Being an Amazon Flex driver is a popular side job. Here’s what it’s like and how much it pays.
More people are taking on side hustles as a way to earn extra income and set their own hours.
Amazon Flex is one way to start a side hustle with just an app on your phone and a personal vehicle.
The e-commerce giant introduced the program in 2015, as more people signed up for gig work they could perform with their cars like Uber and Doordash.
Amazon Flex drivers help the company complete its last-mile deliveries, or packages reaching their final destinations at customers’ doorsteps. These deliveries include orders from Amazon.com, Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and pick-up orders from local stores.
Today, Amazon Flex is available in more than 100 cities in the US. The program is separate from the Amazon delivery drivers within the company’s Delivery Service Partners program.
How to become an Amazon Flex driver
According to Amazon’s website, you can sign up to become a Flex driver within an hour and can begin delivering in less than a week after signing up.
To become a Flex driver, you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and have a medium or large four-door vehicle like a sedan, van, or SUV. You will also need a smartphone to use the delivery app. You will be asked to authorize a background check and complete onboarding training.
If Amazon Flex is not actively recruiting drivers in your area, you can join a waitlist, and the company will notify you when positions are open.
How much do Flex drivers earn?
According to the Amazon Flex app description, most delivery drivers earn between $18 to $25 per hour, though the amount can vary depending on your location and how long it takes to complete a route. The program allows drivers to set their own schedule, though most routes take between two and six hours. Drivers can schedule their hours in advance or request same-day routes.
What do Flex drivers do?
Once they begin a shift, drivers use the Amazon Flex app, which has built-in GPS, to track and navigate deliveries. Drivers can search for a delivery block in their area, and the app estimates their earnings and how long the block should take to complete.
What is the job like?
There are both pros and cons to driving for Amazon Flex. As its name indicates, it offers a flexible schedule so workers can pick up as many or as few routes as they’d like. The technology makes the job relatively simple, according to one driver who tried it as a weekend gig.
However, drivers are considered independent contractors and must file their own taxes using a 1099 form. Flex drivers do not get benefits employees do, like health insurance, worker’s compensation, or retirement. Additionally, drivers are responsible for buying their own auto insurance, gas, and paying for vehicle repairs. These expenses can eat into overall earnings.
In addition to driver’s personal insurance, Amazon provides Flex drivers with its Amazon Commercial Auto Insurance Policy at no cost. This coverage does not apply to drivers based in New York.
The Flex program is designed to be a part-time gig. Since available shifts can vary from day to day, it may not be a reliable source of full-time work but there can be busy seasons depending on the location.
“The winter holiday season is typically our busiest time of year,” Amazon said on its Flex website. “Which means expanded delivery opportunities that can help you make quicker progress toward your goals.”
If you are an Amazon driver or fulfillment center employee and would like to share your experience, please email this reporter at jor[email protected] or text (646) 768-4742 using the Signal app.
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