Thinking about working for Amazon Flex as a way to make some extra money? Whether you’re looking for a new job or a new side hustle to supplement your income, Amazon Flex is attracting lots of interest.
As an Amazon Flex driver, you can set your own schedule and take on as much work as you want – without having to drive strangers around in your car.
But how much can you make? What’s it really like to work for Amazon? Where is it available? What are the requirements?
Keep reading for everything you need to know about working for Amazon Flex.
What is Amazon Flex?
Amazon Flex is the service that Amazon uses to move packages from their fulfillment center to their customers’ homes. When you place an online order, a Flex driver picks up the Amazon package and delivers it straight to your door.
Within the Flex service, there are four different types of deliveries:
- With Amazon Prime, items that customers order online can be delivered at a later date.
- With Amazon Prime Now, customers can order certain items and have them delivered on the same day.
- With AmazonFresh, customers can order grocery items for at-home delivery.
- With Amazon Restaurants, customers can order meals from a variety of different restaurants. This service is similar to DoorDash and UberEats.
Amazon Flex is available in more than 50 cities across the country, and it keeps expanding into new towns and new markets. If it’s not already available where you live, a good chance that at some point it will be available in your city.
What Is It Like to Work for Amazon Flex?
What makes Amazon Flex different from other delivery services is that drivers work on a shift system. You have to sign up for shifts that are available – you can’t just do individual deliveries here and there whenever you want.
Despite the shift work, it’s still an incredibly flexible opportunity. You can set your schedule in one of two ways – with drop-in shifts or guaranteed shifts.
With drop-in shifts, drivers simply log onto the app and notify Amazon that they’re available to work. Amazon will send you orders to pick up and deliver that same day.
If there are no packages for you, they’ll offer you a shift for the next day. The system doesn’t send out alerts, so you’ll need to check the app to see if there are any available package offers.
Guaranteed shifts, on the other hand, almost guarantee that you’ll have work to do when you want to do it. You can pre-plan your shifts during whatever hours and days you wish to work.
Just put your open time slots into the app and Amazon will send you offers during that slot. Keep in mind that offers are sent to several drivers at the same time. The first one to accept it gets it.
After you accept a shift, you will be notified of where and when to pick up your order. Once you have that info, you have to drive to the fulfillment center and swipe the “I’ve arrived” button in the app.
Every fulfillment center has a pickup location. Once you’re in the pickup area, you just use your phone to scan each package and make sure everything is there. Load the order into your car and the app will direct you to the package delivery location.
You’ll have to keep to an eye out for special Amazon Flex delivery instructions on the package and then deliver the box. When you’re finished your shift, all you have to do is log out of the app.
How Much Do Amazon Flex Drivers Make?
The base rate for Amazon Flex drivers is $18 per hour, though drivers can make as much as $25 per hour. During busy times of the year, drivers can make closer to $25 per hour.
Some drivers also receive tips, though customers are not required to give them. In many cases, customers won’t even be home when you drop off their order.
The one thing that Flex drivers don’t love about the service is that there are limitations as to how much you can drive each day and each week.
Amazon Flex drivers cannot work full-time. They can work a maximum of 7 hours a day and a total of 29 hours per week. At the most, you can work 116 hours per month.
With this limitation, drivers cannot be considered full-time employees. That way, Amazon doesn’t have to pay wage increases or provide you with medical or other benefits.
Keep in mind that the $18 per hour rate isn’t all profit. Drivers have quite a few expenses to pay for, such as gas, auto insurance, and maintenance expenses.
However, these business expenses can be deducted at tax time to reduce your tax payments.
On occasion, Amazon Flex sends emails regarding bonuses. If you complete a certain number of rides within a certain period, they may reward you with an Amazon gift card.
Don’t delete those Flex emails without checking them – there could be some free money coming your way!
Though the number of hours you can work is restricted, there is one great benefit to the job. You will know exactly how much you will earn in a shift before you start it.
The shift offer includes an outline of the duration of the shift as well as how much you’ll earn.
No, you won’t be a full-time employee with benefits and pay raises. But you can enjoy a steady flow of income if you work enough shifts. Another benefit is that you can withdraw payments up to twice per week.
How Do I Become an Amazon Flex Driver?
To get started, download the Amazon Flex app. Check for job openings in your city.
Openings fill up quickly, so if you don’t see any immediate opportunities, you can add yourself to a waiting list. You’ll be notified when a job becomes available.
You must provide Amazon with your Social Security number and agree to a background check. Fill out an application, provide your bank account info, and indicate your tax status (independent contractor, S-Corp, or LLC).
You’ll also need to watch a series of training videos. At this time, there are 19. And yes, you have to watch them all.
With all of that done, Amazon will respond to your application with 2 to 5 business days. If your application gets approved, you can start scheduling shifts.
What Do I Need to Get Started?
There are a few essentials you’ll need to do the job. The most obvious one is a car. See below for more details about vehicle requirements and bicycle deliveries (which are available in some cities).
The other thing you must have is a Smartphone. It can be an iPhone or Android device, but it must have internet access and at least 2GM RAM. All iPhone models are acceptable. If you have an Android device, it must be version 4.4 or later.
A hand truck is not required, but it’s a good idea that can save you time and energy. Some orders can be rather heavy, so having a hand truck will certainly make your life easier. AmazonFresh orders, in particular, tend to be very heavy.
Amazon Flex Driver Requirements
There are several requirements you must meet if you want to work for Flex. Drivers must be at least 21 years old, provide a social security number, and be able to pass a background check. The background check will look at the last 7 years.
If you have any felonies, property crimes, sexual offenses, or serious traffic violations, you will not be eligible.
You also have to be able to prove that you have insurance, hold a valid driver’s license, and have access to a car and a smartphone. And since some packages are heavy, you need to be able to lift 30+ lbs.
Amazon Flex Vehicle Requirements
Your vehicle must also meet certain requirements. It doesn’t matter if it’s an older vehicle with dents. It doesn’t matter if the paint is chipped. But it does have to at least be a midsize sedan. Anything smaller is ineligible.
You may use a van, an SUV, or a truck as long as it has an enclosed bed to prevent packages from weather damage. Rented and borrowed vehicles are fine to use as long as you have permission to use them and can prove registration.
In some cities, you can deliver for Amazon Flex on your bike. But, like vehicles, bikes have to meet a certain set of criteria. They must be street legal and comply with city safety regulations. You cannot use a bike that requires motor vehicle registration. Motorcycles, motorized scooters, and electric bikes are all ineligible.
Bikes must have a functioning basket, and bike couriers are required to wear a helmet whenever they’re on the job.
You must show proof of insurance before driving and delivering. Amazon also provides additional coverage for drivers whenever they’re on an active Amazon delivery. If you an accident occurs before or after your shift, Amazon will not cover you with any additional insurance.
The Amazon policy covers liabilities up to $1,000,000. Collision covers up to $50,000 with a $1,000 deductible, while a collision with an uninsured motorist covers up to $1,000,000.
The policy fully covers collision towing, but only in the case of a collision. It also covers packages in case damage or theft occurs (unless the driver is responsible for the damage or theft).
But for as much as Amazon’s policy covers, there are many things it does not. If you drive in the state of New York, you are required to provide your own commercial insurance coverage.
We put together a guide to liability insurance, so read that to learn more about the ins and outs, and where you are and aren’t covered.
Regardless of the state you drive in, the policy does not cover mechanical failure towing. So if your car breaks down while you’re doing deliveries, you’ll have to pay for towing and maintenance yourself.
Medical bills are not covered. The driver and their own health insurance provider are responsible for all medical bills. There are, however, a variety of independent health insurance companies providing coverage to gig workers.
Real Amazon Flex Driver Reviews
Talk to Amazon Flex drivers and you’re sure to hear some mixed reviews. Some people love the work. Others aren’t so thrilled with it.
In a positive YouTube review, this Amazon Flex driver says she loves the job because it allows her to get up and move around while making money. She says:
Amazon Flex is a good job for people who want to make extra money and get a workout while they’re doing it. Also, you get to see places you haven’t seen before… places you didn’t even know existed.
Watch the full video:
In a negative YouTube review, this driver talks about what happened to him when city traffic left him unable to deliver his packages on time. He says:
When you take a four-hour delivery, you sign a contract for four hours of work for Amazon. [If it takes] more than that, you aren’t going to be paid. It’s going to be you working for free.
Despite the negative review, this driver goes on to say that he was happily working for Amazon Flex during normal conditions. But city traffic and other unexpected issues can put a big dent in your bottom line.
Watch the full video:
It’s no surprise that people have different experiences doing this job. Where you can work can make a great deal of difference. So weigh the pros and cons and decide if it’s right for you before signing on.
Amazon Flex is a great gig opportunity for drivers who don’t want to give rides to strangers. It’s also great for people whose cars don’t meet the requirements set forth by Uber and Lyft.
You can make some decent money, set your own hours, and work the shifts you want. To get started as a delivery driver for Amazon Flex, download the app and sign up now!