As the gig economy expands and people pursue less traditional careers, a void has grown in more standard positions, such as delivery driving.
And as shipping giants like Amazon grow, those jobs are becoming more necessary, which means there are thousands of jobs there for the taking.
But is an Amazon delivery driver’s pay meeting the demand?
If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that people love online shopping.
It’s fast, easy, convenient, and the perfect solution to a crowded supermarket amid a global pandemic.
When no one wants to go out, what’s better than having your packages brought to you?
But when drivers are scarce, the process of delivery becomes a bit of a task.
That’s why the Washington-based online shopping giant Amazon increased its workforce by 50% in 2020.
Paying over minimum wage to start, offering benefits for full-time employees, and paid time off, Amazon is understandably proud of the network that they have created.
So are Amazon delivery drivers paid what they’re worth?
Is this career viable in our tech-driven world?
This article will shed light on the details of Amazon delivery driver pay and how the delivery system works.
Table Of Contents
- Overview: Amazon Delivery Driver Pay
- How Much Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Make?
- Highest Paying Cities for Amazon Delivery Partners
- How Does Amazon Calculate Pay for Delivery Drivers?
- What is the Wage-Theft Lawsuit Against Amazon for 8.2 Million?
- How do Amazon Delivery Driver Payments Work?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Before We Go
Overview: Amazon Delivery Driver Pay
Let’s break down how the Amazon delivery system functions.
Are Amazon Delivery Drivers Full-Time Employees or Contractors?
Amazon drivers can be full- or part-time employees, or independent contractors. Let me explain.
As employees, drivers don’t work directly for Amazon but for the Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) that Amazon contracts with.
The DSP is an independent organization that helps Amazon with the “last mile” of its deliveries.
Drivers are considered independent sub-contractors for Amazon.
They operate out of Amazon delivery stations, which are spread across the United States and eight other countries.
There is an independent contractor option as well.
This program is called Amazon Flex, and it all runs out of the Amazon Flex app.
In this program, there is a simple sign-up process that requires you to have a reliable 4-door vehicle and a working smartphone.
Through the app, you can sign up for different delivery blocks of time.
You are given a pick-up location, a route, and off you go.
In the Flex program, you aren’t exactly your own boss, but you do have the advantage of creating your own schedule around your other commitments.
Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Get a Salary or Hourly Pay?
Amazon drivers who work for Amazon DSPs are paid hourly, with some range available for tips and promotions.
Each block that a driver signs up for is worth a certain amount.
These are all listed on the Flex app, which means you can know exactly how much you’ll be making for each block.
Hourly rates for DSP drivers can average out to be less than the Flex driver.
However, DSP drivers have the advantage of a vehicle provided to them, the company covering gas and other expenses, as well as more consistent schedules.
As a Flex driver, you use your vehicle, pay for your gas and car repairs, and pick up work as it’s available.
Does Amazon Pay Their Drivers per Delivery or Trip?
For Amazon Flex drivers, the pay comes per trip.
While Amazon DSP drivers are paid hourly regardless of packages delivered or miles driven, there are expectations for how many packages you will successfully deliver in a shift.
We’ll dig into those later.
How Much Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Make?
Amazon’s drivers are an essential piece of the puzzle.
These are the people who make sure that Amazon Prime members receive their orders on time.
This means that they are an integral part of the Amazon team.
Let’s looks at how their pay reflects that.
How Much do Amazon Drivers Make per Hour?
To determine how much Amazon drivers make, we’re going to look at the average hourly pay in different regions around the United States.
With an hourly pay model, delivery drivers are paid by the DSPs that they drive for.
Depending on the region where the DSP is located, the hourly pay can vary quite a bit, but none should make less than $15 an hour.
So the hourly rate varies greatly around the country.
Using the average hourly pay model, let’s break the concept down even more.
How Much do Amazon Drivers Make per Day?
As an hourly employee, the average that someone makes every day will fall under the same parameters of region.
Somewhere like Hawaii, where the average hourly rate tops out just under $19 an hour, could see a full-time driver pulling in about $150 a day.
How Much do Amazon Drivers Make a Week?
If we look at a state like Ohio, where the average hourly rate comes out to about $18.67, we can figure that an average weekly salary would play out to be about $747.
In a month, that comes to just over $3,200.
Amazon Delivery Driver Annual Salary
With this pay model, we can see that the average annual salary is going to vary with each state and each DSP location.
In a state like Missouri, where the average hourly rate is around $19, an annual salary could land at just under $44,000.
It’s important to remember that there are always outliers in these averages.
You could see an annual salary as high as $100,000 or as low as $18,000.
How Much Does an Amazon Van Owner Make?
One opportunity that Amazon is taking advantage of to move away from relying on FedEx and USPS is offering individuals the chance to run their own DSP fleet.
With a small investment from the individual, Amazon provides the vans, the information, and the training needed to get things moving.
A fleet usually has at least 10 vans, though many have somewhere between 20-40.
As an owner, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to see profit immediately.
Like any business venture, there is a certain amount of risk involved, though a portion of it is mitigated by Amazon’s investment.
A successful fleet owner, however, could potentially bring in $300,000 a year.
Highest Paying Cities for Amazon Delivery Partners
Of the top 5 highest-paying cities for Amazon’s DSPs, the first three are all in California: Sunnyvale has an average annual salary of $76,254, Santa Cruz has $75,549, and Santa Rosa boasts about $73,840.
Next up, Williston, North Dakota, comes in with an average of $72,357 a year.
And finally, Manhattan claims the number 5 spot with $72,168.
How Does Amazon Calculate Pay for Delivery Drivers?
Pay is calculated differently depending on the status of the driver.
As an employee of an Amazon DSP, your pay would be calculated based on the number of hours you’re scheduled to work.
As an Amazon Flex driver, however, your payment is calculated based on a flat sum per delivery block.
What is the Wage-Theft Lawsuit Against Amazon for 8.2 Million?
The suit, which was brought against Amazon and some of its DSPs in 2017, came from two drivers.
They issued a complaint that Amazon and their delivery partners made the drivers work without lunch breaks to deliver the required number of packages each day, and they were never paid for those missed breaks.
Other drivers eventually came forward and alleged similar working situations in their areas, some of them claiming that they felt such pressure that they wouldn’t stop even for bathroom breaks.
While the intermediary delivery partners were the direct employers of these drivers, Amazon was accused of culpability for their refusal to address the issues facing employees who drove Amazon vans and wore Amazon uniforms.
In March 2021, the parties involved agreed to an $8.2 million class-action settlement.
How do Amazon Delivery Driver Payments Work?
Now that we have covered a little bit regarding how much an Amazon driver is paid, let’s look at the methods of payment and their frequency.
How Amazon Pays Drivers
Similar to their warehouse workers, Amazon pays drivers through a paycheck or direct deposit. It all depends on the driver’s preference.
Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Get Paid Weekly?
Beginning October 2020, they do get paid weekly for their services.
Amazon Flex drivers have the option to receive payment twice weekly after the driver’s tips are properly processed.
Frequently Asked Questions
To wrap up, we’ll dive into some of the common questions that come when someone is researching what it takes to become a driver for Amazon.
Do you get paid for Amazon delivery driver training?
Yes, Amazon offers paid training and orientation.
Flex drivers have a different situation, however.
There are a series of videos to watch through the Flex app, and they are not paid for that time.
How many deliveries does an Amazon driver make per day?
The number of deliveries can vary each day and with every route, especially for Flex drivers.
On average, however, Amazon drivers are expected to deliver about 250-300 packages each day.
How many Amazon delivery partners are there?
While Amazon does not have a published list of its DSPs and their drivers, we do know that they currently have over 1,700 delivery partners out there.
Do Amazon delivery drivers have to pay for their own parking tickets?
An Amazon Flex driver is responsible for all expenses incurred throughout their work with Amazon.
This includes gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, phone bills, and even parking tickets.
Drivers who work for DSPs will find that it varies with each location.
While some will take care of ticket costs, others make the employees pay for them.
It is worth noting, however, that the ticket will go to the registered owner of the vehicle.
So even if you have to pay for a parking ticket, it won’t go on your driving record.
Before We Go
There’s a lot to consider in the delivery driver field.
You have to look at requirements, pay, demands of the job, and the unexpected moments of the job – like getting a parking ticket.
But with delivery drivers in such high demand and Amazon’s growth only increasing, this could be the time to don the blue suit and hit the road.