What is Amazon Mechanical Turk About? The Real Truth

Amazon mechanical Turk


Trying to find a legitimate way to make money online is sometimes a very difficult task. Some programs are completely safe and worth your time, while others may just be a waste and often an outright SCAM.

So if you are reading this, you are probably asking What is Amazon Mechanical Turk About anyway? You might have even found this page by searching through Amazon Mechanical Turk reviews.

I’ve actually used Amazon Mechanical Turk in the past and I have first hand knowledge of how it works and whether or not it is capable of making you money.

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk (also known as Mturk) is a freelance marketplace that harnesses the power of human workers to accomplish tasks that computers can’t do. There are thousands of tasks that “workers” can accept and complete… getting paid as a result.

The concept is designed around the idea that there are still some things that technology and computers just can’t do. For instance, researching data details or identifying specific objects in a photo. These tasks require the human element that can’t be duplicated through technology.

You can sign up for free, which only requires you to provide a name, email address and password. From there, you will register as a “worker” and start earning money by accepting and completing “HITS”.  I’ll explain what HITS are in the next section.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Sign Up

How Do You Earn Money with Mechanical Turk?  HITS Explained

The tasks that available are called HITS.  HIT stands for “Human Intellegence Task” and it is simply the work that needs to be completed in order to get paid.  There are all different kinds of HITS and most of them do not require qualifications in order to complete.

Some of them, however, require you to qualify for the HIT.  For instance, you may have to take a short test in order to be cleared to work on certain tasks. A lot of times these prequalification HITS pay more than the general HITS.

Upon accepting a HIT, the worker usually has a specific amount of time to complete the task and submit and answer. If you don’t complete it in time, you forfeit the HIT and will not receive payment for it.

The HITS range from relatively easy tasks like watching short videos and adding tags to more difficult tasks like transcribing video to text.

Here are a few examples of HITS:

  • Find the website address for a consumer product
  • Number of used cars listed by location
  • Watch short videos and add tags
  • Enter information from a car dealer website

Some of the most common HITS tend to be data entry oriented and others are more abstract, requiring you to pick out the details in a picture or video. These tasks can be quite fun and they do challenge the worker to a degree. Personally I like this aspect because I do like to exercise my brain every once in a while.

How Much Money Can You Earn Using Amazon Mechanical Turk?

After the Worker has completed a HIT and submitted an answer to the Requester, the Requester reviews the answer and submits payment. Each Requester sets the price for their HITS.  They can range from $0.02 to $75 per HIT.

Most of the HITS are worth around $0.03 to $0.10 per HIT.  Thus making it kinda difficult for most people to make a full time living on Mturk.  However, if you are looking to make extra cash without having to be “hired” by a traditional company then Amazon Mechanical Turk is a great option.

If you have enough time on your hands and enjoy working on tasks like this, you could really make a good amount of money. I spent a little bit of time working on HITS and was able to accumulate a little under $15.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Earnings

While this is a great way to earn some extra money, I spend most of my time working on my business and I make most of my money online with My #1 Recommendation.


The Good – What I Like About Amazon Mechanical Turk

I like the fact that you can start for free and choose what HITS you want to work on. It is also great that they have thousands of HITS to choose from and there is never really a lack of work to be done.

They also pay you through Amazon Payments (which you can transfer to your US bank account) or through Amazon gift cards. This makes it very convenient for most people.

The Bad – Mechanical Turk Complaints

The reality is that you will have to spend a lot of time working on tasks in order to make any significant money with Amazon Mechanical Turk. Like I said before, if you are just looking to make some spare change, then MTurk is fine. Otherwise, you will just be working for pennies.

While I like the payment through Amazon or the gift card, that may not be as convenient for some people. I personally think that they should add Paypal to the payment options.

Lastly, there have been the occasional occurance of Requesters not paying (or approving) the HITS.  By not approving the HIT, the worker is not paid.  This doesn’t happen often, but I have had it happen to me and I really couldn’t figure out why the HIT was disapproved.

Is Mechanical Turk Worth Your Time?

My personal opinion on whether or not Amazon Mechanical Turk is worth your time and effort is directly related to what your goals are.

If you are just wanting to earn some pocket change, then Amazon Mechanical Turk is perfect and quite honestly better than a majority of the other sites that pay you to do simple tasks. Other “pocket change” sites that I prefer include Swagbucks, PaidViewpoint, and Inbox Dollars.

If, however, you are looking to make a full time income online, I would suggest you NOT waste your time completing tasks that won’t really pay you enough. Time is valuable and investing in your own future and business is a much better allocation of your time and energy.







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