Amazon Mechanical Turk, also known as mTurk, is the third company I made money online with. (The first one is Humanatic, and the second one is MySurvey.)
As an mTurk worker, or “turker,” you won’t actually be working for Mechanical Turk. You’ll be working for the companies and individuals, called Requesters, that post their microjobs, called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), on the site.
So, mTurk itself won’t actually be paying you. The Requesters you complete tasks for will be the ones paying you.
About the HITs
The HITs on mTurk are mostly small, simple tasks (which is why they’re called “microjobs”). They include data entry, tagging images, completing surveys, and searching for information on the Internet.
There are also longer tasks that require some skill (e.g., writing and audio transcription).
To do the work, you’ll need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection.
You should also have antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer to protect it when you click links to other sites, and to clean it if it gets infected.
If you have a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system, I recommend you use both Windows Defender (which is already installed on your computer) and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
If you have Windows 7, I recommend you use Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
But if you want to use other antivirus and anti-malware programs, use those instead.
Each task pays a specific amount, usually $0.01-$0.75. Some tasks pay more, but I think $0.01-$0.75 per task is what you should expect to earn.
When I was working with the company, I normally earned $0.20-$1.00 per day (because I mostly did tasks that paid 1-10 cents, and I usually didn’t do more than 10 of them each day).
But many people make $5 – $10 a day without much difficulty.
You’ll get paid through Amazon Pay (which is like PayPal). Any funds in your Amazon Pay account can be transferred to your bank account.
If you don’t want mTurk to deposit your earnings into your Amazon Pay account, you can choose to have your earnings put on an Amazon gift card.
When You’ll Get Paid
When you’re a new worker, mTurk will hold your earnings until you’ve done HITs for at least 10 days.
After that, whenever you request an earnings transfer, they’ll immediately deposit your earnings into your Amazon Pay account. You’re allowed to transfer your earnings only once per day, though.
Here are the pros of working on mTurk:
==> You don’t have to pay a fee to apply.
==> You don’t have to spend money to earn money.
==> Most of the tasks are simple.
==> You don’t have to talk on the phone (unless you choose to do a HIT that requires you to).
==> You don’t have to do any selling.
==> You don’t need your own website.
==> The only equipment you need is a computer with high-speed Internet access.
==> You can work whenever you want, as much or as little as you want.
==> There are always plenty of tasks available to do.
==> You can have your earnings deposited into your Amazon Pay account every day, as long as your earnings balance is at least $1.00.
Here are the cons of working on mTurk:
==> The pay is low. (However, visiting the HITsWorthTurkingFor subreddit can help you find HITs that pay well compared to other HITs.)
==> For your first 10 days, you won’t be able to withdraw your earnings, and you won’t be allowed to do more than 100 HITs per day.
==> Some Requesters are dishonest or unreasonable. (But it’s easy to avoid them by being careful, by using the Turkopticon script, and by visiting the mTurk subreddit and all the forums that focus on discussing mTurk.)
==> Until you have at least 1,000 approved HITs, a lot of HITs you might want to do won’t be available to you.
The Application Process
To become a worker, you need to have an Amazon.com account.
If you already have one, the first thing you’ll need to do is go to https://www.mturk.com and click on the “Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk” button at the top or bottom of the page.
The link will take you to a page where you can create a Requester account or a Worker account. Click the button that says “Create a Worker account.”
You’ll be taken to the Amazon.com login page. After you log into your Amazon.com account, you’ll have access to the mTurk application.
You won’t have to submit a resume or take any tests, but you’ll have to provide your legal name, date of birth, email address, home address, and social security number.
Once you submit your application, within 48 hours, you’ll get an email letting you know whether or not it’s been approved.
As far as I know, mTurk no longer approves applications from non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. residents.
If you want to get tips, advice, information, and encouragement that will help you as an mTurk worker, here are good subreddits and forums to join (or just visit):
MTurk Subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/mturk)
Mturk Forum (http://www.mturkforum.com)
Turker Nation (http://www.turkernation.com)
MTurk Crowd (https://www.mturkcrowd.com)