Updates to the Amazon Career Choice Program for 2022

Students in a class
Students in a classroom. Amazon is revamping their Amazon Career Choice program for 2022.

Amazon is planning sweeping changes to its tuition assistance program – Amazon Career Choice – for hourly-paid warehouse associates.

The new program went live on January 1st 2022. Employees who have worked at Amazon for as little as 90 days will be eligible for having their tuition, fees and books fully paid; up to a maximum of $5,250 per year (part time associates get up to $2,625).

Of note is that unlike education programs in most companies which are based on reimbursement only, Amazon Career Choice has both reimbursement and prepaid options so associates don’t have to foot the bill in advance if they don’t need to.

The Purpose of this Program

amazon hiring sign
“We’re Hiring!”. Amazon facilities usually have many open positions for entry level work.

Amazon offers this program as a way to attract and retain workers. After completing their studies, employees may continue to work for Amazon or switch careers if they wish. Switching jobs and leaving Amazon does not require you to pay the fees back.

There is also increasing competition from companies offering similar tuition benefits. Target, Walmart and UPS are some of the companies offering similar benefits to their warehouse employees.

For these reasons, Amazon has revamped the program for Janauary 2022 by making the tuition benefits even more attractive to current and would-be employees.

For instance, previously, associates had to wait a full year to access the benefits. The payout was also lower; at 95% of the cost up to a maximum of $3,000 per year.

Other differences between the old (current) and the new (2022) benefits plan are:

Previous Amazon Career Choice Program DetailsUpdated Amazon Career Choice Program for January 2022
Lifetime maximum of $12,000 over 4 yearsNo lifetime maximums
Supports Associate degrees, college certificates, skilled trades and diplomasAlso GED, English as a second language (ESL) and Bachelor’s degrees
1 year at Amazon to be eligible90 days at Amazon to be eligible
95% of the tuition & fees paid up to a maximum of $3,000 per year100% of the tuition & fees paid up to a maximum of $5,250 per year
Applies to a few select programs and schoolsMore programs and schools added
Differences between the current program vs the revamped version.

Classes are offered at Amazon facilities, on college premises and online. The mode of delivery depends on the location of your facility and the type of program.

The Career Choice website has been updated with further details on January 1st.

Total Amount Covered

Amazon says they’ll cover 100% of education expenses up to a maximum of $5,250 and $2,625 annually for full-time and part-time associates respectively. They may pay more under special circumstances.

These expenses include tuition, books (which can be submitted for reimbursement) ands other fees.

The reason Amazon and other companies cap their tuition benefits at $5,250 is because at or below this amount, the benefit is not taxable to employees. This is in accordance with section 127 of the Tax Code.

How to Apply for the Program

amazon career choice logo
Amazon Career Choice logo

To apply for the program, go to https://www.amazoncareerchoice.com – the Amazon Career Choice official website – then log in using your A to Z app credentials.

One thing to note is that the website has not yet been updated to include details about the changes to the program, such as a list of the newly added courses and pre-approved schools. This should be done by January next year.

Make sure to discuss your course scheduling needs with HR since they may clash with your shifts, especially if the courses are offered in person.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

an amazon associate
The Amazon Career Choice program is available to both fulltime and part-time associates.

The Amazon Career Choice program is available for fulltime, Flex reduced time (FlexRT) and part-time hourly paid associates who have worked for at least 90 days at Amazon.

Amazon WholeFoods shoppers who are in the More Time Ready (MTR) program are also eligible for the benefit.

Available Courses

This program applies only to pre-approved courses and colleges. These courses are not all aligned with Amazon’s line of business. For example, students can choose to study nursing or CAD.

Classes may be offered in person, on-site (in the Amazon facilities), online and live online.

Courses provided include but are not limited to:

  • Information technology (IT)
  • Nursing
  • Trucking
  • Electrical engineering
  • Web development
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Dental Hygienist
  • EMT
  • Accounting
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)

When it comes to on-site classes, you will find that different Amazon locations offer different programs. For example, some may offer nursing and trucking only, while others offer IT and electrical engineering.

Schools in the Amazon Career Choice Network

The tuition benefits can only be accessed in schools that are in the Amazon Career Choice network and the list can be found on the official website.

The following is a list (not exhaustive) of currently approved schools and programs in the Amazon Career Choice network.

SchoolAvailable ProgramsLocations
Rowan College at Burlington CountyHealth, Manufacturing, IT, CDL, Supply Chain, Paralegal StudiesOnline, Burlington County, New Jersey
Community College of Baltimore CountyAutomotive Technology, Legal Studies, Cybersecurity, ManufacturingSee here
Alamo Colleges NetworkProgramming, 3D Animation, HVAC, Aircraft Technician, Bookkeeping, Business ManagementSan Antonio and Universal City, Texas
Flatiron SchoolSoftware Development, Amazon Data Analytics, Cybersecurity AnalyticsOnline
Bluegrass Community and Technical CollegeHealthcare, IT, Manufacturing, Skilled TradesLexington, Kentucky
Sage Truck Driving SchoolsCommercial Driving License (CDL)See here
Gateway Comunity and Technical CollegeTransportation Technologies, Manufacturing, Healthcare, ITBoone County, Covington and Edgewood, Kentucky
Roadmaster Drivers School Commercial Driving License (CDL)See here
Platt College RiversideCybersecurity, Graphic Design, Web Development, ITLos Angeles, CA
Governors State UniverityMedical Billing and Coding, Clinical Medical AssistantOnline
We Can Code ITWeb and Software DevelopmentOnline
Coding DojoWeb DevelopmentOnline
Penn Foster CollegeVeterinary Technician, Engineering Technology, Pharmacy TechnicianOnline, on-site
Natural Resource Training Group (NRTG)Environmental Field SkillsOnline, local sites across North America
Maricopa Community CollegesElectrical Technician, Computer Integration Systems and Support, Paralegal, EducationOn-site, online, hybrid, see physical addresses
Jefferson Community and Technical CollegeAviation Technology, Healthcare, IT, Transportation Technologies, Mechanical and Skilled TradesLouisville, Kentuky
List of schools in the Amazon Career Choice network. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.

Alternative Warehouse Jobs Offering Education Benefits

Amazon has some competition when it comes to offering tuition assistance programs. Target, Walmart and UPS are some of the companies with generous benefits that also hire warehouse employees:

Target

target distribution center
A Target distribution center.

Target’s tuition assistance program pays for all of the tuition, books and fees for select Bachelor’s degrees, certificates and bootcamps.

The caveat is that these programs must be business aligned and in schools that are covered by Guild Education.

All part-time and fulltime frontline employees (team members), including warehouse/distribution center staff, can apply for this program.

Unlike Amazon, Target employees are eligible for this benefit from the day they are hired.

For Master’s degrees (including MBAs) and undergraduate degrees that are not business aligned but are still within the Guild Education network, Target will pay up to $10,000 and up to $5,250, respectively.

Walmart

A Walmart monument sign.
A Walmart monument sign.

Walmart has the Live Better U (LBU) tuition assistance program that pays 100% of tuition fees and book costs for their associates.

Like Target, Walmart mostly funds business-aligned programs (e.g., Business, IT or Supply Chain) offered by schools that are in the Guild Education network.

The LBU program also applies to Sam’s Club since it is owned and operated by Walmart.

Associates are eligible for the program from the first day of employment.

UPS

UPS logo
A UPS logo

Package handlers and other part-time employees at UPS can expect to get tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year with a maximum lifetime of $25,000 per year through the Earn and Learn program.

As with Target and Walmart, eligibility for the program starts from the day you are hired.

Employees can choose any program of their liking as long as it is offered in an approved post secondary institution.

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