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How Much Do Spark Drivers Make In 2024?

  • Spark drivers earn an average of $22.53 per hour, with base pay, bonuses, and tips contributing to earnings.
  • Pay calculation depends on delivery type, distance, peak hours, and customer tips.
  • Highest earnings are seen in cities like Tacoma-Olympia and Hartford, especially during peak times.
  • Strategic scheduling and leveraging bonuses and tips can significantly boost earnings.

Have you wanted to apply as a Spark driver but are curious as to how much drivers make?

It’s a valid question. After all, there are now so many different gig-focused delivery opportunities and it is hard to know which one to pick.

I’ve analyzed data from real-world driver earnings and can offer a bit more insight into the question.

How Much Do Spark Drivers Make?

Spark drivers make an average of $22.53 per hour, according to real-world earnings data from Spark drivers in over 60 cities across the United States.

Of that hourly number, $15.94 is base pay, $1.21 is bonus pay, and $5.38 is tips.

In the 15 highest-paying cities of data that we analyzed, the average earnings increase to $26.14 in total.

Of that number, $18.53 is base pay, $1.72 is bonus pay, and $5.89 is tips.

The main difference in city-specific pay appears to largely come down to the base pay offered to drivers in that region.

These numbers are greatly impacted by factors like delivery volume and local demand. I’ll provide a breakdown to further clarify.

How Does Spark Calculate Pay?

Spark calculates pay for drivers based on several factors: base pay per delivery, distance, time of day, and delivery type.

  • Delivery Type: Different delivery types (curbside, express, online orders, shopping and delivery) have distinct base pay rates.
  • Distance: The distance between the pickup location and the delivery destination can affect the base pay, with longer distances typically yielding higher pay.
  • Time of Day: Deliveries during peak hours may offer higher base pay to incentivize drivers to work during these times.

Drivers can earn additional income through various incentives, such as lump sum bonuses for completing a set number of deliveries, tiered bonuses for completing more deliveries within a specific period, and per-trip incentives during high-demand times.

Drivers also keep 100% of customer tips, which can significantly boost earnings.

Example Pay Calculation for Spark Drivers

Consider a typical delivery scenario to understand how the pay might be calculated:

  • Base Pay: $10 for a standard delivery.
  • Distance Bonus: $2 for a longer distance.
  • Peak Hour Incentive: $3 additional for delivering during peak hours.
  • Customer Tip: $5 received for excellent service.
  • Total Pay for One Delivery: $10 (base pay) + $2 (distance bonus) + $3 (peak hour incentive) + $5 (tip) = $20.

By understanding these components, drivers can strategically plan their schedules, choose high-paying delivery offers, and maximize their earnings on the Spark platform.

Additional Factors Influencing Pay

Some deliveries may require more effort, such as shopping for items in-store and then delivering them, which can result in higher pay.

Maintaining a high customer satisfaction rating and ensuring on-time deliveries can lead to more consistent earnings.

High ratings can increase the likelihood of receiving more delivery offers and better tips.

Highest-Paying Cities for Spark Drivers

Some cities have a better profit margin than others for Spark delivery. Here’s a sampling of the earnings data:

CityAverage Hourly PayBase Pay per HourBonus Pay per HourTips per Hour
Tacoma-Olympia37.5720.367.0210.19
Hartford27.7321.522.084.13
Minneapolis26.4318.472.075.89
Akron25.9117.111.597.21
San Francisco25.5019.040.326.14
Bay Area25.4320.710.684.04
New York25.4118.591.305.52
Providence25.1816.832.026.33
Washington, D.C.25.1817.871.645.67
St. Louis24.9517.881.155.92
Portland24.9118.461.624.83
Huntsville24.7516.051.297.41
Los Angeles24.7219.751.073.90
Buffalo24.2918.870.544.88
Phoenix24.0916.391.446.26
Top 15 Averages26.1418.531.725.89
Data source: Solo

The Best Times to Drive In Those Cities and States

Within the top 15 cities for Spark drivers, we can provide further context by analyzing the best times to drive within that region:

City, StateBest Days to WorkBest Hours To WorkAmounts Earned
Tacoma-OlympiaWednesday, Thursday, Saturday11.00 AM17.18
HartfordSunday, Tuesday, Saturday7.00 AM12.44
MinneapolisSunday, Tuesday, Friday8.00 AM17.32
AkronSunday, Friday, Saturday6.00 PM21.56
San FranciscoTuesday, Wednesday, Friday8.00 AM15.54
Bay AreaSunday, Tuesday, Wednesday10.00 AM19.94
New YorkTuesday, Friday, Saturday2.00 PM20.42
ProvidenceSunday, Monday, Saturday3.00 PM13.74
Washington, D.C.Sunday, Friday, Saturday11.00 AM16.46
St. LouisSunday, Friday, Saturday11.00 AM18.20
PortlandSunday, Tuesday, Friday10.00 AM16.36
HuntsvilleSunday, Friday, Saturday5.00 PM20.46
Los AngelesSunday, Monday, Saturday10.00 AM14.08
BuffaloThursday, Friday, Saturday3.00 PM15.00
PhoenixSunday, Monday, Saturday5.00 PM11.87
Top 15 Averages16.70
Data source: Solo

Notable Observations As I Analyzed the Data

I found it very interesting to look at the data for each city, and the results were actually somewhat surprising to me.

I expected Spark to be a great gig to try, but I honestly didn’t think the data would prove it to be this good.

But, a few notable trends stood out to me while conducting my analysis.

1. Region Matters

First and foremost, where you drive has a large part to do with how much you make.

While some cities like Tacoma-Olympia and San Francisco offer higher earnings, others like Baltimore ($14.21 per hour) show lower averages.

This regional variation suggests that drivers should consider local demand and pay rates when choosing where to drive.

I suggest taking the time to analyze local pay rates and then determine the most profitable areas to work from there.

Personally, I like to talk to local drivers in my area, and have found that most are more than willing to talk about how much they make.

Joining a delivery-specific social group or forum is a great way to connect with local drivers in your area.

2. The Best Times to Drive

Secondly, there are some windows of time that are better to drive during than others.

Sunday, Friday, and Saturday are consistently the best days for Spark drivers across multiple cities.

This trend indicates that weekend and end-of-week demand is higher, offering more earning opportunities for drivers who can work these days.

It’s interesting to see that the best times for Spark deliveries closely align with the best times to do Instacart as well.

Data shows that working late mornings (8 AM – 11 AM) and early evenings (5 PM – 7 PM) can significantly boost earnings.

For instance, Akron drivers earn over $21 per hour during these peak times, highlighting the importance of strategic scheduling.

Instead of just randomly working with Spark, I suggest taking the time to target both peak hours as well as the most profitable days of the week.

Taking a targeted strategy has the potential to greatly increase your potential income.

3. Tips are Significant

Third, Tips can be a substantial part of a driver’s earnings, averaging $5.38 per hour nationwide.

This is a very good number for the industry, but in cities like Tacoma-Olympia, tips contribute $10.19 per hour.

Again, do NOT overlook the importance of tips.

Base pay averages around $15.94 per hour, while bonus pay is relatively low, averaging $1.21 per hour.

In some cities, tips make up a bulk of the total earnings. High bonus pay ($7.02 per hour) and tips ($10.19 per hour) contribute to the highest overall earnings.

It’s clear that tips are clearly driving up the numbers in our data, so take the time to offer great customer service and position yourself to do the same.

4. Don’t Sleep On Incentives

Lastly, I suggest drivers take full advantage of available bonuses and incentives to increase total earnings.

In cities where bonuses are significant, such as Tacoma-Olympia ($7.02 per hour), drivers can enhance their earnings by focusing on completing more deliveries during bonus periods.

Understanding and leveraging these incentives can lead to higher overall pay.

Overall Take: Does Spark Pay Well?

When comparing Spark to other delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Instacart, Spark offers competitive pay, particularly in high-demand cities.

For example, Spark drivers in Tacoma-Olympia earn an impressive average of $37.57 per hour, which is significantly higher than the average earnings reported for other delivery platforms.

Key factors contributing to Spark’s attractive pay include substantial base pay, generous tips, and lucrative bonuses during peak times.

However, pay can vary widely by region. While some cities show high earnings, others like Baltimore offer lower average hourly rates.

Despite these variations, Spark generally provides a strong earning potential, especially for drivers who strategically schedule their hours and maximize bonuses and tips.

Overall, Spark can be a lucrative option for delivery drivers, but success largely depends on location and strategic work habits.

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