I have talked about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk what seems like 50 times, no pun intended. I haven’t really dived deep into how it works, but I figured it was time to create a guide as to how you can make more than $50 per day. Yes, it is possible!
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a platform where you pick and choose small task jobs, many of which take seconds to complete. It can range from finding a number in an image to researching a phone number, transcribing something or completing a survey. You get to work whenever you want, from where you want, and best of all, there are thousands of jobs on any given day. Honestly, you will never run out of work.
As with most of your gig jobs and online work, sometimes you have to be smart in your work so that you can maximize your hourly/daily rate. You don’t always want to accept every and any job that comes your way. This is why I wanted to create this guide.
If you want to make money with MTurk, then I wanted to share some very simple tips that can help you make a lot of money while doing so. These are tips I use and can assure you can use to help maximize your earnings if you do the same.
So, if you haven’t done so already, sign up for a free account and wait to be approved (takes about 48 hours). If you’re already active, then start applying these tips to hopefully make even more!
In this guide, I will talk about the many ways I have made $50 a day on MTurk in the past.
How to Make $50 a Day on Amazon MTurk
Bookmark Some Forums/Websites to Find the Highest Paying HITs
HITs, what the jobs are referred to on the Amazon Mechanical Turk job board, are constantly changing, so it’s hard for me to tell you which jobs are the best at this time. Heck, by the time I write this, most of the good paying ones I found will probably be gone.
For that reason, I recommend you bookmark the following websites as they do a great job in finding the best HITs at the moment…
- MTurk Crowd (browse the “Daily Work” sub-forum)
- MTurk Forum (browse the “Great HITs” sub-forum)
- Turkerview (browse the “Daily mTurk HITs thread sub-forum)
- Reddit /mturk
- Reddit /HITsWorthTurkingFor
All of these options are great and I don’t recommend one in particular. Check them all out to find your favorite. Before you hit the job board, make it a habit to browse these forums very quickly to see which ones are worth your time today.
In each of these forums, members will post the best HITs at the moment as well as what it pays and who’s posting it. You can also look at the reviews to make sure you’re working with a provider who’s known for approving these HITs.
Be fast, however, as the good ones tend to go fast.
Always Avoid the Low Paying HITs
In some cases, you may see some jobs that have thousands of jobs, maybe like this one…
The thing is, is that while it seems like it could keep you busy for a while and the job may be easy, how much are you really making in an hour?
If you see a job that seems something of interest, what you will want to do is complete one job and see how long it takes you. Then, do the math to see how many tasks you could complete in an hour. For me, as long as it averages out to $10+ an hour, I would probably keep going. If it’s anything less, then it’s best to skip it and move onto the next. The math is easy.
In that example posted above, there were more than 55,000 jobs that paid $0.08 each. That’s $4,400 in work! However, when I tried the HIT, it took me more than one minute to complete it. Doing the math, I would only make $4.80 an hour — not good.
Usually, you can at least look at the HIT before you even work on it and determine if it’s a good job opportunity or not. As you continue to use the platform, you will get good at picking out the ones that will be good, but like anything, they will go fast so you will have to work fast to complete as many jobs as possible before they disappear.
TIP: I have found that it’s best to filter the HITs that pay more than $0.35+. In doing this, you can average $8+ an hour easily.
Qualify for the Better Paying HITs
A lot of your higher-paying HITs will require that you qualify in order to start working on these HITs. And, generally, what I mean by qualifying is that you usually have to take a sample test to prove that you can follow directions and that your work is acceptable. Some may ask that you have a certain profile, but I will get into this next.
Kind of tying in with my first point when you find the highest-paying HITs, what you will find out is that a lot of them will require that you qualify. Don’t let this word scare you as qualifying often takes a few minutes and can gain you access to thousands of more HITs by that particular provider.
Now, some “qualifications” require that you have a certain number of HITs and acceptance rates, which brings me to my next point…
Build Your Profile (VERY Important)
When you first start on MTurk, you will be graded in how you complete HITs, such as how many jobs you complete as well as your acceptance rate. These metrics are very important because future jobs that you may want to do will be dependent upon these numbers.
For that reason, what you will find out is that many of your rookie-like jobs will pay less, but you may want to complete them just so that you can increase your numbers. Picture it almost like moving up the ladder in the corporate world in a way.
Generally, once you have at least 500 to 1,000+ HITs under your belt and your acceptance rate is better than 95%, you will find that you can qualify for a lot of HITs. Once you hit 5,000 which is known as the master qualification, this is when you can get approved for almost anything, as long as your acceptance rate is great, of course. Try to shoot for that magically 5,000 number.
This can take some time, but I promise that as time goes on, these metrics will help you land many more gigs that the newbies can’t gain access to.
I can’t stress it enough. Try to shoot for 5,000 approved HITs and a 95%+ acceptance rate. Once you hit these numbers, it will be much easier to make $50 a day.
Watch for the Scams
Sadly, scams are prevalent, and it’s so important you know how to spot one before you start working.
The thing about MTurk is that the requester can always approve/deny your work for any reason. While this can be concerning to some, you can always reduce your chances of working with a highly rated provider.
To figure out what kind of provider you’re working with, all you will need to do is highly the name and a small pop-up box will immediately show up, something like this…
When I use the platform, I always make sure I’m working with a “high” activity provider with a more than 98% acceptance rate. If you see anything less, you can take your chances, but just be forewarned that the smaller these numbers are, the greater your chances of wasting your time becomes.
Download a Browser Extension/Script
Much like the forums, there are a few extensions that can help make your MTurk experience that much better. Consider downloading these as they can assist you in making you much more.
Some of these include the very popular MTurk Suite Chrome extension as well as some scripts, many of which you can find via MTurkGuide.com.
Granted, these extensions/scripts come and go, so if you’re finding these links don’t work at the time you’re reading this, a quick Google search can yield some results.
TIP: One of the best scripts you can find will calculate the hourly rate of the hits you’re doing. This can quickly show you if those HITs are worth it.
Take Advantage of Surveys
I have talked about surveys so many times, such as in my I need money right now and how to make money in one hour posts. It’s a great way to make money now and earn $100 a month easily.
Well, I mention a lot of your bigger companies in those posts, such as Swagbucks and Survey Junkie, but MTurk has a lot of survey opportunities as well, many of which pay up to $5.
In order to find these surveys, use the search function and simply search for “surveys.” In doing so, just make sure you pay attention to the reviews, as I mentioned prior, and then complete the survey as necessary to earn your reward.
Oftentimes, this is a very easy way to earn up to $10+ per day, as long as you complete the right jobs. Mix it in with the other HITs and you will be closer to that $50 goal.
Use the Search Function to Find Good Jobs
As you use MTurk, you may find particular projects that you do quite well with.
For example, I like to write the smaller 50- to 100-word descriptions. So, what I will do is search for these types of projects on the platform, usually using simple keywords like “write.” I will also bookmark that requesters name so that I just search for them the next time I work.
Use the search function to your advantage once you find the jobs you want. Just remember to keep refreshing as jobs are being added by the second and the good ones go fast.
Bookmark the Good Requesters
This ties into the last tip, but every once in a while, you will find a great requester who posts on occasions and offers work that’s worth your time.
If so, do yourself a favor and bookmark their name so that you can search their name to see if any of their jobs pop up.
Keep in mind that while those forums can find you good HITs, some keep good requesters to themselves. So, for that reason, you may have to play around with the system for a while to see who’s worth your time.
Know When to Look
Most of your good paying HITs will be available during the weekday business hours when requesters are often submitting their jobs.
If you’re available during these times, consider logging on throughout the day and constantly refreshing to see what pops up.
While jobs can pop up in the off-hours, you will find it won’t be nearly as many as the 9-5 crowd.
While there may be thousands of jobs always available, it doesn’t mean they are all good. Generally, 95% of them won’t be worth your time.
However, in order to find the great paying HITs, you will have to be patient as they do pop up, but you will need to be fast in snagging them.
In using these tips, especially the forum tip near the top of this guide, this can only help you increase your chances of making more than $50+ per day on MTurk. You will have to jump in and learn and make some mistakes in doing so. But, as you continue to use the platform, you will only get better at learning what’s best for you. This is the only way to learn. Don’t plan on making $50 a day right away.
Over time, in combination with these tips, you can easily make $50+ per day, sometimes much more if you have a great day. Not every day will be a $50 day, however, as some days will be much better than the next.
Now, I leave the microphone to you.
How do you succeed on MTurk?
How much do you make?
As always, whatever is on your mind, you’re more than welcome to chime in the comments section below.
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I tried it for a few days in May and thought it was a waste of my time but then I got bored and tried again. Now I have a better idea of what’s worth my time and how to maximize those good paying hits. I love surveys that pay at least 25 cents cause they’re quick and pay much better than the tasks that only pay 3 cents but take 10 mins to complete
Agreed! It can seem like a waste of time at first, but once you learn which HITs are worth your time, it can be a decent side gig online. Thanks for reading!
Thanks for this great article. I have a question though, I am confused on one point. In order to build your “portfolio”, you have to start out at the bottom, with low-paying HITs. But at the same time, you say to avoid low-paying tasks. Can you explain?
Sorry, Sam! That does sound contradicting. What I mean is that in the beginning, you will have no “reputation” and in order to build that reputation/portfolio, you will have to work on lower-than-average work as it will gain you access to higher-paying HITs. For example, let’s say a higher-paying HIT requires you to have at least 1000 HITs completed and a 99% success rate. In order to get there, you may have to take the low hanging fruits to pad your stats. However, once you get to that higher point, say, 1000+ HITs, you can then move on and avoid the lower paying options since you will have more options available. I hope that makes sense.