Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing marketplace where requesters can post HITS (human intelligent tasks) to be completed for a small monetary reward where you can earn money online fast. Once past your probationary period, you are allowed to complete up to 3800 of these tasks per day making the small rewards turn into big ones.
Proof You Can Make Money
Please note I had a full time job and children so I only worked part time when I had extra time on Amazon. Below are screenshots of proof that money can be made on Amazon Mechanical Turk.
Why Would Requesters Post Tasks
Requesters may have small amounts of tasks that do not require a full-time employee. They may also want research data from a big pool of people versus only a few employees.
With Amazon Mechanical Turk (also known as mTurk) you are a contract employee so to speak. This means that they do not have to go through the hassle and expense of providing any employee benefits packages and they don’t have to keep up with and withhold taxes for you.
They simply pay you what they want to pay you and the rest as far as managing taxes and expenses is up to you. This is cheaper for them then hiring employees.
You can sign up for mTurk at https://www.mturk.com/. Once you sign up you have to wait for your account to be reviewed. You will get an email saying if your account was approved or denied.
Amazon does not let everybody in at one time. It’s a way they control their workforce so if you don’t get in or get an account pending email then just wait a while.
Sometimes they will email you a few months later that you are approved. Sometimes you get approved within a day. It just all depends on what Amazon needs at the moment. Once your account is approved, you will be able to begin working.
Your First 10 Days
For the first 10 days, you are on a probationary-like period in which you are only allowed to accept 100 hits a day. If you accept a hit and then return it and not complete it then it still counts toward your 100 allowed for that day.
Use this 10 day period to really learn how mTurk works. Within the first 10 days you are also not allowed to withdraw any money that you make during this time so just focus on making money and letting it sit.
After Your 10 Days
Once your 10 day period is up you will be able to transfer money from your mTurk account to your Amazon payments accounts (more on payments below) once per day and you will also be able to accept up to 3800 hits per day.
Receiving your money you make on mTurk in your bank account as real cash is a 2 part process. You must have both a mTurk account and an amazon payments account.
Once the hits you complete are approved (requesters have up to 30 days to approve your hit but most approve within a few days) the money is added to your Amazon mTurk balance within a few hours.
Getting Your Money
Once a day whenever you choose you can transfer your mTurk balance to your Amazon payments account. This too takes a few hours for the balance to be moved over. You will receive an email when the transfer is complete.
Once the transfer is complete you can log into your Amazon payments account and transfer the money into any linked bank accounts that you have attached to your Amazon payments account.
Transfers to your bank can take 3 to 5 business days but If I transfer by lunchtime my money is always in my bank the next day. If I transfer at night it’s in there the second business day after transfer. This may vary depending on your bank.
How do you make a lot of money – Learning to use scripts
There are many workers on mTurk so when a requester posts new hits or surveys they all may be gone by the time you click on it to accept it. This is where the help of scripts comes in. The key is to work smarter not harder.
You will get frustrated with trying to make decent money on mTurk without the use of scripts. Once you start using scripts you will see that your earnings potential will jump.
Scripts are basically programs/ apps that run in your web browser to assist you in getting and working mTurk hits. Below are some of the most common scripts and what they are used for.
MTS Suite (mTurk Suite) – Including hit catcher and hit finder
MTS Suite is a Google chrome extension found at (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mturk-suite/iglbakfobmoijpbigmlfklckogbefnlf?hl=en-US) .
The suite is what I personally use the most. It includes several functions which include your estimated daily earnings, a hit catcher to help you catch hits that disappear too quickly, a history of your last 45 days of hits and it shows if you returned them, if they approved, paid, or are still pending, and a hit finder to find new hits to work.
Using MTS Suite
Estimated earnings at the top of the page
Once install, to access MTS Suite and all functions it offers click on the MTS icon in the toolbar of your web browser. This will bring up a list of links to get to each program that MTS suite offers. Click on the link of the program you want to open that program in a new browser tab.
When using Hit Catcher you click on add watcher at the top of the hit finder page and then add the group ID (long number) into the text box. Hit finder only allows you to use the group ID. If you want to search for all hits by a certain requester this is done with a requester ID (shorter usually begins with a letter like A) – you would add that to panda crazy (see below for panda crazy information.)
Panda Crazy is another program that can be used to catch hits that seem to disappear quickly and can be found at (https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/19168-jr-mturk-panda-crazy). There are 2 advantages to using Panda Crazy.
The first is you can do a hit ID search or a requester ID search. The Requester ID search is very helpful if a requester puts out multiple hits with different hit ID’s.
What Panda Crazy is Best For
The second is to load up on batches. Batches are hits that can be done quickly, generally only a few seconds to a few minutes each, and the requesters allowed you to do as many hits as possible due to each one is different.
Using Panda crazy you can continuously accept hits in a batch automatically in the background while you are working on the ones in queue for you. This means you can work back to back to back making money instead of wasting time looking for hits to do.
Using Panda Crazy
Below is what Panda Crazy looks like. To add a Requester ID or hit ID just click add job at the top.
To Change a Hit ID to a Requester search follow the below steps:
Click on Details on the hit icon
A popup will appear. Click on search under action mode. Then you can enter the requester name and requester ID if it is not already there. Then simply hit save.
The box will change to a darker color to show this is a requester search and not a hit ID search.
Make sure your collect button is clicked on (it will turn green when on) to catch a certain hit.
TurkerView and TurkOpticon
TurkerView and TurkOpticon are both websites that people can leave reviews of requesters on.
I strongly advise reading the reviews and metrics of these requesters before completing hits for a requester you have never done work for before. These reviews can tell you if the requester rejects work or if they are slow to pay.
Why Read Reviews
You always want to do your best job possible on a hit and not rush through it as poor work can be rejected. Rejected hits mean that you will not get paid for that job. Your rate of rejection is also tracked by mTurk and can hurt your ability in the future to qualify to work on certain hits.
Requesters can set metrics such as to work my hits you have to have 1,000 previously completed approved hits and your rejection rate must be 99% accuracy or above.
Currently, TurkOpticon is read-only past reviews. If you want to review a requester you worked for you must do all new reviews on TurkerView. Once you have Turkerview set up then you can access reviews for a hit right from the hit page on mTurk or from the hit link in your queue.
TurkerView – https://turkerview.com/
TurkOpticon – https://turkopticon.ucsd.edu/
Hit Forker and Hit Scraper
Hit Forker is just like Hit Scraper are very similar to each other and they function the same way as hit finder included in the MTS Suite. They are programs in which you can set parameters to search for hits that pop up (even if for only a few seconds).
One a hit pops up in these programs you can use the links for the hits provided in the programs to get the hit ID or directly insert the hit straight into hit catcher and panda crazy to try to catch the hit in your queue to work on.
Hit Forker – https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/36368-hit-forker
When Do I get access to better paying hits
Many requesters will require a certain number of hits already completed/ approved and that you be at or above a 99% approval rating meaning no or very low rejections before you can qualify to do their hits.
This is the part that just takes time. Do the hits that you can do and do your best work possible. Access to more hits normally starts opening up after you hit your milestones of completing 1,000 and 5,000 hits.
Do more Hits
Search for qualifier hits in mTurk. Some requesters post hits that you have to complete in order to be eligible for the rest of the hits that they post. My advice is to NEVER pass up a qualifier opportunity.
Just because you get the qualification doesn’t mean you have to do the hits but without it, you will never be able to do the hits. So it’s better to have a qualification and not use it than to not have it.
Amazon from time to time will put up survey hits that don’t pay anything and are from amazon requester name. Pay attention to these, as they are a small survey about your family size, income, gender, and more. These can qualify you for certain surveys just based off that.
Some requesters may put qualifications on their hits such as only females between the ages of 19-35 or only males between 30-45. You want to make sure you complete the amazon surveys so you qualify for these that fit you.
Don’t Skip This Qualification
One last qualification that everyone needs is the adult content qualification. You can try to do a search for it on mTurk. A lot of requesters may post things that are controversial and you can only qualify to do these hits if you have signed up for the adult content qualification.
Other Great Resources for learning Mturk
There are many other resources out there to deep dive into learning how to make mTurk profitable for you. I have listed a few below but please do some deep searches. There are many private Facebook groups out there that share the best hits daily. It’s worth it to research and find those you can get in to.
Reddit mTurk Page – https://www.reddit.com/r/mturk/
TurkerHub forum – https://forum.turkerview.com/
mTurk Guide on youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCopiIaIjWTocbkNc1c1SINA
mTurk Crowd forum – https://www.mturkcrowd.com/
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