Aaron Widmar
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On the Job: What’s It Like Being an Amazon Delivery Driver?

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Amazon Prime delivery van mail shipment driver
Photo: The News Wheel

As online shopping continues to skyrocket with every passing year — especially during the current pandemic — Amazon is increasing its distribution networks across the country. They’re often hiring drivers, and if the economic crisis has hit you as hard as it’s hit everyone else, you’re probably considering becoming an Amazon delivery driver. If you’re interested in knowing what the job involves and if it’s a good occupation for you, here’s a quick glimpse into being an Amazon delivery driver.

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Requirements for becoming an Amazon driver

According to the Amazon Delivery Jobs board, you don’t need any prior experience to be a driver for Amazon or one of the many Amazon Delivery Service Partners, as long as you’re at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license in your state, and can lift packages weighing over 70 pounds. It definitely helps to be healthy and active, because it can be draining work!

Receiving a job offer relies more on how you do in the in-person interview than what’s on your resume. You have to prove through your interactions and your answers that you’re motivated, hard-working, and think on your feet. Hirers expect good communication skills, time management, and a friendly attitude toward customers and coworkers.

A good Amazon driver — like any parcel delivery person — is a safe, law-abiding driver who won’t drive in ways that would get them into an accident or be ticketed. They’re careful about their own safety and the safety of the packages (being careful not to drop, smash, or be careless with the parcels).

You don’t need to drive your own car if you’re a full-time package deliverer. You’ll drive an Amazon-branded or unmarked cargo van provided and maintained for you. And you don’t need a commercial driver’s license or any special driving permit to operate the van.

According to Glassdoor, the average annual base salary of an Amazon driver is around $27,000, but most hourly rates of job openings range from $15-$17/hour, so you could make over $30,000 in a year (pre-tax).

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Amazon delivery boxes package shipment mail gift online shopping
Photo: The News Wheel

An average day on the job

When you first become an employee, you’ll set your regular shift period, which gives you the option to either start early in the morning or work past dinnertime. If you have any packages remaining from the prior day, you’ll deliver the rest of them at the start of your shift. By then, you should receive the notice that your next supply of packages is ready for pickup at the distribution center. The packages will have already been sorted by a warehouse worker, so you’ll load your designated packages into a company van.

You don’t have to provide your own computing device to find directions and confirm deliveries. Your employer will supply you with a handheld device that will have all the package destination information, contact methods, location tracking, and delivery confirmation tools on it. You’ll be given a branded Amazon uniform to wear every day (a polo and ballcap you’ll wear with slacks) so residents know who you are.

The majority of your day will consist of driving to houses or businesses and delivering packages. You could make well over 100 stops in an average day, so be prepared for a hurried pace that leaves little time to pause for unscheduled breaks.

At every stop, you’ll ensure you’re at the correct address, scan the package you need to deliver, bring the box to the door (or the car trunk, if it’s an in-car delivery), and confirm in the system that the delivery was made. Then on to the next stop!

This isn’t a normal 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. job. Because it takes so long to obtain your packages, plot your route, and make your delivery rounds, you’ll easily work 10 hours in a single day. So that could mean you’ll work hard 4 days a week (which could involve a Saturday or Sunday). Around the holidays, be prepared for the amount of deliveries to increase even more, to work overtime, and to help other drivers get all their packages delivered.

If you want a comprehensive account of a driver’s actual week, this first-hand account documented in a Vice article is very insightful. If you’d prefer to deliver packages less often than the full 40 hours every week, becoming an Amazon Flex driver could be a better employment solution for you.