Last Updated on 2024-02-22

Breakdown of Shift Differential Pay at Amazon Warehouse

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

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Ozy Watson

T1 Asssociate with 1+ year of experience working in the Unloader, Scanner, Stager, Stower, Picker, Inducter, Pusher, Diverter, and Pick-to-Buffer roles

As an Amazon warehouse employee, you may be entitled to additional pay, known as differential pay, depending on what shift days and shift times you work. Certain shifts have additional hourly premiums for those who work them to incentivize associates to take less desirable shifts.

In this post, we will take a deep dive into how the shift differential works at Amazon warehouses. If you are looking for a higher level breakdown on pay at Amazon Warehouse, read our full post on that.

What is a shift differential?

Shift differential is an additional hourly compensation amount (on top of the base hourly rate) given to associates who work certain shifts. Shift differential is given to incentivize employees to work less desirable shifts, such as night shifts or weekend shifts. It is available for all types of warehouse employees - Fulfillment Center (FC) associates, Sortation Center (SC) associates, and Delivery Station (DS) associates.

What is premium pay?

Premium pay is not the same as shift differential; however, shift differential is one type of premium pay. Premium pay is a category that includes all types of pay over your base rate. This includes shift differential, overtime pay, holiday pay, and the additional hourly rate attached to some Voluntary Extra Time (VET) shifts. 

Does Amazon offer shift differential pay?

Yes. Currently, Amazon offers shift differentials for early morning shifts, night shifts, and weekend shifts. Please refer to our full post on Amazon Warehouse shifts to learn more about how shifts works at Amazon. 

The typical amount for a shift differential is anywhere between $0.50/hr to $3.00/hr, depending on your location and the site you’re applying to. Different sites can have completely different shift differential amounts- there is no set amount across the board. 

The amount each site is willing to give depends on how badly that site needs workers for a given shift type. For example, a site with a shortage of employees willing to work nights may offer a $2.50 night shift differential.

Working a shift that gives a shift differential is a great and profitable option for those who don’t mind working night or weekend shifts. Note that your shift differential will still apply even when you’re working VET shifts outside of your normal schedule.

When searching for open positions at Amazon, the shift differential amount (if any) will be visible on the job details page. We will go into how to find positions with a specific shift differential in more detail at the end of this post.

Base Pay vs. Shift Differential

Your shift differential is not a part of your base pay - they are two different things. The shift differential is an additional $0.50-$3.00/hr that you receive for each hour worked if you’re scheduled to work certain kinds of shifts. 

While working overtime or holidays, your shift differential also receives the 1.5x overtime multiplier along with your base pay. For example, if your base pay is $20.00 and your shift differential is $1.00 for a total hourly rate of $21.00, your overtime base pay will be $30.00 and your overtime shift differential will be $1.50 for a total hourly overtime rate of $31.50.

While your base pay may increase over time (as a part of your step plan, as a part of manual raises, or due to a promotion), your shift differential will not change unless you switch to a different schedule or your site adjusts shift differential amounts.

Which shifts have a shift differential?

If you want a position with a shift differential, you should choose a shift that works nights, early mornings, or weekends. These are the only three shift types that currently receive shift differentials.

Night shifts

Night shifts are the most likely shift type to have a shift differential, and generally have the highest shift differential amount. Almost all night shifts have a shift differential. Many sites struggle to recruit associates willing to work night shift, therefore strong incentives are needed to fill the roles.

Early morning shifts 

Early morning shifts are similar to night shifts in terms of shift differential availability and amount, except they generally have a slightly lower shift differential than night shifts at the same site.

Weekend shifts

Weekend shifts also almost always have a shift differential. The shift differential amounts for working weekend shifts are usually slightly less than night shifts or early morning shifts, but are still substantial. Recruiting associates willing to work weekends is similarly challenging to night shifts, making weekend shift differentials a common incentive also.

Changes in Amazon’s shift differentials over time

While base pay is often increased to keep up with rising wages, shift differential amounts don’t increase year-over-year in the same linear way. Sites may adjust the amount of shift differential they are willing to give for each shift type due to changes in associate availability, but the shift differential amounts that are available to be given out ($0.50 to $3.00) are fixed and do not increase.

Maximizing shift differential pay

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot that can be done to increase your shift differential pay. The shift differential amount that is advertised on the Amazon Jobs position listing is non-negotiable. The best way to get the highest possible shift differential is to pick a night shift that works Saturdays and Sundays. If there are multiple Amazon sites in your area, you may also want to compare job postings - shift differential amounts vary by site depending on each site’s needs. 

How to find positions with a shift differential

While searching for jobs on the Amazon Jobs hiring platform, a “Premium Pay” banner will show on the bottom of the icon for the position listing if the position has shifts available with a shift differential.

After selecting a position that has shifts with a shift differential available, you’ll be prompted to select a shift. Shifts with a “Premium Pay” banner in the top right corner of the shift listing have a shift differential.

After selecting a shift, you’ll be brought to a page that shows the full shift information, including the shift differential amount. The shift differential amount is shown as “Premium Pay” directly below the base pay rate.

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