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
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.
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).
- 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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