How Much Does Doordash Pay In California In 2023?

Looking to earn extra money delivering food for DoorDash in California? With the rising cost of living, more people are turning to gig economy apps like DoorDash to supplement their income. But how much can you really make delivering for DoorDash in California?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: DoorDash drivers in California earn between $15 – $25 per hour on average after accounting for expenses. The exact pay varies based on your location, hours worked, and other factors.

Factors That Impact How Much You Can Earn with DoorDash in California

When it comes to earning potential with DoorDash in California, several factors come into play. Understanding these factors will help you have a clearer idea of how much you can expect to make as a DoorDash driver in the Golden State.

Base Pay Per Order

The base pay per order is the minimum amount you will earn for completing a delivery. DoorDash calculates this amount based on factors such as distance, time, and complexity of the order. While the base pay may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each delivery, it typically ranges between $2 and $10 per order.


Tips are an important part of a DoorDash driver’s earnings. Customers have the option to tip their driver through the app, and these tips are added on top of the base pay. The amount of tips you receive can vary greatly, but generally, customers are encouraged to tip at least 15-20% of the order total.

It’s worth noting that DoorDash has a policy in place to ensure that drivers receive the full amount of the tip, and it does not affect their base pay.

Promotions and Bonuses

DoorDash often offers promotions and bonuses to drivers as a way to incentivize them to work during peak hours or in certain areas with high demand. These promotions can significantly increase your earnings, especially if you strategically plan your shifts to take advantage of these opportunities.

Bonuses may be based on completing a certain number of deliveries within a specific time frame or driving during specific high-demand periods, such as weekends or holidays.


It’s important to consider expenses when calculating your earnings as a DoorDash driver. As an independent contractor, you are responsible for covering your own expenses, including gas, maintenance, insurance, and vehicle depreciation.

These costs can vary depending on the distance you drive, the type of vehicle you use, and other factors. It’s crucial to keep track of your expenses and deduct them when filing your taxes to get a clearer picture of your net earnings.

Ultimately, the amount you can earn with DoorDash in California is influenced by a combination of base pay, tips, promotions, and bonuses, as well as your expenses as a driver. By understanding these factors and optimizing your strategy, you can maximize your earnings potential and make the most out of your DoorDash experience in California.

Average Hourly Pay for DoorDash Drivers in Major California Cities

Los Angeles

DoorDash drivers in Los Angeles can expect to earn an average hourly pay of $15 to $20. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate and actual earnings can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the number of deliveries completed, the time of day, and customer tips.

It’s also worth mentioning that DoorDash drivers have the potential to increase their earnings through incentives and bonuses offered by the company.

San Francisco

In San Francisco, DoorDash drivers have the potential to earn higher average hourly pay compared to other cities in California. On average, drivers in San Francisco can earn around $18 to $25 per hour.

This is due to the high demand for food delivery services in the city and the generally higher cost of living. DoorDash drivers in San Francisco may also benefit from a larger customer base and a higher number of orders, which can contribute to their overall earnings.

San Diego

DoorDash drivers in San Diego can expect to earn an average hourly pay of $15 to $20. Similar to other cities, actual earnings may vary depending on various factors. San Diego offers a diverse range of food options, making it a popular city for food delivery services.

DoorDash drivers in San Diego may also have the opportunity to earn additional income through customer tips and incentives provided by the company.

San Jose

In San Jose, DoorDash drivers can earn an average hourly pay ranging from $16 to $22. The city’s proximity to Silicon Valley and its thriving tech industry contribute to a high demand for food delivery services.

This can lead to more frequent and higher-paying delivery opportunities for DoorDash drivers. Additionally, drivers in San Jose may also benefit from a larger customer base and a higher volume of orders, which can positively impact their earnings.

It’s important to remember that these average hourly pay rates are subject to change and may not reflect the current rates. DoorDash regularly updates its pay structure and drivers should always refer to the official DoorDash website or driver app for the most up-to-date information on earnings.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that drivers have the potential to increase their earnings through customer tips and bonuses offered by the company.

How to Maximize Your Earnings as a DoorDash Driver in California

If you’re working as a DoorDash driver in California, you may be wondering how to maximize your earnings. With a few strategic tips and tricks, you can boost your income and make the most out of your time on the road.

Here are some strategies to help you maximize your earnings as a DoorDash driver in California.

Work during peak times

One of the best ways to increase your earnings as a DoorDash driver in California is to work during peak times. These are the hours when demand for food delivery is at its highest, and therefore, you’re more likely to receive more orders.

Typically, peak times include lunch and dinner hours, as well as weekends. By scheduling your shifts during these busy periods, you can increase your chances of getting more deliveries and earning more money.

Deliver in busy areas

Another strategy to maximize your DoorDash earnings in California is to deliver in busy areas. Some neighborhoods and cities have higher demand for food delivery than others. By focusing your deliveries in these busy areas, you can increase your chances of receiving more orders and earning more money.

Keep an eye on the DoorDash app to see where the demand is highest and plan your routes accordingly.

Maintain good ratings

DoorDash drivers with higher ratings often receive more orders, which can lead to higher earnings. To maintain good ratings, make sure to provide excellent customer service, deliver orders promptly, and communicate with customers if there are any delays or issues.

By consistently receiving positive ratings from customers, you’ll have a better chance of getting more orders and increasing your earnings.

Minimize expenses

While working as a DoorDash driver, it’s important to minimize your expenses to maximize your earnings. Keep track of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and plan your routes efficiently to save on gas costs.

Additionally, consider packing your own meals or snacks to avoid spending money on food while on the road. Every dollar you save on expenses is an extra dollar in your pocket.

By following these strategies, you can maximize your earnings as a DoorDash driver in California. Remember to work during peak times, deliver in busy areas, maintain good ratings, and minimize expenses.

With dedication and smart planning, you can increase your income and make the most out of your DoorDash driving experience.

Pros and Cons of Driving for DoorDash in California


Driving for DoorDash in California comes with several advantages:

  1. Flexible Schedule: One of the biggest benefits of working for DoorDash is the ability to create your own schedule. As a driver, you can log in and start delivering whenever you want, making it ideal for individuals looking for a side gig or a part-time job.
  2. Earnings Potential: DoorDash offers the opportunity to earn a decent income, especially during peak hours or busy times. While the exact earnings can vary depending on factors such as location, order volume, and tips, many drivers report making a good amount of money.
  3. Tips and Bonuses: DoorDash allows customers to tip their drivers, providing an additional source of income. Additionally, the platform occasionally offers bonuses and incentives to drivers, encouraging them to complete more deliveries or work during high-demand periods.
  4. Easy to Get Started: Signing up to become a DoorDash driver is a relatively straightforward process. The company provides an easy-to-use app that guides you through the onboarding process, making it accessible for individuals with little to no experience.


While there are many advantages to driving for DoorDash, there are also a few drawbacks to consider:

  1. Expenses: As an independent contractor, DoorDash drivers are responsible for their own expenses, including gas, maintenance, and vehicle insurance. These costs can eat into your earnings and should be factored into your financial calculations.
  2. Unpredictable Workload: DoorDash relies on customer demand, which can fluctuate throughout the day and week. This means that there may be times when the number of available orders is low, resulting in less income for drivers. It’s important to be prepared for periods of slower business.
  3. Wear and Tear on Vehicle: The nature of the job requires frequent driving, which can lead to increased wear and tear on your vehicle. This can result in additional maintenance costs and potentially shorten the lifespan of your car.
  4. Independence and Responsibility: While some people thrive in an independent work environment, others may find it challenging. As a DoorDash driver, you are responsible for managing your own schedule, keeping track of earnings, and ensuring timely deliveries.

    This level of autonomy may not suit everyone.

Alternatives to Driving for DoorDash in California

If you’re looking for alternatives to driving for DoorDash in California, there are several options available to consider. While DoorDash is a popular choice for many people, it’s always a good idea to explore other opportunities that may better suit your preferences and goals.

Here are a few alternatives worth exploring:

Other food delivery apps

One option to consider is exploring other food delivery apps. DoorDash may be the first app that comes to mind, but there are several other platforms operating in California that offer similar services. Some popular alternatives include Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates.

These platforms often have a similar payment structure and can provide you with additional opportunities to earn money by delivering food to customers.

Rideshare driving

If you have a car and enjoy driving, another alternative to consider is becoming a rideshare driver. Platforms such as Uber and Lyft are well-established in California and offer flexible driving opportunities.

By becoming a rideshare driver, you can transport passengers to their destinations and earn money based on the distance traveled and time spent driving. This can be a great way to supplement your income or even make it a full-time gig.

Warehouse work

For those who prefer a more traditional work environment, warehouse work can be a viable alternative to driving for DoorDash. Many companies in California, such as Amazon, offer warehouse positions that involve tasks like packing, organizing, and shipping products.

These positions often come with competitive hourly rates and may offer additional benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

It’s important to note that each alternative comes with its own set of requirements and considerations. Before making a decision, take the time to research and understand the responsibilities, pay structure, and any additional requirements of each option.

By doing so, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and preferences.


Driving for DoorDash in California can be a flexible way to earn extra income in your spare time. While pay varies, DoorDash drivers in California earn an average of $15 – $25 per hour after expenses. The exact amount depends on your location, hours, and ability to maximize promotions and peak times.

Compare the pros and cons to decide if working for DoorDash is right for you in California.

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