How much can you make driving the Amish? The answer is going to vary based on a number of factors including location, whether or not you’re providing the vehicle, and so on.
This ad posted to Craigslist gives us an idea of what you can expect in one sort of arrangement working as a driver for the Amish. Details are limited, but we get enough here to be able to judge if this job might be “worth it”:
Looking for Amish Daily Drivers (Warren Ohio)
Vehicles supplied by employer. Person must have active driver’s license and can haul small trailers. Typical hours 4am or 5am till job is done, Monday through Friday, and occasionally Saturdays. Pay is $90.00 a day. No email inquiries/responses. Interested parties call or leave me a message @ 330-261-6021. You will be working for yourself and will have a 1099 at end of year.
Note, this arrangement is very simple. It is not you driving and supplying the vehicle and gas. It sounds like that is all provided; they just need someone to do the actual driving. That’s quite different from having to supply the vehicle and fuel.
Photo by Anthony Pezzotti
This arrangement is not uncommon. It’s well-known that Amish do not drive motor vehicles and generally that also means they do not own them. However, in reality some Amish business owners do actually own the trucks and vans used to transport their employees to and from the job location. Looks like this is an Amish business owner who owns the work vehicle or at the least leases it.
So is $90 per day a decent rate? First of all, I guess it would depend on how much time it takes “till job is done”. I would assume those are probably 10 hour days at a minimum, depending in part on how far you’d need to go to the job site, which would vary (assuming this business is something in the construction-related field, which is a safe bet).
The minimum wage in Ohio is currently $8.70 per hour. So at a $90 daily rate, you could work a bit more than 10 hours before your pay rate starts to drop below minimum wage. But I wouldn’t expect these to be short days.
Second thing to consider, 4am is an awfully early start. That might mean someone having to wake up at 3:30 AM to be at the first pickup, if this is a job where you’re collecting a crew.
Third, I’m assuming you are picking up and dropping off multiple workers and not just collecting the business owner. Dropping off a multi-person crew at several locations will take additional time at the end of the day, extending the time you are actually occupied. If it’s a large settlement where they’re spread around all over the place that could be significant. Given the location of the ad (Warren, OH), this might be for a Geauga County business, which would count as a large settlement.
On the plus side, if you’re mainly only active two parts of the day – early morning, and let’s assume late afternoon/early evening when taking the Amish crew home – it means you have a big gap when you are just on-site and not having to do a whole lot. I would think that would be time to sleep, read, or even do some other kind of work (online?) if you are resourceful about it.
Even though you might be effectively “on the job” for 12+ hours, you might be actively driving for just say 4-5 of those hours, depending on the distance to the work site, and the space in between “free” time. You could double-up your income for a good chunk of your working day if you figure out a second gig.
Also on the plus side, if you happen to have a day where rain or weather cuts down the length of the work day, you might come out ahead.
Again we don’t know all the details here, and I had to make a few of what I consider to be reasonable suppositions. That noted, this $90 per day deal feels like it is probably a minimum wage or below minimum wage offer.
However, it might appeal to someone if there is a big chunk of time in the middle which they can do with as they please, though assuming they would need to stay on the job site or nearby.
This is one model of Amish taxi driving – driving a vehicle provided for you. What about other situations? If you’re providing a vehicle and gasoline and operating as a traditional Amish taxi driver, rates will obviously be higher.
Those drivers typically charge by the mile and can also factor in wait time charges in the ballpark of $10/hour. To take one example, this 2019 article gives rates in PA as ranging from 80 cents to $1.30 per mile. But if it’s your vehicle, you are of course responsible for maintenance and repair costs and other charges such as commercial car insurance. This inside look at Amish taxi driving goes into more detail.
And of course that type of Amish taxi driving is a different type of driving than what’s described in the ad above. As one of our readers who is a driver in Lancaster County puts it, “the Amish keep us hopping and we never have a dull moment.”
You might also like:
Amish Driver Help Wanted Ad – Is It Worth It?
I would assume (or at least hope) that anyone interested in being an employer-vehicle-supplied driver to the Amish would ask the person placing the advert lots of questions regarding job expectations, especially concerning the time gaps in between transporting passengers.
Driving for the Amish generally looks like something that would appeal to relatively financially comfortable retirees,young people/college students entering the gig economy temporarily with a more interesting Uber-type job, as well the digitally-savvy self-employed.
Thanks for the interesting story Erik!
Good analysis! As you point out I think there is a sweet spot candidate for this type of job. If I were considering Uber and Amish driver was available as an alternative, there would definitely be some advantages to consider though I suppose you’d sacrifice a degree of flexibility. As to myself I’d be more keen on being like an afternoon/evening driver than running this daily 4am schedule:)
I am interested in becoming a driver for you
I live in the southern Maryland Amish community. I drive every day. I charge .85 a mile for runs other than local. To go to a grocery store or bank is usually a flat rate. I make anywhere from $75-100 a day. I drive at least 200 miles a day.
I love my job and the benefits are amazing. I get fresh baked goods, fresh vegetables and spend time with the nicest people around
I even live in an Amish residence. I live like them with no electric, no lights or tv or computers. I would not trade my life for the world.
Great comment Merrillyn and you hit on something I left out – the appeal of hanging out with Amish folks for a good part of the day. Some people would call that a big plus and I see you really enjoy the time spent with your crew. Awesome to hear it is working well for you in southern MD!
I appreciate your commenting and sharing your experience!
I’m curious about a few things.
So, 100ish a day doesn’t seem like much for 200 miles. I definitely see the relationship rewards however! I could be missing something so I ask- do you use a car and typically cater to one or a few people? I think what you make probably makes more sense if that’s the case. Please forgive my ignorance, I’m really trying to figure out if I want to do this.
My first thought was invest in a low-mileage van (15 to 30k investment) and drive whole families or crews, etc. Obviously the more people the more we make.
I live in Wayne county Ohio and Love people so I would truly enjoy this! I even consider having a few vans and employing others. Any feedback is appreciated! 🙂
Blessing to you my friend!
sign me up
I would totally do this job. I would have to move from Arkansas, but I have 3 children living at home still. I don’t know of an Amish community around here. I really, really would love this. I could work on my masters degree classes online in that time from early morning runs to take the crew home. Ahh, you’ve got me dreaming.
Eric, once again a very interesting article.
You compare this to minimum wage, but there is a factor that I didn’t see mentioned that doesn’t quite make that an apples-to-apples comparison. Minimum wage would seem to presume an employee status — which this (with the mentioned form 1099) is not. Instead, this would seem to be a self-employed situation — which means that he/she is responsible for *both* sides of SS/FICA (or whatever they call it now) contributions. The actual deduction percentages will presumably vary by state, but in places I’ve lived the additional hit for self-employed has eaten up an additional 15% of take-home pay.
But on the other hand, there are perks that could come into play as well. Friendships, maybe some garden or baked goodies at times, and stories to tell to family and friends. And depending on the type of work, there might be some monetary add-on if the driver can also help to some degree on the job site — construction, clean-up, errand boy, etc.
Good point Don, and right it is not apples to apples considering that aspect (ad provider notes “You will be working for yourself” and the 1099). On the other side there might also be some self-employment deductions involved as well (though probably not huge ones assuming you are not paying for gas etc.), I ignored all that for simplicity but yes the difference that this is not a straight employment situation should be noted.
You hit on another point, in some of these cases the English driver is also paid to be a worker, but I guess here they have that part covered.
Reply to comment
I drive a variety of people every day. Sometimes it’s a work crew others it’s just Amish that have errands. I make more on errands as I go more places. Work crews are profitable if they go any distance. Either way I love it. I drive a Dodge Ram 1500. With gas prices up I have had to go to $1 a mile. Thanksgiving I had 9 Amish from three different families come to my house with food. I am truly blessed to have them in my life
Thanks for the fast response!
I would definitely enjoy the variety of errand running over the work crew scenario!
I really like how you love this and have great relationships as that’s so important!
I think I’ll hand a note on a bulletin board in my Amish area and see what happens. Maybe a couple days a week would suffice what I’m trying to do and see where it goes from there.
Thank you again!
Brother . Is looking for a cash job
He is retired an looking for extra cash .used to drive truck for a living. Otr hauling from state to state. But only has a small car will need to be supplied with a vehicle to haul with. If interested in him leave me a message at 740.-624-8110. he lives between Noble, geurnsey, muskingum ,county’s.also has alot of tree cutting experience. Thanks
Hello. I’m sending a short message to see if it works. Lost last message. Very detailed .I’m looking driving opportunities. I will send more info. Thanks.
Hello, my name is Lori. I live in Flinton, Pa. Prince Gallitzin State Park. I have an SUV which seats 5, a spacious cargo area. Well maintained, clean and insured. I’m very safe driver, friendly and reliable. I am available for any driving needs in and around surrounding area. Cambria, Blair and Clearfield counties. Further if needed with increased price. Work with room for tools/supplies need for the day or various jobsites. Groceries, appointments or whatever your needs maybe. If I need to add anything please let me know ….new at this. Thank you and hope to see ya soon!!!