Amazon is currently the second-largest employer in the U.S. The online shopping giant had close to 800,000 employees in 2019, but it’s also a company that relies a lot on contractors.
So if you’re looking for an easy and flexible way to make money, delivering packages for Amazon could be the right gig for you. The company has been expanding its last-mile delivery network to ensure that shoppers get their Amazon package within two days or the very next day — sometimes even faster if the shopper uses Amazon Prime.
Amazon delivery jobs are easy to get because of the strong demand for the service, and working for Amazon Flex is one of the easiest driving gigs around.
- Pro tip: There are tons of other ways to earn money with Amazon! Check out my ultimate guide to Amazon jobs from home.
What Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Do?
Amazon has a huge logistics network that transports packages from warehouses to delivery stations everywhere in the country.
Once an order makes it to a local delivery station, a delivery driver picks up the package and brings it to the shopper. These Amazon driver jobs are part of Amazon’s last-mile delivery network.
These drivers stay local and follow a delivery route created by Amazon or by an employer that Amazon contracts. There is no long-distance driving, no warehouse-related duties, and no need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
What Is the Amazon Flex Program?
Amazon launched its Flex program in 2015 to improve delivery times and build a flexible last-mile delivery network that could adapt to fluctuating order volumes.
The Flex program is currently available in 50 cities. Due to the success of the program and the fast growth of the company, it’s likely that the program will become available in additional locations in the future.
You can apply for Amazon delivery jobs through this program and work with an independent contractor status. As an Amazon Flex driver, you'll have to use your personal vehicle to make deliveries … but you'll have flexible hours!
Your tasks are similar to what you would do if you drove for a delivery service partner (DSP), but your status is different, and you won’t drive a delivery van provided by the DSP.
Amazon Flex Requirements
You need to meet a few requirements to qualify for these Amazon delivery driver jobs:
- You must be 21 or older.
- You must have a valid driver’s license in your state.
- You must pass a background check.
- You will need a reliable smartphone to confirm shifts and track your progress during deliveries.
There are also a few restrictions regarding your vehicle. These requirements vary from one route to another, but the minimum requirement is a four-door vehicle so you can fit all your packages. Some routes require a van or large SUV. You will also need to carry auto insurance for the vehicle you drive.
What Does an Amazon Flex Route Typically Look Like?
Most of the time, a route (called a delivery block) lasts three to six hours. These routes are local, and you will stop at multiple homes or corporate offices to deliver packages.
There are Amazon delivery jobs available for a few different types of orders:
- Prime Now and Amazon Fresh blocks are typically shorter. You will deliver groceries and household items on these routes.
- Store orders are available in some areas. Your job is to stop by different local stores to pick up orders and deliver them to customers.
- Instant offers typically last 30 to 45 minutes. These short delivery blocks are another grocery delivery service.
How to Get a Job With Amazon Flex
Getting started with Amazon Flex is easy! The great thing about this gig is that you don’t have to commit to anything. You can try driving a couple of blocks and decide if it’s a good option for you.
Sign Up for Amazon Flex
Download the Amazon Flex app and create an account to get started. The app will tell you right away if Amazon is currently hiring Flex drivers in your city. If there are no driving jobs available, you can add your email address to a waiting list.
Amazon will then complete a background check. This process can take two to five days. Any violent offenses, charges related to theft, or driving violations will disqualify you.
Once you pass your background check, you will have to enter your tax information and watch a few training videos that explain how to use the app and what to expect during your first shift.
Pick Up Driving Shifts
There are different ways of picking up work with Amazon Flex. The easiest way to get a shift is to indicate when you’re available to drive. You can choose which days and hours you would like to work, keeping in mind that most blocks will last three to six hours.
The app will reserve some guaranteed shifts based on your availability. You will get a few weekly blocks based on these preferences, but keep in mind that there are no obligations to accept these blocks. The guaranteed shifts are a great way to make sure you meet a minimum number of hours each week, and you can adjust your availability as needed.
You can accept additional blocks as they become available. You need to act fast to confirm additional shifts, and these blocks usually become available on short notice. The app doesn’t use push notifications, so you’ll have to open it regularly to look for extra work.
It’s easy to find additional blocks during the holiday season or shortly after Prime Day, but more blocks might be hard to get if you don’t check the app regularly.
There are caps on how much you can work. The purpose of these caps is to prevent you from working enough hours to qualify as a full-time employee. Caps vary from one state to another and seem to be less restrictive during the holiday season.
You will see the duration and pay for each block before you accept it. You’ll always know what to expect and how much you will earn.
Before You Start a Block
You will receive a message through the Amazon Flex app a few hours before the start of a block. This message will have information about which local Amazon delivery station you need to head to.
Your shift begins when you get to the delivery station and check in with the app. You then load the packages into your vehicle and scan them.
The app will show you the route to follow, along with delivery instructions for each address. You will have to use the app to snap a picture of the packages you deliver and confirm that you’ve completed a delivery.
Amazon doesn’t expect you to deliver packages in person, but you will occasionally run into the recipients. Your job duties include representing Amazon and delivering excellent customer service in these situations.
Once you’re done with your block, you might have to head back to the delivery station if you have any packages that you were unable to deliver.
Your earnings will appear in the app once you complete your block. Payouts happen once a week on Wednesdays. The app will send your earnings to your bank account via direct deposit, which can take up to five days to clear.
How to Boost Your Amazon Flex Earnings
Are you thinking about driving for the company? The following tips will help you maximize your earnings as an Amazon Flex delivery driver.
Get Proper Coverage
Your auto insurance is an important consideration because you’ll be using your personal vehicle to make deliveries. If you don’t disclose your Amazon Flex gig to your insurance company, your driving job could void your policy.
Most insurance companies will specifically ask about driving gigs like Uber, Doordash, or Amazon Flex and offer additional coverage for these activities. Keep in mind that Amazon Flex is a delivery job and differs from ride-sharing. You will need a policy that covers these deliveries, and you might need to upgrade to a commercial policy.
Check the Flex App Regularly
Nearby delivery stations can upload available blocks to the app at any time. Open the app regularly throughout the day and tap on offers in the menu. Complete the entire confirmation process if you want to book a shift, and remember that the app operates on a first come, first serve basis!
Check Your Map Before Leaving the Delivery Station
Once in a while, your route will include a delivery to an address that is way off your path. You can usually get the delivery station to update your route and assign this delivery to another driver. This simple trick can reduce your gas expenses.
Look for Patterns
Amazon Flex drivers can earn more by looking for patterns. You can pick up more shifts during the holiday season, but events like Prime Day or Cyber Monday could result in some extra work.
Check the app regularly to figure out what time of day additional shifts become available, so you don’t miss them. Look for patterns to get an idea of when you can get blocks that pay a little more.
A common tip that Flex drivers share is to check the app when the weather is bad. A lot of drivers don’t accept their reserved blocks if roads get icy.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
Keep a log of all expenses incurred while driving for Amazon Flex. You can claim your mileage on your taxes, and keeping track of your expenses will help you calculate an accurate hourly wage for this driving gig. You can then compare Amazon Flex to other opportunities and decide what you want to focus on.
Amazon Flex Alternative: Driving Full-Time With a Local Delivery Service Partner
Amazon Flex is one of the best freelance driving gigs out there. However, the monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily hour cap can be a drawback if you don’t have another source of income.
So if you're looking for other jobs that are like driving for Amazon Flex, it’s possible to become a full-time driver by applying for a job through an Amazon Delivery Service Partner.
Amazon relies on a network of Delivery Service Partners to handle a significant portion of their last-mile deliveries. These partners are small or medium-sized businesses that operate a fleet of delivery vehicles.
Most DSPs offer full-time positions and expect drivers to work around 40 hours a week. All your routes will be for local deliveries, and you won’t need a commercial driver’s license to apply.
You can find DSP jobs in almost every city, but keep in mind that your hours, pay, and work environment can differ from one employer to another.
The DSP is responsible for providing training and for planning your delivery routes. Your annual salary should average $37,277 a year, which corresponds to earning around $18 an hour.
Amazon Flex Vs. Working for a DSP
One of the main advantages of applying for a delivery job through a DSP is that your employer will provide a delivery vehicle. You won’t have to pay for gas, insurance, or maintenance on your delivery vehicle.
The Amazon Flex program is your best option if you’re looking for a flexible driving gig that doesn’t require any commitments. You can work as little or as much as you want, as long as you don’t exceed the cap set by Amazon.
Your earnings vary from one Amazon Flex block to another. The opportunities available can vary from one location to another, and you’ll find that there are more high-paying opportunities during the holiday season.
Drivers report earning anywhere between $18 and $25 an hour. Some say they earn as much as $30 an hour during the holiday season due to the increased order volume.
While a lot of DSPs have a morning huddle and a debriefing at the end of the day that drivers have to attend, driving for Amazon Flex is a different experience. You’re more independent and can go home once you have delivered all your packages.
A lot of your duties will revolve around the Amazon Flex app. You will get your schedule, route, and other information through the app. The app will also track your progress and ensure that you follow the route created by Amazon.
There are a few downsides to consider before signing up for the Flex program. First of all, the program isn’t available everywhere.
Second, using your personal vehicle to deliver packages has some drawbacks:
- Your vehicle has to meet a few requirements.
- Amazon won’t compensate you for gas or vehicle maintenance.
- Driving for Amazon regularly can put a lot of miles and wear and tear on your car.
- You need an insurance policy that covers your Amazon Flex gig.
- You can rent or borrow a vehicle to drive with Amazon Flex, but it might increase your costs.
Being an Amazon Flex driver is one of the best freelance driving gigs out there thanks to the competitive pay and simple nature of the tasks you perform. It’s easy to get started, and you can expect more blocks and earnings in the future as Amazon continues to grow!