Updated January 2015
The Amazon U.S. fulfillment network consists of more than 50 fulfillment centers. More than 40,000 full-time Amazon employees work in these fulfillment centers. We have recently created thousands of full-time jobs across our fulfillment centersĖand we're hiring more.
Fulfillment Center Pay
Median pay inside our fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores. In addition to highly competitive wages, we also offer comprehensive benefits on day one, bonuses and stock awards.
As a way of finding high-quality permanent employees and to manage variation in customer demand, we also employ seasonal associates. On average, seasonal associates earn 95 percent of Amazon permanent starting wages. During the holidays, seasonal associates play a critical role in helping meet increased demand from customers.
Career Choice Program
We offer our employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where we pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the programís launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few. Top chosen fields of study for Amazon employees are computer and information technology, health and sciences, and accounting.
At Amazon, we support local and national nonprofits with cash and product donations. Some of our recent contributions include providing more than 1,500 Kindle e-readers to schools helping special needs students to enhance reading and learning opportunities in classrooms across the U.S. We have also provided grants to more than 250 local community organizations, such as grants to active military and veteran affiliated nonprofit organizations providing assistance and services. You can learn more at www.amazon.com/giving.
Military Veteran Hiring
We actively recruit U.S. military veterans to join our organization, and hundreds have careers in our fulfillment network. In 2014, we hired more than 2,600 veterans.
Within the last year the Amazon Military Talent Partnership, a team of military recruiters including veterans from all branches of the armed forces, attended more than 70 recruiting events to help veterans find job opportunities at Amazon. The company is a member of Joining Forces and the 100,000 Jobs Mission, two national efforts that encourage businesses to offer service members and their families with career opportunities and support.
Once employed at Amazon, we offer military veterans several programs that help them transition more easily into the civilian workforce and connect them with our significant internal network of veterans to provide mentoring and support. More information about the program is available here.
Fulfillment Center Safety
The top priority of our fulfillment center network is safety--it's safer to work in the Amazon fulfillment network than in a department store. We measure progress on safety using the "recordable incidence rate," which is the primary metric defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that oversees workplace safety. This rate represents the number of recordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees (permanent and seasonal) per year. Work-related injuries and illnesses are recordable if they result, for example, in medical treatment beyond first aid, restricted work activity, or days away from work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principle US Federal Agency reporting on labor statistics. Based on the latest BLS report, the North American Fulfillment Centersí 2013 rates are 42 percent lower than general warehousing, 38 percent lower than department stores, 58 percent lower than automotive manufacturing facilities and 26 percent lower than overall manufacturing facilities.
In 2012, we invested $52 million to retrofit our fulfillment centers with air conditioning and our new fulfillment centers are built with air conditioning units.
Kaizen and Defect Reduction
We continuously work to streamline our processes and eliminate defects. Doing so drives a better customer experience, including faster delivery and lower costs that enable lower prices for customers. We use many systematic methods to make work processes easier and more efficient, including the "Kaizen" program, named for the Japanese term meaning "change for the better." Through the Kaizen program, employees participate in small teams to identify waste and streamline processes. In 2014, more than 2,300 associates participated in 725 Kaizen activities. For example, a team at Amazonís Las Vegas, Nevada, fulfillment center streamlined the customer returns process improving productivity 34%, eliminating excess walking distance by 128,000 ft. per day, and reducing work in process by 46%.
We strive for continuous improvement, and we understand that our progress depends on good execution and good judgment from thousands of employees. Together, we're working hard to make sure that we are better tomorrow than we are today.