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 (removed) 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.”