What Do Amazon Badge Colors Mean?

What Do Amazon Badge Colors Mean?

Although there’s been a lot of confusion, and questions about the colors of Amazon employee IDs, Amazon portrays these badge colors as a means of identifying a particular level of hierarchy within the organization. That brings us to find out what exactly these colors mean.

The Amazon badge colors signify the number of years spent by an employee working for the organization. 0 to 5 years are represented in blue, 5 to 10 years are encased in yellow, the red badges indicate employees that have spent 10 to 15 years, 15 to 20 years are in purple casings, while the highest number of years, 20+, is in a silver casing.

Further information about the details of each badge color, what they represent, and how to get them will be related in this article. Amazon is known for its over 1 million employees, hence it does make perfect sense to understand the meanings behind each colored badge for the employees.  

How Many Employee Badge Colors Are There At Amazon?

What Do Amazon Badge Colors Mean?

There are six employee badge colors at Amazon. These employee badges are categorized with respect to the number of years spent by the employees in the organization. The badges are:

  1. The white badge – represents temporary or seasonal employees of the organization.
  2. The Blue badge – represents 0 to 5 years spent by the employee at the organization.
  3. The Yellow badge – represents 5 to 10 years spent by the employee at the organization.
  4. The Red badge – represents 10 to 15 years spent by the employee at the organization.
  5. The Purple badge – represents 15 to 20 years spent by the employee at the organization.
  6. The Silver badge – represents 20+ years spent by the employee at the organization.

These badge colors are often mistaken to depict the employee levels, sometimes they are assumed to represent the managerial level of the employees. Although these assumptions are wrong and somewhat do not relate to the reasons behind the creation of the color badges, it is quite understandable why these assumptions exist.

In 2016 when the colored badges were first introduced, its design at the time irked some employees. The invention of the new “high-tech” badges at the time was aimed at stopping the creation of counterfeit employee IDs. This goal was achieved but a lot of changes were made which didn’t sit well with some employees’ cultural beliefs.

The brightly colored badges had a high-quality black and white portrait picture of the employees against a black background with the employees’ last names replacing the previous personalized version of the badges. This background irked a group of employees as they believed their pictures being set on the background had similarities with funerary portraits according to the Asian culture.

According to internal documents reported by the Seattle Times, Amazon claimed the clean and modern design makes it easier to read and utilizes new generation technology, incorporating improved and efficient security features. 

Today, all Amazonians(also known as Amazon employees) have adopted colored badges and their new improved technologies to enhance security features.

According to SeattlePi, the median tenure for Amazonians was reported to be 1-year. This means most Amazon employees are blue or yellow badgers making the red, purple, and silver employee badges rare. More of the employee population will be in the blue badge category.

Amazon Silver Badge Meaning

Usually, when an employee wears the silver badge ID, they are most definitely one of the early employees who got on board between the launch of Amazon in 1995 and 2001. This means the silver badge represents employees with 20+ years of tenure in the organization.

The silver badge is very rare as only a few employees have spent that many years with the organization. Most silver badgers are either members of the Board, Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents of Amazon Inc. products, or looking to get into an executive role within the organization.

Aside from the CEO, they are the most respected employees within the organization. They also own a high number of the organization’s shares. Although not an equal amount of shares is owned between them, they do own a significant amount both from RSUs and bought shares.

Amazon Purple Badge Meaning

What Do Amazon Badge Colors Mean?

The purple badge is second to the rarest badge within the organization. Employees with these employee IDs are said to have spent between 15 to 20 years with the organization. This means that these respective employees got onboard between 2001-2006. 

Usually, most employees with these badges are a mix of Directors, Heads, Managing Directors, General Managers, and Senior Managers that report to Vice presidents and Directors with the Silver Badge or rarely, the purple badge. 

Irrespective of their position in the company, they are also very well respected by their colleagues and fellow employees within the organization. They also own and receive a significant amount of shares in RSUs just like the silver badge employees although not as much.

Amazon Red Badge Meaning

The red badge is the third on the hierarchy of Amazon’s colored badge identification system. Employees with these badges are said to have joined the company between 2006-2011. This badge represents employees with 10-15 years of tenure in the organization.

This category of colored badge holders may consist of a mix of level 2 directors and managers, senior managers, or even lower-level workers dedicated to providing value for the company. Most red badge holders aim to transition into the purple badge category for higher RSUs.

As Amazon looks to help every employee grow during their time with the organization, the red badge holders also have a shot at higher-level positions if they continue to aim for those positions and put in the work and years required.

In addition, this badge comes in as the third rare badge within the organization after the silver and purple badges.

Amazon Yellow Badge Meaning

Employees with this badge category have spent between 5 to 10 years with Amazon. This means they must have joined the organization between 2011 to 2016. This is the fourth badge hierarchy in Amazon.

This category of workers may consist of normal level workers, senior department officers, and other employee categories that joined the organization within the past 5 to 10 years. This category of employees is said to have transitioned from receiving payouts and a smaller amount of RSUs to receiving a higher amount of RSU. The payouts are converted to RSUs thereby increasing the amount of share received by the employee.

Not all employees make it out of this category with the organization. Most employees drop out and change their jobs hence why the red, purple, and silver badges are regarded as rare badges within the organization.

Amazon Blue Badge Meaning

What Do Amazon Badge Colors Mean?

This is the most popular and most populated category of colored badges. Employees with these badges are said to have joined the organization between 0 to 5 years. That means anyone employed between 2016 and the present, holds the blue badge. 

To get this badge, and begin your journey higher in the category, you have to be a full-time employee. To become a permanent employee, you need to have worked for 320 hours. Then you become employed as a permanent employee and get offered the blue badge. 

After being employed as a permanent employee, you have access to health insurance, vision and dental treatment insurance, parental benefits, a 401(k) savings plan, etc. This category of colored employee badges consists of regular level workers, junior managers, and majorly, newly employed workers.

These badge holders do not usually make it to the next category(the yellow badge) as reported in the survey by SeattlePi because most employees change their jobs after one year.

Amazon White Badge Meaning

This is a different category of colored badges made for seasonal and temporary employees only. With this badge, you can not move up the rank.

According to employee reviews, the white badge employees do not have as many employee benefits as the other colored badges. They only have access to limited health insurance. They also cannot transfer from one Amazon facility to the other.

Usually, it’s advised that if you’re looking to advance in your career as an Amazon worker and enjoy all the benefits that come with it, switch to the Blue badge.

What Happens If You Lose Your Badge At Amazon?

Amazon requires their employees to sign an agreement that they will be billed $10 out of their check if they lose and need to replace their badges. Once the badge is lost, there’s a feature to request a new badge on the A to Z app. Once requested, you punch in using the A to Z app pending the time your new badge arrives.

What Should You Wear For Your Amazon Badge Photo?

Usually, badge photos are used for professional identifications so it only makes sense to dress professionally. Wear a flattering top that will look great in the photo and also avoid wearing bright colors or big patterned clothes. For a man, a complimenting shirt works fine since the picture is only a half body portrait and for a woman, a professional flattering top works fine too.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.