Apply For our 2024 Scholarship Today!

What Is It Like To Be An Amazon Stow Associate?

Amazon stow associates require no education or experience and work in a warehouse handling products. It can be a great starting point for a first job!

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated January 3rd, 2024

If getting a job at Amazon with little or no experience needed, then a job as an Amazon stow associate might just be a perfect option.

This article will answer the question “what is stowing at Amazon” and offer insights into salaries and daily duties.

What Does An Amazon Stow Associate Do?

Amazon stow associates work in a warehouse scanning products. After the products are scanned the stow associate will place them on the proper shelf and location in the warehouse. This helps the picker packers find them when a customer places an order.

It is an important job that helps keep orders going out by making it easy to find products!

Some typical responsibilities that fall under this job description include:

  • Scanning of items to be placed in bins and on shelves as quick as possible. Once you scan the item it will tell you what type of bin your product needs to go in. You will need to place the item in the appropriate type of bin and once placed inside you will scan the bin to confirm the item is stowed.
  • Meeting Amazon goals for how many items need to be placed (this will depend on the warehouse, some have said 230 items an hour was OK, others noted expectations were higher)
  • Ensuring work area is clean and organized
  • Utilization and knowledge of handheld scanner

The process of stowing is a bit unique than other retail establishments. While other retailers may have a warehouse where items are stored on shelves based on category, Amazon actually mixes things up! There are a variety of different bin types and stations you may work in.

Smaller items may keep you at the same location all day, while larger items that need to be stowed may have you working in different areas in the warehouse.

Another job that is similar is a Fedex package handler, so that is another option to consider.

The Pros And Cons Of Working As A Stower

One of the pros of working as a stower is that it requires little to no education or experience. Also, the pay is OK for the type of work being done and if full time, the benefits are very good. If you work there for a certain amount of time you can then qualify for their pay for college program too!

One of the biggest cons of this job is that the work is the same every day and you will need to work 10-hour shifts. There is little variation of work to do and you may find yourself bored quickly. There is also a high expectation for the number of package to be stowed every hour which can be stressful to try and meet. This is based on warehouse, and some have much stricter requirements than others.

The job can also be hard on your back and feet since it does require a lot of standing and in some cases bending and lifting.

If working as a stow associate does not sound like your thing, but maybe a warehouse or production facility is somewhat intriguing, take a peek at our consumer non-durables career path guide for some ideas.

What Kind Of Training Is Provided?

It seems that training is not great for this job based on the research and interviews we have done.

Once you are hired you will attend training depending on the exact job or path you are taking. Even if you apply as a stow associate you might wind up working sometimes as a picker packer so the training will be different for each.

On the job training will be provided by others that are called “Learning Ambassadors”. They will typically work with you for a portion of your first shift to show you how the job is done and then will observe you the remainder of the day. They will be by your side to answer questions and help you get comfortable working on your own.

Skills Needed To Be A Successful Stow Associate

While stow associates do not typically require any special education or experience to land a job, there are some skills that would be helpful to be successful in the job.

  • Physically Fit. Since you will be lifting and moving boxes and products, it is important that you are in good shape. Some boxes can be as much as 50 pounds.
  • Problem Solver. Stuff happens! A machine my jam, the scanner may stop working or a bin may be too full. Do you have the ability to handle the problem or find resources who can?
  • Communication Skills. You will be working closely with co-workers in the warehouse as well as other departments. Having great communication and interpersonal skills will help you grow and get the respect of higher ups.
  • Stress Management. It can be stressful to try and meet the level of productivity that Amazon expects from its employees.

Remember, before you are hired there is a lengthy application and background check process with Amazon.

amazon logo on building

Amazon Stow Associate Pay And Benefits

The average annual pay for a warehouse worker at Amazon (which would include a stow associate) is $32,055.

That would equal approximately $15.41 per hour.

In bigger cities and metropolitan areas the salary ranges would typically be on the higher side with some making as much as $40,000 per year. These rates are for entry-level with no experience. Rates may increase based on skill and experience.

The Amazon employee referral program is also another way to earn some money if you have friends looking for work.

A Day In The Life Of An Amazon Stow Associate

This is an awesome video showing the real “day in the life” look of a stower at Amazon. There is no speaking in the video, just the sounds of a well oiled warehouse. From clocking in to scanning products, it covers it all so you can get a real inside peak at the job!

You can see the screen that he is using as well that will tell him his stats in regards to time and performance. Takt time is what Amazon uses to measure performance of their stowers.

If you are looking for wars to become a better stower, there are some great threads out there from people who are – or have done the job. These are suggestions from right from other Amazon stowers on how you can improve your skills and productivity – so you definitely want to consider these if you land that job.

Amazon did not provide any helpful coaching to improve my performance, but my coworkers did. Safiyo

Is An Amazon Stow Associate Job A Good Career?

While this job may be a great temporary job – or somewhat long term, we do not consider it a good career choice.

It can take a toll on the body and can be very monotonous to do day in and day out.

It is an amazing choice if you are looking for a stepping stone to grow into other positions with the company or if you need something while you are attending school.

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.