How Much Does A Paper Route Pay?

Delivering newspapers by bicycle at the crack of dawn is a classic way for kids to earn some extra cash. While the days of bustling paper routes with dozens of deliverers may be waning in our increasingly digital era, many newspapers still rely on dedicated paperboys and girls to hand-deliver print editions to subscribers’ doorsteps.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Most paper routes pay between $50-$100 per month, with the average monthly earnings around $80 for a couple hours of work each morning.

Factors That Determine Paper Route Earnings

When considering a paper route as a source of income, it’s important to understand the factors that can influence your earnings. While the average pay for a paper route can vary depending on various factors, here are some key considerations that can determine how much you can earn:

Type and Size of Route

The type and size of the paper route you take on can significantly impact your earnings. Larger routes with more customers generally offer higher pay than smaller routes. Additionally, some routes may require you to deliver papers to multiple locations, such as houses, apartments, and businesses, while others may be more concentrated in a specific area.

The more customers you have and the greater the distance you need to cover, the higher your potential earnings.

Experience Level

Experience plays a role in determining paper route earnings. As you gain more experience and become more efficient in delivering papers, you can potentially earn more. This is because you become familiar with the route, develop time-saving strategies, and build relationships with customers, which can lead to higher tips or bonus payments.


The location of your paper route can also impact your earnings. Different areas may have varying delivery demands, customer density, and population demographics. Urban areas with a higher population density may have more customers and offer greater earning potential compared to rural areas with fewer customers.

Additionally, areas with higher average incomes may result in more generous tips from customers.

Time Commitment

The amount of time you dedicate to your paper route can directly affect your earnings. The more time you invest in delivering papers, the more you can potentially earn. Some paper routes may require early morning deliveries, while others may be in the afternoon or evening.

Consider your availability and schedule when choosing a paper route, as this will determine the number of deliveries you can make and the potential income you can generate.

It’s important to note that while these factors can provide a general understanding of paper route earnings, actual pay rates may vary depending on the specific newspaper or delivery company. It’s always a good idea to research and inquire about the pay structure and expectations with the company you are considering working for.

Average Earnings for Paper Routes

Monthly Earnings

When it comes to paper routes, the average earnings can vary depending on several factors such as the number of papers delivered, the distance covered, and the time taken to complete the route. On average, a paper route can pay anywhere from $200 to $500 per month.

However, it’s important to note that this is just an estimate and actual earnings may vary.

The amount of money a person can make from a paper route also depends on the location and demand for the newspaper in that area. For example, paper routes in densely populated areas or areas with a higher demand for newspapers may pay more than routes in rural areas.

It’s also worth mentioning that the earnings from a paper route can increase over time as you gain more experience and become more efficient in delivering papers. Some people have reported earning up to $800 per month after a few years of delivering newspapers.

Per Hour Earnings

Calculating the per hour earnings for a paper route can be tricky as it depends on various factors such as the number of papers delivered, the distance covered, and the time taken to complete the route. However, on average, a paper route can pay around $10 to $15 per hour.

It’s important to note that this is just an estimate and actual per hour earnings may vary. Some experienced paper route delivery persons have reported earning up to $20 per hour.

If you’re considering taking up a paper route for extra income, it’s important to weigh the earnings against the time and effort required. While it may not be the highest paying job, delivering newspapers can be a great way to earn some extra money, especially for students or individuals looking for flexible part-time work.

Getting Started as a Paper Carrier

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash, becoming a paper carrier can be a great option. Not only does it offer flexibility in terms of working hours, but it also provides an opportunity for young people to develop responsibility and learn about the value of hard work.

Here are some steps to get started as a paper carrier:

Applying for a Route

The first step in becoming a paper carrier is to apply for a route. You can usually find information about available routes on the websites of local newspapers or by contacting their distribution departments.

Some newspapers may require you to be at least 13 or 14 years old to apply, while others may have different age requirements. It’s important to check the specific requirements for the newspaper you’re interested in.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to have a parent or guardian review the application and help you with the process.

Landing Your First Route

Once you’ve applied for a route, the newspaper will typically review your application and determine if there are any available routes in your area. If there is a route available, they will contact you to discuss the details and schedule a training session.

During the training session, you’ll learn about the responsibilities of a paper carrier, such as delivering the papers on time and in good condition. You may also receive tips on customer service and how to handle any challenges that may arise.

Pro tip: Make sure to ask any questions you have during the training session. It’s better to clarify any uncertainties upfront rather than struggle later on.

Building Your Customer Base

Once you start delivering papers, it’s important to provide excellent service to your customers. This includes delivering the papers consistently and on time, as well as being polite and respectful. Building a good relationship with your customers can lead to tips and even potential opportunities for additional routes or referrals.

Pro tip: Consider creating a personalized thank-you note or holiday card to show your appreciation to your customers. Small gestures can go a long way in building lasting relationships.

Starting as a paper carrier may not make you a millionaire overnight, but it can be a valuable experience that teaches you important life skills. Plus, the extra income can help you save for future goals or treat yourself to something special.

So, if you’re looking for a flexible part-time job, why not give it a try?

Pros and Cons of a Paper Route

Advantages of a Paper Route

There are several advantages to taking up a paper route as a source of income.

  • Flexible Schedule: One of the biggest advantages of a paper route is the flexibility it offers. Unlike traditional 9-to-5 jobs, paper routes usually involve early morning or late-night deliveries, allowing individuals to have the rest of their day free for other commitments.
  • Physical Exercise: Delivering newspapers involves physical activity, which is a great way to stay fit and active. Walking, cycling, or even driving around the neighborhood to drop off papers can help individuals maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Extra Income: A paper route can serve as an additional source of income, whether it’s to supplement an existing job or to earn some extra cash on the side. It can be particularly beneficial for students or individuals looking to make some money without committing to a full-time job.
  • Building Relationships: A paper route can provide an opportunity to interact with the local community. Building relationships with customers can lead to tips, holiday bonuses, or even future job opportunities.
  • Developing Responsibility: Taking on a paper route requires a sense of responsibility and discipline. It teaches individuals important skills such as time management, organization, and accountability.

Disadvantages of a Paper Route

While a paper route can offer numerous benefits, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks as well.

  • Early Mornings or Late Nights: The timing of a paper route can be challenging for some individuals, especially those who prefer a regular sleep schedule. Waking up early in the morning or working late at night might not be suitable for everyone.
  • Weather Conditions: Delivering papers requires going out in all kinds of weather conditions, including rain, snow, or extreme heat. This can be physically demanding and uncomfortable, particularly during harsh weather.
  • Transportation Costs: Depending on the size of the route, individuals may need to use their own vehicle or pay for transportation costs. This can eat into the earnings and reduce the profitability of the job.
  • Reliability on Customers: The income from a paper route relies heavily on customers paying their subscription fees promptly. Late or missed payments can impact the earnings, and individuals may need to follow up with customers to ensure timely payment.
  • Physical Strain: Carrying a bag full of newspapers or riding a bike for long distances can put strain on the body, leading to fatigue or potential injuries. It is important to take precautions and maintain proper physical fitness to avoid any health issues.

Considering the advantages and disadvantages, it is essential for individuals to weigh their options and assess whether a paper route aligns with their lifestyle and financial goals. While it can provide flexibility and additional income, it also comes with certain challenges that need to be taken into account.


For industrious and responsible kids, a paper route can be a great way to earn extra money with a semi-regular schedule. While paper routes don’t pay big bucks, the average monthly earnings of around $80 provide a nice income boost for just a few hours of morning work.

With early mornings and variable weather conditions, a paper route requires commitment and diligence. But for those seeking to gain work experience and pocket money, it can be a worthwhile endeavor.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts