Amazon is to follow in Uber’s footsteps by signing up people to work as part-time delivery drivers for its Prime Now programme.

The initiative, called Amazon Flex, will see drivers pick up orders for Amazon Prime Now customers from the retailer’s warehouses and deliver them to customers’ houses in as little as one hour. The positions are part-time with pay at $18-$25 an hour. Drivers will have to provide their own car and Android phone.

The online giant has started advertising for drivers to make deliveries from Amazon via a programme called Amazon Flex.

In an FAQ on its site, the retailer said Amazon Flex was now available now in Seattle and would soon be rolled out to New York, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Portland.

“You can choose any available two-, four- and eight-hour blocks of time to work the same day, or set availability for up to 12 hours per day for the future. You can work as much or as little as you want,” the company said in an FAQ. It also said there it it was only offering options to drive but in the future it may offer opportunities to deliver via bike or on foot.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dave Clark, senior vice-president of worldwide operations at Amazon, said: “There is a tremendous population of people who want to work in an on-demand fashion.”

“This is another opportunity for people to work with the company. We feel very confident in our approach.” He said he expected as applicants to be “serious people who want to do a good job”.