Amazon is one of the most innovative companies in existence. Their operations touch everything from e-commerce to web hosting, and they’ve even recently made forays into retail with their purchase of Whole Foods and experiments with Amazon Go stores.
First and foremost, however, we still know Amazon as an online store that sells almost everything and delivers it in record time. How exactly is it that Amazon can offer services like 1-hour delivery and delivery on Sundays? How have they managed to get into food delivery?
Sure, technological innovation is a big part of it, but the other crucial piece is Amazon’s large network of delivery drivers. Collectively, this program is called Amazon Flex, and it can be an excellent way to earn an additional income (with wages starting at $18 per hour).
In this guide, we’re going to show you everything you need to know to earn good money as an Amazon Flex driver, including how the service works and how to sign up.
Amazon Flex is part of the growing gig economy, a system in which people work as contractors for another company on a temporary basis.
If you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss, set your own schedule with flexible hours, and earn way better money than you would at a traditional part-time job, Amazon Flex is a good gig to investigate.
In its most basic form, Amazon Flex is a system for coordinating delivery drivers. Using the Amazon Flex app, you receive instructions to pick up and deliver just about anything that Amazon sells. This could mean going to a receiving facility to pick up packages and deliver them to customers’ homes, or it could mean going to a restaurant and delivering food to a customer’s house.
Amazon separates each delivery into shifts called “blocks.” Blocks can range in length from 1 to 6 hours, with each block having a set, upfront payment amount (more on this below). You make all the deliveries using your own car, with the only other necessary tool being the Amazon Flex app, a recent smartphone, and a willingness to work hard.
As long as you make deliveries on time, you can earn a solid side income driving for Amazon Flex, especially during busy times such as the holiday season.
Types of Amazon Flex Delivery
We hinted at this above, but Amazon Flex encompasses several subcategories of delivery. As an Amazon Flex driver, you can expect to make all types of these deliveries (assuming that they’re available in your market).
The four types are as follows:
Amazon Packages – With this service, you’ll deliver regular Amazon packages, as well as Amazon Prime packages, 2-day, and same-day items. This is the most common delivery type, and you can expect a typical delivery block to be between 3 and 6 hours.
Prime Now – This is Amazon’s service that allows delivery within 1 or 2 hours of ordering. Shift lengths vary, with 2 hours being the most common length. Customers can tip you for these deliveries in addition to the base rate that Amazon pays.
Amazon Fresh – This is Amazon’s grocery delivery service. You’ll go to the pickup location (usually a local grocery store), get the items, and take them to the customer’s door. You can also receive tips with this service.
Amazon Restaurants – This is a food delivery service very similar to DoorDash or Postmates. You go to the restaurant, pick up the food, and bring it to the customer. Customers can tip you if they want.
If you thought that Amazon only did package delivery, you can now see just how many other types of deliveries they offer.
If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry. All you have to do is follow the instructions that the Amazon Flex app gives you. It will tell you exactly where to go and what to do when you get there. You don’t have to have an MBA in supply chain management to make the deliveries.
Where Is Amazon Flex Available?
Amazon Flex operates in all major U.S. cities, and the service continues to expand. Having said that, not all cities offer the same Amazon services.
For instance, Prime Now is available in fewer markets than regular Amazon package deliveries. Therefore, the types of deliveries you make will vary based on the services that Amazon offers in your city
Here are just a few of the many markets where Amazon Flex exists:
New York City
San Francisco Bay Area
Though Amazon Flex needs drivers in lots of cities, they don’t need them all the time. The holiday season is the time of highest demand, and it’s when drivers can expect to make the most money and work the longest hours.
At other times, however, there will be no Amazon Flex jobs available in any city. This doesn’t mean that all the Amazon Flex jobs have disappeared — it just means that Amazon currently has enough drivers to make deliveries where they need them.
If you find this is the case for your city, you can always join the waitlist on the Amazon Flex application page to be notified when jobs become available.
Amazon Flex Sign-Up Process
If you’ve read this far and are excited about Amazon Flex, then it’s time for you to sign up for the service. Now that we’ve covered the driver requirements and the available areas, let’s move on to the sign-up process.
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
Have a bank account that can receive direct deposits
Modern smartphone (Android Phone or iPhone 5 or newer)
Have state minimum auto insurance coverage
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
In addition to the above minimum requirements, it’s helpful to be able to lift up to 50 pounds and be in good enough physical condition to climb steps, navigate apartment complexes, and run from angry guard dogs (okay, the last one might be a bit of an exaggeration).
Amazon Flex Signup Tutorial
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!
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.
Amazon Flex pays $18–$25 per hour. The precise amount you’ll earn depends on the type of delivery you’re making, the cost of living in your local market, and the demand for deliveries. Generally, you should expect to make $18 per hour for a given shift. $25 per hour can happen, but it’s usually during the holidays when Amazon needs to meet a massive volume of orders.
As you can see, the hourly earning potential of Amazon Flex is higher than minimum wage in any U.S. city, and it could even be more per hour than you’d earn at some full-time jobs. Having said that, you need to consider that you won’t have any guarantee of working 40 hours per week. There can be fierce competition for Amazon Flex blocks, and it’s more realistic to assume you’ll be working part-time.
Furthermore, you need to consider that you’ll be working as an independent contractor using your own car to make deliveries. Amazon does not reimburse you for any of your expenses, so you’ll have to pay for gas, vehicle maintenance, insurance, and other driving-related costs out of your own pocket. This will eat into your earnings. You also have to save for and file your own taxes, as Amazon does not withhold taxes from wages paid to contractors.
Still, driving for Amazon Flex can turn out to be better for your bank account than getting an hourly job at a supermarket or even delivering for some other food delivery platforms (where hourly earnings can hover closer to minimum wage).
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!
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Flex
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions about Amazon Flex
1. Do Amazon Flex drivers receive health insurance?
No, they do not. Since all Amazon Flex drivers are independent contractors, they do not receive health insurance, retirement accounts, or any other employee benefits. Amazon does provide insurance for drivers while they’re working, however (see below).
2. Do I need a commercial vehicle to deliver for Amazon Flex?
No, you do not. A 4-door sedan, van, or pickup truck will work fine. Do note that if you use a pickup truck, Amazon Flex requires that it have an enclosed bed to protect packages from the elements.
3. What is the difference between Amazon Flex and Amazon Logistics?
Amazon Flex is a program through which independent contractors can sign up to make deliveries for Amazon using their own vehicles. Amazon Logistics is a program that allows you to start your own logistics business, or fleet, to make deliveries for Amazon. Applying for Amazon Logistics is a much more involved process and has more in common with opening a franchise than with a gig economy job. You can learn more about Amazon Logistics here.
4. Does Amazon Flex provide insurance for drivers?
Yes, Amazon Flex provides liability coverage for drivers while they are making deliveries. This policy is called the “Amazon Commercial Auto Insurance Policy,” and it provides the following coverage:
Auto liability coverage
Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage
Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage
The only exception to the above coverage is for drivers who live in the state of New York. If you live in New York, you may need additional commercial insurance coverage when driving for Amazon Flex. You’ll be able to get more information when you apply.
5. How can I contact Amazon Flex support?
Contacting Amazon Flex support is easy. The best way to reach them is via phone. They have a few different contact methods depending on your reason for calling. If you need help with your Amazon Flex application, call 888-281-6906 to speak to an Onboarding Specialist. This number is available between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET. For support while making deliveries, call 877-212-6150. This number is available whenever Amazon Flex drivers are working.
6. When does Amazon Flex pay?
Amazon Flex pays drivers every Tuesday and Friday via direct deposit to the bank account that you specify when you sign up.
7. Can I deliver for Amazon Flex and drive for Uber or Lyft?
Sure, you’re welcome to work for multiple services. Do keep in mind, however, that you’ll need to coordinate your schedule so that you’re getting the most valuable delivery blocks and driving during the times when fares for Uber and Lyft are highest. A realistic scenario might be making deliveries for Amazon Flex during weekdays and driving for Uber or Lyft at night during the weekends.
And, of course, don’t try to deliver for Amazon Flex and give Uber and Lyft rides at the same time. This is a recipe for disaster. Either you’ll miss the deliveries you’re supposed to make, or you’ll end up with passengers who aren’t happy to share the backseat of your car with a bunch of packages.
Get Started Driving for Amazon Flex Today
We hope this guide has helped you understand all the benefits that come with driving for Amazon Flex, as well as how to get started with the service. Sign up today to start delivering and earning.
Amazon.com deliveries: Pick up packages from an Amazon delivery station and deliver directly to customers. Delivery blocks are typically 3-6 hours.
Prime Now and Amazon Fresh deliveries: Pick up groceries or household items from an Amazon delivery station and deliver directly to customers. Delivery blocks are typically 2-4 hours.
Store Order deliveries: Pick up orders from local stores and deliver directly to customers. Delivery blocks are typically 2-4 hours.
Instant Offers deliveries: Available in some areas. Instant Offers are deliveries that start near your current location. Deliveries usually last 15-45 minutes.
Amazon Flex drivers are required to have an Android or iPhone to use the Amazon Flex app. Android phones must have Android 6.0 or newer, 2GB+ RAM memory, a camera with a flash, GPS Location Services, and a SIM card. iPhone users must have an iPhone 5s or newer, and be running iOS 11 or higher.
Any type of vehicle can be used for delivery, as long as it can reliable transport you and your packages.
Drivers must maintain the required insurance for delivering packages in their area. Delivery partners in New York will need a separate commercial auto insurance policy.
Amazon.com, Inc., is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, with 750,000 employees. It focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. It is considered one of the Big Four tech companies, along with Google, Apple, and Microsoft.