Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth Doing? Lets See

I recently got an email from Pamela and like a lot of people, she’s looking for ways of making some extra cash each month. And in her email, she asked me Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth Doing?

That’s a great question and something I’ve often wondered myself. So I did some digging into Amazon Mechanical Turk and I discovered you can make money. But it should be seen and used as a small source of income, not a path for making life-changing money. If you’re looking to create a full-time income online MTurk is not the way.

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What Is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

If you’ve been looking at ways of making money online. Chances are pretty good that you’ve come across Amazon Mechanical Turk.

So, what is Amazon Mechanical Turk? Created in 2005. MTurk as it’s also known as, is a micro job website owned by Amazon.

And this is where individuals and businesses can outsource jobs. And these jobs are called HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks).

Now I bet you’re asking yourself where does the name Mechanical Turk come from?

I asked that same question myself.

So I did some digging and I found the answer on the MTurk website. It seems that there was this Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen back in 1769 who created this chess-playing machine.

Basically, it was a wooden mannequin dressed up and wearing a turban seated behind a cabinet. And this “Turk” toured around Europe beating almost every opponent at chess.

And to prove this was a machine he would open the cabinet to show gears, springs, cogs, and such. But the real secret was there was a real (human) chess master concealed inside.

Even back then people were getting scammed. Sorry, typing what I was thinking.

Anyway, what does this have to do with Amazon Mechanical Turk? The premise behind all this is that yes computers are very good at storing large amounts of data and doing complex calculations rapidly.

But we as humans are far more powerful than computers at performing simple tasks. For example, identifying things in a photograph.

How Does MTurk Work?

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth Doing

MTurk is set up a lot differently than other micro job websites. Instead of a human asking a computer to do a task, what if a computer could ask a human to complete a task?

And that’s what MTurk is. Individuals and businesses can use the MTurk website and submit tasks.

So as the Requester, this is the person asking to have a task done. A requester can use the MTurk web user interface or web services API to submit tasks to the MTurk.

And the network of humans that come to MTurk search for and complete tasks and get rewarded for the completed task.

How to Sign Up With Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Sign-up is pretty straightforward. Simply head to the MTurk website and in the top right-hand corner, you’ll see a link that says Sign In As A Worker.

And since this is owned by Amazon you will be signing in through your Amazon account. Of course, if you don’t have an Amazon account you’ll need to create one.

You’ll fill out a typical signup form and be asked a few other questions such as – How did you hear about Amazon Mechanical Turk? and What is the primary reason you are interested in completing tasks on MTurk?

Once completed, click the Create Account button at the bottom of the page.

Note: It will take 3 business days for your account to be approved. And you’ll be notified by email.

MTurk worker signup

One thing to note if you’re a resident of the United States they may use your phone number to verify your identity.

If you’re NOT a resident of the United States the information you provide will be used for a tax interview and verify your identity later in the process.

Why Do People Get Rejected From MTurk?

Now you have to keep in mind that you are not going to qualify for all the HITs that are available. For instance, I live in Canada so many of the HITs I would like to do I don’t qualify for because of where I live.

When it comes to working on MTurk you’re definitely at an advantage if you are a resident of the United States.

Another reason you may not qualify is that you have not completed enough HITs, language, etc.

What Kind Of Jobs Are On MTurk?

There are thousands of tasks available at any given time. So finding a task that aligns with your skill set should be easy to find.

According to the MTurk workers page, these are the following tasks you’ll find inside MTurk:

Image/Video Processing

Here you’ll find tasks such as helping companies find the best picture that represents a product. Audit user-uploaded images or videos, and target images to improve search.

Data Verification and Clean-up

Companies that have huge online directories or catalogs need people to do things like removing duplicate content listings, verifying restaurant information, etc.

Information Gathering

Here you can help companies collect and edit information by filling out market research or surveys, writing content for websites, etc.

Data Processing

Here you can do translation, transcribe and edit audio, categorize information, etc.

How Much Does An Amazon Mechanical Turk Make?

As for the amount of money you can make that all depends on the amount of the HIT itself and the number of HITs you do per day.

Now with that said it seems that most people will make $100 or so per month. Of course, others will make more, and others will make less.

As for the amount for the HIT, this is determined by the Requester. This is the company or individual asking for help from the MTurk community.

When I went into MTurk as I did this review I saw pay for a few cents up to $25.00 for HITs. But for those higher paying ones you need to be qualified for them.

Now If you’re eligible for a task, you’ll be able to click “Accept & Work.” If not you can always request to be qualified for a task.

I took a screenshot and you can see the tab that shows you can accept and work. I also clicked the Qualify tab which will tell you what is needed to qualify and then if you’re eligible you can request qualification.

There is also a Preview tab, clicking that will show you what is required for that HIT.

MTurk HITs

How Many HITs Can You Do A Day On MTurk?

In the first 10 days after you have been accepted to MTurk, you can accept up to 100 HITs per day.

After the 10 days have passed things open up and you can do as many HITs per day as you like up to a maximum of 3800 HITs.

Here’s a tip I found on the MTurk crowd forum. When starting out your first 1000 HITs you should focus on approval milestones, not the money.

They say it’s not the money that’s important but milestones – 1000 HITs, 5000 HIts, 10,000+ HITs.

Why milestones? When you HIT (no pun intended) these milestones of approved HITs you now qualify for the better-paying HITs from requesters.

How Do You Get Paid?

If you have a US bank account. You will be paid in US Funds or you can transfer your earnings into Amazon gift cards.

When you first start as a worker your funds are held for the first 10 days after you have submitted your first HIT. And then after that, you can transfer your funds.

You also have the option to schedule your payments every 3, 7, 14, or 30 days.

If you are a non-resident of the United States you can transfer your earnings to an Amazon gift card. And if you’re an eligible worker, which is a worker in one of the approved countries MTurk works with.

You can receive payment in the local currency of your country using third-party services such as Hyperwallet.


Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth Doing?

In my opinion, Amazon Mechanical Turk is one of those resources to make some extra money. For what I call beer money, you know a $100 or so per month, it’s fine.

But it’s definitely not a resource you would want to use to try and create job-replacing income.

The number of HITs (tasks) you would have to perform each day to make any significant money would be a full-time job.

And don’t you have one of those already? Sure you could sit in front of your computer all day working for yourself to make money.

But you’re just trading one job for another and if you’re not working you’re not making money.

The whole point for the majority of people that want to make money online is to build a business that does not require them to sit in front of their computer 8 hours a day.

You want to build a business around a business model that gives you the flexibility to work when you want. And when you’re not at your computer your business is still making you money.

That’s where the term “Passive Income” comes from. Yes, you’re always working on building your business. But if you want to step away from your work, your business is still making you money.

And one of the best passive income business models is Affiliate Marketing.

This is the business model I’ve been using to make a full-time online income since 2005. And if I decide I want to take a week off I can. And my business still grows and still makes me money.

Thank you for dropping by, if you have a comment or questions or if you have personal experience with MTurk you can share those below.

I believe in You!

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