Last Updated on 2024-01-02

The 9 Amazon Warehouse Job Requirements - Updated For 2024

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

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Davis Porter

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

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Jesse Gauthier

T1 Associate with two years of experience working in the Packer, Problem Solver, and Scanner roles

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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

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Dustin Stowell

T2 in a Sortation Center with 3+ years of experience working in the Problem Solver, Scanner, Stager, Picker, Stower, Waterspider, Material Handler, and Unloader roles


The e-commerce boom, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, has dramatically increased the demand for efficient warehouse operations. At the forefront is Amazon, whose extensive network of warehouses is constantly on the lookout for new associates to help in the management of the company's vast inventory and orders.   

This post zeroes in on the general requirements for all those Amazon warehouse jobs. Their criteria fall into two categories –the official, non-negotiable prerequisites set by Amazon, and the unofficial, desirable attributes that could potentially boost your chances of getting hired and doing well on the job.

Here’s a snapshot of both –

Official:

  • The obvious: Amazon must be actively hiring in your area
  • Minimum age of 18.
  • Proof of legal work authorization.
  • At least a high school diploma or equivalent.
    • Relevant work experience may be a substitute for formal education.
  • Background check evaluation of past convictions, particularly serious offenses.
  • Verification of past employment and educational credentials for senior roles.
  • Pre-employment and post-incident drug tests.
  • Complete orientation program on safety protocols and equipment usage.

Unofficial:

  • Ability to lift and move heavy packages (up to 49 pounds).
  • Stamina for handling a high volume of items and walking long distances.
  • Mental fortitude for a high-pressure, fast-paced environment.
  • Proficiency in warehouse management systems and handheld scanners for pickers.
  • Knowledge of packaging machinery and dispatch systems for packers.
  • Advanced understanding of inventory management software for inventory managers.
  • Ability to withstand loud noises for extended periods. 
  • Workplace flexibility. You may be moved between different stations and/or roles. 

Official Amazon warehouse job requirements

#1 Amazon is actively hiring near you

The journey to getting hired by an Amazon Warehouse starts with the simple question of whether or not there are open roles. 

For people who investigate and discover that nearby warehouses are fully staffed, or maybe Amazon is only hiring for more senior or specialized roles, this may not be the best guide for you. Review our guide on when Amazon Warehouse hires new workers .

If you’ve checked and confirmed that Amazon is indeed hiring for entry level roles - like fulfillment center associates , sortation center associates , or delivery station associates - then read on to understand whether you might qualify.

To work at Amazon, you must be at least 18 years old – a standard that’s consistent across all the countries it operates. 

Every warehouse associate candidate must provide proof of legal authorization to work. Accepted documents include personal identity and work authorization papers – such as a passport, national ID, or work visa. 

“In the US, for instance, all applicants must fill out a Form I-9 to verify their identity and work authorization,” advises Ozy Watson , who’s worked in a San Francisco warehouse for a little over one and a half years. 

He then adds, “They’re also required to present acceptable work authorization documentation. Some examples include a Social Security card, a U.S. passport, a U.S. birth certificate, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or a Permanent Resident card (green card).”

Amazon has further set up a Welcome Door program, which extends support to refugees and humanitarian-based immigrants in the US. It offers EAD renewal fee reimbursement and a Citizenship Assistance Portal, through which you can apply for a legal work permit. 

The company is even willing to work with non-native English speakers. If accepted, such applicants could use Amazon’s English as a Second Language (ESL) resources to gradually improve their workplace language skills.

Ozy confirms this, and clarifies, “Amazon provides a tuition payment benefit of to $5,250 per year – which can be used towards ESL classes, among other things. It’s known as the Career Choice program, and is open to all permanent employees once they reach their 90-day tenure.”

#3 Academic credentials

Amazon's warehouse roles usually require a minimum education level of a high school diploma or its equivalent. This baseline ensures that Amazon warehouse associates have the basic literacy and numeracy skills necessary for tasks like inventory tracking and order processing.

The platform’s educational requirements are not rigid, though. Ozy even describes them as “soft” or “non-strict” requirements, as candidates are rarely asked to present proof of eduction.

In some cases, years of relevant work experience in warehouse operations may compensate for the lack of formal education. Such flexibility allows Amazon to tap into a broader talent pool and leverage the practical skills and extensive knowledge that seasoned workers bring to the table.

Warehouse associates who otherwise possess additional certifications, degrees, or specialized training may find more opportunities for upward mobility, especially into roles that require more technical knowledge or leadership skills.

L3 roles such as Process Assistant (PA) generally require a high school diploma or GED,” explains Ozy . “What’s more, Amazon will need to verify the academic credentials,” he adds while emphasizing the stark contrast to L1 job applications. 

He then continues, “L4 roles, such as Area Manager, are more demanding. You’ll need either a bachelor’s degree or at least years of experience at Amazon.”

#4 Background check

Completing a background check is another compulsory Amazon warehouse job requirement. The platform collects your personal details and cross-references them with federal and state public databases to assess your criminal and employment history. Then with the findings, Amazon is able to gauge your character, reliability, and work ethic. 

The criminal history check focuses on past convictions, particularly those involving serious offenses like theft and violence. They’re not all treated the same, though. Instead, Amazon evaluates each case on its own merits, considering the nature of the offense, the time elapsed since it occurred, and any rehabilitation efforts.

Employment verification, on the other hand, covers your past job titles, durations of employment, and reasons for leaving previous positions.

In some senior warehouse roles, Amazon’s background checks may also extend to your educational credentials. It does so to verify that you possess the specialized qualifications or technical skills necessary for the job.

The period for the background check process can vary, but it normally takes about two weeks. During this time, Amazon may get in touch with you via email to request additional information or maybe provide updates regarding the status of your application. 

Once the background check results are in, they're assessed against the specific warehouse job requirements and Amazon's internal policies. Red flags that could impact your application include recent serious criminal offenses, a history of workplace misconduct, or major discrepancies in your provided information.

When the background check leads to a rejection, Amazon warehouse candidates are allowed to dispute inaccuracies. This involves obtaining a copy of the background check report, identifying errors, and providing corrected information for re-evaluation.

#5 Drug testing

Amazon conducts drug tests in two primary scenarios – pre-employment for new hires and post-incident for current employees. The latter occurs following a workplace accident or if there's reasonable suspicion of drug impairment.

In warehouse environments, where handling heavy machinery requires high alertness, drug impairment could otherwise pose a huge safety risk.

Amazon warehouse associates normally undergo screenings for multiple substances – including opiates, PCP, cocaine, and amphetamines. In some instances, such as applications for senior, corporate, or highly safely-sensitive roles, a more comprehensive 12-panel drug test is administered to detect additional substances like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, ecstasy/MDMA, and oxycodone/Percocet.

These drug testing procedures are usually conducted toward the end of the warehouse hiring process. The swab test is the most preferred option since it’s simple, inexpensive, and quick. Each sample can detect recent drug use, generally within the last 24 to 48 hours.

A positive test result could otherwise lead to the withdrawal of your Amazon warehouse job offer. Candidates are, however, allowed to reapply after 120 days – but the test records will be retained indefinitely and may influence future employment opportunities.

#6 Safety compliance

Amazon, facing close legal scrutiny from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the Department of Justice over safety concerns, has heightened its safety standards across all warehouses.

New hires now undergo an extensive induction program, which familiarizes them with warehouse safety protocols, emergency response procedures, and correct equipment usage.

Jesse Gauthier , who joined Amazon more than a year ago, testifies that the company demonstrates both what to do and what to avoid in its warehouses. He has also seen recruits being trained on key stretches they could do to avoid muscle fatigue at work.    

The same associates are required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during their shifts. Key items here include:

  • Gloves: To protect hands from cuts, abrasions, and harmful substances.
  • High-Vis Vests: To maintain visibility and prevent accidents. 
  • Safety Shoes: To safeguard feet from heavy objects, all associates are required to wear any of the approved pairs of safety shoes. Their toe caps are usually finished with either steel or composite material for added protection.
  • Hard Hat: These are normally issued to associates working on and around conveyors, mostly to protect them from any heavy items falling from the conveyor.  

The ecommerce giant has also established strict guidelines for operating warehouse machinery. Workers are required to complete certified training before they are allowed to handle equipment such as forklifts and pallet jacks. As for the operators, they must always conduct pre-operation checks, observe warehouse speed limits, and keep machinery in their designated lanes.

To prevent musculoskeletal injuries, which are pretty common in warehouses, Amazon further enforces rules on manual handling. You’re supposed to assess the weight of items before lifting, use ergonomic lifting techniques to minimize strain, and avoid overexertion. Team lifting is recommended for heavier items, and mechanical aids are provided for safe handling.

Regular participation in safety training sessions is also mandatory for all Amazon warehouse workers. The sessions cover a wide range of topics, from basic safety awareness to equipment handling techniques. 

Safety is indeed one of Amazon’s biggest priorities when managing warehouse operations,” agrees Jesse

New associates are given over eight hours of safety training, current employees get the same on a regular basis, and management is always looking for ways to make Amazon a safer place to work.” 

He further explains, “There’s even selected personnel on each site whose role is entirely dedicated to maintaining safety and preventing accidents. For example. you’ll find L4 Safety Specialists routinely walking around workstations to make sure everything is being operated in a manner that is consistent with Amazon’s safety policies.”

Unofficial Amazon warehouse job requirements 

There are also those “off-the-record” requirements that you won’t usually find in official job descriptions. They may not be compulsory, but your success on the job depends on them. 

Here are a few that seasoned Amazon workers swear by:

#7 Physical and mental capabilities

Amazon warehouse roles are physically demanding, often requiring workers to lift and move heavy packages that weigh up to 49 pounds. Associates are expected to handle a high volume of items per hour, with some quotas even surpassing 300. The tasks include sorting, stowing, and retrieving items throughout the expansive warehouse.

Those physical demands are further compounded by the sheer size of Amazon's warehouses, some of which are comparable to 14 football fields. Workers frequently walk an average of 10 miles daily and spend many hours on their feet, with limited breaks.

In addition to stamina and endurance, you’ll need the mental fortitude to thrive in such a high-pressure, fast-paced environment. 

These demands, however, don’t necessarily rule disabled people out of Amazon warehouse positions. You could still get hired into a permanent or seasonal associate role despite having disabilities. 

But, expect a slightly different recruitment process. “You must contact the DLS (Disability, Leave, and Accommodations) team,” clarifies Dustin Stowell , an Atlanta-based Amazon warehouse worker of three years. 

The department is based off-site, but you can access them online through the AtoZ app or website.” 

“The process can be lengthy, though” he cautions. “They’ll need your documentation and medical certification before the disability is considered. So, if you’re interested, you might want to apply ASAP.”

#8 Tech savviness

In Amazon's dynamic warehouse environment, employees are also expected to possess tech skills that are relevant to their roles. 

Pickers, for instance, rely on warehouse management systems and handheld scanners when it comes to locating items. Proficiency in such, combined with a mastery of the warehouse’s layout should therefore help them to accelerate order fulfillment and minimize errors. 

Packers, on the other hand, ought to know how to operate packaging machinery and dispatch systems in fulfillment centers . They often use label printers for labeling while scanning equipment facilitates accurate tracking.

For inventory managers, the technological requirements are much more advanced. They need a deep understanding of inventory management software to effectively track stock levels, forecast needs, and manage reordering processes. This goes particularly well with strong analytical skills. 

While you don’t need to have experience with these systems before starting the job, you’re expected to be tech-savvy enough to quickly ramp into using them.

#9 Quick Learning & Adaptability

Working at Amazon for the first time often means you’ll be learning many new skills in a short period of time. You need to be able to adjust quickly and fit into any new assignments that come your way.

For example, in just one work day or week, a Delivery Station associate could go from stowing packages to transferring them from the conveyor belt to a buffer shelf, inducting them into the system, unloading from inbound trucks, as well as sorting bagfuls onto carts to await loading to 

Quick decision-making skills will also help you keep up with the fluid workflows while managing items efficiently. 

Start your Amazon career

Whether you're just starting your career, seeking a change, or looking to re-enter the workforce, Amazon's diverse range of warehouse roles caters to a wide array of skills and experiences. Start your application today and open the door to a rewarding career path.

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