The 5 Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

The gig economy has made it easier than ever to earn extra money part-time while setting your own work schedule. You can even earn enough to replace a full-time job (especially if you work multiple gigs). One of the most lucrative options in the gig economy space is Amazon Flex, which pays an $18 per hour base rate (and up to $25 per hour during busy times like the holiday season).

In other articles on this site, we’ve given overviews of how Amazon Flex works, as well as how to get started driving for the service. One aspect we haven’t covered in depth, however, is the difference between the various types of Amazon Flex jobs available.

In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the five types of Amazon delivery driver jobs. We’ll look at how they differ in terms of availability, scheduling, difficulty, and any other special considerations. This way, you’ll have a better idea of which type of job is best for you before you start your first Amazon Flex shift.

Amazon Flex Jobs Overview

The 5 Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

What types of jobs are available when driving for Amazon Flex? To be clear, you don’t have to take any special steps to sign up for the programs below. Anyone who meets the general Amazon Flex driver requirements can make any of these deliveries:

  1. Amazon Packages
  2. Prime Now Delivery
  3. Amazon Locker Delivery
  4. Merchant Pickups
  5. Amazon Restaurants Delivery

Let’s look at each of these delivery types in more detail. For each of them, we’ll examine how they stack up based on the following criteria:

  • Availability — How easy it is to get a delivery block making this type of delivery.
  • Difficulty — How difficult the delivery is to make based on factors such as needing to physically give the item to the customer or have them present ID.
  • Pay — General compensation for making this type of delivery, as well as the potential for tips.
  • Special Considerations — This includes physical ability requirements or orders that need extra careful transportation.

1. Amazon Packages

The Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

We’ll start with the Amazon Flex job that relates to the Amazon service people are most familiar with: package delivery. Amazon Prime customers get a guarantee of two-day shipping on thousands of items. Amazon makes many of these deliveries using third parties such as UPS or USPS. However, they also work with Flex drivers to help them maintain their delivery guarantees, as well as offer services that traditional package delivery services do not (such as Sunday delivery).

Availability: These tend to be pretty easy deliveries to get, since package delivery is Amazon’s flagship service and available in all the areas where Amazon contracts Flex drivers.

Difficulty: These tend to be among the easier deliveries to make, since you can just drop them off at the customer’s address whether they’re present or not.

Pay: The standard base rate of $18 to $25 per hour. During certain times it’s also possible to earn bonuses (usually Amazon gift cards) in exchange for completing deliveries at a high rate.

Special Considerations: None in particular. These deliveries are about as straightforward as Amazon Flex gets. Just follow the app’s instructions, make deliveries on time, and you should be good to go.

Overall Assessment: This is the best delivery type to start with. All you have to do is pick up the packages from the distribution center and drop them off at the customers’ addresses. That being said, it also limits your compensation to the standard Amazon rate, since you don’t have any opportunity to earn tips.

2. Prime Now Delivery

5 Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

Prime Now is a service that allows Amazon Prime customers to receive delivery of household essentials, everyday items, and select Amazon products in as little as one hour (though two hours is more common). It’s Amazon’s attempt to compete with local shopping options, all while saving the customer a trip to the store and offering lower prices than competing merchants, in some cases.

Availability: Due to the nature of this service, there will be fewer of these delivery blocks available than Amazon Prime. To start, customers must pay extra for the convenience of Prime Now (even if they’re already Amazon Prime members).

To give you an idea of where the service is available, here are 10 major cities that offer Prime Now:

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Boston, MA
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Houston, TX
  6. Las Vegas, NV
  7. Manhattan, NYC
  8. Portland, OR
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Washington, DC, Metro Area

For a full list of cities where Prime Now is available, visit this page.

Difficulty: The difficulty of Prime Now deliveries can vary a bit more than standard Amazon Prime package delivery. To start with, these deliveries are by their very nature more time-sensitive, which can make the job a bit more stressful if you run into unexpected delays such as traffic or difficult customers.

Prime Now deliveries may require additional special considerations such as attended delivery, proof of age, or special chilled containers (discussed below). These can add to the difficulty of transporting and completing deliveries.

Pay: In exchange for the increased difficulty, Prime Now deliveries offer the opportunity for additional compensation. You’ll always earn the guaranteed base rate of $18 to $25 an hour, but with Prime Now deliveries you’ll also be eligible to receive tips. Customers aren’t required to tip you, but you get to keep 100 percent of tips you receive. In many cases, Amazon will automatically add a tip to the delivery, though the customer has the option to change the amount or remove it.

Special Considerations: Prime Now deliveries can come with a variety of special requirements depending on the nature of the goods you’re delivering:

  • Attended Delivery — The customer (or their representative) must be present to accept the delivery. This is the default option for all Prime Now orders, though customers do have the option to indicate that it’s okay for you to leave the package if no one answers the door. This never applies to orders with a value of more than $500 or that contain alcohol.
  • Alcohol Delivery — Alcohol comes with its own set of special delivery requirements. Someone aged 21 or older must be present to accept the delivery, and you’ll need to scan their valid ID with the Amazon Flex app. Note that alcohol delivery is only available in select markets, so you may or may not encounter this issue. Currently, Prime Now alcohol delivery is available in the following markets:
    • Austin, TX
    • Cincinnati, OH
    • Chicago, IL
    • Columbus, OH
    • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
    • Houston, TX
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • New York City, NY
    • Phoenix. AZ
    • Portland, OR
    • Richmond, VA
    • San Antonio, TX
    • San Diego, CA
    • San Francisco Bay Area
    • Seattle, WA
  • Chilled and Frozen — If you’re delivering anything that needs to remain cold or frozen (which is common with grocery deliveries), then you may have to place it in a special container filled with dry ice. You may have to remove the item from the container upon delivering it to the customer and then return the container to the Amazon distribution center at the end of your shift.

Overall Assessment: Prime Now deliveries aren’t always as simple or easy as other types of Amazon Flex deliveries, but the chance for extra compensation in the form of tips can make them worth the additional work.

3. Amazon Locker Delivery

The Five Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

Amazon Locker Delivery is available in more than 50 metro areas across the U.S.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have heard of Amazon Lockers. Amazon Lockers are like P.O. boxes that Amazon operates. They provide secure, alternative pickup locations for customers who cannot or would prefer not to receive deliveries at their place of residence. With the prevalence of “porch pirates” stealing packages from customers’ mailboxes or doorsteps, Amazon Lockers can provide a welcome peace of mind.

Availability: Amazon Lockers are available in over 2,000 locations in more than 50 metro areas across the U.S. Therefore, the odds are good that you’ll see at least some of these deliveries up for grabs. It’s not going to be as popular as standard Prime deliveries, however, since many customers still prefer to receive packages at their homes.

Difficulty: Amazon Locker deliveries might be the easiest of all the deliveries you can make as an Amazon Flex driver. There’s no need to negotiate a customer’s steep front steps or territorial pit bull. Just pull up to the locker, put in the code, and insert the packages.

Since Amazon places weight and size restrictions on packages that can be delivered to Amazon Lockers, you won’t be dealing with any bulky or very heavy items.

Pay: The pay for deliveries to Amazon Lockers is the standard Amazon Flex driver rate of $18 to  $25 an hour

Special Considerations: None.

Overall Assessment: Assuming that Amazon Lockers are available in your area, making deliveries to them is simple and easy, all while allowing you to earn Amazon’s generous base rate.

4. Merchant Pickups

Five Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs: Which One Is Best for You?

Amazon offers millions of products for sale on their site, but they can’t offer everything. In particular, they can’t offer certain items with distinct regional or local appeal. To solve this problem, Amazon has partnered with local brick and mortar stores. Amazon gets to offer an increased range of products, merchants get to reach a larger audience, and consumers get more convenient delivery of the products they love.

To make this possible, Amazon has Flex drivers make pickups from local merchants directly before delivering the items to the customer. Technically, merchant pickups are part of the Prime Now service. However, since they present some different considerations for you as a driver, we think it makes sense to cover them separately.

Availability: If a city has Prime Now, then it probably offers some kind of delivery from local merchants. Here are just a few examples Amazon gives in their description for the Prime Now app:

  • Chicago — Fresh Thyme
  • Dallas — Sally Beauty
  • Indianapolis — Fresh Thyme
  • Los Angeles — Bristol Farms and Mission Wine & Spirits
  • New York City — Westside Market, Gourmet Garage, Union Square Wine & Spirits, and Vintage Grape Wine & Spirits
  • Milwaukee — Fresh Thyme
  • Minneapolis — Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop
  • Phoenix — Tops Liquors
  • Portland — New Seasons Market
  • Sacramento — Pet Food Express
  • San Diego — Bristol Farms and Keg N Bottle
  • San Francisco Bay Area — Pet Food Express, Sousa’s Wines & Liquor, and Tony’s Market & Liquor
  • Seattle — PCC Community Markets, New Seasons Market, Bartell Drugs, and All The Best Pet Care

As you can see, many of the local merchants are liquor stores, which is what allows Amazon to offer the alcohol delivery we discussed above. Many others are specialty food or pet stores, giving customers access to goods that would be impractical or impossible for Amazon to store in their own warehouses.

Difficulty: Merchant pickups can be a bit more difficult than the average Amazon Flex delivery. You’ll need to find the proper pickup location and possibly wait for the merchant to bring you the goods that a customer ordered. Some items may also be packaged in insulated bags, which you’ll need to open in order to scan them with the Amazon Flex app (to indicate that you’ve picked them up).

Pay: Since Merchant Pickups are part of the Prime Now program, you’ll have the chance to get tips when you deliver them to the customer. And, as with all Amazon Flex deliveries, you’ll earn the standard base pay of $18 to $25 an hour.

Special Considerations: You may have to wait for the merchant to bring out the package or have to find the specific area where they keep orders awaiting Prime Now delivery. Some items may also be packaged in insulated bags to keep them hot or cold.

In certain cases, parking could also be an issue, especially if you’re picking up the order during a busy time for the merchant.

Overall Assessment: Merchant pickups can be trickier than other types of Amazon Flex deliveries, but they offer the chance of additional payment in the form of tips. Plus, the number of local merchants in your market is limited, so you’ll get the hang of their procedures after you’ve picked up from them a couple times.

5. Amazon Restaurants Delivery

The 5 Types of Amazon Delivery Driver Jobs

The final type of delivery you might make when driving for Amazon Flex is a delivery for Amazon Restaurants. This service allows customers to get delivery from local restaurants, all without leaving Amazon.com. It’s a clear attempt on the company’s part to compete with other food delivery services such as Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar, and Uber Eats.

Availability: Depending on your city, you may or may not have the option to make Amazon Restaurants deliveries. Amazon Restaurants is currently available in the following markets:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Bay Area, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles and Orange County, CA
  • Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY
  • Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Orlando, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington, DC, Metro Area

Difficulty: Restaurant pickups add an extra layer of complexity and unpredictability to your deliveries, as anyone who’s worked for another food delivery service knows. To start with, you’ll need to make sure you can find a place to park (which can be tricky in denser metro areas). It’s possible you’ll have to wait for the food and navigate a busy restaurant during the lunch or dinner rush (which are also prime times for food delivery orders).

Pay: Like with Prime Now, customers have the option to tip you when they place their order. They’re not required to do so, however. The potential for tips does mean that you can increase your pay beyond the base $18 to $25 per hour.

Special Considerations: As we discussed in the difficulty section, restaurant orders can be more complicated than other types of deliveries. You’ll likely need to place them in insulated bags to keep them hot, and you’ll also have to carefully transport them to ensure that the contents don’t spill. And you’ll need the patience to deal with the sometimes hectic nature of restaurants, who likely have more urgent priorities than dealing with delivery people.

Overall Assessment: If it’s available in your area, then making Amazon Restaurants deliveries can offer many of the same advantages as delivering for Prime Now. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth the extra hassle that can come with picking up and transporting food from restaurants.

Start Flexing Your Amazon Delivery Driver Muscles

We hope this guide has given you a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of the various Amazon Flex job types available. Remember that, no matter which delivery option you prefer, you’ll still need to pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license, and successfully complete the Amazon Flex driver application process before you can start making deliveries.

Job openings are also fairly limited, since the high compensation that Amazon Flex drivers receive ensures lower turnover than with other food delivery services. At the time of publication, Amazon Flex is looking for delivery partners in the following markets:

  • Bristol, CT
  • Dayton, OH
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Nashua, NH
  • NYC and Long Island, NY
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Rochester, NY
  • San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  • Greater Seattle Area, WA

That being said, it’s always worth checking regularly to see if new opportunities are available. Amazon is constantly working to expand services that require Amazon Flex drivers in new areas.