Question of the Day: What's the median hourly wage for an UberX driver?

Oct 15, 2018
Entrepreneurship, Question of the Day, Career, Research, Employment

Answer: $14.73


  • What are the factors that lead to such wide variations in median hourly wages between cities? 
  • What costs would an Uber driver incur which would reduce their hourly income?
  • Do you think these median figures have been increasing or decreasing compared to three years ago? Explain your answer.
  • Uber now has over 2 million drivers globally. What do you think attracts them to drive for the company? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (from Recode)

The median hourly pay with tip for Uber drivers in the U.S. is $14.73, according to a new study conducted by Ridester, a publication that focuses on the ride-hail industry. That figure includes tips but doesn’t account for expenses like insurance, gas and car depreciation incurred while working. Using Ridester’s low-end estimate of $5 per hour in vehicle costs, drivers would bring in $9.73 per hour and potentially much less.

That implies a driver working 40 hours per week would make an annual salary of almost $31,000 before vehicle expenses, and about $20,000 after expenses (but still before taxes). That’s below the poverty threshold for a family of three. It’s also a far cry from the $70,000 to $90,000 Uber once claimed its drivers made in major markets.


Driving for Uber is a form of entrepreneurship. Let your students see how they manage the "business" of driving for Uber by playing the Uber game


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.