2016 Amazon CamperForce Review

Want to know what the pay is really like for Amazon’s CamperForce program? I’ve sat down and done the math, and here are my numbers for the 2016 peak season at the Haslet site:

  • Total weeks worked: 10 weeks, 6 days.
  • Total hours worked: 442
  • Overtime hours worked: 18
  • Base pay: $11.50/hour
  • Overtime pay: $17.25/hour
  • Number of referrals: 4 (at $125 each)
  • Total gross pay: $6,209
  • Total take-home pay (0 exemptions): $4,949

A Texas sunset on the way home from Amazon

There are a couple interesting points here.

The first, which I’ve mentioned in previous CamperForce posts for 2016, is that overtime was way down this year from last year. I only worked one 50+ hour week for 2016, compared to eight (7 fiscal) 50+ hour weeks in 2015 at this same location. But campers working in other departments (I did ICQA and Stow) or other shifts (I was Saturday-Tuesday) reported more overtime opportunities than I had, if still less than last year. Reports from the Murfreesboro and Campbellsville sites also averaged lower overtime than last year, although one or two people reported the same or higher.

The takeaway is that you can’t count on having overtime at Amazon, even if the site is historically known for it. There can also be a lot of variation depending on what shift and department you’re put in, both of which you have little control over. I tried to get trained in Pick so I could get more overtime the second half of the season, but who gets chosen to cross-train in what is mostly random, asking for it doesn’t guarantee it.

I think from here on out I’m going to recommend that people who RV on a budget estimate their Amazon earnings at 40 hours/week instead of expecting a bunch of overtime pay. That way if there ends up being a lot of overtime, great – that’s extra wiggle room for the year. And if there doesn’t end up being much overtime, they aren’t behind on earnings for the year.

The second interesting thing is with 38 less hours worked this year, my gross and net pay was still slightly higher than last year, woohoo! This can be contributed to the $0.75/hour raise over last year’s wages and the fact that I had one more referral than last year.

Hiking in one of the many State Parks in Texas on a day off.

Overall, I was happy with my experience at Haslet again this time around, although I did enjoy last year better. Working at the KIVA stations instead of in Receive meant I didn’t get as much people time this year, and for me personally time goes quicker when I have someone to talk to while I work – your mileage may vary. Between ICQA and Stow I didn’t prefer one over the other, other than that I enjoyed bouncing back and forth between the two as a way to combat boredom.

Outside of work, the weather at Haslet this year was drier than last year, and there were no tornado warnings – both good things. There was one two-day cold spell where night-time lows got to 14 and 12 degrees, but usually temps stayed above freezing. Boyd RV Park proved adequate to my needs.

Yes, I probably will work at Amazon again this year, likely in Kentucky or Tennessee because I’ll be on that side of the Mississippi river. As of this posting, Haslet may not be participating in the CamperForce program for 2017, but there’s talk of another site in Texas opening up for work-campers – as soon as I know I’ll let all of you know!

Lastly, if you’re going to be applying for CamperForce for the first time this year because of the advice and information I’ve shared about the program over the years on IO, I’d be one happy camper if you’d list me under the “how you heard about this opportunity” field on the application (Rebecca Schade).

My site at Boyd RV while work-camping at Haslet in 2016

Related Links:

  • About Amazon’s CamperForce – An overview about what CamperForce is, job descriptions for various departments, what the pay and hours are like, where the sites are located, how to apply, etc. Plus it links to every article (19 and counting!) that I’ve written about the program in the five peak seasons I’ve worked it.

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Becky

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.

21 Comments

  1. Brian on July 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Haven’t seen a list but I haven’t inquired either just thought someone would have some input



  2. Brian on July 11, 2017 at 7:22 am

    What are the campgrounds like that they put you up in?



    • Becky on July 11, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Varies widely. Some are paved, manicured, high end places with hot tubs, others are small mom-and-pop joints. You’ll have to research the list of options they give you.



  3. Bianca on May 9, 2017 at 3:57 am

    I had never heard of CamperForce before. I love that is helps toward your incredible life adventure. Thanks for sharing
    Bianca recently posted..Safety for Woman While TravellingMy Profile



    • Becky on May 9, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      You’re welcome Bianca.



  4. Chey(WA coast) on January 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Did you notice any people working in wheelchairs?



    • Becky on January 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Not that I ran across, but there were two deaf people who worked the same shift as me.



  5. Vanholio! on January 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Oh! Another question. Do you know if Canadians can get jobs at CamperForce? That is, have you met any Canadian citizens working alongside you? I’ve got a Canadian friend about to take to the road, and I wonder if he couldn’t get in on this.
    Vanholio! recently posted..10 Reasons I Love WalmartMy Profile



    • Becky on January 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      I haven’t heard of any Canadians working in CamperForce Vanholio, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t. It would probably require a work visa of some sort, which I believe needs to be applied for in advance with the government.



  6. Vanholio! on January 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Forgive my ignorance, but Camperforce gives you a free hookup, too? Or do you have to pay for any of that? And if they give you a free spot, does Uncle Sam tax it somehow?
    Vanholio! recently posted..Top 10 Pros & Top 10 Cons to Van LifeMy Profile



  7. Jose on January 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Becky, Thank you for all your helpful posts. i’m curious, when you do your taxes, does it matter where you work and where your primary residence is?



  8. Dwayne on January 24, 2017 at 7:49 am

    You have that comment about they may not have CF at that warehouse next year. If so, really feel sorry for that RV place that was improving everything-electric, sewer, etc. so they could be a provider for them. They were counting on at least 2 months of campers to pay for everything.



    • Becky on January 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Are you talking about Finishline Dwayne? That is a pretty sad story. They got bogged down in red tape, something to do with building codes and the plumbing system I think. One of the people I worked with said they drove in for a look this season and it didn’t look like any progress had been made since last year. At this point I’m wondering if they’re just going to scrap the project. We’ll just need to see what happens I guess.



  9. Kenny on January 24, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Thank you for this. My wife and I are planning on going full-time in the future and this is definitely something I want to do.
    I told her I would work at Amazon for 10 weeks and then we could use the money to pay for a site in the Keys in Florida for January and February.
    Seeing that you took home around $5000 would be great for 2 months in Florida.

    Thank you.



    • Becky on January 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      You’re welcome Kenny, glad you found this helpful. A lot of people who work at Amazon use the money to cover expensive stays at places they normally wouldn’t want to pay for, it makes good sense.



  10. desi yanez on January 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    hi becky hope youre fine with your work im not used to cold weather ,to be honest im retired and not needing to work right now hope youre ok with that ,i didnt understand is the offer in kentucky or texas solid or up in the air thats what i kinda understand ,feel free to write if youd like have fun in your travels



    • Becky on January 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Desi, Kentucky (Campbellsville) and Tennesse (Murfreesboro) are both confirmed for next year. Haslet (in northern Texas) is not confirmed, but there’s talk of one or more other warehouses in Texas being opened up for the CamperForce program. Hope that alleviates any confusion.

      And if you don’t need to work to pay for your travels, that’s great. I still do, hence CamperForce. 🙂



  11. Ron on January 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you again for sharing. Good info.
    Ron



    • Becky on January 23, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      You’re welcome Ron.



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