Amazon went from being a small online bookseller to being one of the largest corporations in the world.
In 2017, Amazon shipped 5 billion packages worldwide.
How do they manage to deliver that many boxes? For years, Amazon was depended on companies like UPS, FedEx, and USPS. But now, they’ve brought things in-house by hiring their own Amazon delivery drivers.
Amazon has been delivering packages using independent delivery drivers for a couple of years now, and it’s working.
There are more than 11,000 drivers for Amazon Flex so far.
The program is getting more packages to their destinations in less time and for half the price.
Traditional package delivery services like UPS, FedEx, and trucking companies just can’t handle the online shopping delivery boom by themselves anymore.
That’s great news for anyone who wants to work using an app-based gig.
Although there are many different delivery platforms to choose from, Amazon Flex is one of the highest paying app-based gig jobs available. It’s also an alternative to other gig jobs that require using your car to ferry passengers (if that’s not your thing).
If you’re not a people person, Amazon Flex is great. It’s just you, your vehicle, and some boxes. No bosses breathing down your neck, no passengers in your back seat, and no food delivery customers who hate tipping.
This article aims to provide the information you need to determine if being a Flex driver fits with your goals and work-life plan. Read on to find out the basic requirements, how the sign-up process works, and what a typical work day for an Amazon Flex driver looks like.
Amazon Flex Driver Requirements
One of the great things about Amazon Flex is that you don’t have the strict motor vehicle requirements that Uber and Lyft drivers have to comply with. Amazon really doesn’t care what your car looks like; it just needs to be able to get packages from Point A to Point B.
Here’s what you need to have to be a Flex driver:
- A valid driver’s license that shows you are 21 or older
- Social Security number
- Modern smartphone (Android Phone or iPhone 5 or newer)
- Proof of auto insurance
- A mid-sized sedan (a 4-door Honda Civic is mid-sized) or larger – but if it’s a truck you have to have a bed top to protect packages from the weather.
- Ability to pass a background check
Amazon Flex Locations
According to Amazon Flex, the service is already available in over 50 cities and expanding continuously.
At the time of writing this article, Amazon Flex is available in these cities and states:
- Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile
- Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson
- Arkansas: Little Rock
- California: Fresno, Greater Los Angeles, Palm Desert, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco Bay, Stockton
- Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver
- Connecticut: Hartford & New Haven
- Delaware: Wilmington
- Florida: Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami-West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa-St. Pete
- Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah
- Idaho: Boise
- Illinois: Champaign-Peoria-Springfield, Chicago
- Indiana: Indianapolis
- Iowa: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines
- Kansas: Kansas City
- Kentucky: Louisville, Lexington
- Louisiana: Baton Rouge, New Orleans
- Maryland: Annapolis, Baltimore
- Massachusetts: Boston
- Michigan: Detroit, Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo
- Minnesota: Minneapolis
- Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis
- Nebraska: Omaha
- New Jersey: Closter, Newark, Trenton, Trenton and Freehold Township
- New York: Buffalo, Long Island, New York City, Rochester
- Nevada: Las Vegas
- New Mexico: Albuquerque
- North Carolina: Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville-Greenville-Spartanburg, Raleigh
- Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton
- Oklahoma: Oklahoma City
- Oregon: Portland
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
- Rhode Island: Providence
- South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville
- Texas: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio
- Tennessee: Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville
- Utah: Salt Lake City
- Virginia: Richmond, Virginia Beach
- Washington State: Greater Seattle area
- Washington D.C.: Greater D.C. area
- Wisconsin: Madison, Milwaukee
If you don’t see your location, you can join the Amazon Flex waiting list and be notified if Amazon Flex moves into your area.
Amazon Flex Sign-Up Process
Now that we’ve covered the driver requirements and the available areas, let’s move on to the sign-up process.
You will need to set aside a little time to do this. Read this list and gather the docs and information you’ll need to complete these steps before you sit down to go through this process.
Follow these steps:
- The first step to becoming an Amazon Flex driver is to head to their Getting Started page and select your location.
- Confirm that you are at least 21 years old and possess a valid driver’s license.
- Select the cell phone you have (they accept modern Androids and iPhones).
- Download the Amazon Flex app by visiting the link provided.
- When you follow that link, you’ll need to sign in (or create a new account) to your Amazon account.
- Accept the Delivery Partner agreement.
- After you accept the terms and conditions, you will be redirected to a page to download the app. Since the app is not downloaded from the regular app store, you will need to go into your settings and allow the app before opening it (for more information check out the “Download the App” section in the Amazon Flex FAQ).
- Once the app is up and running, sign in to your Amazon account again.
- Select your region and agree to a series of terms.
- Enter your basic information including your name, address and cell phone number.
- Enter your vehicle information.
- Enter your insurance information.
- Enter your tax information.
- Enter your Direct Deposit information (they ask for this so they can deposit your earnings and pay you!)
- Watch the 8 videos that explain the Amazon Flex process.
- Verify your driver’s license.
- Consent to the background check.
Amazon Flex Background Check
Amazon Flex and other gig jobs do a background check to make sure that you’re a safe driver and are not a threat to their customers. This is a very standard background check, similar to one you’d take when getting hired for full time employment at a corporation.
Amazon’s background check goes back seven years and looks for major criminal offenses and driving violations. If you have a history of violent crime or theft, you will probably be disqualified.
The same is also true of numerous driving infractions – they probably won’t accept you.
The background check is not instant. It takes about 2-5 business days to complete.
Consenting to the background check is the last step in the application process. If you are accepted, you’ll receive an email from Amazon prompting you to schedule your first block!
What It’s Like Working for Amazon Flex
You’re about to read a quick day-in-the-life explanation for Flex drivers. If you want to know more, there is great information in the FAQ that goes into further detail.
The first step for any Amazon Flex driver is to schedule a shift, also known as a block, in the Amazon Flex app.
Shifts are 3-4 hours (this may vary by city and demand) and can be hard to come by if there is a lot of competition in your city. Since people sometimes drop shifts, check the app often to see if you can claim someone else’s dropped shift.
When your shift starts, you head to the package pickup station as defined in the app. You’ll use your phone to scan each package as it is loaded into your car.
Once you’re loaded up, the Flex App will provide instructions on how to get to all of your package drop-off locations. At each location, you will scan the package again to confirm it has been delivered. If you’re lucky, you’ll be sent to an Amazon locker where you can drop off multiple packages at once.
When you have delivered all of your Amazon packages, that block is considered complete. If you are unable to deliver all of your packages, you’ll need to return them to the pickup location.
How Much Money Can You Make With Amazon Flex?
This is an important topic, and we’ll briefly cover the basics in the column below. If you want detailed information about this topic, check out the entire post we put together that goes into great detail on how much you can earn as an Amazon Flex driver.
According to Amazon Flex, drivers make between $18 and $25 per hour.
Amazon pays by the delivery block, so you’ll make a guaranteed amount for each 4-hour block you complete.
The base rate is $18, and it will never be lower. It is not uncommon to see $25 per hour rates during busy times, like when the weather is bad or during the holidays.
The rates can also go up to $25 when a block is more difficult or other drivers have had trouble completing similar blocks in a reasonable amount of time.
If you finish your shift faster than 4 hours, you will still make the same amount, so you could actually earn more than $25/hour if you’re fast. On the flip side, it could take you longer to finish your block and you won’t be compensated for your extra time.
It is important to remember that like most gig-economy jobs, Flex drivers are independent contractors. That means drivers are responsible for all expenses, including car insurance, car payments, gas, vehicle maintenance.
A general rule of thumb is that it costs workers about 54.5 cents per mile to operate your vehicle according to the IRS. Use this number to estimate your actual hourly revenue.
Is Driving For Amazon Flex Worth It?
Amazon Flex pays more than most other gig-type driving jobs. Uber and Lyft drivers report making around $15/hour on average (although that can go way up for drivers working through luxury upgrade programs.)
Food delivery drivers like Uber Eats, Postmates, and Doordash typically make even less than Uber and Lyft drivers.
If you are looking for a job that uses your car, it’s tough to beat Amazon Flex. But other gig-economy jobs, like renting your house on AirBnb, can be much more lucrative.
When you drive for Amazon Flex – or work through any gig app job – you are a contractor running your own business. It’s up to you to determine if your business plan would work well in the Amazon Flex structure.
For instance, a driver in Lubbock might use less gas than a driver in Pittsburgh because Lubbock is flat and laid out in a grid and has a lot less traffic than the hilly, curvy streets of Pittsburgh. Gas is also cheaper in Lubbock.
The point is, results vary so consider how Amazon Flex would work in your town, in your car, and with your energy level.
What Are The Benefits of Working for Amazon Flex?
Amazon Flex is a great “work on your own time” gig. Drivers get to choose when they work and how often they want to work. You can make your own hours. You can work the days you want.
You can take days off whenever you want. It’s the flexibility of making your own schedule that makes people want to work for Amazon Flex.
As an Amazon Flex Delivery Partner, you have the flexibility to have a full-time career, go to school, or dedicate time to other passions.
If you’re going to school and need a part-time job, Amazon Flex is a great gig. If you work a full-time job but want to supplement your income, Amazon Flex is a great gig.
And if you need some cash to help you pay the bills while you’re focusing on your true passion, it’s an excellent gig. But that flexibility isn’t the only thing that Amazon Flex has to offer. Drivers report earning up to $25 per hour.
So even if you’re only working a few hours per week, it can be a good source of income. Amazon Flex is run entirely through Amazon’s mobile app.
You work as your own boss and set your schedule, yet get to have the support and power of the world’s largest online retailer on your side. If you have a problem, there are many different ways to contact driver support. The service exists in over 50 cities, but it’s growing all the time.
You can add your name to the waitlist for your particular city and Amazon will contact you when an opportunity becomes available in your town.
Once you become an approved driver for Amazon Flex, everything you need to do is done through the app. Simply tell Amazon when you want to make deliveries. Pick the days, hours, and blocks of time that you wish to work.
The app will tell you when and where a package is ready for pick-up. Arrive at the location, scan the package, and load it into your vehicle. After you scan the package, the app will show you the delivery destination.
The app will show you where to deliver your package. It will even suggest directions to save you time (and gas) getting there. After you’ve made a delivery, you can check your earnings.
The app will show you exactly what you’ve earned, so you know how much money you’ll be putting in your pocket. You’ll have to download the app and answer a few questions to get started.
Depending on the city you want to work in, you might be able to fill an immediate opening. You might need to wait until an opportunity becomes available.
If you think that Amazon Flex is for you, head to their sign up page and get started!