The online retail giant Amazon has promised to pay the full college tuition of its operation warehouse workers. The said benefit will be starting in January.

However, the company did not release the full criteria needed for staff to be eligible. Some are qualified even if they had just been working with Amazon for three months, according to an Engadget report.

High school diplomas and GEDs will also be covered, as well as English as Second Language certifications.

The company announced that it would pay tuition and other fees in advance. The offer stands as long as the people remain employees.

Amazon said that the benefit will be applied to hundreds of educational institutions across the United States.

Amazon earlier offered to pay 95 percent of the eligible employees' college tuition. The coverage includes textbooks for hourly associates under its career choice program.

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Amazon Employee Benefits

One of its Amazon employee benefits was the Career Choice program, which allows employees to develop in-demand skills for jobs in the future, according to a Boston 25 News report in 2018.

Amazon also offers other incentives such as sign-on bonuses for new employees worth up to $3,000.

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said that the company is spending a lot of money on signing and incentives, adding that it is not without a cost as it is a very competitive labor market.

The new program that will fully cover employees' college tuition will amount to a total investment of $1.2 billion by 2025.

Amazon has also improved its hiring efforts to meet demand as U.S. shoppers turn to online shopping during the onset of the pandemic, according to a Fox Business report.

Part-time employees who work more than 20 hours per week also receive benefits, such as life and disability insurance, dental and vision insurance with premiums paid in full by the company.

Amazon warehouse workers make around $12 an hour, which is slightly below the national average rate for warehouse employees, according to a Business Insider report.

Companies Paying for College Tuition

More companies offered to cover their workers' college tuition.

Target and Walmart recently announced their tuition reimbursement programs. House Depot, UPS, FedEx, Chipotle, and Starbucks also have programs to help employees pay for college, according to a CNBC report.

Meanwhile, Waste Management will not only offer college degrees and professional certificates for its employees. The said benefits extend to their spouses and children.

Willis Towers Watson senior director Lydia Jilek said that education-as-a-benefit is a cost-effective addition to core offerings for employers.

Jilek said that if someone can get a bachelor's degree for no cost, it is likely to increase the employees' loyalty to workers.

Bright Horizons research found that less than half of employees said they have been able to pursue educational goals in the last five years, mostly due to the time commitment and financial obstacles.

Chipotle chief financial officer Jack Hartung said that employees who take advantage of the company's free degrees are three and a half times more likely to stay with the company.

In addition, they are seven times more likely to move up into management.

READ MORE: Jeff Bezos Warns Employees "One Day, Amazon Will Fail" 

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Written by: Mary Webber

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