Is Amazon Mechanical Turk, also known as mTurk, worth it or a total waste of time? Let’s explore here!
Amazon Mechanical Turk is basically a crowdsourcing site, where multiple people can request work to be done for them, and others can do it.
How mTurk Works
Upon signing up to mTurk, which is done through an Amazon account, either new or existing, your application will be reviewed, and you will be informed in 48 hours of your acceptance. (There’s no real reason not to be accepted if you live in the USA.)
You will then set up an Amazon payments account, which is how Amazon pays it workers as well as sellers, and which is linked to your bank account. The money you earn will be transferred to your bank account after a few days.
After finishing that, you may begin working by accepting HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. The tasks are usually fairly simple, such as transcribing audio and video, extracting items from shopping receipts, visiting and testing websites, transcribing data, answering surveys about topics that you qualify for, etc. etc.
The pay, however, is very low, usually averaging at under 5 cents.
If you qualify for a certain task, you may take it, and if accepted by the requester, you will get paid.
You do not have to have any special qualifications for some tasks; but for others, you will need a certain acceptance rate and/or amount of accepted HITs; for yet others, you will have to take a qualification test.
Almost anyone can work on mTurk; however, you do need to live in the USA.
- Pro: Fairly easy tasks.
- Pro: Choose when you want to work.
- Pro: No minimum payout required.
- Con: Very low pay.
- Con: You will not qualify for all tasks.
So, Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth It? Can It Really Be True?
I personally don’t think so. Others might disagree.
Let’s do a sneaky quick “experiment”:
We will test and find out a few things about:
- HITs that pay at least 75 cents; and
- HITs that pay at least 10 cents.
We will find out:
- How many of them are there;
- How easy it is to qualify; and
- What is an example of the qualifications that may be required.
HERE WE GO!!!
So, I’m logged into mturk.com, and it tells me that there are 219,231 HITs available.
Next, I search for those that pay at least 75 cents:
Now, let’s see how easy it is to qualify:
Indeed, WHY??? What do I need to qualify??? Here’s an example:
So, I understand, but what about HITs that pay at least 10 cents??? Surely I’ll have better luck!!!????
Easier to qualify???Hmm…
What to they want from us already??
As you can see, starting off it’s not easy to qualify for “higher paying jobs”.
It’s much easier to qualify for lower paying jobs:
You certainly don’t have to worry about mTurk being a scam, as it’s owned by the Amazon monster. However, it’ll be quite difficult trying to earn anything substantial, to say the least, as we have seen from our little experiment.
Maybe, eventually, you could earn enough for the bare minimum needed to survive. A true sweatshop.
One More Thing Before I Leave You
I know this is silly, but…
Also, it’s not rare to have your amazon payments account suspended.
This the reason I never got a chance to work at mTurk:
Although mTurk itself is not a scam, that doesn’t mean that the job posters aren’t. Although most are not scammers, BEWARE!
NEVER give over personal information to ANY job poster, ESPECIALLY if they promise to pay $10 for a few minutes.
So that’s what I think about Amazon Mechanical Turk. What do YOU think?
You may be interested in: