Have you heard about Amazon MTurk and are wondering what it is about?
In this MTurk review, I will tell you all the details and go into the opportunities by doing Amazon MTurk surveys, so you will know, if it is a good way to make some extra money on the side.
Let me first clarify that MTurk also have other earning opportunities than surveys, and I will also go into the general opportunities, so you will get a good overview of the overall chances you have to make money on the platform.
What is Amazon MTurk and what does the platform offer?
MTurk is a part of Amazon. MTurk is short for Amazon Mechanical Turk. I am sure you know Amazon, and a when a platform is backed by a company like that, it adds a lot to the credibility of it, and it is worth looking into the opportunities.
MTurk is basically a marketplace for small tasks that needs to be done online, but that cannot be done by a computer. The tasks need human intelligence – that is why a task is called a HIT (Human Intelligence Task).
What kind of HITs can you find?
One of the great things about MTurk is that you can find hundreds of tasks. There is no specific way to explain what a HIT is, because it can be so many things. It all depends on what the people hiring through MTurk needs at any given day. Examples can be to find contact information on a website, look through a website for inappropriate content, extracting info from pictures, transcribe data, and much more.
In many ways it is similar to CrowdFlower tasks. One difference is however that MTurk also has a lot of paid surveys available. As you know, if you have read any of my other articles here at PaidFromSurveys.com, I think paid surveys are a great way to make some extra money. But let´s now look at how good this option is on MTurk.
How many surveys can you find on MTurk?
You can find quite a lot of paid surveys on MTurk. When you first login to your account, you will just see a long list of all the HITs that are available. You can of course look through these and see if there are other tasks you find interesting, but there is also a way to quickly find the surveys.
There is a search bar at the top of the screen (see image below). Use this and write “survey” and click enter. Notice that I write survey in singular – if you write “surveys” instead you will have a lot less opportunities come up. The reason for this is that the search results are based on the name or description of the tasks. Most of them are just called something with survey. I have tried to search with both – an example of the day of writing this article is that one using “survey” in the search bar 374 results came up. Not all of them relevant, but many of them were. When searching for “surveys” only 2 results came up. So a good tip to remember, if you want to use the search function.
Even though there are a lot of surveys available, be aware that you will probably not be able to qualify for all of them. Many of them have very specific demands for the participants in regard to where you live etc.
How much money can you make on MTurk Surveys?
So now you know that there are quite a lot of surveys to find on MTurk, but how much do you get paid to take them, and are they even worth taking?
That really depends. Most tasks on Amazon MTurk does not pay very well – that both goes for surveys and other tasks. But it really depends. But in general most of the surveys I have seen will pay between $0.05-$0.50. I have also seen surveys that pay more, and the longer they take, the more you will usually also get paid.
I would say that compared to the top survey sites, MTurk does not pay very well for surveys. Another aspect that in my opinion is a reason that it is not as great as many other survey sites is that there are no extra chances of winning extra prizes, bonus earnings and free contests.
Another thing you have to be aware is that even though there are many tasks, you CANNOT participate in as many as you want every day. There is a limit to how many HITs you can do a day. The explanation is that it is to insure high quality and avoid cheat by using robots or similar.
Increase your earnings by becoming a Master Worker
As you can probably understand from the above, I am not impressed with the earning possibilities on MTurk. There is however a way that can help you to be offered better tasks. That is by becoming what is called a Mechanical Turk Master Worker.
This is a status you can achieve by consistently taking HITs and doing them well. You will then eventually be able to qualify for becoming a Master Worker and be offered tasks that require master qualifications. You cannot apply to become a Master Worker. You just have continue taking tasks and doing them with high quality. It can therefore take some patience, but it can be a way to get more out of MTurk.
How do you get paid?
How you get paid is important on any survey site or micro task site. In my opinion, the options on MTurk are great for people living in the US and India, but not so great for everyone else.
If you live in the US, you can transfer your earnings to your Amazon Payments account and then from here to your bank account, or you can get use them for gift cards for Amazon.com.
For India, you can get your earnings transferred to your bank account or Amazon.com gift card.
For everyone else the only option is to get gift cards for Amazon.com.
Gift cards can be great, but as it is to Amazon.com, it is not such a great reward for certain countries. It can complicate it with extra taxes, because it will be send from another part of the world and take long. So a shame that there are no other options. I guess that can be seen as a sign that workers from India or the US are the ones preferred on the platform.
You also have to know that after you have joined, you cannot request a payout for the first 10 days you are a member. After that, you can request a payout maximum once a day.
Who can join?
In theory anyone can join MTurk. But you have to apply to become a member. Once you register, you will not automatically become a member as on most other survey and GPT (get-paid-to) sites.
Your application will be looked at, and it takes a few days before you will know, if you have been accepted. The problem is that there is no information about how it is decided who will be accepted and who will not. On most other sites, you will be told as soon as your try to register, if you can or not. Usually it will be decided by the country you live in.
I think it is fine that MTurk has a more thorough check, but it seems strange that you cannot be told in advance who they are looking for as members. And if you get rejected, you will just be told that you have been rejected, but that they cannot disclose why. I know this as I have tried to be rejected, and you can see the email I received below:
Not a very satisfactory answer or reason. My best guess is that it has to do with the location and country, or because they had too many members at the time I got this rejection, but I can of course not know for sure. The “why was I not accepted” question is even one of the frequent asked questions, if you go to the contact page on MTurk. That tells me that it often happens that people are not accepted.
So unfortunately there is no sure way of knowing whether you will be able to join or not – you just have to apply and wait and see, if you are interested.
Can you get support?
There are a lot of answers in the FAQ section on MTurk, but there is also contact info, if you should need further help. I have not been in need of help on the site myself, so I cannot say how long it will take to get an answer. But considering the company behind the platform, I am sure it will not take too long.
Conclusion – Reliable but takes patience!
Amazon MTurk has both pluses and minuses. Let´s sum them up to get a better overview.
- Has a very reliable company behind it
- Big amount of tasks and surveys
- Relatively low rewards for most tasks and surveys
- Only good payout methods for certain countries
- Limitations of how many tasks you can take per day
- No information about who can join or not
No doubt that MTurk is a reliable platform. It is also great that it has a lot of available tasks and surveys. In my opinion the minuses are however also pretty big. Especially if you do not live in the US or India and therefore only have one way to get your earnings.
I also think it is a huge minus that you cannot know how your chances are of getting accepted before you try to join, and that you have to wait several days to find out.
If you can live with these minuses, MTurk can be an interesting site to take surveys or do micro online tasks. But also know that if you do not like the sound of it, or if you will be rejected, there are plenty of other good sites to take surveys and tasks. Many of them will even pay more and have better opportunities.
If you have any experiences with Amazon MTurk yourself you would like to share, or if you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you below.