DoorDash as a Career?

When I was brand new, and since I have a good full-time job, I would have said no. But I’ve changed my mind…for certain circumstances. 

Not everyone had a marketable degree. Not everyone has a skill or trade. Then some people have life circumstances, such as being a single mom. Others may have certain health conditions that make it difficult to find full-time work. 

There are a lot of people out there trapped into low-paying jobs with no benefits and terrible schedules. For those people, I’m an advocate.

Look at a $10/hr job, 40 hours a week with no or very poor benefits. That’s about $350 after taxes.

If you’re in a very busy area, you can make $17/hr with DoorDash. You might be able to make more, and you can definitely make more if you learn how to work multiple apps at the same time.

Let’s look at the $17/hr. For 40 hours. That’s $680 a week gross. Assume a $1 per mile which is 680 miles and assume 25 miles per gallon. That’s 27 gallons. You’ll have to do your own math on gas, but it’s cheap here, so that would be around $70. (Obviously do different math if your car gets better mileage. Mine gets 28 city.)

So you’re left with $610, then it becomes hard to recommend how much to save out for taxes since everyone’s situation is different. If you save out 20%, you’re left with $488.

$488 beats $350 but that’s not the entire point. It’s flexible, no horrible bosses, no inflexible schedules, and you have the ability to work more than 40 hours a week and choose the times.

Another point is people who just want to work….a lot. They have no time restrictions, no kids, and they just want money. For that person trapped in a 40 hour a week $10/hr job, going full-time as a driver blows it away. Most full-time jobs don’t offer overtime. 

Now you’re talking 60 hours a week at $17/hr with a $1,020/wk gross pay. I do know some drivers working multiple apps earning more than $1,000 a week consistently. You’ll take home around $700 a week after taxes. (Again, your taxes may not be 20%. They may be much lower depending on your situation.) 

With all of that said, it’s still hard to call this a career. Things change quickly in this industry such as the rates of pay and going from busy to slow to busy. Overall, with everything being equal, I’d still recommend a salaried or hourly position and just use delivery as a side-gig.

B it’s not so insane to think about this as a career since independent truckers have been doing it for years. They have to contract their services, then pay for their own truck, fuel and maintenance. The average independent trucker earns $50,000 after expenses. 

Some things to consider:

Do you have a reliable car that gets good gas mileage? 

Have you added the extra cost for either a commercial insurance policy or one that covers using your vehicle for business use? 

Are you thinking about giving up a job with intangible, yet valuable benefits such as vacation, sick time and medical insurance? 

Think about what would happen if your car died (as in, need to replace it.) Would that be easy, or impossible? If you only have one car, I’d recommended getting a “beater.” Just any piece of junk that runs – spend $1,000. If your car dies and it takes days to fix it, at least you won’t miss a beat. The other option would be to rent a car. 

And a tip: If you’re going to make driving your full-time job, get with every gig company; GrubHub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Amazon Flex, Instacart, Roadie….In times when one is slow, you have a lot of other options. 

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