How Much Does Instacart Pay Per Hour In 2023?

Grocery delivery services like Instacart exploded in popularity during the pandemic, providing a convenient way for people to get their groceries without leaving home. If you’re looking to earn extra money with a flexible schedule, becoming an Instacart shopper may be a great side hustle.

Here’s the quick answer: Instacart pay averages $15 – $22 per hour, but pay varies widely based on your location, hours, speed, and more. Keep reading to learn all the details on Instacart driver pay.

How Instacart Pay Works

Instacart is a popular online grocery delivery service that allows customers to have their groceries delivered right to their doorstep. As a shopper for Instacart, you can earn money by shopping for and delivering groceries to these customers.

Instacart offers a flexible and convenient way for individuals to earn extra income, whether it’s as a side gig or a full-time job.

Per-order pay

One of the ways Instacart pays its shoppers is through per-order pay. This means that for each order you complete, you will receive a certain amount of money. The exact amount can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the order, the distance you have to travel, and the time it takes to complete the order.

Instacart uses a complex algorithm to calculate the per-order pay, taking into account these factors to ensure that shoppers are fairly compensated for their time and effort.


In addition to per-order pay, Instacart shoppers also have the opportunity to earn tips from customers. Customers have the option to leave a tip for their shopper, either during the checkout process or after the delivery is completed.

Tips can be a significant source of income for shoppers, as they can greatly increase their overall earnings. Instacart allows shoppers to keep 100% of their tips, providing an incentive for shoppers to provide excellent service and ensure customer satisfaction.

Boosts and promotions

Instacart also offers boosts and promotions to its shoppers. Boosts are additional incentives that are offered for completing certain types of orders or during specific time periods. These boosts can significantly increase the amount of money you can earn per order.

For example, there may be a boost offered for delivering during peak hours or for completing a certain number of orders in a day. Promotions, on the other hand, are special bonuses that shoppers can earn for meeting certain requirements or achieving specific milestones.

These promotions can provide a great opportunity for shoppers to earn extra income.

Factors That Impact Your Instacart Earnings

When it comes to working for Instacart, there are several factors that can have an impact on your earnings. Understanding these factors can help you maximize your potential earnings and make the most out of your time spent shopping and delivering groceries.

Your location and demand

One of the key factors that can affect your Instacart earnings is your location. The demand for Instacart services can vary significantly from one area to another. In densely populated cities with high demand, you may have more opportunities to accept orders and earn more money.

On the other hand, in less populated areas, the demand may be lower, resulting in fewer opportunities and potentially lower earnings.

It’s important to keep an eye on the demand in your area and choose your working hours accordingly. During peak times, such as weekends or evenings, the demand for Instacart services tends to be higher, which can translate into more orders and higher earnings.

Hours and availability

Your availability and the number of hours you dedicate to working for Instacart can also impact your earnings. The more hours you are available to accept orders, the more opportunities you will have to make money. However, it’s essential to find a balance that works for you and your schedule.

Some shoppers prefer to work part-time and focus on specific hours where they know the demand is high, while others prefer a more flexible schedule and are available for orders throughout the day. Finding the right balance between availability and demand can help you optimize your earnings.

Shopping speed and efficiency

Your shopping speed and efficiency can directly impact your Instacart earnings. The faster and more efficient you are at completing orders, the more orders you can take on within a given time period. This means more money in your pocket.

Improving your shopping speed and efficiency can be achieved through experience and practice. Familiarize yourself with the layout of different stores and products, utilize the search function in the Instacart app to quickly find items, and develop a system that works for you to organize your shopping cart effectively.

Customer tips

Customer tips are an additional source of income for Instacart shoppers. Customers have the option to tip their shopper through the app, and these tips can significantly boost your earnings. Providing exceptional customer service, ensuring accurate and timely deliveries, and going the extra mile can increase your chances of receiving higher tips.

It’s important to note that while tips can contribute to your overall earnings, they may vary from order to order. Some customers may be more generous with their tips, while others may not tip at all. However, consistently providing excellent service can increase the likelihood of receiving tips and positively impact your earnings.

Average Instacart Pay Per Hour

If you’re considering becoming an Instacart shopper in 2023, one of the most important factors to consider is the average pay per hour. While the exact amount can vary depending on various factors, including location and experience, let’s take a look at the national average and the top cities for Instacart pay.

National average

The national average pay for Instacart shoppers in 2023 is approximately $15-$20 per hour. This range takes into account factors such as the shopper’s speed, efficiency, and the number of orders they complete in an hour.

Keep in mind that this is just an average, and some shoppers may earn more or less based on their performance and location.

It’s important to note that Instacart also offers additional incentives and bonuses that can increase the overall earnings of shoppers. These incentives can include peak hour bonuses, referral bonuses, and customer tips.

So, while the base pay per hour is important, it’s also worth considering these additional earning opportunities when calculating potential earnings.

Top cities for Instacart pay

If you’re looking to maximize your earning potential as an Instacart shopper, it’s helpful to know which cities offer higher pay rates. While this can vary year to year, some cities consistently rank among the top for Instacart pay.

  • San Francisco, California: Known for its high cost of living, San Francisco tends to offer higher pay rates for Instacart shoppers to match the city’s expenses.
  • New York City, New York: As one of the busiest cities in the United States, New York City has a high demand for Instacart services, which often leads to higher pay rates.
  • Los Angeles, California: With its large population and sprawling suburbs, Los Angeles offers ample opportunities for Instacart shoppers to earn a competitive wage.
  • Seattle, Washington: Known for its tech industry and high cost of living, Seattle often offers attractive pay rates for Instacart shoppers.

These cities are just a few examples, and pay rates can vary within each location. It’s always a good idea to research the specific pay rates in your area and consider the cost of living when evaluating the earning potential as an Instacart shopper.

For more information on Instacart pay rates and how they may change in the future, you can visit the official Instacart website

How to Maximize Your Instacart Pay

If you’re looking to make the most out of your Instacart gig and earn a competitive hourly rate, there are several strategies you can employ. By following these tips, you can maximize your earnings and make the most of your time spent delivering groceries.

Take advantage of peak times

One of the keys to maximizing your Instacart pay is to take advantage of peak times. These are the hours when demand for grocery delivery is highest, typically during weekends, evenings, and holidays. By working during these peak hours, you can increase your chances of receiving more orders and earning more money.

Keep an eye on the Instacart app for notifications about high-demand periods.

Provide excellent service

To stand out from other Instacart shoppers and increase your chances of getting higher pay, it’s crucial to provide excellent service to customers. This includes carefully selecting the best-quality items, double-checking orders for accuracy, and delivering groceries promptly.

Going the extra mile and providing exceptional customer service can lead to higher tips and customer ratings, which can ultimately boost your overall earnings.

Work efficiently

Efficiency is key when it comes to maximizing your Instacart pay. Make sure to plan your routes carefully to minimize travel time between deliveries. Familiarize yourself with the store layouts to quickly locate items and reduce shopping time.

Additionally, try to batch your orders by accepting multiple deliveries at once to optimize your earnings per trip. By working efficiently, you can complete more orders in less time, increasing your overall hourly rate.

Take on promotions

Instacart often offers promotions and bonuses to incentivize shoppers to take on certain orders or work during specific periods. Keep an eye out for these promotions and take advantage of them whenever possible. They can significantly boost your earnings, especially during slower periods.

Additionally, consider signing up for Instacart’s membership program, which can provide access to exclusive promotions and bonuses.

By following these strategies and staying proactive, you can maximize your Instacart pay and make the most of your time spent delivering groceries. Remember, the more effort and dedication you put into your work, the greater your earning potential.


Instacart provides a flexible way to earn extra income on your own schedule. Pay varies based on your location, hours, efficiency, and customer tips, but averages $15 – $22 per hour nationally. With smart strategies, you can maximize your earnings potential with Instacart.

This guide provided all the details on how Instacart pay works so you can decide if it’s the right side gig for you.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts