To operate efficiently, Amazon warehouses are highly dependent on information technology and, consequently, on IT workers.
OpsTech IT is the department tasked with deploying, operating, maintaining, and fixing IT systems in an Amazon warehouse. Networks, servers, routers, scanners and PCs are some of the equipment that IT employees work on.
OpsTech IT team structure
A brief summary of the OpsTech IT team:
|IT Manager||Leads onsite support teams|
Manages IT risk
Coordinates changes and projects
|L4 IT Support Engineer III||Assists the IT Manager when needed (Acting Manager)|
|L4 IT Support Engineer II||Manager in training|
|L4 IT Support Engineer I||(Most IT Support Engineer I functions apply to both IT Support Engineer II and III)|
Leads OpsTech IT peers
Troubleshoots IT issues
Works with the RME department to set up access points, security cameras and other equipment
Serves as the primary escalation point for Equipment Coordinators.
Delegates tasks to associates
Works on larger IT projects in the warehouses
|L3 IT Support Associate II||Assists the operations team in dealing with technical problems, e.g., broken scanners, laptops, printers, etc.|
|T1 or T3 IT Equipment Coordinator||Allocation and maintenance of IT equipment|
Supports the rest of the team in projects and activities as directed
How to join the IT team in the Amazon warehouse
You can get into OpsTech IT by applying internally or externally. If you are applying externally, you can use the OpsTech IT home page to look for open positions.
If you are applying internally, the best way to get started is through networking. Get to know the IT team and ask an area manager to recommend you for the Equipment Coordinator (EC) position. You can also go through Jobfinder from the AtoZ app and look for open EC positions. You can access Jobfinder from the A to Z app (under More > Careers and Training).
If you have little to no experience and specialized IT education, the IT Equipment Coordinator position will be the easiest to get. It requires very little experience or education (all you need is a high school diploma or equivalent). The downside is that whenever this position is advertised, there can be too many applications, so an IT certificate such as CompTIA A+ might get you through the door.
If you have experience, education in an IT related field and IT certifications, then you can try for the IT Support Associate II position. The easiest way to get this position, however, is to first start as an IT Equipment Coordinator and get promoted.
You might have to go through some training and certification to be promoted from Equipment Coordinator to Support Associate (Amazon pays for it).
Like IT Support Engineers, IT Managers get the job through promotions or applying directly (rarely). External hires would need tons of experience and technical certifications compared to an internal promotion.
Your chances of getting hired will depend on job availability, your experience and level of education.
You can apply as many times as you want so don’t give up if you don’t get a chance the first time. It also helps if apply for more than one position at a time, e.g., for both Equipment Coordinator and IT Support Associate.
If you already work at Amazon, you can get an IT education that is 100% paid for by Amazon through the Career Choice program. There are several colleges (e.g., WGU) that offer tech-related bachelor’s degrees for Amazon associates through this program.
If your application is successful, you will get an email with information about the upcoming interview.
If you already work at an Amazon facility, you can ask your site’s OpsTech IT leadership, e.g., IT Support Engineers, for a mock interview – which helps a lot.
The interview process for OpsTech IT positions consists of a couple steps:
Step 1: HireVue assessment
You get about twenty minutes worth of interview questions. You’ll be required to turn your webcam on but there’ll be no interviewer on the other end. The questions asked in this step are very basic, e.g., why do you want to work with us, what is a USB, etc.
Step 2: Virtual interview
This is a two-hour, two-part interview that might be done via Amazon Chime. Your interviewers will be the OpsTech IT leadership, i.e., IT Manager and/or IT Support Engineers.
If you are interviewing for Equipment Coordinator, the interview will likely be over the phone or in person and not through Chime.
The first part is the Technical interview where you might get asked to explain technical terms. This is where your knowledge of Microsoft Windows, Linux and computer networking might come in handy. For instance, you might get asked questions about the OSI model. Professor Messer’s YouTube channel is a goldmine for this sort of information.
If you are interviewing for the IT Equipment Coordinator position, technical questions will mostly be based on what’s in your resume. Getting questions wrong is fine as the interviewers mostly want to assess your level of knowledge.
The second part is the Behavioral interview. You’ll get asked questions related to Amazon Leadership Principles which you must answer using the STAR method. Having a good grasp of the Leadership Principles and the STAR method is important.
Here’s a useful resource for learning how to answer behavioral interview questions comfortably.
In some interviews, the behavioral part might be first and the technical part second.
For the L3 IT Support Associate position, the behavioral interview is more important than the technical interview. Amazon has a strong bias towards knowing the Leadership Principles.
After the interview
In a few days after the interview, you will receive an email informing you whether you passed or failed. If you passed, you’ll also get an offer letter with the email.
You’ll also get a background check as well as a drug test.
If you look through OpsTech IT job postings, you’ll notice that they list a few IT certifications as part of the necessary or desired qualifications in some of them.
A few of the certs that will put you ahead of the pack in your applications include:
- CompTIA A+
Amazon pays for some of these certificates for employees in the OpsTech IT team. You can find out more about them on the internal wiki page from your A to Z app.
OpsTech IT team members who apply externally earn considerably more than those who get the job through internal promotions or transfers.
IT Support Engineer I and above also get salary raises, sign-on bonuses and RSUs.
Benefits typically include:
- Medical insurance
- Business travel insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- PTO, vacations and sick leave
- Access to discounts
Branching out into AWS or Corporate
Some OpsTech IT employees pivot to jobs like Systems Dev Engineer or Network Engineer in the AWS and/or corporate IT teams when they don’t want to get into OpsTech IT management. This is because IT Manager positions are more about people management than technical work and some may not like that.
The AWS and corporate sides of Amazon are completely different from the warehouse (fulfillment centers, distribution centers, delivery stations, etc.) side in terms of culture and type of work.
Alternatively, some choose to remain as IT Support Engineers for the rest of their time at Amazon or join specialized OpsTech IT teams that do not work on site.