Make us your home page

Amazon starts hiring for Ruskin, Lakeland fulfillment centers

Online retail giant Amazon has started hiring for jobs at its distribution centers opening in Ruskin and Lakeland.

Amazon's career websites list about 40 Florida positions, including operation engineers, industrial maintenance technicians, human resource employees and administrative assistants.

"We hire the world's brightest minds, offering them an environment in which they can relentlessly improve the customer experience,'' say some of the job descriptions.

"This your chance to make history.''

Amazon is expected to hire more than 1,000 people for the Ruskin center, a number that could double with seasonal and temporary workers once the center is fully operational.

Only job listings for fulfillment associates, who process orders at the warehouses, include a wage: $10.75 an hour for a part-time fulfillment associate and $14.50 for a lead fulfillment trainer or dock clerk.

Qualifications needed range from a high school diploma for a fulfillment associate to a bachelor's degree for a senior financial analyst. Fulfillment associate jobs require that people be able to lift and move totes up to 49 pounds and stand and walk for up to 10 to 12 hours. Job listings say fulfillment centers can be noisy and vary in temperature between 60 and 90 degrees, and sometimes higher.

The Seattle-based retailer is opening fulfillment centers in Hillsborough and Polk counties for processing, packaging and shipping orders. The facility in Hillsborough, near Interstate 75 and State Road 674 in Ruskin, will handle smaller goods such as books and CDs. The Polk facility, at 1760 County Line Road in Lakeland, will handle larger goods, such as TVs and kayaks.

Construction on the million-square-foot centers is expected to be finished by the end of the year in time for the holiday shopping season. The majority of hiring will occur a few months before the centers open, said Amazon spokeswoman Nina Lindsey.

Amazon has been aggressively opening distribution centers nationwide to speed up delivery times and had been scouting sites in Florida for a while. Hillsborough and Polk counties offered the company millions in tax incentives over the next several years if it creates hundreds of higher-paying jobs.

On May 1, the company started collecting sales tax on many orders from Florida customers, a requirement for a merchant that has a physical presence in the state. The additional tax money is expected to generate $75 million to $80 million for the state.

Until last week, Amazon customers had been able to buy many items without sales tax being assessed, putting local merchants at a cost disadvantage of at least 6 percent. Now only purchases made through certain out-of-state third-party sellers are tax free.

Florida law requires residents to submit sales tax on online purchases, but few people do, and the state doesn't enforce it.

Susan Thurston can be reached at or (813) 225-3110.

Help wanted

To apply for an Amazon job, go to or

Amazon starts hiring for Ruskin, Lakeland fulfillment centers 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 7:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States today.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.