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How Much to Pay Movers Per Hour

Pay Movers Per Hour

If you’ve never hired movers to help you relocate, there are a lot of things you might be wondering. How much do movers cost per hour? How do they get paid? What kind of costs can crop up to surprise you? Take a deep breath. We’ll start by addressing step one: hourly moving rates, and what to expect.

Moving Locally

Hiring two movers and a truck will likely cost you between $90 and $120 per hour, depending on where you live, time of year (high demand season usually costs more), and any special considerations required. Movers with specialty skills, like packing and transporting art for example, will cost on the higher end of the spectrum. If you’re looking for labor only because you’ve rented your own truck? Expect to pay between $60 and $80 per hour for professional movers. Keep in mind that these hourly rates apply whether the movers are wrapping your belongings, actively carrying them, or driving from point A to point B — and that rates may vary depending on whether you’re in a metro area or a more rural location.

The size of your home matters. Using the baseline of $25 per hour, per mover, we can make some generalized calculations:
For a typical studio apartment, you can expect the move to take between 3-4 hours for a local move. Without any added steps, that means a cost of around $150-$200 for a team of two movers.

For a two bedroom house or apartment with an area of around 1,000 square feet, three local movers can probably get the job done in 5-6 hours and cost between $375-$450.

A three bedroom at roughly 2,000 square feet will likely take a team of four movers between 8-9 hours, bringing you to a cost of somewhere between $800-$900.
Moving a bigger house than that, or maybe a garage full of stuff? The costs will go up from there, as you may need a larger truck and more movers to get the job done within one day. To get the most accurate idea of what to expect, use Unpakt’s cost calculation tool. Not sure you quite understand the different kinds of quotes and estimates? Have a look at our breakdown of moving quotes.

Moving Long Distance

Both interstate transport and moves over 100 miles are typically considered long distance moves. That means hourly moving rates are higher than with a local move to cover the added logistics, especially if there are state tariffs to be handled. At this point, you may wonder whether it’s better to get a flat rate versus pay movers hourly, because when you’re looking at a road trip? Those hours add up. Here are the details.

Some movers will calculate by weight for a long distance move. You can expect to pay an average of $0.70 to have a pound of household goods moved 1000 miles away, plus charges determined by mileage and any other additional services. This makes costs a little more difficult to estimate, since estimates are calculated on a case-by-case basis and, in some cases, are even calculated by cubic feet of cargo… which is quite difficult to estimate for the average person. But here are our best estimates.

Relocating a studio apartment 1,000 miles away with an approximate weight of goods at 1800 lbs. should cost around $1200.

If you have a 1 bedroom apartment and are relocating 1,000 miles away, with an approximate weight of goods between 2200-3200 lbs., you might expect a cost around $1500-$2200.

The weight of the contents of a 2 bedroom home increases significantly, approximately 5000-6000 lbs. Moving that load 1,000 miles should cost around $3500-$4200.
Moving out of a 3 bedroom home with approximately 9000 lbs. of cargo should cost around $6300 to move 1,000 miles

Again, keep in mind that long-distance move estimates can change somewhat dramatically depending on what additional services and charges the company adds on as well as last-minute changes to the cargo load. If you want to avoid those changes and keep your budget in check? Opt for a flat rate, guaranteed quote that won’t be subject to last-minute increases.

Still unsure whether to go hourly or flat rate? Have a look at some factors that can help you make your decision on our blog.

About the author

Unpakt Team