What is Mechanical Turk?
Unlike many work-from-home offers, Mechanical Turk is NOT a scam. Mechanical Turk is an opportunity by Amazon in which workers (“turkers”) accept and complete small tasks for a small payment. For example, you may transcribe a grocery receipt for Ibotta for $0.08. You may take a survey posted by Stanford University researchers for $3.50. Most tasks (known as HITs) are easy and quick. However, you are not going to get rich completing hundreds of micro-tasks for mere pennies. However, the more simple tasks you complete, the more high-paying HITs will become available to you. Efficient and experienced Turkers can expect to earn between $6-$12 an hour as an independent contractor. Here are a few tips to make the most of your Mechanical Turk experience:
- Stay away from the low-cost tasks. Even if you CAN complete a penny task in about a minute, you’re still only earning $0.60 an hour. Not worth it! (The only exception to this is if you need to raise your HIT acceptance rate quickly in order to qualify for better-paying HITs.)
- Look at the task before accepting it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve accepted a low-paying task, only to discover that it was going to take 20+ minutes of my time. Not worth it. Learn from my mistakes!
- Take the test. Taking tests for higher-paying tasks seems like a waste of time, but will open the doors to increased earnings!
- Be patient & refresh. Good tasks come and go in the blink of an eye. If you don’t see anything worthwhile, refresh your screen and keep trying!
- Join a forum. I highly recommend Reddit, where posters share higher-paying tasks, recommendations for scripts, and warnings about HITs to avoid.
Any questions or advice? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!