If you’re looking for an opportunity to trade your daily commute for a work-from-home gig, Amazon might seem like an ideal place to start your search. After all, the conventional wisdom is that the retail behemoth offers a plethora of remote entry-level jobs — including those for at-home phone and chat support agents.
Unfortunately, this is one situation where conventional wisdom doesn’t tell the whole story. While Amazon does occasionally hire for that type of role — recently bringing on thousands of remote workers across 18 states in a single hiring spree, for example — the vast majority of the company’s work-from-home opportunities are career-track positions that require an advanced degree like an MBA.
Think “Senior Cloud Service Delivery Manager” and “Global Account Solutions Architect” rather than “Chat Support Agent.”
That said, a limited number of entry-level Amazon work from home jobs do exist, and they usually only require a high school diploma. In this post, we’ll explain what those jobs entail and how you can find them.
Amazon Virtual Call Center/Chat Support Agents
Virtual call center and chat support agents help customers with problems like missing, damaged or late orders; provide support to Amazon delivery drivers who are lost or missing a package; and provide support to Amazon’s third-party marketplace sellers.
However, these positions are relatively rare. The bulk of the opportunities open up around the holiday shopping season, and they’re usually temporary openings.
Outside of that timeframe, Amazon has a history of hiring for this role in batches. So, one good strategy is to set up a Google alert for phrases like “Amazon is hiring remote workers.” You’ll then get notified whenever there’s a press release or a news story about a new hiring spree.
Otherwise, you’ll have to check the Amazon virtual jobs page on a regular basis, as there’s no way to request notifications about new openings.
Also, note that while these are at-home positions, employees are usually required to live in specific states and have to attend on-site training before starting the job.
Other options: While landing an Amazon customer service job might be hard, there are plenty of other companies that hire at-home phone and chat agents.
Required Skills and Experience
As noted above, you typically only need a high school diploma to land this job (although a college degree is preferred). To qualify, you’ll also need both a landline telephone (to ensure call quality) and a high-speed internet connection.
Applicants should be familiar with online shopping, plus have basic computer skills including Microsoft Office, email, and virtual chat technology. Experience as a work-from-home customer service agent is preferred.
Applicants also have to pass an assessment test and criminal background check, because some positions give agents access to sensitive customer information.
One perk is that as an Amazon customer service agent, you’re considered an Amazon employee rather than a contract worker (as is the case for many virtual jobs). That means you may be eligible for certain benefits, depending on how many hours you work.
Schedule and Pay
These are largely part-time positions, requiring 20 to 29 hours per week. However, employees must be available full-time, up to 40 hours per week, during the holiday shopping season in November and December. Vacations are not approved during peak season and employees are required to work on holidays. If you’re a student, Amazon will try to work around your school schedule.
Employees in the United States are paid about $15 per hour, with the opportunity to earn performance-based bonuses and perks (including an employee discount). Shifts include days, evenings, weekends, and sometimes overtime. Employees become eligible for medical benefits after 90 days.
How to Apply
Those interested in applying for a position as an Amazon work from home call center agent can browse the job listings here.
If you find an opening, click on the job you want to apply for and read the full description; they often have specific eligibility criteria that isn’t immediately obvious (such as only being open to residents of a particular state).
You’ll need to create an account that’s separate from the Amazon account you shop with. Once you’ve created an account, you can complete the online application.
If selected for an interview, you’ll be required to take multiple assessments — one of which lasts about 30 minutes and involves reacting to situations you’ll encounter in the position.
Other Amazon Work-From-Home Jobs
If you’re looking for a career with Amazon rather than a part-time gig, but you still want to work from home, there are many opportunities.
For example, while you might think any position relating to human resources would have to be done on-site, Amazon frequently offers remote HR positions such as benefits support specialists, technical recruiters, and senior human resource investigators.
Amazon employs around 750,000 people, so its HR team must be fully qualified. At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and six years of experience. For managerial positions, you’ll also need at least one year of experience in a supervisory role.
Another example is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the company’s cloud computing unit. AWS often hires for remote healthcare tech positions, which are roles that conduct medical research, run hospital systems, and provide high-level tech support to medical schools that use the company’s products.
I’ve included these jobs as examples of the type of career-track positions you can find with the company. Obviously, the specific opportunities change constantly.
That said, if you have at least a bachelor’s degree with a little bit of professional experience, you may be able to find something that allows you to work from home while staying in your current field.
Further reading: The best legit online jobs that pay $50,000+ from home.
More Ways to Make Money from Home With Amazon
While finding an actual work-from-home position with Amazon can be a challenge, there are a number of other ways to make money with or via the company.
- Sell items: Many of the products sold on Amazon are listed by private, third-party sellers rather than by Amazon itself. One of the best ways to sell on the site is by leveraging the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program, which allows you to ship products to the company and have them handle the storage, packing, and order fulfillment. Check out our complete guide to making money as an FBA seller, which goes into detail about the different ways to succeed with the program.
- MTurk: MTurk pays users for doing micro-tasks like moderating content, answering survey questions, and verifying information. Businesses post tasks to the site and users select the ones they want to complete. You’ll be paid in cash through Amazon Payments or with Amazon gift cards, although it’s worth noting that pay rates can be depressingly low.
- Amazon Associates: Bloggers make money through Amazon via its affiliate marketing program. Simply put, when a customer buys a product on Amazon after clicking a link on your blog, you get a cut of that sale. It can be a lucrative way to monetize online content, and if you’re interested in learning more, you can read through my guide to starting a blog that actually makes money.
- Amazon Influencer: This program gives you a page on Amazon with a URL to talk about products you recommend to those who follow you. Like the Amazon Associates program, you make money when someone uses your link to make a purchase. To qualify, you must have a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account.
- Amazon Merch: This program lets you design and sell products like custom t-shirts on Amazon. The shirts are printed as they’re ordered and you get a royalty for each order. There’s no up-front cost to you. One user was averaging more than $3,000 a month in net revenue and working just two or three hours per day.
- Kindle: You can write and publish e-books and paperbacks through Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s free to do so and your book will appear on Kindle stores around the world in 24 to 48 hours. Writers keep up to 70% of their gross sales.
- Amazon Flex: This isn’t a work from home job, but delivering packages for Amazon Flex does give you a great degree of flexibility over your schedule. Drivers are paid twice a week via direct deposit, so it’s a great job if you need to make money fast.
Resource: Working as a freelance delivery driver can be one of the most lucrative side hustles. Here’s a list of the best options.
Working Remotely for Amazon – Final Thoughts
Amazon does have work at home opportunities, but not as many as you might have been led to believe. Those headlines about the company hiring thousands of workers are true, but those hiring sprees only come around every so often.
If you’re looking for ongoing work there are better options. FlexJobs is a board with job postings for both part-time and full-time remote positions, and each listing has been checked and verified as a legit opportunity.
If you want to work from home but don’t want to work as a customer service associate, there are plenty of great opportunities. If you need maximum flexibility, consider becoming a freelance writer. Upwork has many such opportunities, and many of them are open to beginners.
There has never been a wider array of legitimate work from home options. Employers see the benefit of a remote workforce and employees enjoy the flexibility that a remote job offers. That means if you want to work from home, you can make it happen — whether it’s with Amazon, with another company, or for yourself.