Figuring the Pay at Amazon

Is the money made in Amazon’s CamperForce worth the effort? I sat down to take an early peek at the financials. I won’t have the full picture for another month when my last paycheck comes in, but I have enough now to make some early calculations.

I make $11.00 an hour at Amazon. At the Old Job, I made $13.95 an hour, which is the highest paying job I’ve ever held.

Here’s the kicker though, I’m saving more at Amazon. In the average month at the old job, when I was living in the cheaper apartment in Beaufort I saved maybe $200 – $300 a month averaged out. Once I moved into Oldfield Mews, I was lucky to save $200 a month. From October 15 to November 14th (I calculate my months in the middle like this, always have) I saved $726.13, by far the most I’ve ever managed to save in a month. And this without any overtime, I about did a happy dance (my costs for the month were all of $709.04).

That’s not the whole story though. The reason why Amazon is such a lucrative deal is because they’re paying rent and utilities. My site at Big Chief costs Amazon over $400 a month, if I had to pay that myself the numbers look much less pleasing and would probably not be worth the effort to drive out here.

And that’s another important thing to consider, the cost to get here. If you’re spending, oh, $376.41 (yep, that’s what it cost) in gas to get here, you also need to minus some of that from your savings, because you probably wouldn’t have done as much driving if you’d gone with another job.

Another important note, I spent absolutely nothing on entertainment that month. I came here to work, and so working is what I’m doing, but it’s wears you down after a while. I’m very much looking forward to two weeks from now when I’ll be done and on my way to Wisconsin for some much needed unwind time. If you’re going to be driving down to Tulsa every weekend to offset the boredom and at times frustration from working at Amazon, the numbers also won’t look as good.

Which is the next important question, are you okay with doing the work. The hours are long, the work is tedious and physically demanding, and there isn’t much joy to be found in it, or a sense of accomplishment. For me, this hasn’t been a problem, other than that sometimes I find I have too much time to think. The job of stowing doesn’t require much brain power and the work goes slower because I’m not very engaged in it and am more aware of time passing. Other jobs may differ, I don’t know because I still haven’t been cross trained into anything else.

But right now yes, the pay is worth it. This is one work camping job that actually earns a living wage. I’m actually a bit sad that it doesn’t go longer than 3 months, because I think that if I did this 6 months a year and was able to save that kind of money I’d be looking good for the other half of the year, although at that point I’d need to be spending some of it to go out and do stuff to keep me from getting a bad case of cabin fever.

* * *

Last week was the provided holiday meal, that’s what you’re seeing pictured above. The beef brisket was actually really good, I’m not normally a beef person. There were a few more special dress days too. Twin day, and, one other that I can’t remember now. Donut day was suppose to be the week before, but there wasn’t enough to go around and so it ended up happening again last Tuesday. Other than that, the weekly power hours are still going on.

Oh, and the overtime. Last week 6th and 7th shifts had the 10 hours mandatory overtime that us 8th shifters had the week before. This coming week, all 3 shifts will be having mandatory overtime. For me, it’ll be on Saturday which separates my two days off, but that’s okay. More money is more money.

Have a good week all!

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Craig on December 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Out here in Fernley we got our update today for next weeks work hours…12 hour days, 5 days a week till Dec. 22..Getting tired out here .but the end is getting close..take care back there..

    • Becky on December 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Heya Craig,

      Yikes! My overtime is just the 5th day, no extra hours per day. Hang in there and yes, keep telling yourself it’s almost over…

  2. Rene on December 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I’m so glad to hear that they are treating workers better at Amazon (you’re in Fernley right?). Three years ago when I worked at that location, they didn’t cover our rent, we got zero overtime (we were sent home early about 1/2 of the week) and in fact it cost me more money to be there than I was actually receiving in my paycheck. I quit long before Christmas. The work definitely sucks and it’s a depressing place to be, but I would’ve stuck it out for a few months if I had actually made the money they were promising. Yay for you for bringing home the bacon!

    • Becky on December 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Nope, Coffeyville Rene. Hearing more bad things from Fernley workers than the other locations but their rent is being paid for now. Electric still isn’t but they make more per hour than the other sites do too so that could be it.

  3. Gary on December 11, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Great information Becky!!! That’s what I like about your website, you lay it all on the line, and give details about the reality of fulltiming that are so hard to find anywhere else. We thank you so much for that. Saddened that you are leaving my state so soon and I never got an opportunity to meet, but who knows, maybe someday we’ll meet on the road when I get my rig. šŸ™‚ Keep the good info coming and again, Thank You !!!

    • Becky on December 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Yes Gary! It would be nice to meet on the road some day. šŸ™‚ I’m glad you found this helpful, thanks for reading.

  4. MARVIN on December 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    Becky ,

    Good post about the numbers on working at Amazon . Add some dollars for fuel to depart the area when you decide which direction on the compass to follow .

    Thanks for taking the time to blog . Be Safe .


    • Becky on December 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Safe travels to you too Marvin. šŸ™‚

  5. Sherry on December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Very interesting and well thought out post. Sounds like you will do Amazon again. Would you do it in another location??
    Sherry recently posted..Moving on to Gamble Rogers or Life is Tough Iā€™m Trying to Get ByMy Profile

    • Becky on December 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      I’ll do Amazon again if I don’t have something better figured out, I don’t think I’d do Nevada because it’s so far away from everything and I hear more negative things about that location. Campbellsville would put me closer to my family in WI and my friends down in SC….but it doesn’t pay as much. So, basically I’m undecided on all fronts. šŸ˜› I’ll take it as it comes.

  6. Regina on December 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Glad to hear working at Amazon is worth it. We hope to do this also (if they will hire us) once we start RVing full time. I’ve heard from you (and Jim of Jimbo’s Journeys) that the work is hard and the hours are long (longer as you get closer to Christmas) but there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel because you know the job ends in December. Thank you for the information.

    • Becky on December 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      You’re welcome Regina! Yes, I think if this was my full-time job I’d go crazy, but for 3 months it’s certainly doable.

  7. Mick on December 10, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Hi Becky ==

    I found your blog through a Twitter recommendation, as I subscribe to Bob Wells’ blog. I’m a fellow South Carolinian with roots in Charleston and Beaufort and Walterboro, though I live in northern California now. Great blog, and I’m learning lots from folks like you who are new to the road. I follow rv sue and the canine crew, too, plus about five or six others.

    I don’t have a rig yet, but I am looking at Class Bs and short Class Cs. Reading you and rv sue, the Casita is starting to look like an option!

    I’m toying with the idea of going to RTR mid-Jan, and doing some car camping.

    Best of luck to you, and I’ll be reading.

    • Becky on December 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      Hello Mick, welcome to IO and thanks for commenting. šŸ˜€

      I lived in Beaufort/Bluffton for about 3 years, and worked in Yemassee which isn’t far from Walterboro. It was nice and I’m glad I tried it – I’m from Wisconsin originally.

      I follow RV Sue too, she’s a hoot. Casitas do work well for solo full-timing although those other options you mentioned do too. With the Casita you get a separate vehicle to drive around town, but then you’re also longer so not great for city stealth camping. There are pluses and minuses to both.

      I was using Bertha for car camping for months before I picked Cas up, just for weekend trips, but it saved a lot on hotel bills and I had a lot of fun, you probably will too although this time of year it’s harder.

      Safe travels and happy trails!

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