Delivery jobs are no longer limited to the Post Office and the boxy Pullman Brown trucks of UPS.
Thousands of delivery gigs, which stem from a plethora of on-demand delivery apps, are available nationwide. The vast majority of delivery app jobs are categorized as 1099, which means the workers are independent contractors.
Requirements are overall very low. In many cases, all you need to start earning are a valid driver’s license and a functioning car with proper auto insurance.
But, as trends in driver reviews indicate, the reality of delivery work is tough. In addition to the work itself, apps glitch, customers stiff and cars deteriorate. Pay can vary based on a number of factors outside of your control. And, depending on location, you may earn less than minimum wage.
Despite the downsides, many drivers love the work and find delivery apps a flexible source of extra money in the short-term. Each app works a little differently. We analyzed the top ones, looking at wages, frequency of pay, job and vehicle requirements, dress code, driver reviews and more to help you choose the best delivery app for your next side gig.
Delivery App Jobs
Here are the top contenders for package-delivery gigs. Generally speaking, these delivery jobs require larger vehicles because of the potential size of some orders. Some heavy lifting may be required.
Package delivery is the latest in a long list of industries the e-commerce giant has upended. Currently, delivery gigs with Amazon Flex are among the highest paying, as the company guarantees hourly wages between $15 and $19. Through efficiency and good tips, it’s possible to earn more.
Flex requires you to sign up for shifts, aka “blocks,” for most deliveries. Blocks typically run four hours at a time, unless the shift is specifically for Prime Now packages. Those blocks are shorter.
Insured four-door sedans or SUVs are required for most Flex packages. For Prime Now blocks, smaller cars are allowed. To apply, you must be at least 21 years old. No dress code or special materials are required to start delivering.
Glassdoor reviews: 2.7 out of 5.
New to the scene, Dispatch is an on-demand package delivery app marketed toward businesses. The service is currently available in only 28 cities, but it’s slated to expand.
According to Glassdoor reviews, drivers report earning between $14 and $16 an hour. Dispatch pays weekly through an app called Stripe, provides supplemental auto insurance and reimburses tolls along the delivery route.
You must be at least 23 years old to qualify. There are no vehicle requirements save for it being in “fair condition.” Once accepted, Dispatch will send you a branded badge and hat that are required during deliveries.
Dispatch is the highest-rated delivery company via Glassdoor on our list. But it also has the least amount of reviews.
Glassdoor reviews: 4.6 out of 5.
Postmates is well-known for food delivery, but most store-bought goods and parcels are fair game too.
All models of cars are welcomed as long as they’re insured. You can also deliver on a bicycle if you prefer. Wages vary based on location, demand and quantity of deliveries per hour. Several drivers reported earning between $9 and $14 on Glassdoor. Hourly rates aren’t guaranteed by Postmates, but there is a base pay per order. And tips go 100% to the drivers.
Postmates is available in more than 400 cities. The company doesn’t provide supplemental auto insurance and doesn’t require any dress code.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
Glassdoor reviews: 2.4 out of 5.
Food Delivery App Jobs
Many well-known delivery apps specialize in food delivery. Here’s how they work.
BiteSquad is one of the few delivery apps that officially hires its drivers. As W-2 employees, drivers get access to benefits if they’re injured on the job. It also means they’re guaranteed hourly wages that are subsidized by tips. Wages are typically between $10 and $12, depending on location.
As a BiteSquad driver, you’ll receive training before taking orders. You’ll also be required to wear a branded hat and shirt on the job. BiteSquad supplies your clothing along with a hot bag for free. The company also offers gas reimbursement, but drivers report that the reimbursement process is tedious.
Because of the strict dress code and shift-based work, delivering for other apps while scheduled with BiteSquad isn’t realistic. Delivery jobs are available in 17 states, all you’ll need are an insured, reliable vehicle and two years of driving experience to qualify.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.
Caviar is currently limited to a dozen cities. Most of them are giant metropolises like San Francisco and New York. The company partners with Cash App, which allows drivers to access their pay whenever they want for a fee. Otherwise, payments are processed on a weekly basis.
While tips go 100% to drivers, Caviar doesn’t guarantee hourly rates. Instead, it uses an “expected pay” system that estimates per-order earnings before drivers accept the delivery. However, as many drivers noted in reviews, the “expected pay” isn’t always correct, and actual pay can be lower than the estimate.
Typical hourly wages average out to be between $11 and $19, but because of location limitations, pay can be under the minimum wage of the large cities Caviar primarily operates in.
The main requirements to become a Caviar driver are two years of driving experience and access to a reliable car.
Glassdoor reviews: 2.6 out of 5.
DoorDash has undergone some payment changes.
As of September 2019, all Dashers (DoorDash drivers) will receive 100% of their tips, plus an increase in their base-pay per order. Previously, drivers averaged $10 to $14 an hour. That was expected to increase once the changes rolled out.
Overall, Dasher requirements are low. The minimum age is 18, and you can deliver with any properly insured vehicle. There’s no dress code, and the company provides a hot bag for free. Payment is on a weekly basis, or you can access your funds early through Fast Pay for a fee.
DoorDash is available in more than 850 cities.
Glassdoor review: 2.8 out of 5.
Depending on the location, GrubHub guarantees hourly wages.
The company operates in 16 states plus Washington D.C. Drivers tend to earn around $12 to $15 an hour, and they get to keep 100% of their tips. GrubHub pays weekly. Wages can’t be accessed early like other apps.
Auto insurance and a reliable vehicle is required, and drivers must be 19 or older. There’s no dress code. While the company recommends its drivers use a hot bag for deliveries, it doesn’t provide one.
Glassdoor reviews: 2.9 out of 5.
You only need to be the legal driving age of your state to drive for Uber Eats.
A two- or four-door car from 1999 or later is required, as is auto insurance. Uber provides additional coverage with a $1,000 deductible. And in some regions, scooters and bicycles are accepted.
You’ll earn around $10 to $11 an hour and get to keep all of your tips. Payment comes automatically every week, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early with Instant Pay. You’ll need a hot bag for deliveries, but the company doesn’t provide one.
A notable perk: Drivers can switch between Uber and Uber Eats on the same app.
Uber Eats is available in more than 300 cities in North America.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.
Grocery Delivery App Jobs
Delivering groceries can be a little more time consuming and laborious than delivering food or packages. Typically, these gigs involve an extra step: shopping for the items. You’ll also need to be able to lift and carry heavy loads.
But the extra effort could pay off through better tips. In many cases, you’ll have more face time with customers than other delivery apps and might be invited into their homes to unload their order.
Instacart offers part-time W-2 jobs as well as independent delivery gigs.
The part-time positions don’t have a delivery component, they’re for shoppers only. Shoppers work in partner grocery stores, readying orders for the delivery drivers.
The delivery drivers are independent contractors who, depending on the order, may shop as well. Drivers report earning between $10 and $14 an hour and keep all their tips. Instacart pays weekly.
To become a driver, you’ll need a reliable vehicle with auto insurance. Instacart doesn’t provide additional insurance coverage or insulated bags. No dress code is required.
Gigs are available in all 50 states.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.2 out of 5.
To start delivering with Shipt, you’ll need to be 18 or older and drive an insured vehicle that’s from 1997 or later. You can expect to earn $10 to $14, depending on location, and you’ll pocket all of your tips.
Shipt pays every week via direct deposit, but you can’t access your funds before then.
A branded Shipt shirt is the only uniform requirement, which the company provides for free. Reusable grocery and insulated bags are on you, though.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.2 out of 5.
GoPuff is a new general-store delivery service that currently operates in about 90 cities. In most locations, services are available 24/7, which means the delivery gigs are too.
There’s no shopping involved because the goods come from local GoPuff warehouses that aren’t customer-facing. Warehouse employees schedule your shifts and prepare orders for you.
You must be at least 21 years old and have an insured vehicle (any model) to deliver for GoPuff. Drivers earn $10 to $14 an hour and keep 100% of their tips. Several reviews also stated there’s no dress code, interview or training required.
Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.