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Certified Field Associates: Get Paid to Go to the Movies?

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Certified Field Associates (CFA) pays you to attend the movies and is operated by one of the larger mystery shopping companies, Market Force.  Yes, you get paid to go to the movie theater and get paid for your time.  I know it may sound like a scam, but I promise you that it isn’t.  I don’t work like that here.

It’s a company I have mentioned a few times, particularly in my 100+ ways to make money without a job and make money as a college student post.  And, I figured it was time to let you know how you can get paid to go to the movies you probably were already going to anyways.

So, if you want to go to the movies and get paid for your time, then this may be a company you will want to sign up for today.

What is Certified Field Associates?

The term “certified field associates” was created by the company, Market Force, a massive mystery shopping organization that was formed in 2005.  The company provides mystery shopping services to multiple organizations, helping them ensure that their organizations are running according to plan. For example, you may have to see how clean the bathrooms are or if a movie starts on time. As I write this, they complete more than 100,000 mystery shops every month.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a mystery shopper refers to someone who shops undercover, hence, the term “mystery.”  It will be your duty to act like a customer, paying close attention to details the job description asks you to before you start.  Upon completing your job, you will then write up a report at home and submit it to the company.

Mystery shopping has been around for ages and it’s a wonderful way to make a few hundred dollars a month plus enjoy many experiences, including eating out, staying overnight at a hotel and even watching a movie.

Becoming a Certified Field Associate is 100% legitimate, there’s no doubt about it and is backed by one of the leaders in the mystery shopping space.  There’s no concern here.

How to Sign Up for Certified Field Associate

To sign up as a Certified Field Associate, you can do so by following this official link and then clicking on the “Become a CFA Today.”

In doing so, it will direct you to a sign-up page of sorts, where you will be asked for your personal information, similar to that of a basic job application.

The entire application is eight pages long and will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Upon completion, you will have to wait for the company to approve your account, which can take up to 72 hours.

To qualify as a CFA, you must be at least 18+ years old and reside in the United States.

How Does it Work?

After you get approved, you can then access your dashboard in which you can browse any upcoming jobs in your local area.  Here, you can browse by mileage based on your zip code, so if you’re only willing to travel 15 miles, then you can filter that option.   All contracts/assignments are offered to you on your dashboard and it’s your duty to accept them if you feel you can complete it on the date specified.  As you are a contractor, there is no obligation to accept any jobs that show up on your dashboard.  In fact, you never have to work if you don’t want to.  In doing so, however, they may boot you from the platform.

If you see an assignment that you like, you can request it and it will then show up as “pending.”  This means that it has not yet been assigned to you just yet and need to be approved by a Zone Manager.  If the manager assigns the job to you, then it will show up as “outstanding” and you are now obligated to complete the job as performed.  However, if it shows up as “unavailable,” then someone else has snagged the job, leaving you empty handed essentially.

Completing Your Assignment

Before you even head to the movie theater, you will need to read over your job description to know what’s expected of you on what’s known as your field form.  It’s so important that you take any mental notes as this will ensure that you get paid.  Remember that you need to stay undercover (in most cases) and no employees should know about the job you’re performing.  Failing to follow the directions can lead to a denial, only wasting your time and not getting reimbursed for your movie ticket.

After you complete your movie theater visit, you will then submit your report, either online or via fax/telephone in some cases.  Again, all of the information you need to know will be noted on your field form.  All submissions must be submitted within 24 hours.

What Kind of Jobs Are There?

As a CFA, there are a variety of jobs available, all of which I will briefly break down below.  The company will categorize these jobs if you find you like a specific one.  And, remember, you can always see what’s expected of you before you even apply to the job.

Advertisement Check

Prior to the show, you will need to write/record all advertisements seen before the movie begins.

Blind Check

This is a covert job where you will count patrons attending a show during a specific day/time.

Comprehensive Check

This is one of the more detailed jobs on the list as it will require you to count customers, pay attention to trailers shown as well as perform a sound/quality check.  It can be a mix of all and often requires management involvement before you get started.

Exit Polling

In this case, you will collect data from patrons in regard to current and upcoming movie releases.

Open Check

Open check jobs require you to count all of the patrons inside the theater before the movie starts.  You will also need to collect box office information before you leave.  This job requires involving theater management.

Mystery Shopping/On-site Evaluation

You will post as a customer, evaluating the moving-going experience, including housekeeping, marketing placement, etc.

Promotional Material 

In some cases, you may help the movie install promotional material.  In this case, management will know about your wear about.

Sneak Check

Prior to the movie, you will need to collect information from the audience, most relating to the demographic and reaction.

Trailer Check

During a trailer check, you will also need to seek approval from the movie theater manager ahead of time.  This job requires you to record all trailers before the movie starts.

How Much Can I Make?

How much you make will depend on the job at hand.  More of your extensive jobs will pay more, but this isn’t always the case.

Most of the time, you will receive free entry into the movie, which is about $5 to $10 in value, as well as $7 to $12+ for your time.

Don’t expect to get rich in doing this, but hey, money is money, right?  If you want to see a movie, why not at least get paid instead of dishing out your hard-earned cash.

How Many Jobs Can I Do in a Month?

This all depends on where you live and how many theaters are nearby that MarketForce works with.  It also depends on which jobs you want.  As you can see, there are a variety of jobs you can complete.

Don’t expect many jobs, but some busier areas may see 3-5+ jobs at most per month.  During some months, the market does tend to slow down, often causing your dashboard to have fewer jobs than average.

The Pros and Cons

As in all of my reviews, I love to see what the internet is saying, both the good and the bad.  Below, I went ahead and found out what other people were saying, breaking it down into its respective category.

The Pros

  • freedom to work whenever you want
  • fun way to make money
  • easy work

The Cons

  • there can be slower periods without much work
  • must have transportation to get to jobs
  • won’t be reimbursed for gas
  • reports of “invalidating” shopper reports
  • F BBB rating (take this with a grain of salt)

Final Thoughts

As a Certified Field Associate, you’re basically mystery shopping, only that you’re doing it in movie theaters.  You won’t get paid much, maybe $25+ at most, but it’s a nice way to get paid if you already planned on going to the movies anyways.  And, while there is some work involved, it’s not as much as you think.  As I mentioned, it’s usually counting people, watching some ads or taking a look at how clean the bathrooms are.  All of your jobs vary, but you will always know what’s expected of you before you accept a job.

In the end, I do recommend you at least check them out, especially if you like going to the movies.  As long as you have the mindset you won’t get rich in doing it, it’s a great way to get paid to go to the movies.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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