Last Updated on 2024-02-26

How Long Amazon’s Seasonal Positions Keep You Employed [2024]

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

author image

Shane Lynch

T1 Asssociate with experience working both a Delivery Station and Sortation Center working in the XL Associate, Receive Dock, Waterspider, Picker, Problem Solver, and Packer 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

Vaughn Winslow

One year of experience working in an Amazon XL warehouse

author image

Davis Porter

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

Among Amazon’s seasonal job offerings, warehouse positions stand out for the mutual benefits they deliver to both employees and the company.

For individuals, seasonal warehouse placements offer decent job security, employment benefits, and consistent pay without the long-term commitment required by permanent roles. The opportunities are also diverse and many happen to be exceedingly accommodative – with options for anyone looking to start a new career, rejoin the workforce, or advance professionally. 

On Amazon's end, the short-term warehouse hires help it sustain increased logistical demands without committing to the overhead of full-time staff. Seasonal warehouse workers are normally brought in to reinforce the company’s order processing capabilities during peak shopping periods. 

In this guide, we examine those seasonal Amazon warehouse jobs in detail to provide clarity on the terms and timings of engagement. We’ll tell you when you might be hired by Amazon warehouses , how long seasonal jobs last at Amazon, and what to expect at the end of the short-term warehouse contract. 

What time of the year are seasonal Amazon warehouse jobs offered?

While Amazon recruits seasonal warehouse workers all year round, it typically ramps up hiring between August and October. The timing is strategic to prepare for the busy shopping period from October to January, which is when Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas occur. 

You’ll also notice an increase in job postings between March and June, with new Amazon warehouse hires coming in to support the e-commerce giant through its sales surges around July’s Prime Day. 

James Enright , who’s now an L5 Amazon warehouse employee after six years with the platform, explains that their center will be doing such a recruitment exercise in September, ahead of the year’s second Prime Day in October.

The number of openings is never constant, though. Amazon has progressively expanded its seasonal workforce to address the ever-rising holiday shopping rush. In 2023 , for instance, they reportedly set a new precedent with over 250,000 seasonal recruits – up from the 150,000 hired during the 2022 holidays and 2021’s 125,000. 

To seamlessly integrate all those hires into its operations, Amazon kicks off the exercise well in advance of the peak season. Prospective seasonal employees are encouraged to apply through Amazon's career page , which lists available job openings throughout the year. Mornings are considered the most opportune time to find and submit Amazon warehouse job applications, as new positions are frequently updated overnight.

How long does seasonal Amazon employment last?

Seasonal warehouse roles at Amazon are initially set to last from three to six months. This coincides with the company's busiest times – such as the holiday season, back-to-school sales, and Prime Day. 

The exact duration of employment is, however, not fixed. It varies extensively based on Amazon's operational needs and the employee's performance. This high level of flexibility allows the company to adapt to fluctuating consumer demands while, at the same time, offering seasonal workers opportunities for extended employment.

The hiring process itself takes about two to three weeks on average, during which time you’ll be subjected to a background check . Upon confirming that your application meets the job requirements , the company will offer you a short-term job contract. You can then expect to work for about 30 to 35 hours per week, though this may be adjusted based on your building’s needs and job requirements.

As you fulfill your duties, Amazon will track your job performance and attendance. If your metrics turn out to be exemplary, the company might consider extending the employment contract. Some may be offered an extension of up to 90 days, with the best performers immediately converting from seasonal warehouse roles to permanent employment

According to James , “If they’re in good standing after working for six months, Amazon may automatically convert them to blue badge.” 

In his workplace, high-performing seasonal workers have been transitioning right away after their short-term stints. There are reportedly no seasonal contract extensions there, as he explains, “We'll convert those employees before we try to extend their temp status.”

That’s not always the case in Vaughn Winslow’s area of operation. While he hasn’t been around as long as James, he confirms that he’s already heard of seasonal workers occasionally scoring contract extensions of up to three months (30 months).  

How to confirm your seasonal employment term

Amazon's job listings for seasonal warehouse positions provide an overview of the role  – including its responsibilities and shifts – but often do not specify employment duration. Candidates are usually in the dark through their initial application stages, where they choose their job type, schedule, and location. 

It’s only after you’ve advanced to the job offer stage of the Amazon warehouse application that you get to confirm the duration of employment. You’ll receive a contingent offer from Amazon, outlining the expected employment period. If you accept, the position is reserved until you’ve completed and passed the Amazon background check. 

How does Amazon let go of its seasonal warehouse workers? 

Amazon maintains stringent policies regarding employee conduct and performance. Failing to meet productivity targets, safety violations, attendance issues, or engaging in prohibited activities like theft or fighting can lead to the termination of your seasonal employment. 

However, you can challenge your dismissal through Amazon’s appeal process. The company may reverse the decision if you convincingly demonstrate wrongful termination. 

For seasonal Amazon warehouse workers who are otherwise looking to resign, the platform offers several departure avenues. You can tender your resignation via the Amazon A-to-Z app or by contacting the local HR office. While the traditional two-week notice is not required, it’s highly recommended for anyone who wishes to leave on good terms.  

High-performing workers, on the other hand, are often retained well beyond their initial contract periods. Some are given direct offers to convert from seasonal to permanent employment, while others are encouraged to apply for long-term roles from the Amazon job board. 

Amazon is also known to lay off its staff from time to time, as James Enright explains. “If a warehouse building expands its workforce and then sees a drastic reduction in volume much earlier than anticipated, Amazon may proceed to lay off groups of white badges.” 

Can former seasonal hires reapply for Amazon Warehouse roles?

Yes. Amazon allows former employees – including seasonal workers – to reapply for positions within the company. The reapplication process considers the candidate's employment history at Amazon to determine their eligibility for rehire. 

Prospects are qualified based on past job performance and attendance records, as well as how they previously withdrew from the company. Priority often goes to employees who completed their seasonal terms without policy violations and left in good standing. Candidates who were otherwise terminated for policy or performance issues may need to wait at least 90 days before reapplying. 

Does Amazon drug test seasonal warehouse workers?

Amazon conducts pre-employment drug tests for all warehouse positions, including seasonal roles. This is part of its zero-tolerance drug policy, which is meant to safeguard workplace safety and productivity. 

Drug testing is usually done at the final stages of the hiring process . According to Vaughn , candidates submit their saliva samples on site through mouth swabs, which are then sent off to third-party screening labs for processing.  They check for traces of substances like opiates, Methamphetamine, cocaine, and Phencyclidine (PCP).  The results are ultimately relayed to Amazon to inform its decisions on each candidate's job eligibility. 

It’s worth noting that Amazon no longer tests for THC,” adds Shane Lynch , an Amazon L1 associate experienced with delivery station and sortation center operations. Marijuana screening, as he explains, is only done on yard-certified positions.  

The checks don’t end there, though. Amazon is also known to perform post-hiring drug tests. They are performed randomly on both seasonal and permanent employees, as a measure for upholding its strict drug-free policy. 

My building checks a handful of employees a month,” confirms James . “The tests are completely random and they’re administered across all warehouse job levels.”

Failing a drug test may mean disqualification for job candidates or termination for current employees. You can, however, reapply for the seasonal role after 120 days. 

Part-time seasonal vs part-time permanent employment

Amazon warehouses offer two primary types of part-time employment – seasonal and permanent. Both accommodate individuals seeking flexible work hours, with schedules typically ranging from 20 to 29 hours weekly, depending on the company’s operational needs. 

Part-time permanent employees are entitled to a comprehensive benefits package – with health insurance (medical, dental, vision), a 401(k) plan, paid time off (up to 44 hours for personal and vacation use), commuter benefits, Amazon Prime discounts, flexible spending accounts, and various insurance options. They also have access to the Career Choice program, which pre-pays up to 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields.

In contrast, part-time seasonal employees receive a more abbreviated benefits package. Although they can participate in the 401(k) plan and receive Amazon Prime discounts, their access to health insurance and paid time off is limited. Seasonal Amazon warehouse workers only get an hour of PTO for every 40 or so hours worked annually.

Both Shane and Vaughn corroborate that ratio, with James adding that while the rates can vary slightly by location, they always fall within the 1:40 ballpark. 

With all these factors considered, it’s evident that permanent part-time positions offer greater job security and opportunities for growth within the company. Seasonal part-time roles, in contrast, provide a convenient entry point into Amazon, without the guarantee of long-term employment.

When does Amazon pay seasonal warehouse employees?

Seasonal warehouse employees are paid on the same schedule as their permanent counterparts. Amazon releases earnings every week, depositing them into employees' linked bank accounts on Fridays. While the exact time of crediting may vary by the employee’s bank, the regular payment cycle provides a steady income flow for better financial planning and stability. 

In case of any financial emergency, you can alternatively process your payment withdrawals through the “Anytime Pay” feature. It grants all hourly employees (both permanent and seasonal) access to up to 75% of their earned wages immediately after their shift. The funds are deposited instantly into a Wisely Pay card. 

Get Started

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

Keep Learning...