How Much Does Uber Pay?

Updated on April 23, 2024

At a Glance

  • Uber drivers in the U.S. make an average of $38,002 per year.
  • New drivers may receive guaranteed earnings for their initial trips.
  • Earnings vary depending on location, base fares, tips, and incentives.
  • Pay is determined by trip duration, distance, and surge pricing.

Nowadays, Uber is a very popular option for transportation when you need to go somewhere.

Uber is used on a daily basis, and only back in 2018, about 95 million people used the app every month. The San Francisco based company had a revenue of $37.28 billion in 2023.

Since we know Uber makes a lot of money, it’s important to ask – how much is an Uber driver getting paid? If you don’t know yet, this article will tell you.

What Do Uber Drivers Really Earn?

Let’s break it down. According to Salary.com, the average Uber driver in the U.S. makes around $38,002 a year. That means Uber drivers in the U.S. get around $15 to $22 per hour. But this isn’t some one-size-fits-all deal. In reality, though, what you make depends on where you’re driving and when you clock in. Things like base fares, tips (those extra goodies), and some cool incentives can affect your bottom line.

Hourly Income Before Expenses

In 2024, Uber drivers find themselves navigating a dynamic earning landscape with hourly rates oscillating between $15.28 and $36.62 on average. Yet, the median earnings, which present a more reliable indicator of income, hover around $16.19 to $35.44 per hour. Notably, these figures don’t stand alone as drivers also benefit from customer tips, further enhancing their hourly take-home by an additional $1.01 to $4.00.

Weekly Earnings Overview

Weekly earnings for Uber drivers are subject to variability, influenced by a matrix of factors including geographic location, hours committed, and prevailing demand. A driver dedicating a full-time schedule of 40 hours a week to Uber may see their earnings before expenses range from approximately $611.20 to $1,464.80. This variability underscores the gig economy’s inherent flexibility and the opportunity for drivers to scale their earnings based on availability and market conditions.

Annual Earning Potential

On an annual scale, assuming a driver maintains consistent full-time hours without any alteration in pay rates, the earning potential before expenses emerges as notably substantial. An extrapolation of the average hourly earnings suggests an annual income of around $46,541. This estimation, while promising, does not account for the potential uplift from bonuses, surge pricing adjustments, or the additive effect of tips.

The Role of Tips in Earnings

Tips play a pivotal role in supplementing an Uber driver’s income, with drivers expecting to earn an additional $1.01 to $4.00 per hour from customer gratuities alone. The actual tipping amount varies, influenced by service quality, customer interactions, and regional tipping customs. Over time, these tips can significantly bolster a driver’s overall earnings.

Impact of Uber’s Earnings Guarantee Promotions

Uber’s strategic deployment of Earnings Guarantee promotions significantly impacts driver income. These promotions are designed to attract new drivers and ensure income consistency by setting a guaranteed earnings threshold contingent upon fulfilling certain criteria, such as completing a minimum number of trips within specific zones and times. These guarantees are paid weekly post the guarantee period, ensuring drivers a predetermined income level despite demand fluctuations, with Uber compensating for any discrepancies between actual earnings and the guaranteed rate.

New Drivers Get Uber New Driver Guaranteed Earnings

After you sign up and do your first bunch of trips within the time and place Uber tells you (it’s in the app), if you earn less than they guaranteed for your first trip, they top you up. And guess what? Tips are just cherries on top!

For a little taste:

  • In Boston, you can make at least $2,680 after 200 trips.
  • In Nashville, that’s around $2,400 after 200 rides.
  • Over in Miami? About $1,940 after 200 trips.

Getting Paid With Uber: How’s It Work?

Passengers get a price up front. Your earnings? It’s a mix of how long the trip is and how far you’re going. 

For example, someone hailing a ride from Santa Monica to LAX (roughly 30 mins and 8.9 miles) gets charged based on the going rates in LA ($0.28/min and $0.80/mile), plus a few extra charges like a marketplace fee (which goes straight to Uber) and estimated surcharges. 

So, that ride costs the passenger $24.51. But after Uber takes their cut, the driver pockets $15.28 for that half-hour ride.

Upfront Pricing

Starting in California in 2019, and expanding in 2022, Uber changed things up with upfront pricing. Drivers can now see the estimated fare and where they’re going even before they say “yes” to a ride. 

And the pay structure is a bit different: what you earn and what the passenger pays aren’t tightly linked anymore. Result? Short rides are more profitable and long rides…not so much.

Surge Pricing

This is where you’ll make the real money. When the demand is high and drivers are scarce, prices surge. So, that same Santa Monica-LAX trip? With a 2.0x surge, you’d pocket double!

How’s the Pay Across the States? 

Curious about how much Uber drivers earn in various parts of the United States? Let’s navigate through the latest stats to get a clearer picture of the earning landscape for these road warriors. Remember, the 50% mark represents the median earnings, which gives us a balanced look at what’s typical for each location.

Connecticut Uber Earnings

  • Top 10%: Earning up to $27,729 annually
  • Next 25%: Hitting around $34,102
  • Median Earnings: A cool $41,102
  • Climbing to 75%: We see earnings of $50,102
  • The Elite 90%: Taking home a handsome $58,296

New York City Uber Earnings

  • Top 10%: Clocking in at $30,274
  • Next 25%: Not too shabby at $37,102
  • Median Earnings: $44,602 in the heart of the Big Apple
  • Reaching 75%: Earnings jump to $54,402
  • Top Tier 90%: A grand total of $63,324

Kentucky Uber Earnings

  • Top 10%: Sitting at $24,239
  • Next 25%: Making around $29,702
  • Median Earnings: A respectable $35,702
  • Up to 75%: Earnings tip to $43,602
  • Top 90% Club: Bagging $50,795

San Francisco Uber Earnings

  • Top 10%: Taking in $32,027
  • Next 25%: Racking up $39,402
  • Median Earnings: At the midpoint, we’ve got $47,502
  • Reaching 75%: Earnings soar to $57,902
  • The High-Flying 90%: Impressive at $67,371

Cheyenne, Wyoming Uber Earnings

  • Top 10%: Earning a total of $23,630
  • Next 25%: Not far behind with $29,002
  • Median Earnings: A solid $34,902
  • Moving to 75%: Seeing a rise to $42,602
  • Elite 90%: Wrapping up at $49,612

Uber Earnings by State

MarketEarnings Per Hour MedianEarnings Per Mile MedianEarnings Per Trip Median
Pittsburgh, PA$18.80$0.96$11.28
Los Angeles, CA$17.07$0.87$9.84
Dallas, TX$15.64$0.70$10.95
Phoenix, AZ$16.78$0.71$10.00
New York, NY$20.96$1.10$13.33
Washington, DC$17.44$0.94$10.23
Boston, MA$20.88$1.07$10.95
Chicago, IL$17.84$0.98$10.78
Baltimore, MD$15.90$0.81$9.90
Atlanta, GA$13.79$0.66$9.67
Miami, FL$12.69$0.69$8.67
Austin, TX$17.19$0.84$10.88
Detroit, MI$16.60$0.68$10.65
New Jersey$18.41$0.91$10.50
Houston, TX$14.26$0.63$10.85
Philadelphia, PA$17.22$0.99$9.71
Bay Area, CA$21.21$1.06$11.67
San Jose, CA$21.80$1.00$11.51
Seattle, WA$20.35$1.14$11.47
San Diego, CA$17.15$0.79$9.39
San Antonio, TX$12.44$0.64$9.29
Columbus, OH$14.46$0.76$10.05
Indianapolis, IN$14.69$0.66$9.29
Denver, CO$19.10$0.87$11.85
Jacksonville, FL$13.87$0.64$9.09
Charlotte, NC$13.57$0.62$9.31
Las Vegas, NV$15.37$0.89$8.61
Oklahoma City, OK$14.05$0.62$8.29
Nashville, TN$15.52$0.77$10.00
Kansas City, MO$16.85$0.69$11.23
New Orleans, LA$14.33$0.90$10.31
Tampa, FL$12.55$0.63$9.01

Uber Eats

Feeling peckish? You can deliver food with Uber Eats and boost your earnings when rides are slow. Pay depends on pickups, drop-offs, and distance. And just like surge pricing, there’s a “Boost” for food deliveries when it’s busy.

Uber Expenses

While the earnings sound great, there’s the nitty-gritty. Uber drivers are on their own for car maintenance, gas, and insurance. And here’s the kicker: since you’re a 1099 worker, you gotta handle your taxes. That includes a self-employment tax on top of the usual stuff. So, remember to set some cash aside for expenses and taxes!

So, Is the Uber Hustle Worth It?

Look, if you’ve got some hustle and are in a city, Uber can be a good gig. In quieter areas? Maybe it’s just a neat side-hustle. What’s key is setting the right expectations. Do your research, test your market, and see if this ride’s for you!

Read More

Uber Pay: Common FAQs

There are several factors that influence how much Uber pays its drivers. Here are some common questions and their answers about Uber pay.

1. How much does Uber pay on average?

The average earnings of an Uber driver can vary widely depending on factors like location, hours worked, and expenses. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Uber drivers could expect to make between $15 to $25 per hour before expenses in most markets, but actual earnings can vary.

2. Are Uber drivers paid by distance or time?

Uber drivers are paid based on both distance and time. The fare for a trip is calculated using a base fare plus rates for estimated time and distance of the route. There’s also a booking fee. However, the passenger’s fare also includes surge pricing and promotions, which do not affect driver earnings.

3. How often are Uber drivers paid?

Uber drivers are typically paid weekly via direct deposit. However, with Uber’s Instant Pay feature, drivers can transfer their current earnings to a debit card account up to five times a day.

4. Can Uber drivers earn tips?

Yes, Uber drivers can earn tips from passengers. Passengers have the option to tip their driver through the app after the trip is completed. The full amount of the tip goes to the driver.

5. Are Uber drivers responsible for their own expenses?

Yes, Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, which means they’re responsible for their own expenses. These can include fuel, maintenance, insurance, and vehicle depreciation.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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