MTurk Review: How to Make Money on Mechanical Turk

Have you ever wondered if there’s a better way to earn money online? If yes, then all you need is this MTurk review to soothe your nerves.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is the online marketplace for work where you can get paid to do menial tasks. 

I have been using the site for more than 2 years and have learned many tricks to get higher-paying HITs or complete them faster. 

When it comes to outsourcing tasks, there are few sites that can hold a candle to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

In this MTurk review, I will share my experiences with MTurk and provide a comprehensive review of the website. I will cover the basics of the site and break down some of its pros and cons.

Quick MTurk Review

What makes MTurk unique?

  • It is flexible
  • No minimum to hit before cashing out
  • Efficient structure
  • Earn via different methods
  • 3.5 overall rating
  • $4-$8 dollar average earning potential
  • $1 minimum payout
  • Schedule payments every 3, 7, 14, or 30 days
  • Direct deposit to your bank account
  • Sign up is free

Detailed Review

What is MTurk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk - Surveystor

MTurk is a peer-to-peer service marketplace from Amazon that utilizes crowdsourcing in microtasks, also known as Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), which are simple tasks that are carried out by individuals online. 

Since its creation MTurk has changed the way data is collected for large companies and academic institutions.

The MTurk system was created in an attempt to increase the efficiency of gathering information. 

The internet has aided the revolutionary growth of businesses by providing crucial sources for customers and consumers. 

With the immense ease of access to millions of possible consumers, most businesses have come to rely on this kind of technological innovation.

This enables them to keep their company growing and to stay competitive in their industry.

See also: Mobrog Review

Why was MTurk created?

Amazon created Amazon Mechanical Turk as a way for other businesses to outsource simple tasks. However, many people have found more success using Mechanical Turk for their own purposes.

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a large marketplace that allows online individuals (called requesters) to outsource tasks to workers located across the globe: sellers in the marketplace (called crowd workers). 

These tasks are known as HITs, which means Human Intelligence Tasks. They can include anything from filling out surveys to tagging objects in images, translating text from one language to another, or writing product reviews. 

Requesters will generally post a HIT on the website and offer compensation for completing it.

How much can you make with MTurk?

Lots of people want to know how much money they can make using Mturk. This is a question I am asked frequently.

There are a lot of factors that determine how much you will make. This includes the market you choose, your qualifications, and the amount of time you invest in each task. 

But overall, I would say that it will depend on how well you utilize the various task requesters available to you as a turker.

You could make $5 per hour working with Mturk. It is all about how fast you respond. Their system analyzes your response time to select tasks, and your overall promptness determines your rating.

It’s best to think of Mturk as a part-time job. There’s no quitting time, but you do have to work for what you get. 

It’s not uncommon for people to take weeks or months to earn more than $1. Many turkers, however, are finding ways to make $100 – $500 a month from Mturk.

See also: ySense Review

How to make money with MTurk?

Mturk is a platform that allows users to complete tasks for various companies (called requesters) while getting paid. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. 

Turking or Mturk depending on your preference is the practice of using Mturk to increase your overall income.

Here are the different ways you can make money with MTurk:

1. Short transcription jobs

Short transcription jobs on Amazon Mechanical Turk have an average pay rate of $0.05 per word ($10 per hour) with a timer keeping track of your time. You can work in any spare time you might have and the work is simple. 

With a good connection, transcription takes only 5–15 minutes for each file which is mostly used as training scripts for language learning applications or conferences.

2. Academic surveys

I have been using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform for more than 3 years now. Initially, I was a “Requester” and I stumbled upon the academic surveys that provided consistent earnings. 

I found two of them: SBOP (Survey-based Online Prediction) and YSB (Yet Another Survey Batch).

3. Data capture

Data capture means finding data online, such as a list of websites or goods for sale. ‘Turkers’ match the websites to the advertiser’s needs and submit results via the MTurk website. 

The point of using Mechanical Turk, is to get quick fill-in surveys that don’t take too much time. You can still make a solid income off of data capture, it just takes longer and requires more volume.

4. Data entry

Data entry refers to the type of tasks that require Turkers to look at or listen to content and transcribe it into text. 

In Amazon’s Mechanical Turk this involves looking at a picture, video, or webpage and typing out exactly what is being said in the audio/video.

5. Voice recording

One of the most popular ways that people are starting to make money with Amazon Mechanical Turk is through voice recording. 

Mechanical Turk pays you to complete small tasks such as surveys and quick voice recordings (this typically takes like 2 minutes).

6. Database cleaning

To make money with Amazon Mechanical Turk, you have to pass a test in the category of database cleaning. 

To pass this test, you need to have experience in working with databases and how to use the site of MS Azure. The first experience is necessary because you will work with large tables on which there are many inconsistencies.

Each client must fill out an application so that their resume can be checked for acceptance or rejection. 

If you have passed all tests, you will receive your first job from a client and will be able to start your work.

7. Writing jobs

There are also some tasks called writing jobs where you only need to write some content like a review, description, or information about the product. 

There are tons of different writing jobs available, and you can make anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars for each completed task.

The earnings depend directly on how much each client is willing to pay for the completion of the task.

8. Content moderation

I’m aware that a lot of people find the idea of doing content moderation for money disturbing. For example, on the content moderation HITs you may find text that is too difficult to read. 

You can click on the image, and then use the up and down arrows keys or press up or down on your keyboard to navigate through it. 

When you get to a section of the text you believe is too small to read, just click “Mark as unreadable”.

See also: Prolific Review

Now let’s talk about the pros and cons:

Pros

1. Work from home on your schedule

Participating in MTurk studies can supplement your income while you work from home on your schedule. 

In participating in a study, workers are paid for their research time and valuable insights on products. 

Workers have the flexibility to spend more time on studies at times when their schedule allows. With MTurk you can choose your own projects. 

If you prefer to do work on the weekends or only want to work from home during the day, you can easily tailor your schedule.

2. Lots of HITs available

The availability of HITs can be a pro for both employers and workers. There are hundreds of new HITs posted every day, and this gives workers the chance to choose from a variety of HITs that they feel comfortable working on. 

There are many employers using MTurk and the number of jobs is growing rapidly as this site continues to gain popularity. 

Being able to search for desired HITs by category is another pro for workers because it allows them to have a choice in what types of jobs they work on. 

3. Many businesses are using MTurk

Many businesses use Mturk workers to fill their needs for fast, accurate work at a very affordable price. 

You can find workers in many categories including writing (most popular), transcription, data entry, graphic design, and more.

There are even companies that have developed software just for using MTurk.

4. Transfer earnings to bank account

You can request that they send your earnings to your Amazon payments account. You can also request that they deposit your earnings directly into a bank account that you specify.

See also: iPoll Review

Cons

1. Pay can be extremely low

Being an MTurk Worker is not an easy job, you will have to complete hundreds of HITs a day to earn enough money for your monthly bills and expenses. 

You can set your own standards but you will definitely have a lot of competition since this is a platform available to everyone and not just for local workers.

2. Some HITs are very boring

MTurk is not for everyone. It is best suited for people with a high tolerance for writing about repetitive work, and willing to work at any time of day. 

You must be careful when responding to HITs added to your queue by requesters. Some of the Hits quality is not that great and the payment rates for some of them are very low. 

Also, keep in mind that you will be disqualified from future HITs if you don’t meet the quality standards from your past ones.

Most surveys are repetitive and sometimes boring. 

3. Special qualifications needed for some higher paying jobs

The main con with mturk is that you must meet specific requirements to complete higher-paying HITs. You can only get access to those jobs if you have HIT approval (qualifications). 

Many of the qualifications require you to have a degree, in which case your “expertise” is more of an educational level than the actual skill set. 

This makes it difficult for people who don’t have formal education to complete high-paying jobs, like medical or engineering, where employers prefer to review a resume before approving HITs instead of the requirement to review qualifications.

Things to know before getting started on MTurk

Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) 

Human Intelligence (HITs) are tasks that require a human intelligence worker to complete. They can be either simple or complex, from workers completing surveys, writing reviews, transcribing, tagging images, or generating written content.

Batches

Batches are small jobs that include similar HITs. Batching allows requesters to group HITs into a single submission that is processed as a single HIT entry rather than multiple submissions that have a higher overall approval rate.

Qualifications

There are many qualifications that must be met before being able to post a HIT. Some of these are that the requester must have an Amazon Payments account, must be in one of the approved regions, must have qualified for all requester roles with approval of at least 50% or more on their HITs, and workers being above 90% approval rate on their work.

Approval Ratings & Rejections

One of the most important factors when planning to start to work on MTurk, is your past Track Record. Your Approval and Rejection Rate. 

The approval rate is how confident Amazon is that you’re a real person (I’ve had several friends try to work on Mturk using script-generated hits before getting banned). 

It also helps the requester weed out spammers. Each HIT will give you an approval rating. This is an average of how many times you have accepted HITs without being rejected. 

Keep in mind that this is not your overall approval rating, only the approval rating for the job types that you choose. 

The higher your overall approval rating is, the easier it will be to find work on the site.

Getting Paid

There are several ways to get paid. You can request payment via Amazon Payments, or transfer money directly into your bank account.

FAQs

Are certain types of HITs better than others?

Yes, certain HITs are better than some. 

If a survey has too few questions, you can make that up by earning more survey money for the same amount of time. Some surveys have different payouts for different “tiers” or answers. 

Always answer with what is most accurate because your response helps the company improve its product/service.

How should turkers decide which HITs to work on?

Turkers should look for HITs with a good reference rate and click rate (if possible to see). Look at the page of the requester to see if they have a good reputation. Be mindful of experimental tasks. 

If you can’t find any hits that are interesting, it’s ok to wait and come back in 15 or 20 minutes when new hits become available.’

Is Mturk legit?

Yes! Mturk is a legit website to make extra money by completing simple tasks like typing, clicking, and viewing ads. 

There are millions of people on Mturk earning an average of $70/week. Some workers also receive payments for special tasks such as translation and audio transcription. 

Mturk is legit and fun to work with.

Is MTurk worth the time?

The short answer is yes. 

I make it a point to check the ‘HIT Browse’ page on a regular basis in hopes of finding new and more difficult searches to work on, as well as checking for updates on old searches I had previously worked on. 

The long answer is that it can definitely be worth your time if you are organized and have patience when searching for HITs. If you expect quick cash from Mturk which you can use to immediately fulfill your needs, you will be disappointed. 

Conclusion

Based on my recommendation, MTurk is one of the best money survey platforms there is. You can make money online to sort out your pending bills with MTurk but it is not a get-rich-fast survey site.

Visit MTurk now to sign up for free and start making cool cash online.

To get more survey reviews, check our other survey reviews.