Amazon is a popular e-commerce website that has made great strides in revenue, employment generation and gained several other titles. But have you ever wondered what it looks like to work in Amazon? Amazon’s services are unimaginable without efficient staff. Therefore it recruits several people to handle its warehouse. So if you are also curious to know the lifestyle of an Amazon warehouse worker, stay tuned with this article. Today we will dive deep into all the aspects of working at the Amazon warehouse. But before that let’s check out what kinds of jobs are available in the Amazon warehouse.
Different types of jobs available in amazon warehouse
- Packer: The most common job available in the Amazon warehouse is packer and picker. Packers, as the name suggests, are responsible for packaging the products. They are also responsible for the proper labeling of the product. The duty of putting them on the conveyor belt and taking them to the waiting truck is also bestowed upon packers.
- Picker: Pickers have similar tasks, but their work is primarily pulling merchandise. They take out the goods from the shelves and place them in bins. They have to facilitate the work of packers by putting the bins on a conveyor belt. The picker is given a GPS-enabled, handheld scanner to determine which things are to be taken off from the shelf. It also tells them where they can find a particular item and complete the assigned task. Speed and accuracy are pre-requisite for pickers for which they are constantly monitored.
- Problem solver: Another kind of interesting job offered by amazon is as a problem solver. Their main duty is to correct the mistakes of the employees. Even if some problem develops in some machine, the problem solver is summoned. He inspects the problem and corrects it. He has to give feedback on the error besides telling the cause of the problem.
- Other jobs: Besides this, some other jobs are also available in the Amazon warehouse which includes Stowers, tote runners, counters, etc. They have to organize the totes at their proper place. They might also be asked to take down the items from the floor. Besides this, there are security guards, janitors, and social distance enforcers (which is a new job created due to pandemics).
Educational requirements for working as an Amazon warehouse worker
Amazon’s warehouse worker jobs are helpful for a large number of people because it does not ask for a necessary degree. They don’t even require certain technical skills. In this way, people who are rejected at other places just because of a lack of degree and technical skill can get employment in the Amazon warehouse department.
Payscale and other benefits for Amazon’s warehouse workers
The pay scale of Amazon workers is far more than other occupations. You can expect a minimum of 15 USD per hour for working in the Amazon workhouse. Adding to high pay is a list of additional benefits that are conferred upon Amazon warehouse workers as given below.
- You will also get paternal and maternal paid leaves for twenty weeks.
- Upskilling training is also provided by the company to its employees.
- Besides this, one can expect full medical, vision, and dental insurance and a 401k retirement plan.
- The company also offers six paid holidays in a year and paid vacations based on the number of years they have worked for which they have worked.
- These benefits and high pay can differ according to a full-time job or part-time job.
Working conditions of Amazon warehouse workers
- Varies from task to task: Depending on the job, you might need to do differing degrees of tedious work in the Amazon warehouse. For instance, in a picker job, you are required to bend and move from one place to another. It can lead to pain in the body, and you might find it difficult to bend and get up again. Also, sometimes there is a lot of work pressure. So the working conditions might become very harsh one day and very easy, the other day. Also, you might get some polite managers who don’t scold you much. A good senior will further make your day at the Amazon warehouse easy.
- Point system: In this job, the system is such that you are given points for different mistakes. For instance, if you are late at work (without telling any proper reason), took leave without informing, came late from break, etc. you would be given one point. As soon as the count of points becomes six, the contract with Amazon comes to end. Therefore one needs to have a low count of points.
- Differing opinions about working conditions: One can see differing opinions about the working conditions in amazon’s warehouse. Some believe that conditions are very inhumane while others believe that it is far better than the condition of other warehouses. For instance, when authorities got the complaint that the workers have to work in hot conditions, the Amazon authorities took action.
- The policy of leaving everything at the door: If you are working as an Amazon warehouse worker, you are required to leave your accessories at the door. The company does not allow its workers to bring anything in the warehouse, even mobile phones. Even if you brought something inside the warehouse, the security would seize it, and you will be allowed to take it only after duty. You are also scanned by security to ensure that you are not picking up anything from the warehouse.
- Strict timings: At the Amazon warehouse, you are required to comply with the timings. A former worker at an Amazon warehouse reported that the company will give you only thirty minutes to clock out, eat and come back. Therefore the workers try to rush fastly when the buzzer rings.
- Shelves are not properly organized, and a lot of walking is required:
At the Amazon warehouse, you need to move from one shelf to another. Therefore you are required to walk a lot. It is estimated that an amazon warehouse worker walks almost 20 miles in a day. This can seriously impact your health if you are not accustomed to walking.
Also, the shelves on which the items are placed are not properly organized. There are more than hundreds of shelves, but there is no proper arrangement of newly arrived items. You have to put in a lot of effort to understand which thing is kept on which shelf. This chaotic storage is caused due to amazon’s database, which fills the empty shelves without any proper arrangement.
- Exercising and fun exercise: Another fun fact about the amazon warehouse is that the workers are asked to do group exercise after lunch. The exercise includes jumping jacks, swinging arms, reaching around, etc. This exercise can help you warm up for the job. Besides this, the workers sometimes do some fun exercises by popping bubble wraps if they have achieved their target.
- Nurse office and cafeteria in Amazon: Amazon warehouse workers get in-office cafeteria and nurse office. The nurses in the nurse’s office don’t have much treatment equipment. They ask you to rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, and based on that, give aspirin or an ice pack.
In the cafeteria, you get two options. The first one is to bring your meal and heat it in a microwave. The second option is to purchase burgers and hot dogs. The taste might not be that great in the second option. In the first option, you have to battle with your peers for heating your food. Therefore it’s advised to bring something that does not require heating.
- If someone is doing drama of sickness, then he will get broom duty:
Another amazing fact about the working of Amazon warehouse workers is that they give the brooming duty to faking people. Some workers falsely claim that they are sick. Therefore the management has a special provision for these kinds of workers. If the nurse confirms that you are fit and fine and still you are calling yourself sick, the company will give you some alternative task i.e. brooming. This might seem easy in the beginning, but you will feel tired after some time.
- You will witness some very crazy orders in the workhouse;
A fun aspect of working at Amazon warehouse is that you get to see some of the craziest orders. Some of the examples include life-size Justin Bieber and other childish things. So if you want to see some weird orders, Amazon can give you that opportunity.
- No union for workers:
Another interesting thing about Amazon warehouse workers is that there is no union. Everyone knows that Amazon employs several thousands of employees. So it seems very strange that there is no union of the workers.
- You are required to be productive and you can be removed by an AI machine for non-compliance: Amazon wants its workers to be highly productive. Even Jeff Bezos had admitted how efficient they want their employees to be. This over-demanding situation can sometimes be very negative for the employees. There is a device that tracks the number of times a worker has stopped working. Based on that, a worker might be fired from his job. It is estimated that a worker has to scan almost 300 items in an hour. Noncompliance with the same can be counted as ‘time off the task’ and you might be removed from your job.
- Challenges faced by the amazon workers: Due to such strict rules, some workers don’t even get a chance to go to the washroom. The result is that they tend to avoid drinking water in their long shifts. Some even pee in the trash can and bottles. They are also prone to injuries in the warehouse. The worst part is that they are not allowed to take rest even in injuries. Rather, a machine gives them some pills and bandages to continue working.
What do critics believe regarding the working condition of Amazon warehouse workers?
Some of Amazon’s critics believe that the quality of the job is not that great, as is shown. They feel that the workplace is highly stressful owing to huge work pressure. It is said that the workers are under constant surveillance. Their deadlines to meet the demand production quotas are so vexing and exhausting that they don’t even get a washroom break. Some even believe that Amazon treats its bots (machines) far better than humans.
But the founders of Amazon believe that criticism stands nullified because a large chunk of people does want Amazon’s warehouse job. So if the conditions are so poor, why would one aspire for that? To push away the criticism of working conditions, Amazon has a special public tour. In this tour, any person can come to Amazon’s warehouse and ascertain itself regarding the working conditions of warehouse workers.
Amazon warehouse workers’ jobs are overall very challenging. One has to work hard in these storehouses. Some people believe that the conditions are harsh for the workers. But others believe that it is far better than other jobs. These facts are supported by a high number of people looking for Amazon jobs, good pay, good exposure, etc. To conclude, one can say that no matter which job you get, you have to adjust according to the environment and work hard to succeed.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Ques 1: What kind of security can one expect in an Amazon warehouse?
Ans: In amazon warehouses, workers have to undergo an airport-style security check. They need to pass the security test every time they leave the warehouse, even for breaks. The purpose is to make sure that they are not stealing anything from the warehouse or bringing anything from outside into the warehouse.
Ques 2: What is the approximate number of items that one has to handle in the Amazon warehouse?
Ans: All the products sold by Amazon are stored in Amazon warehouse and it is estimated that almost two billion items are sold by Amazon. So one has to handle a huge number of products like phones, apparel, car seats, and much more that are kept in Amazon’s warehouse.
Ques 3: How can one apply for an Amazon warehouse worker job?
Ans: Those who are interested in working in Amazon warehouse can check the company’s website. Choose the location where you are willing to work, and you will see various job offers (if available). Apply online by filling in the necessary details.