Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a job platform run by Amazon.com. The site exists mostly of very small tasks called human intelligence tasks (HITs) that you can complete and earn income for. As of January 2015 there were over 260,000 HITs available to be completed.
Registering an Account
The first step to making money on MTurk is to register an account as a worker. Your MTurk account is tied to your Amazon.com account. If you already have an Amazon account, the registration process appears to be much faster.
Applying for Jobs
- Choose jobs that have higher payout with lower allotted time. That means you can make more money in less time.
- Find jobs that have bonuses or follow up jobs.
- Focus on completing jobs you are good at. Don’t try to complete jobs with a big learning curve. You’ll waste lots of time trying to earn a couple bucks.
Many of the HITs on MTurk are for very small jobs that take 5-10 minutes. The longer, higher paying jobs often require you to meet specific qualifications. Many of the jobs have very specific qualifications that you have to apply for and others have no qualifications at all. Several common qualifications include:
HIT Approval Rating. Whenever you complete a job, it will be accepted or rejected by the job creator based on the quality of your work. If you have a 95-100% approval rating, there is much more likeliness you will complete a job with high quality. As a result, many job listings require you to have a high HIT approval rating.
Total Number of Approved HITs. Another way job creators ensure quality is to create a qualification that only allows you to apply for a HIT after you have had a certain number of HITs approved. The HITs with this qualification often have a very high number, typically requiring you to have between 1,000-5,000 approved HITs before you can apply for the job.
Geographic Location. Some HITs require you to live in a specific location. I’m not quite sure how they verify or if they simply ask your location, but this is a common qualification for many HITs.
In order to collect your earnings, you must also register for an Amazon Payments account. Once you have a balance in your MTurk account, you will move it to your Amazon Payments account and can transfer it to your bank account from there.
Stick in There!
I know that being an MTurk worker can get boring very quickly, but my advice is to stay focused and build a history. That’s how you get the good paying jobs. Just check out some of these higher paying jobs available for veteran workers.
As an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker you’re not going to become rich. It’s just another way to supplement your income by working online or at home.