Is Instacart Full Time? (Is It Possible, Earning Potential + More)

Instacart has made it easier for more people to supplement their income on their own schedule, with shifts beyond typical office hours.

Some of the earnings shoppers are raking in are incredible, a testament to their hard work, hustle and ability.

But is Instacart full time? Can the average person replace a full-time job with Instacart shopping, when the 9-5 grind has them down? Here’s some insight below.

Is Instacart Full Time In 2024?

Most Instacart shoppers are not considered full-time employees; they are not considered employees at all, but rather, independent contractors. Even Instacart’s waged in-store shoppers only work up to 29 hours per week. However, some of the most successful full-service shoppers make enough to replace a full-time job, though that is the exception, not the rule.

There’s so much more to learn about topic, including how some of these shoppers make full-time pay, how many hours you can shop each day, whether it’s possible to hit certain dollar amounts each day and how to reach those goals. Keep reading!

Is It Possible To Make A Full Time Living With Instacart?

It certainly is possible to make a full-time living with Instacart, but from the information I have gathered, it’s not exactly an easy feat.

Let’s assume full-time is anything above the federal poverty line, which is about $26,200 a year for a family of four.

That comes out to about $500 per week or $12.50 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week.

Shoppers reporting that they make full-time pay with their earnings say they average a rate that comes out to $12-14, while others say their rate is closer to $17-20.

However, in order to make full-time pay, most shoppers are working more than 40 hours a week.

One commenter on this thread remarked that a shopper in their area regularly makes $1500 per week.

The caveat is that he worked 12-hour days, seven days a week.

For many people, that is just not sustainable over the course of months or years, with burnout being a huge possibility.

It definitely seems possible that you can make full-time pay shopping for Instacart, but because of the nature of the market, some weeks you’ll have to hustle harder than others.

And that’s another major point: gig work is uncertain. The hours, the volume of work, can change at any time.

So proceed with caution.

How Many Hours Can You Work A Day With Instacart?

From what my research has turned up, there doesn’t seem to be any limit on how many hours you can take per day shopping with Instacart.

The only limit is what’s available when it’s your turn to schedule shifts.

People have reported working 12 hours a day, or sometimes even more if they needed the money and had the time.

Be careful, though; working that much can make you tired and pay less attention to detail, which can then affect your performance.

And when shopping for Instacart, performance affects how much you earn.

How Much Does Instacart Pay Full Time?

How Much Does Instacart Pay Full Time?

Instacart does not pay full-time to their shoppers, only to their corporate staff.

In-store shoppers are considered employees, but their hours are capped at about 30 per week.

Full-service shoppers are independent contractors who rely on batch availability to determine their earnings.

Can You Make $100 A Day With Instacart?

Most shoppers in reasonably well-populated markets with a good portion of middle-and-higher income households should be able to make $100 a day shopping for Instacart.

Assuming you can complete a batch in an hour, if you put in eight hours and your earnings average $15/hour, you could earn $120.

Can You Make $200 A Day With Instacart?

You can make $200 a day with Instacart, but you will have to hustle a bit harder and work faster.

You would have to make the equivalent of $25/hour or you can make less, but work more hours.

If you shop in a densely populated area with a higher cost-of-living, your chances of making $200 in one day are a lot better.

Can You Make $1000 A Week With Instacart?

If you can maintain the earnings of a $200 day five days a week, then yes, you could very well earn $1000 in a week shopping for Instacart.

A lot of shoppers find that setting goals really helps motivate them, but if you aren’t hitting your goals regularly, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.

There are a lot of independent factors that can affect your earnings; first and foremost is your location.

I’m going to briefly detail below some ways you can maximize your earnings.

How Do You Maximize Your Instacart Earnings?

Some of the tried-and-true methods for earning as much as possible shopping for Instacart are as follows:

  • Be the friendly, polite, helpful A+ shopper you would want; your earnings depend largely on customer satisfaction.
  • Go where the batches are; if you live in a smaller city but have a bigger one nearby, try spending a day there instead and see if your earnings go up.
  • Follow the money; try setting your location to areas or neighborhoods with a higher cost-of-living. The better-off can afford bigger tips!
  • Be choosy; you don’t have to accept every batch that comes your way. Pick certain standards – a distance, an amount – and try to stick with it.

You might be surprised how incorporating some of these tips changes your tips – for the better!

To know more, you can also read our posts on Instacart privacy policy, is Instacart worth it, and does Instacart delivers on Sunday.


While most people shop for Instacart as a part-time job or side hustle, there is a growing number of people turning to it for full-time pay.

It’s important to keep in mind that while it is possible, the market can be volatile and unpredictable; you’ll have to bring all your determination and hard work into play.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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