QUICK ANSWER: You can expect to make around $25/hour as an Uber driver.
Workers who want a side hustle should look no further than becoming an Uber Driver. It offers the flexible time and self-made work that drives the entrepreneurial spirit for the modern worker. With peak wages at over $20 per hour, it is an extraordinary way to kickstart a career or act as a profitable side hustle. The available wages are dependent on rider fares and length of travel, as well as tips, so the highest earners are those who work the longest and provide the greatest customer service to their riders.
How to make money with Uber
The ride-hailing platform Uber is the “king” of the ride sharing economy and is recognized as the gold standard for modern, self-scheduled work. For someone who is looking for a reliable side hustle, Uber is the first to come to mind.
How much can you make?
The short answer is that “it depends” on several different factors relating to the driver’s time and work ethic.
The long answer, and the one that is most reliant for a potential Uber driver, is that there are many factors to the wage calculation for the drivers, who are classified as independent contractors. The highest earners are those who invest time and effort in their own operation and are dedicated to providing a top-tier experience for their riders.
As the flexible payments are based on the rider fare and distance traveled, those who devote the most time spent driving will correspondingly earn the highest wages. The riders also have the option of providing good or bad service; generally, earning a consistent number of 5-stars will result in higher tips as well. The platform notes that all tips are kept by the drivers. They don’t need to be shared with others as seen in other service industries. These tips above and beyond the regular rider fare are a major part of the high wages available for drivers.
Note that a service fee is charged to the drivers for each fare, but that can be off-set during Surge hours and with good tips. The deduction is a necessary part of the platform’s service in order to facilitate the platform’s usage and continuation.
Location Location Location
Another key aspect of earning high wages in the platform is Location, location, location. Needless to say, there are some cities that have a higher population that is in need of transit, either by convenience or lacking transportation. Drivers who find themselves in those areas will have the opportunity for more work. But there are other considerations for drivers who want to earn top wages. Be sure to keep your eyes on local events where extra transportation is needed. Peak times during the day or the weekend are also key times to be on the road for passengers. Paying attention to these times and a willingness to be on the road at those times will result in a good profit.
Extra tips are now a possibility for Uber Drivers. The platform has just initiated a new “Comfort” level for its passengers. For an additional fee up to 20%, they can self-select different categories of drivers in order to create the most comfortable experience for the ride based on communication types and car size.
By allowing the option on the platform, drivers can join the ranks of this top-level tier and take advantage of the higher fees to add to their wages. The higher wages are again contingent on driver availability and willingness to customize their approach for each individual rider. The type of vehicle also has an impact; a luxury or sports utility vehicle will likely be selected more often than a lesser car, such as for example a two-door sedan.
The platform also charges Surge pricings for busy hours or special events. Taking advantage of these ride times will increase the available take-home pay for the driver. These rates contribute to the high pay earned by the most experienced drivers. Surge prices are added directly to the fare, passing it along to the passenger, not the driver.
The Impact of Being an Uber Driver
These days, there are many additional aspects of the driver experience. Savvy sellers have launched side programs to increase wages and tips. Drivers can now sell wholesale convenience items such as accessories or snacks as part of the experience. Each item sold is another portion of profit and can incite a five-star review, prompting more customers to choose you for the rides.
The platform experiences a very high-turnover rate just based on its nature of flexible and adhoc work as a side-hustle. On average, though, over half-a-million drivers are taking advantage of the earnings available. Not to say that causes stiff competition, as it is spread throughout the country, and many are concentrated in urban areas where there is a younger crowd that uses their services.
The transportation landscape is changing, and Uber has been a major part of that, disrupting traditional methods of movement. It takes the power of commerce and puts it into the hands of their drivers, with fares paid directly to them with only a small fee taken to maintain the service and app support.
Is Driving an Uber Right for You?
As we’ve learned to this point, it is possible to earn a good living just from being an Uber driver. A dedication to the craft, willingness to invest long driving times, and attention to extra wage opportunities will allow an Uber driver to earn a good profit well and above the minimum, or even the local average, wages. This can be up to almost $25 per hour.