For the past few years, more and more people have been gravitating towards delivery gig work. One option you should consider is Amazon Flex.
With Amazon Flex, you maintain flexibility while also having the structure of a schedule to keep you busy and earning throughout your day.
Keep reading to learn about how much Amazon Flex drivers make per hour, Amazon driver requirements, and more.
What It’s Like To Be an Amazon Flex Driver
Kris P. in San Francisco shares their experience:
Since we want to travel more, I came up with the idea of trying some of the on-demand jobs out there.
I tried out being an Amazon Flex driver, which surprisingly a lot of people don’t know about.
Amazon Flex Driver Sign-Up Process
The sign-up to become an Amazon Driver was easy, just fill out a simple app and Amazon runs a background on you. The catch is you have to actually wait until there is an Amazon Flex job opening (unlike Uber where you can apply at any time).
My application was approved in two days, and I began to receive offers on the Flex app on my phone.
If your market is not hiring new Flex drivers, you’ll see a message similar to below and from there, you can join the waiting list to be notified once positions are available in your area.
How Amazon Flex Works
From a rookie’s perspective, here are some pointers for your future Flexers to help you maximize your time, which I wish I had known going in.
Shifts Are Called “Blocks”
Your block time is just an estimate of how long it should take to complete your run. You earn the entire amount whether you finish early or take longer.
For example, on my very first trip with AmazonFlex, I accepted a 3.5-hour block for $70.
After 4 hours, with 10 more boxes still to go, I called Flex Support and they told me to bring back whatever I had left to the warehouse.
I earned the $70 since the time block was estimated for 3.5 hours, but I went over that. The time block is, as I mentioned, just an estimate of how long Amazon Flex expects delivery to take.
Limit on Amazon Flex Blocks
There is a limit on the number of hours you can deliver with Amazon Flex. The limit for Amazon Flex blocks is 8 hours. This averages 40 hours per week.
Make sure you plan accordingly, though. Several people on Reddit have said that the majority of their blocks take over the estimated time allotted for completion.
So, if you’re always working an hour past your block, you may not want to sign up for a second one immediately following your first block.
Also, if you accidentally accepted a block that you didn’t mean to accept, you have up to 5 minutes from accepting to drop it without penalty.
How Much Do Amazon Drivers Make?
There are a lot of factors that go into what you can earn as an Amazon driver. It will be market-specific as well as your own efficiencies. Amazon itself advertises that drivers can make $18-25 per hour.
When you are looking at a block, it’ll show you what the estimated earnings are for that block.
- In Tampa, a driver shared on Reddit their two-week earnings of $2,341.50, working an average of 38 hours per week, or $30.81/hour.
- In Wichita, a driver is seeing blocks with a base pay that is ranging from $46 to $55 for a 3 – 3.5 hour block.
- In San Diego, a driver saw an offer for a 4.5-hour block worth $211.50 in estimated earnings.
To start, each market has a base pay for the length of blocks available. Though many drivers on Reddit encourage drivers not to accept blocks that only show base pay. The hope is to drive up the worth of the block so that drivers will earn more.
How Much Did I Earn as An Amazon Flex Driver?
At the end of my shift, I had $70 in my account. Obviously, my main expense was fuel, I logged 63 miles on my route and at current pump prices, it cost me about $10.75 in gas.
So, before taxes, I net about $59.25 for what took me 4.5 hours for just a little over $13 an hour.
The more you get used to the system, the faster and more efficient you’ll get. In hindsight, I bet I could have finished my shift in under 3 hours (especially if I didn’t have to go back for returns).
Not bad for being an Amazon delivery contractor.
Amazon Flex Driver Expenses
When considering your earnings, you also have to consider your expenses.
You’ll have to take your vehicle expenses into consideration. This can include the:
- Cost of gas
- Wear and tear on your vehicle
You might also want to invest in some organizational items for your vehicle. You’ll be transporting dozens of packages at a time and you’ll want to keep them as organized as possible to increase your efficiency.
Consider trunk dividers and other organizational tools to utilize your space in the best possible way.
If you run into any trouble, you can contact the Amazon Flex customer service number at (877) 212-6150 or (888) 281-6901. The faster you get through your shift, the faster you can get home – or maybe even pick up a last-minute shift!
Amazon Drivers as Employees or Contractors
Depending on your area, you might have the option of driving for Amazon as an employee or as a contractor.
As an employee, you’ll have more perks, such as benefits. Employee drivers are either hired directly through Amazon or through delivery service partners (DSPs).
Typically Amazon employee drivers earn about $15 an hour, but they have the added perk of stability. Knowing your hours and how much you’ll be making each week is less stressful for many people and worth making a few dollars an hour less than if you were a contractor waiting for blocks to become available, never knowing if you’re going to pick up a batch that day or not.
Also, Amazon employee drivers are typically provided a vehicle to use for the deliveries, whereas Amazon Flex contractors are using their personal vehicles to complete deliveries.
As an Amazon employee driver, you’ll have access to benefits such as paid time off, overtime pay, healthcare benefits and even career growth opportunities.
- Amazon Flex Contact Phone Numbers and Email Addresses (for current drivers):
- Amazon Flex Application and App Download (for new drivers): https://flex.amazon.com/get-started
Tips for New Amazon Flex Drivers
Here are some tips for my new Amazon Flexers out there to make your blocks go by better:
Flex Delivery Tip 1: Charge Your Phone Fully Before You Head Out
Similar to an Uber or Lyft driver, your phone is an important tool, so make sure you have the best one you can afford.
Make sure you have a magnetic phone holder and make sure your phone is charged fully.
You’ll be taking your phone on and off the holder, and the last thing you want is to be constantly adjusting your holder.
Also, your battery will drain. Fast. Especially in low reception areas. Every time you scan and miss that barcode, your phone will beep and vibrate like there’s no tomorrow. The Flex Amazon app definitely puts your phone’s CPU to the test.
Flex Tip 2: Organize Your Packages in Your Car According to the Manifest Taped to the Holding Cart
Amazon uses cluster codes according to the neighborhood and order of the deliveries.
Nobody told me this, and I randomly stacked the packages in my car according to size. Guess what happened when I reached my first delivery?
Took me 15 minutes in the hot sun to find the one package.
This brings me to my next tip…
Flex Tip 3: Move as Many of the Packages in the Current Cluster to Your Front Seat
When you reach your delivery point, you’re ready to jump out with a package in hand.
I can’t tell you how many times I sat in front of a house searching for a package.
One homeowner came out and cautiously asked “Excuse me, can I help you?” while she peeked into my SUV full of random Amazon packages. I explained to her what I was doing.
When I said “like an Uber for Amazon” she went “ahhhhh.” So if anyone asks, just say you’re a private Amazon courier or an Amazon parcel delivery driver.
By moving as many packages as you can in your current cluster to the front, you’ll save time by delivering faster and more efficiently.
Flex Tip 4: Try Everything in Your Power to Deliver the Package
Instead of marking the package undeliverable, do everything humanly possible to deliver that package.
I tried to be the good Samaritan and mark some packages as unsafe to leave at door. In hindsight, I should have left the packages hidden or left them with a neighbor.
Being a huge Amazon customer myself, I always appreciate the package being left, rather than getting delivered.
The worst-case scenario is the package gets stolen. But Amazon has a great policy on replacements. If you have undeliverables at the end of your shift, guess what? You have to trek back to the warehouse to return them.
That’s one of the downsides of being an Amazon Prime driver.
Flex Tip 5: If Possible, Don’t Use a New Car or the Same Car You Use for Uber/Lyft
I used my older 4Runner, and boy did I need every square inch of cargo space.
If you have a car, I guarantee you’ll be stacking boxes on your back seats. Also, you’ll be starting and stopping your engine a lot, sometimes, within 500 feet from your last stop.
My 4Runner gets about 19 mpg, which isn’t great, but the utility in this case was worth it. Honestly, your gas mileage when Flexing isn’t as critical as it is with Uber. Your stops are usually no more than a few minutes’ drive apart.
Flex Tip 6: Be Courteous & Dress Comfortably
This last one is more of a general tip – be courteous and dress comfortably, but still look professional.
At the warehouse, I saw a guy in torn-up dirty pants with an oversize sweater and a backward hat.
Put yourself in a homeowner’s shoes. You can bet the neighbors will be suspicious when you start taking pictures of packages left on doorsteps. Yes, pictures are required when leaving a package unattended.
Amazon Flex T-shirts and Sweaters Now Available
No more weird looks from neighbors with our Package Delivery designs!
Amazon Flex Driver Gear
Gear and gadgets to make your job as an Amazon Flex driver better:
1. Car Phone Mount
Magnetic: Many drivers like magnetic mounts, as they allow you to easily remove your phone when you need to make a call or send a text. A mount like these ones includes multiple magnetic backings that adhere firmly to the back of your phone or the interior of your phone’s case. If you have multiple devices, or if you lose one of the backings, you can also order extra magnets.
This one has been my favorite so far:
Flexible: For a sturdy non-magnetic option, these RAM mounts are the gold standard, with adjustable grip tension and a variety of other options. If you have a deep dashboard, you can even accessorize with an extension arm to bring your phone closer in.
Unobtrusive: If you’re looking for something unobtrusive, check out smaller vent-mounted options, like the Kenu Airframe.
Cup Holder Phone Mount: this fits perfectly in your cup holder. It’s not on the dashboard or windshield. It’s easier to read and navigate because it’s right next to you, and cops won’t see you on your phone.
2. Dash Cam
A dashcam is the cheapest insurance policy you can buy. Having a dashcam in your vehicle means you can use it as evidence if you’re ever (heaven forbid) involved in a collision and you’re not at fault.
To see a full explanation of several top-rated dashcams, check out Jon’s article and video reviews here. There are a lot of different dash cams to choose from on amazon, for any price/budget. Here’s the best seller:
This is our favorite dash cam so far, the Falcon F360. It has “dual cam” technology which means it records the interior of the car AND exterior (in front) of the car:
- Click here to read our best dash cam for Uber and Lyft drivers review
- Click here to see all dash cams available on Amazon
3. Lower Back Support
This is one of the most important things I’ve bought. I don’t have the best back and driving for long periods of time makes me a little sore. But making the investment in this has been worth it, as I’m able to drive for longer periods of time.
4. Polarized Sunglasses
There’s a reason I’m recommending polarized over non-polarized. If you haven’t tried polarized sunglasses before, grab a pair and see if you like them. After trying polarized I never went back to regular. It blocks glare and gives you a much more clear field of vision.
There are lots of different sunglasses on amazon and you’re sure to find one you like within your budget.
Here’s a cheap but highly rated one (#1 best seller on amazon):
Here’s a more expensive one. I prefer to invest a little more in things like sunglasses because you sometimes get what you pay for. The cheaper ones can get scratched easier, for example, and the polarizing technology is more high tech in the established brands.
5. Bluetooth Headset
My family loves to call me, so for me personally, a Bluetooth headset has come in very handy when driving!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money does an Amazon delivery driver get paid?
Per Amazon, you can make $18-25 per hour.
Does Amazon Flex run a background check?
Yes, they do run a background check and it takes about 2-5 days to process.
What are the Amazon Flex locations?
To see if it’s in your area, you can view a list of all the available locations here: https://flex.amazon.com/about
How do you sign up for Amazon Flex?
You can sign up here: https://flex.amazon.com/get-started
Is Amazon Flex insurance provided?
Yes, the program does provide commercial auto insurance that covers auto liability coverage, uninsured motorist/under-insured motorist coverage, and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage. Read their FAQ for more info.
Is Amazon Flex worth it?
Driving for Flex can be worth it if you’re using it to diversify your gig economy income. For example if you’re having a slow Uber day, see if there’s a Flex block available.
Is there a waiting list to become an Amazon Flex Driver?
There is a waiting list if you live in an area that is not covered by Amazon Flex yet. You can sign up for the waiting list here: https://flex.amazon.com/get-started?gsStep=step5fail
What are the hours that you have to work? If you pick up a shift for the day, you are expected to work during business hours in what’s called a “block”, which can last 2-6 hours.