Last Updated on 2024-04-24

How Pay Rate Raises Work at Amazon Warehouse

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

author image

Alex Rodriguez

T1 Asssociate with experience across Decant, Waterspider, Stower, Packer, and Receive Dock roles

author image

Justin “JJ” James

T1 Asssociate in a Delivery Station with 2+ years of experience working in the Stower, Picker, and Stager roles

author image

James Enright

L5 having worked in a Fulfillment Center, Sortation Center, and in Reverse Logistics with 6+ years of experience across Receive Dock, Decant, Waterspider, Stower, Picker, Count, Packer, SLAM Operator, Problem Solver, and Unloader roles

author image

Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

Figuring out how pay raises work at Amazon warehouses can be challenging due to the company's lack of a publicly accessible pay schedule.

Employees themselves have reported different experiences, with some receiving their first raises within a few months of starting, while others have had to wait over a year. There are also claims that the pay raise amount can vary significantly between individuals, with Amazon adjusting its compensation strategies periodically.

These unconfirmed inconsistencies, combined with Amazon’s continued covertness, leave many prospective and current employees uncertain about their potential for pay growth.

Fortunately, the confusion ends here. The following guide offers clarity on Amazon's pay raise schedule – including the frequency and size of raises, as well as the criteria used to determine them. You’ll also find advice on how to potentially improve your chances of qualifying for a raise. 

Do Amazon warehouse employees get pay raises?

Amazon warehouses do indeed raise their employees' base hourly wages from time to time. The pay raises are permanent – unlike bonuses – and applied sequentially at different intervals through an employee’s career journey.

The company has, over the years, been making wage adjustments in response to public advocacy, labor market trends, and internal assessments of employee satisfaction and productivity rates. Amazon's analysis suggests that higher wages lead to greater operational efficiency. They noted it reduces their employee turnover, improves job satisfaction, and enhances productivity due to a more stable and experienced workforce.

Amazon also actively participates in broader discussions about wage standards in the labor market. The company publicly advocates for raising the federal minimum wage, thus influencing labor policies beyond its immediate operational needs.

Higher base pay rates over time

In recent years, Amazon has steadily increased the base pay for its fulfillment and operations roles – with the average hourly rate now exceeding $20.50. This represents a cumulative wage growth of 50% in five years, driven by Amazon's initiative to attract and retain a competent and committed workforce. 

However, the rate and frequency of pay raises are not uniform across the board. They vary by role, geographic location, seniority level, period of employment, and individual performance – with entry-level warehouse associates now starting at $17 to $28 per hour. 

The company sets its pay policies after analyzing labor market trends, competitor wage practices, and internal metrics on employee performance and retention. It also considers the availability of labor and the unemployment rates within its warehouse localities. Calculated pay adjustments are then made to keep Amazon competitive in the job market, thereby attracting the much-needed workforce ahead of its peak operational periods.

Hourly wage increase 

Amazon's methodology for adjusting hourly wages takes into account the cost of living across different regions. Each area has its unique pay index, sufficient to keep the company competitive and appealing as a local employer.

For instance, warehouse employees in Washington might receive a $2.00 hourly increase because the state ranks high on the cost of living index. In contrast, their counterparts in Colorado may receive a more modest raise of $0.20, while areas with already competitive wage rates could be excluded entirely from the pay raises.  

That said, Amazon's pay raise strategy is likely to continue evolving into the future in response to external market pressures, internal performance metrics, and strategic business objectives. 

How often does Amazon raise warehouse pay? 

Amazon has established a precedent for reviewing and potentially increasing wages at least once every year, but it doesn’t follow a regular schedule. The dates vary considerably from one warehouse location to another, with the busiest cities often getting pay raises more frequently than peri-urban locations. 

In the past year alone, the company has reportedly invested $1.3 billion in pay raises for its customer fulfillment and operations staff based in U.S. warehouses. 

Do earnings increase after 90 days of employment?

It’s possible to get a pay raise after just 90 days of working. But, don’t wait on it, as such opportunities are rare and available in only a handful of locations. 

The decision is often at the discretion of your warehouse management, depending on the strategic objectives of the facility, the available budget allocations for payroll increases, and the area’s operational demands. 

In facilities where raises are given after 90 days, the amount is fairly modest. Workers might see an increase ranging from USD 25 cents to 70 cents per hour. This is meant to recognize and reward new employees' contributions without overstretching the company’s payroll.

Employees uncertain about their location’s pay raise schedule should consult directly with the HR department. This is the most reliable way to obtain up-to-date and accurate information about potential wage increases and the conditions under which they might be granted.

Should you expect a raise after 6 months?

If you fail to get a pay raise after three months, there’s a fair chance that it may come at your six-month anniversary or thereabout. A number of warehouses reportedly offer their associates an hourly pay increase of $0.25 to $0.30 after clocking 180 days on the job. 

This only happens occasionally, though. Buildings often delay the offering for much longer, with most choosing to wait until their workers have served the company for close to a year or so. 

Amazon’s step plans for increasing warehouse wages

Many warehouses now follow structured step plans that lay out potential wage increases at set intervals of an employee’s tenure (usually annually). However, the details of the step plans – including their terms and timing of implementation – differ from one facility to another.

Once the said plans have been established, their schedules are never static. Amazon warehouses may still adjust them occasionally, often in response to external factors such as changes in labor laws. In regions where the minimum wages are expected to increase, for instance, Amazon may preemptively revise its pay rates upwards. That would, in turn, have a significant impact on the perceived value of its scheduled pay raises. 

Amazon’s pay raises in 2022 for Warehouse staff

In October 2022, Amazon announced a substantial increase in the starting pay for its warehouse and delivery staff, raising the average wage from $18 to more than $19 per hour. The hourly rates were set between $16 and $26, depending on role and geographical location. 

This entire initiative was part of a $10 billion investment by Amazon, meant to progressively grow its warehouse job benefits and earnings over five years. By doing so, the company hoped to increasingly attract and retain employees against growing pressure from a tight labor market and peak season demands. 

The pay raises were strategically announced just before the busy holiday season, thus helping Amazon strengthen its labor force in anticipation of heightened demand.

The 2022 compensation review also extended beyond the warehouse floor to include managerial positions within Amazon’s logistics network. Their raises varied in magnitude, with some managerial staff receiving increases in the range of 5.5% to double-digit percentages. The allocations considered factors like performance metrics, job location, gender, and managerial level (L4, L5, etc). 

Amazon warehouse pay hikes for 2023

In 2023, Amazon proceeded to build on its previous year's initiatives for U.S. front-line employees in customer fulfillment and transportation roles. The average starting pay was raised from $19 to $20.50 per hour, with the additional funds coming from the same $10 billion investment kitty that was rolled over to the new year.  

With that adjusted rate, Amazon ultimately sealed the 50% pay raise it had initiated five years earlier. Regions with the highest cost of living saw their warehouse workers starting with hourly rates as high as $28, with possible signing bonuses of up to $3,000, These combined pay raise strategies have seemingly paid off quite handsomely in the labor market, as the company is reportedly retaining top talent, transitioning seasonal employees into permanent roles, and maintaining a consistent stream of job applications for full-time and part-time warehouse roles

Previously, Amazon was struggling with an extremely high employee turnover rate of 150% per year. An internal memo from 2022 indicated that the company risked depleting its labor pool by 2024, particularly in major metropolitan areas. Amazon has since amended its operational strategies, with pay rises for entry-level workers contributing immensely to the company’s growth. 

Tips for raising your Amazon warehouse pay rates

To increase the likelihood and scale of pay raises at Amazon, we’d recommend following these strategies while performing your warehouse duties:

  • Get Converted: The transition from seasonal (white badge) to permanent (blue badge) status typically comes with an instant pay increase. Plus, it opens avenues for further promotions and departmental transfers, each accompanied by potential wage raises. If you join Amazon on a temporary contract, you can position yourself for a permanent role by maintaining high productivity, complying with safety protocols, being punctual, networking with managers, and attending training programs.
  • Expand Your Skills for Specialized Roles: Amazon values employees who take initiative in their professional development. So, try to participate in Amazon’s training programs and maybe use them to secure certifications relevant to specialized roles within the company. Such positions tend to offer much higher pay than entry-level warehouse jobs
  • Capitalize on Supplementary Benefits and Earning Opportunities: Beyond the hourly wage, Amazon offers extra earning opportunities through bonuses, Voluntary Extra Time (VET), overtime shifts, and differential pay for less desirable warehouse shifts. Start by familiarizing yourself with the eligibility criteria and application processes for Amazon’s job benefits. Then actively seek and take advantage of any new earning opportunities that arise in your area.  
  • Account for Regional Pay Differences: Pay scales at Amazon are diverse across different regions, driven by variances in the cost of living and local minimum wage laws. If you can relocate, try finding Amazon locations with comparatively higher pay scales and correspondingly low living costs. You may also prioritize areas with the strongest labor protections – such as California’s overtime pay regulations. For those unable to relocate, consider exploring secondary pay opportunities like overtime shifts
  • Cultivate Strong Relationships with HR and Management: Regularly engage with managers to discuss your performance, career aspirations, and compensation goals. Clearly articulate your career ambitions within Amazon and ask for feedback on how to achieve them. You’ll come off as a highly committed individual, thereby setting yourself apart as a prime candidate for future promotions and raises.

Get started

Can you see yourself as an Amazonian? Apply now to a position near you.

Keep Learning...