"Amazon creates an environment where I can balance work and school," said Catherine Lemonds, an Amazon employee. "I'm so glad they updated the Career Choice program. With the new limitless learning benefit, I'm able to work on completing my bachelor's degree."
Lemonds is one of more than 25,000 employees who have joined Amazon's Career Choice program this year, bringing worldwide total participation to more than 80,000 employees since the most recent enhancements were announced in September.
Career Choice is designed to help front-line employees grow their skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. Launched in 2012, Career Choice expanded its benefits in January to include fully funded college tuition, new industry certifications, courses to improve English-language proficiency, and high school completion programs. Participation grew by more than 25,000 employees in the last six months thanks in part to these new benefits.
The new benefits and education tracks that launched in January include:
- Pre-paid tuition. Amazon pays employees' tuition in advance rather than offering reimbursement after coursework is completed, which ensures employees have access to the funds they need to access the education options they want.
- Limitless learning. Amazon's front-line employees have access to annual funds for education for as long as they remain at the company, with no limit to the number of years they can benefit.
- Fast starts. All 750,000 U.S. hourly employees are eligible to participate in Career Choice just 90 days after starting at Amazon.
"We've been listening to employees about the benefits that are important to them, and the 45% increase in Career Choice participants in just six months shows that we're offering the kind of educational programs and upskilling opportunities they're asking for from their employer," said Tammy Thieman, global program lead of Amazon's Career Choice program. "We're looking forward to seeing participation continue to increase in the coming months as even more employees take advantage of this important benefit."
"The expansion of Amazon's Career Choice program earlier this year has led to tremendous growth in the number of Amazon associates pursuing an education at our colleges," said Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, interim chancellor for the Maricopa County Community College District. "We are proud to have served more than 200 Amazon associates across all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges in the spring 2022 semester, and we look forward to continuing to support these students as they work toward completing their certificate and degree programs."
We've also made it easier for employees to benefit from the Career Choice program and advance their education with more accessible classes. Employees can take classes online, in person at a local campus, or even on site at one of the more than 110 Career Choice classrooms located in Amazon fulfillment centers in 37 states. This year, we've invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in video conference equipment to ensure employees can attend classes while on site. Amazon's Career Choice program now works with more than 200 education providers across the U.S., including colleges and universities, as well as partners that provide industry certifications, English-language proficiency, and high school completion programs.
Postsecondary education and career training are just some of the industry-leading benefits we offer our team members. Amazon jobs come with an average starting pay of more than $18 an hour, well over twice the federal minimum wage, and hourly pay may go up to $28 per hour in some locations. In addition, Amazon offers a comprehensive benefits package to all regular full-time employees that includes health insurance from an employee's first day on the job, a 401(k) plan with a company match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave for new parents, free mental health support, and access to subsidized skills training opportunities.
Career Choice is one of nine free skills training and education programs offered to Amazon employees as part of its Upskilling 2025 pledge to invest $1.2 billion and upskill 300,000 people in the next three years.