5 Things to Know About Working for Instacart

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Instacart app
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Millions of jobs have gone away due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but dozens of companies are actually hiring to adapt to the changing needs of consumers. One of those businesses is grocery delivery service Instacart.

Here’s what you need to know about the Instacart jobs that are available now, and about working for Instacart in general.

1. What Kinds of Jobs Are Available Right Now?

Instacart is a company that is part of what is called the “gig economy.” Rather than a traditional 9-to-5 job, most positions with Instacart deal with a series of one-off tasks — namely acting as a personal shopper and delivering groceries to people who order them.

Instacart said in mid-March that it was looking to add an additional 300,000 people to its workforce in order to meet increasing demand for grocery delivery and pickup services in the U.S. and Canada.

According to the company’s website, there are two main positions that need to be filled:

You can apply for those positions here.

2. What Are the Requirements for Working for Instacart?

In order to become a shopper for Instacart, you must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Consistent access to a vehicle
  • Consistent access to and be able to effectively use a recent smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer)
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs with or without accommodation

3. How Quickly Could I Expect to Be Hired?

According to a forum discussion on jobs site Indeed.com, the length of time it takes to be hired can be as little as a few days to as long as a month or more. It appears to depend primarily on how long it takes for Instacart to get the results of a background check on the applicant.

4. How Much Can I Make Working for Instacart?

Since Instacart shoppers are paid by the “gig” — or grocery order — they fulfill, the amount that you can make as a shopper will depend on how much work is available in your area and how many hours you are willing to work.

According to jobs site Glassdoor.com, “The typical Instacart In-Store Shopper makes $13 per hour…When factoring in bonuses and additional compensation, a In-Store Shopper at Instacart can expect to make an average annual salary of $28,043.”

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The additional compensation can come in the form of cash bonuses directly from Instacart and tips from Instacart customers.

5. What Benefits Does Instacart Offer?

While corporate jobs at Instacart offer benefits like health insurance and a 401(k) savings plan, benefits for contract shoppers are more limited.

According to an August 2019 Medium post from the company, all full-service shoppers — no matter how many hours they work — have access to the following perks:

  • Shopper Injury Protection: Comprehensive insurance coverage that includes up to $1 million to cover medical expenses, along with disability payments, and survivor’s benefits for eligible dependents
  • Free access to the Care.com platform: Support for childcare, senior care, special needs care, pet care, housekeeping, and tutors
  • Stride Benefits Platform: “Offerings for health, dental, and vision insurance, but now a customized, robust suite of health and financial tools”
  • Student Loan Assistance Through Peanut Butter: Professional assistance with paying down student loan debt

Additionally, the company announced in the March press release that “All in-store shoppers nationwide now have access to sick pay, an accrued benefit that can be used as paid time off if you’re absent from work due to illness or injury.”

Shoppers can also receive up to 14 days of extended pay if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual mandatory isolation or quarantine, the company said.

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