Amazon Flex is a delivery program that hires independent contractors to complete Amazon deliveries. If you’ve ever seen an Amazon package being delivered by someone in plain clothes in a normal vehicle, it was likely an Amazon Flex driver. Compared to jobs with Uber, Lyft, and delivery apps, Amazon Flex pays well but it can be difficult to get the job because new positions don’t open up often, and drivers compete for limited shifts.
What do Amazon Flex drivers do? Flex drivers pick up packages from stations and deliver them to customers using directions from the Flex app. Amazon Flex shifts come in 4-hour blocks that can be scheduled ahead of time or as shifts become available, and the pay is typically $18 – $25/hour.
In this article I go over the requirements to become a Flex driver, the application process, and an overview of what the job is like.
Amazon Flex delivery driver requirements
- You must be 21 years old or older
- Have a social security number
- Pass a background check
- Have access to a qualifying vehicle: 4-door sedan, pickup truck, or van
- Show proof of auto insurance
- Have a smart phone: Iphone 5 or newer, Android phone running Android version 4.4 or higher.
To begin the application process, visit flex.amazon.com or download the Amazon Flex app.
Vehicle requirements: What kind of vehicles can Flex drivers use?
Flex requires a four-door sedan, a pickup truck, or a minivan. Two-door cars are not accepted because they may not be large enough to fit every package that you’re assigned for your shift. There isn’t currently there is not a maximum vehicle age, so the age of your vehicle isn’t as important as the size and condition. There is no vehicle inspection, but if your car is older and unreliable you’ll probably be deactivated for missing deliveries.
What does the Flex background check look at?
Going back 7 years, Amazon checks for felonies and other major criminal violations. Anything issues in your background involving theft or violence will likely disqualify you from the job. They also perform a motor vehicle record check that looks for major driving violations or a large number of citations.
How long does the background check take? Amazon says that it should take 2-5 days to complete your background check, but it’s possible that it could take longer. If it’s been longer than 5 days, contact Amazon Flex support.
How much do Amazon Flex drivers make?
Flex drivers earn $18 – $25/hour. The payout for a shift depends on the time of the shift, the difficulty, and the region. One nice thing about Flex is that you’ll know exactly how much you will earn for each shift when you sign up for it. Uber, Lyft, and other delivery jobs don’t offer guaranteed income.
Amazon occasionally offers bonuses and incentives to Flex drivers. I was offered the chance to earn a $100 Amazon gift card if I completed 5 delivery blocks within two weeks. For now, there’s no permanent bonus or incentive system, but keep an eye out for emails from Amazon that announce bonus opportunities.
How does payment work? Flex drivers are paid twice each week via direct deposit. Inside the App you can view upcoming schedule payments and past completed payments.
How to get hired by Amazon Flex: The application process
The application process is fairly straightforward, but it can take awhile to get hired and start working if there are no openings in your area. In my case, I filled out a preliminary application and waited two weeks before I could proceed. For others, it may take even longer.
- Download the app and check to see if your city is accepting drivers.
- If slots are open, you’ll enter your name, your device, and your vehicle
- If no jobs are available, you can sign up to be notified when spots open up
- Start your background check by entering your SSN and consenting to the check
- Complete the application: Provide your tax information, and your bank account information
- You can choose to be paid as an individual, LLC, or S corporation
- Watch 19 training videos that describe the job and show you how to use the app to pickup and drop off deliveries
- Wait for your background check to complete
- Schedule your first shift
How to know when you’re hired
When your background check is complete and you’ve been accepted as a driver, you’ll get an email from Amazon that says “Welcome to Amazon Flex. Get Started.” You can also check by signing into the Flex app. If you’re hired, you’ll be asked to input your phone number. If you’re not, you’ll still see a checklist of application items with one or more of the items unchecked.
What can you do if there are no new Flex job openings in your city?
Most people open up the Flex app and find that Flex either isn’t in your city or new jobs are not available. In that case, all you can do is enter your information to be notified of any new positions that open up. Sometimes there is no option to be notified at all. If you don’t see any way to be notified, check back with the app every once in awhile to see if your city has been added to the list.
How to schedule a Flex shift
After you’ve completed the background screening and all other application steps, new options will appear in the Flex app. The “Offers” and “Availability” menu options are where you’ll schedule your shifts. “Availability” is a calendar that allows you to select dates and times when you’re willing and able to do a 4-hour flex shift.
The “Offers” area is where you can claim “Reserved Offers” or pick up “Next Day” shifts that become available. A reserved offer is a shift that has been set aside you based on your availability. You can choose to accept or decline the reserved offer, but there is a deadline to accept the shift so make sure to accept a shift as soon as you can.
Next Day offers are in high demand, so you shouldn’t miss out on your reserved offers. As of now there’s no way to be notified of new Offers, so you’ll have to check back regularly if you want to pick up a shift.
On the day of your shift, the Flex app will notify you where to go to pickup your packages.
What types of deliveries do Amazon Flex drivers do?
The Flex app will always let you know what type of orders you’re doing, and how to complete it, but it’s good to know what type of work you’ll be facing.
- Prime – Regular package deliveries
- Prime Now – More timely deliveries that typically come in bags instead of boxes
- Amazon Locker – Deliver packages to special electronic Amazon lockers that are similar to PO boxes. You scan the package in an, a door pops open, then you deliver the package and close the door
- Restaurant – Food orders that take place at restaurant. Hot food goes in a hot bag, cold food goes in a separate bag
- Merchant pickups – The pickup location will be at a merchant instead of an Amazon pickup station
Special delivery scenarios you might run into
- Attended deliveries – The customer or another authorized person must be present
- Alcohol – The customer or recipient must show proof of age. You have to scan their ID into the app or manually enter the ID number
- Chilled and frozen – The delivery will be inside a cool bag that contains a dry ice box. Remove the package at the time of delivery and return the dry ice to the pickup station
Doing the job: What it’s like to deliver for Flex
Almost everything you do during a Flex shift is initiated and concluded by the Flex app. There are many steps for every part of the process, but if you always have your phone opened to the Flex app there will be instructions that will let you know what to do next.
- Check your Offer (shift) to see where your pickup station location will be
- Begin your shift by arriving at the pickup station and swiping “I’ve arrived”
- Follow instructions to find the package pickup area
- Scan each package and load it into your car
- The Flex app shows you how to navigate to the each package drop-off location
- Check the app for special notes and instructions from the customer
- To get a gate code, you may need to call the customer or support
- If you can’t deliver the package, there is a Help area in the app. Sometimes support or the customer will be able to assist you, other times you’ll have to mark the delivery as undeliverable
- Once you see that you can make the delivery, scan the package and place it in a safe area
- You can end your shift in the Flex app after completing all deliveries. If you don’t complete all deliveries, you have to return uncompleted packages to the pickup station
The Flex app guides you each step of the way, down to turn-by-turn directions. If you ever get stuck, you can always call support.
Flex will deactivate you for these reasons
During the application process Amazon lets you know that you can be deactivated (IE fired) for these reasons:
- Inactivity. You will be deactivated if you don’t schedule a shift for 180 days
- Late for shifts
- Missing scheduled shifts
- Failing to attempt to deliver packages
- Bad customer service, too many customer complaints
- Stealing, damaging packages
Is Amazon Flex a good job?
Overall, Amazon Flex is among the best of the on-demand app jobs. Flex pays better than jobs with Uber (how much Uber drivers make), Lyft, and delivery apps, and you’ll always be sure how much you’ll earn from a Flex shift. With Uber, Lyft and delivery apps you can expect to make around $10-$15/hour after expenses, and the income can be very sporadic and unreliable.
One big downside is that getting Flex shifts can be difficult. Unlike rideshare and delivery apps, you can’t just sign on and work. With Flex you have to closely monitor your availability and constantly check the app if you want to pick up a Next Day shift.
The work you do for Flex is mostly straightforward and doesn’t involve too much customer service, which is a plus compared to Uber and Lyft. The work might be frustrating if you run into issues with your deliveries or with the app. Trouble Parking, figuring out how to get into apartment complexes and office buildings, and safely leaving packages in the right location are all challenges you’ll run into that could make your shift longer and harder than expected.
- Upsides of Flex: High pay compared to similar jobs, flexible shifts, not too much direct interaction with customers
- Downsides of Flex: No guarantee of shifts, lots of mileage on your car, issues with deliveries and app glitches can be frustrating
Apply for Amazon Flex
Check for availability in your city and begin the application process at flex.amazon.com