Amazon.com is a household name these days. What began as an online bookseller in Seattle, Washington in 1995 is now a massive online retailer. Forbes reports that 64 percent of U.S. households have Amazon Prime memberships, and the company continues to expand its operations (like the company’s 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods).
As the company has expanded, so have its delivery offerings. In order to offer two-day or even same-day delivery, Amazon has turned to independent contractors. This has created a host of Amazon delivery jobs that almost anyone with a reliable vehicle can take advantage of.
Amazon’s umbrella term for these jobs is Amazon Flex, and in this post, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about working for the program. We’ll cover how Amazon Flex jobs work, where they’re available and how you can get started working for the service.
What Is Amazon Flex?
The five categories of Amazon delivery jobs are as follows:
- Prime – These are regular package deliveries. While Amazon makes many of these deliveries via USPS or UPS, using contractors allows the company to increase delivery times or offer delivery on Sundays.
- Prime Now – Available in select markets, Prime Now is a service that allows Amazon Prime customers to receive two-hour delivery on household essentials, everyday items and select Amazon products.
- Amazon Locker – Drivers deliver packages to Amazon Lockers, which are like P.O. boxes that Amazon operates in order to provide alternative pickup locations for customers.
- Merchant Pickups – Instead of picking up the package from an Amazon station, you pick it up directly from a merchant. This is how Amazon can offer services such as AmazonFresh, as well as deliveries from local small businesses and other brick and mortar Amazon partner stores.
- Restaurant – These are food orders from restaurants as part of the Amazon Restaurants service.
As a Flex driver, you’ll have the chance to deliver for all of the above services. When your shift begins, you’ll open the Amazon Flex app and follow its instructions. The app will tell you where to get the delivery, how to handle it and where to deliver it. All you have to do is drive and follow the instructions. Deliveries occur during set delivery blocks, which are like shifts. Learn more about Flex delivery blocks here.
How Much Do Amazon Flex Drivers Make?
Unlike other delivery services such as Postmates, Amazon Flex pays a set rate per hour. The base rate is $18 per hour or higher in some markets with especially high costs of living. The rate then goes up based on the difficulty of the delivery, which can include things like bad weather, late trucks or high volume (common during the holiday season).
During peak seasons, rates can reach as high as $25 per hour. You’ll be able to see the base rate of a delivery block before you select it.
In addition to the hourly rate, drivers delivering for Prime Now also have the chance to earn tips from happy customers. These aren’t guaranteed, but they can be a significant boost to your income. Be sure to provide excellent, prompt customer service in order to raise your chances of getting a tip.
Where Is Amazon Flex Available?
Amazon Flex jobs are currently available in over 50 cities across the U.S. The specific types of deliveries available will depend on the market, as services such as AmazonFresh and Prime Now currently have limited availability.
However, Amazon is expanding its operations all the time, so it could be in your city soon. If you want to get notified when Amazon Flex is available in your city, you can fill out the waitlist form on Amazon’s website.
Speaking of the waitlist, we should note that Amazon Flex jobs are extremely competitive. Unlike other delivery apps where all you need to do is meet the requirements and fill out a few forms, Amazon Flex jobs have a waitlist in most markets. At the time of publication, Amazon Flex jobs are available for a limited time in the following areas:
- Chicago (Mundelein)
- N. Virginia / S. Maryland
- New York
- San Francisco Bay Area
However, it’s worth noting that Amazon Flex ramps up hiring during busy times of the year. The busiest time by far is in the months leading up to the winter holidays, when the number of available delivery blocks also increases to keep up with the increased deliveries of Amazon packages. This means that even if your city isn’t available now, it’s worth checking back as the winter holidays approach.
Amazon Flex Application Process and Driver Requirements
So you’re sold on delivering for Amazon Flex and all ready to apply. But what’s the process like? Do you need to meet any special requirements?
To start, let’s look at how to apply. Assuming that Amazon Flex is available in your city, the application process is quite straightforward. Visit the “Get started” page of the Amazon Flex website to begin. We recommend visiting the page on your mobile device, as the application will eventually prompt you to download the Amazon Flex app if you’ve met all the necessary requirements. It’s easiest to download the app if you’re already on a mobile device.
Once you’re on the “Get started” page, select your city from the list. From there, tap “Next” and follow the prompts. The application will go through a series of questions to determine your eligibility. The requirements will vary based on your city.
In general, all Amazon Flex drivers need to meet the following requirements:
- Be 21 years old or older
- Have a Social Security Number
- Have auto insurance (commercial vehicle insurance is required in some markets such as New York City)
- Pass a background check
- Have access to a qualifying vehicle (generally a four-door sedan or larger)
- Have a smartphone capable of running the latest version of the Amazon Flex app (Android 4.4 or newer, or iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 10 or higher)
Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll receive further information via email. Note that your background check can take between two and five business days to process, so don’t be concerned if you don’t hear back immediately.
Finally, we should note that an accepted application doesn’t permanently guarantee you a spot as a driver. Your account can be deactivated if you are late for shifts, miss deliveries or otherwise provide a poor delivery experience for customers. To ensure this doesn’t happen, be sure to check out our selection of Amazon Flex Driver Tips.
Jump On the Opportunity
Amazon Flex offers a well-paying opportunity to make money delivering packages and other goods for the world’s largest e-commerce company. The jobs aren’t easy to get, but keeping an eye on the waitlist and seasonal hiring can help give you an edge when the jobs do open up. Save driving!