to other agencies for assistance. They are often called upon to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status. They are expected to interview benefits recipients at specified intervals to certify their eligibility for continuing benefits. Finally, eligibility and occupancy interviewers keep archives of assigned cases, and ready required reports.

Every day, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for eligibility and occupancy interviewers to check with employers or other references to confirm answers and obtain further data. They are often called upon to interview and investigate applicants for public assistance to gather data pertinent to their applications. They also ready applications and forms for applicants for such purposes as school enrollment and medical services. They are sometimes expected to furnish social staff with pertinent data gathered during applicant interviews. Somewhat less frequently, eligibility and occupancy interviewers are also expected to compute and authorize amounts of assistance for programs such as grants and food stamps.

Eligibility and occupancy interviewers sometimes are asked to conduct annual and special housing reviews and home visits to insure conformance to regulations. and monitor the payments of benefits throughout the duration of a claim. And finally, they sometimes have to compile and evaluate personal and financial data in order to confirm completeness and accuracy, and to establish eligibility status.

Like many other jobs, eligibility and occupancy interviewers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Credit Investigator. Investigate history and credit standing of individuals or business establishments applying for credit. Telephone or write to credit departments of business and service establishments to obtain information about applicant's credit standing.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer Training

University of Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Baltimore, Charles at Mount Royal, Baltimore, MD 21201-208. University of Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,844 students and an admission rate of 50%. University of Baltimore has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

College of Notre Dame of Maryland - Baltimore, MD

College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210-2476. College of Notre Dame of Maryland is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,935 students and an admission rate of 71%. College of Notre Dame of Maryland has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Sojourner-Douglass College - Baltimore, MD

Sojourner-Douglass College, 500 N Caroline St, Baltimore, MD 21205-1898. Sojourner-Douglass College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,243 students. Sojourner-Douglass College has a bachelor's degree program in Community Organization and Advocacy which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Housing Counselor: A Certified Housing Counselor objectively assesses the client's current financial situation; identifies problem areas the client may face recommends appropriate actions to help clients obtain and maintain adequate housing; evaluates the housing and financial status of low, moderate and middle-income families; and understands the essential workings of all aspects of the industry in order to help clients make appropriate housing decisions.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education website.

Certified Forensic Interviewer: The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.

For more information, see the Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment Ltd. website.

National Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Professional certification exam for National Tier 1.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

NFJP Grantee Workforce Professional - Tier 1: Exam to become certified as a National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) Professional.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Specialist in Housing Credit Management: The Specialist in Housing Credit Management(SHCM) certification has been developed by the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) especially for management professionals involved with properties developed and operated under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

For more information, see the National Affordable Housing Management Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.