Last Updated: 30th December, 2019
Amazon Mechanical Turk Detailed Review
Thousands of Americans are making money online every day — working whenever and wherever they want — through a platform called Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk).
Never heard of it before? Team MT decided to put this flexible remote job opportunity to the test!
Here’s how MTurk works: Various businesses submit Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) to the website, then workers pick and choose the micro-jobs they want to complete and submit for payment.
Many of the tasks don’t require special skills. There are thousands of HITs available to complete at any given moment. But the amount of time required to finish a task varies greatly and so does the pay.
This is how MTurk describes the marketplace for work on its FAQ page
Yes, it’s one of the best crowdsourcing platforms.
When I first landed in Canada and started looking for a job, I was really frustrated! I think you guys already know the reason… why??? Earlier I was slogging for more than 8 hours during the weekdays in the corporate world and suddenly I had to leave my job, relocate to Canada and search for new opportunities. Honestly, I was not utilizing my time properly. So I thought why not start earning money from home. That was the time, I came across MTurk and thought about giving it a try.
I got to know that US and Indian citizens make the primary workforce and are making decent money online every day — working whenever and wherever they want — through this platform. As it was a platform provided by Amazon, I decided to put this flexible remote job opportunity to the test !
Rather than wasting valuable time, why not earn some extra bucks, or maybe learn something knew. I googled a bit and ensured that it is legitimate.
What is MTurk?
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing internet workplace. It’s based on the idea that there are still many jobs that humans do much effectively than computers, such as providing initial data to robots, identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or performing surveys based on geolocations.
You know what, I earned 154.57 USD (~ 200 CAD) in a month (working only 1 – 1.5 hours per day) which is not great, however atleast I know I will be able to pay few of my current month’s bills.
- I averaged around an hourly rate of $5 which is way less than the minimum pay rate here in Canada, however good when it gives a flexibility to work from home.
- Be your own boss, pick up tasks (HITs) you are interested in and work whenever you feel like.
- Many of the high paying microtasks / HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks) are only available for US location.
- You can only transfer your earnings to an Amazon.com Gift Card. PayPal payments are only applicable to US & Indian Citizens.
You can find an entire community of MTurk workers on Reddit who share valuable tips/tricks to increase your earnings and to identify valuable HITs.
Increase Your MTurk Earnings
The best paying HITs usually come up during business hours and on weekdays. That’s when most Requesters are online submitting their tasks, after all.
Join a forum.
There are some really helpful forums where Workers list good HITs available that day. MTurk Crowd is one such forum. Turker Nation is another.
Use a browser extension.
There are a few extensions and scripts that will add additional functionality to your browser as you browse the Mechanical Turk website. Turkopticon is an example that will allow you to see HIT feedback from other Workers and allow you to avoid those with a history of rejecting work. Tampermonkey extension (Chrome) or Greasemonkey extension (Firefox) are two more popular options. HIT Scraper can automatically refresh your browser to find good-paying HITs you qualify for. Keep in mind, there is a bit of a learning curve when dealing with scripts. However, it’s definitely worth your time to learn.
Get your numbers up.
While there are no required minimums to work on mTurk, there are some benefits to staying active. A lot of high paying Requesters only make their HITs available to experienced workers with 5,000 or 10,000 HITs under their belts.
Follow a subReddit.
If you aren’t yet familiar with Reddit, you are going to want to change that. The day’s best HITs are listed on subReddits like this one. Users let you know what’s hot and they’ll also let you know once the HIT is complete so you won’t waste your time trying to grab something that’s no longer available.
Get out of your comfort zone.
As with almost any type of work, the more skill involved, the higher the wage. Many of those reportedly happy with their part-time mTurk earnings are doing HITs like transcription.
Follow the directions.
HITs have to be approved by the Requester before you will get paid. In addition to the possibility of nonpayment for rejected work, this number also goes against your overall score. Most Requesters require Workers have an approval rate of 98-99%. Even though this is really flexible work without a lot of oversight, you still have to put your best foot forward if you want to keep the option open.
Qualify whenever possible.
You will come across many HITs that require Qualification. This may mean taking a test or performing a sample HIT before this type of HIT will become available to you. Take advantage of these opportunities. Also check your Qualifications tab to see what tests are available to you and what you have been approved for. Becoming “qualed” will also cut down on your competition for qual-required HITs.
Find your personal groove.
There are so many methods to this madness you can read about in the forums and r/mturk subReddit, but you will quickly find out there isn’t one way to do it to achieve the best results. Each Turker has found a rhythm and the HITs they most enjoy and can do quickly that allows them to achieve their goals. There will be a learning curve.
Legitimate Work From Home Opportunity: What You Need to Know About MTurk
Some of the HITs, which you can think of as small jobs, pay only pennies.
Despite the low pay, people are drawn to MTurk because of its flexibility. Most other remote jobs require a set schedule that may not be convenient for stay-at-home parents, college students, busy retirees and people in between jobs.
MTurk doesn’t place any of those restrictions on its workers — you can accept HITs 10 minutes a week or 10 hours a week.
I’ve used MTurk on and off for the past three years and can confirm that it’s not a scam! Earnings are transferred to an Amazon Payments account or can be redeemed for an Amazon.com gift card.
How much money can you really make with MTurk? I recently spent three hours doing three different types of HITs to find out…
Hour 1 : Short Transcriptions
For the first hour, I completed short transcriptions through a requester called CrowdSurf Support. I transcribed about 20 seconds of audio for each HIT, which had a reward of $0.05 per HIT — plus a bonus.
I was able to do 46 transcriptions for an hourly rate of $2.30 before the bonus of $1.23. Not very good.
Bonuses vary depending on the length and difficulty of the transcription. Sometimes the bonus will only be $0.01 per hit and other times it will be $0.04 or even more than the initial reward.
I thought this task would be easy because I type fast, but poor audio quality slowed me down.
Hour 2: Surveys
My fingers needed a break after all of that transcribing, so I spent my second hour as an MTurk worker filling in bubbles on various surveys. Most of them appeared to be part of studies that colleges and universities were conducting.
The most interesting survey asked me a few multiple choice questions about Facebook’s Memories feature. I earned 65 cents.
I made a total of $6.85 for the hour by submitting 10 surveys. MTurk lets you filter the HITs that you want to complete, so I only accepted surveys that paid at least $0.50 and could be finished in a short period of time.
I tried to give my 100% attention to each HIT because they can be rejected if the worker doesn’t follow instructions properly.
Hour 3: Google Search Descriptions
I accepted 101 HITs during the third and final hour of my experiment. Each HIT required me to conduct a Google search for a specific term and then copy and paste something from the results page into the MTurk platform.
Some of these $0.15 HITs only took about 15 seconds to complete. I earned a total of $15.15 for the hour.
Demographics and Dynamics of Mechanical Turk Workers
Top 20 Countries working with MTurk
Percentage of US and Indian’s working with MTurk (per day)
Percentage of Male versus Females working with MTurk across countries
Question: Did you manage to make money online with MTurk or another platform? Would appreciate your comments below!