Amazon Truck Driver careers

Truck Driving For Amazon Guide

Every day, Amazon ships and delivers millions of packages. Think about the vast infrastructure necessary to make all of those deliveries on time. That means that Amazon has a constant need for truck drivers.

How do you become a truck driver for Amazon? What types of Amazon truck driver positions are there? And will Amazon pay for your CDL? These are all questions we will answer in our Amazon truck driver guide.

Why Become an Amazon Truck Driver?

Here are a few reasons to start driving for Amazon:

  • Consistent work: Amazon is one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world, and there is no shortage of demand for skilled drivers to deliver Amazon freight.
  • Flexibility: As you will discover in the next section, there are a few different ways to drive a truck for Amazon. It is up to you whether you want to bring your own truck or drive one of Amazon’s branded trucks. You also can decide whether you want to be an Amazon employee, or if you prefer to run your own business as an owner-operator and simply accept loads from Amazon for transport.
  • Low entry barriers: You do not need a large amount of time or money to become an Amazon truck driver, nor do you need to earn a degree. You just need to take a truck driving course and get your CDL. And as you will learn momentarily, Amazon can even pay for your training.
  • Competitive pay: Amazon pays its truck drivers well, whether they are part of the Freight program or the Relay program. If you drive efficiently, you should be able to pull in a solid income. As an example, let’s say you join the Freight program at Amazon as an owner-operator. Amazon estimates that the annual profit potential can range anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000. That is what you get to take home; the annual revenue can be up to $3.5M!
  • Adventure: Becoming an Amazon truck driver is your chance to hit the open road every day, enjoying the scenery while you earn your pay.
amazon freight partner

Below are the programs that allow you to drive for Amazon. For truck drivers, the relevant programs are Amazon Relay and Amazon Freight. We are also going to talk about DSP just so you know what it is (and isn’t).

Amazon Relay

Amazon Relay is a program for third-party carriers doing long hauls.

Basically, if you are an owner-operator and you want to work with Amazon rather than for Amazon, you can join the Amazon Relay program.

Through Amazon Relay, you can access the Amazon Relay Load Board to find jobs. You also can post your own idle trucks and let Amazon Relay reach out to you with jobs directly.

To participate in Amazon Relay, you have to bring your own vehicle(s).

Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP is short for “Delivery Service Partners.” This is also a program for third-party carriers, but specifically for those doing local deliveries in Amazon delivery vans.

To drive for Amazon DSP, you can bring your own vehicles or lease Amazon-branded delivery vans.

We are not focusing on DSP in this post, but mentioning DSP is necessary to add context. A lot of people mix up Relay and DSP, referring to the programs interchangeably, even though they are different from one another.

Plus, Amazon Freight (see below) has some similarities with DSP, so it was worth bringing up for that reason as well.

While we are at it, we will also mention that there is a program to drive for Amazon called Flex, but that is for gig work making drop-offs in your own regular vehicle. We will not be discussing Flex in this post.

Amazon Freight

Like Relay and DSP, Amazon Freight is also a program for drivers. But it combines features of the DSP and Relay programs.

  • Like Relay drivers, Amazon Freight partners do long-distance deliveries in trucks.
  • Like DSP drivers, Amazon Freight partners do not need to bring their own vehicles. They can lease Amazon-branded trucks.

It should be noted that many Amazon Freight Partners are actually Amazon employees, rather than being independent contractors.

That means that you will receive a W-2 and full benefits, just as you would if you were working in any other Amazon department. Freight Partner benefits include daily home time, drop-and-hook freight, healthcare and paid time off.

On some Freight Partner pages, however, Amazon discusses growing your own business as a Freight Partner with low start-up costs. So, it appears that some Freight Partners also work as independent contractors leasing Amazon trucks.

Routes to Becoming an Amazon Driver

Now you have an understanding of the various driver programs at Amazon. But how do you actually become an Amazon truck driver?

Well, if you have your own truck and you already have your CDL and know what you are doing, you could apply directly for the Amazon Relay program. But if you do not have your own truck yet and/or you still need your CDL, you will need to pick a different route to becoming a truck driver with Amazon. Let’s go over your options.

Amazon CDL Driver Academy

(via Amazon Freight Partner)

One option is to go through the Amazon CDL Driver Academy, which is part of the Amazon Freight Partner program. Not only will Amazon pay for your CDL through this program, but Amazon drivers will handle your training.

Amazon explains:

Led by experienced truck driving instructors, many with a million or more safe driving miles, this tuition-free training program allows you to earn a paycheck while you learn at an Amazon Freight Partner-affiliated training school. Whether you need to earn your Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL-A) or gain more experience on the road, Amazon CDL Driver Academy puts your truck driving career in high gear.”

Through the Amazon CDL Driver Academy, you can participate in:

  • Sponsored CDL-A training
  • Finishing Program
  • On the Job Training

You can find full details on each of these at the Amazon Freight Partner webpage dedicated to the program.

What is really exciting about completing this program is that you will immediately be eligible to receive an Amazon Freight Partner employment offer.

If you scroll to the bottom of that page, you can find out what trainee jobs are available in your location.

What we have been discussing in this section is the program aimed at those who want to transition into employment as truck drivers for Amazon.

If you want to start your own business as a Freight Partner, there is a training program available for that as well with a Business Coach.

Amazon Career Choice

While many Amazon truck drivers got started through the Amazon CDL Driver Academy, this company provides another inroad to becoming a driver: Amazon Career Choice.

You can take advantage of the Amazon Career Choice program if you are already employed at the company as a qualified associate.

Amazon Career Choice is an employment benefit. The company explains, “Our goal is to meet individual learners where they are on their educational journey through a variety of education and skills training opportunities.”

Career Choice can help with any of the following:

  • Training in English language proficiency
  • Training in foundational skills (i.e. getting your GED)
  • Working toward an academic certificate
  • Working toward an academic degree
  • Career services (i.e. coaching and advising)
  • “Specially curated programs” for “in-demand jobs.”

One of the “in-demand job” fields that Career Choice mentions on its official website is transportation. Amazon partners with a number of approved schools and training programs. So long as you are going through one of Amazon’s approved partners for your CDL training, then you may be eligible for assistance through your Career Choice benefit.

Roadmaster Drivers School explains:

If you wish to pursue a truck driving or other in-demand career, then you can receive full or partial tuition assistance through this unique program. As long as your program is covered under their in-demand careers like truck drivers are, then your program may qualify.”

Because Roadmaster is covered as part of Amazon Career Choice, the benefits cover 100% of your tuition at this program.

If you wanted to attend a different school that wasn’t fully covered, that is a situation where you might only qualify for partial assistance. So, it makes sense to go through the Roadmaster program, as that will save you the most money and simplify getting your benefits to work for you.

What Eligibility Criteria Do You Need to Meet for Roadmaster Through Amazon Career Choice?

If you want Amazon to cover 100% of your CDL training at Roadmaster through the Career Choice program, here are the qualifications you need to meet:

  • You need to be an hourly employee at Amazon.
  • You must have worked as an Amazon employee for a minimum of 90 days.

Can you participate in the Roadmaster program through Amazon Career Choice if you are a salaried employee? Unfortunately, no, not at this time. The benefit is only available to hourly workers at the company.

If you participate in CDL training through Roadmaster, you will get plenty of practice behind the wheel, and also learn about inspections, hooking and unhooking, trip planning and more.

At the end of the course, you will be able to apply for your CDL. Roadmaster offers job placement services too. Of course, you already know you want to work for or with Amazon. So, at that point, it makes sense to see if you can transfer into the Freight program and/or start accepting jobs off the Relay board.

Start Your Journey Toward Becoming an Amazon Truck Driver

Whether you are interested in the Amazon CDL Driver Academy or Amazon Career Choice, this company provides a lot of flexibility for those looking to embark on a career as an Amazon truck driver. Visit the pages we linked to in this post for more information about Amazon’s programs for truckers.