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The demand for home deliveries isn’t slowing down, so the Amazon boom isn’t stopping either. In order to continue providing reliable two-day and same-day delivery services to customers, Amazon needs drivers like you. But before you apply, there are two big questions you need to ask:
- How much do Amazon drivers make?
- How does that pay compare to what Amazon Flex drivers make?
Amazon drivers play an essential role in the company’s package delivery process. Whether you’re driving full-time, part-time, or as part of the Amazon Flex contractor program, you’re responsible for last-mile deliveries, which means driving orders straight from local warehouses (and other pick-up locations) to customers’ doors. While your role may remain the same, your exact earnings, benefits, and expenses will ultimately depend on the job type you choose.
Below, we’ll explain how much you can make as a full-time Amazon driver and as one of Amazon’s Flex drivers.
- How Much Do Amazon Drivers Make?
- Amazon Driver Pay vs. Amazon Flex Driver Pay
- Amazon Delivery Driver Benefits
- Amazon Flex Driver Expenses
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Amazon Drivers Make?
All standard Amazon drivers — including those who work for local delivery service partners (DSPs) instead of directly with Amazon — make a minimum of $15 per hour with opportunities for higher earnings based on experience.
This already exceeds minimum wage in the vast majority of United States cities, but if you live in an area with a higher cost of living, there’s a good chance you’ll earn more. For example, Amazon delivery driver job listings in San Francisco offer a starting wage of $20 per hour. In New York, wages start at $17 per hour. These minimum hourly earnings can help you make a comfortable living even if you have no prior experience.
Since all part-time and full-time Amazon drivers are traditional employees, Amazon drivers have the perk of a stable income. As a full-time driver, you can always depend on your offered rate for every hour you’re scheduled to work, even if it’s a slow day.
Amazon Driver Pay vs. Amazon Flex Driver Pay
Beyond its traditional Amazon drivers, the e-commerce company also hires on contracted delivery partners called Amazon Flex drivers.
As independent contractors, Flex drivers can pick up two- to six-hour shifts (known as delivery blocks) as their own schedules allow. As you select from available shifts on the Amazon Flex app, you can see your exact guaranteed earnings for every shift determined by how much time you’ll spend on any given route.
Unlike Amazon driver pay, Amazon Flex pay is not based on a set hourly wage. Rather, Flex drivers receive a flat sum per delivery block they complete, regardless of whether it takes more or less time than your smartphone app estimates to deliver all your assigned Amazon packages.
Still, when you break it all down, Amazon Flex pays an average of $18 to $25 per hour — which is considerably more than how much Amazon drivers make. However, it’s important to once again keep in mind that Flex drivers are independent contractors, which means they have extra expenses. However, traditional Amazon employees get far more perks. Keep reading to learn more about the hidden costs and perks behind different Amazon driver roles.
Amazon Delivery Driver Benefits
As a full-time delivery driver for Amazon, you are eligible for employee benefits which often extend to your eligible family members. These perks notably include:
- Health coverage: You will get to choose from several health insurance plans, which include some prescription drug coverage and a Health Savings Account (HSA). If desired, you can also choose from a selection of dental and vision plans. Full-time drivers also qualify for free nurse consultations (or discounted doctor consultations) on a 24/7 medical advice line.
- Paid time off: All employees accrue PTO throughout the year. If you choose not to take eligible holidays off, you can earn time and a half. Maternal and paternal leave options are also available.
- Financial security plans: Full-time drivers are eligible for Amazon’s 401(k) plan, life insurance, and short-term and long-term disability pay.
- Other financial support: Amazon assists with eligible adoption fees and provides annual discounts for Amazon.com orders.
Most DSPs also promise competitive benefits in their job listings, so you can still expect great perks even if you don’t work directly for Amazon.
Amazon Flex Driver Expenses
On the flip side, Amazon Flex drivers are never eligible for benefits. As a contractor, you’re legally considered your own boss. That means you must pay for your own time off, insurance needs, and more. Here, we’ll describe some of the expenses Flex drivers cover:
- Vehicle expenses: Whereas standard delivery drivers work from company-supplied cargo vans, Flex drivers work from their own vehicles. This means you can expect to pay more for your car maintenance needs like oil changes and gas.
- Car insurance: If you use a separate car for your Amazon Flex gig, you’ll need to budget for a new car insurance policy as well as registration fees and car loan payments.
- Self-employment taxes: As is standard across the gig economy, Amazon contractors can expect to pay 15.3% of their income in Medicare and Social Security taxes on top of their income taxes for other revenue streams. Part-time and full-time Amazon drivers, on the other hand, only pay 7.65%. This is because they have a separate employer to cover the other half, whereas contractors are their own employers.
On the plus side, your hourly earnings will almost always be higher than standard Amazon driver wages. Plus, you can choose to work during your free time. This flexibility may make the responsibilities that come with the Flex gig worth it for you.
Most Amazon Flex driver expenses are also tax-deductible. So as long as you log your receipts and mileage, your annual taxes may not be as high as you’d expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Amazon’s booming package delivery services provide many chances for drivers to get on the road and earn. To learn more about how much Amazon drivers make, read our answers to these commonly asked questions:
How does Amazon driver pay compare with rideshare driver pay?
With all benefits and expenses in mind, Amazon drivers’ pay is extremely competitive compared to both Uber pay and Lyft pay. While Lyft drivers make slightly more on average than Uber drivers — as well as most rideshare and delivery drivers in general — their typical hourly earnings remain at $17.50 per hour. This doesn’t even reach the low end of Amazon Flex driver pay — it ends up being lower than Amazon driver earnings after rideshare expenses are calculated.
Are Amazon drivers eligible for tips?
In some markets, customers can tip their delivery drivers after receiving Amazon Prime Now or Amazon Fresh grocery orders. However, you won’t be eligible for any tips when you complete any other delivery types.
How do I get paid as a standard Amazon driver or an Amazon Flex driver?
No matter which role you take on, you’ll typically be paid via direct deposit, though the frequency at which you get paid may vary. This payment will be sent by Amazon or by the DSP who directly hired you. To receive your payment, have your bank account information ready when you start your Amazon driving gig or Amazon Flex application.
Choose Your Favorite Way To Earn
Thanks to Amazon’s many driving opportunities, those who want flexibility are no longer stuck with a traditional job. And those who want stability are not necessarily stuck with a contractor gig. While standard Amazon drivers make less than Flex drivers on the surface, you’ll have access to many benefits and resources that you wouldn’t receive as a contractor, including must-haves like health insurance and PTO.
Still, don’t let the expenses prevent you from considering the Flex driver gig. As a contractor, you can deduct most job-related, out-of-pocket expenses from your taxes. Plus, the higher earnings you receive could cover the difference in the meantime. Plus, who doesn’t dream of working on their own schedule?
If you’re still on the fence about driving for Amazon but do want a delivery gig, learn everything you need to know about becoming a Postmates driver to consider a food delivery app.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.