Amazon Mechanical Turk Review: How I Made $50,000 in My Spare Time

Side Hustle Nation is dedicated to improving your personal profitability. To do this, we often partner with companies that share that mission. If you sign up or make a purchase through one of our partners’ links, we may receive compensation—at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

how to make money on mechanical turkMike Naab turned his free time into an extra $150-300 per week completing tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk. 

Mike is such a successful “Turkey” (my made-up nickname) he even wrote a book on the subject: Side Hustle From Home: How To Make Money Online With Amazon Mechanical Turk

Read on to hear how Mike tackled this open-to-almost-anyone side hustle.


I started looking for a side hustle right before my first daughter was born. I was putting together a mental checklist of all the expenses we were about to incur — daycare, diapers, food, etc. —I started freaking out a little bit!

My wife and I already had full-time jobs so I was looking for something to supplement our income, preferably from home. The last thing I wanted to do when starting a family was to pick up a part time job and never be home. So I started looking to see if I could find a way to make money online.

Mechanical Turk Review
  • Sign-Up Process
  • Hourly Earning Power
  • Gig Availability
  • Ease of Use


Mechanical Turk is a platform created and operated by Amazon for low-skill “human intelligence tasks,” such as identifying pictures, data entry, quick surveys, and more.

It’s a way for companies to quickly and affordably outsource and crowdsource certain tasks, and a legit way for individuals to make extra money — though often not much –performing those tasks.

Amazon MTurk: A Legit Way To Make Money From Home

It was only when I came across a Yahoo article on ways to make money from home that I finally stumbled upon my answer.

Last on their list was Amazon Mechanical Turk. It’s a site where businesses, researchers, and universities post tasks to be completed by online workers. While normally skeptical, I figured since it was hosted by Amazon and listed on Yahoo, it was probably legit.

I did my own independent research and I concluded that this had some potential.

The tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk are called HITs, or human intelligence tasks. They’re posted by people called “Requesters.”

amazon mechanical turk review

Each HIT has a price that it pays to complete it as well as the time allotted to complete it. You can scroll through the list of work available (typically hundreds of thousands of HITs at any given time) and accept the ones you want to work on.

Once you complete the work, you submit the HIT and await payment.

Common Amazon Mechanical Turk Tasks

There are a large variety of HITs available to work on.

Surveys are probably the most common type of HIT. You’ll see surveys on topics like consumer products, personality, finance, ethics, education, etc.

If surveys aren’t your thing, there are also:

  • audio/video transcriptions
  • categorization tasks
  • excel spreadsheet work
  • YouTube video ratings
  • and more

For example, companies like Pinterest and WikiHow use Mechanical Turk to help validate user-generated content, making sure it’s accurate and relevant.

How Much Can You Make on Mechanical Turk?

When I was really focused on this, I made anywhere from $150-300/week and over the last 6 years have earned over $50,000 in total. Not bad for working on tasks right from my computer at home.

I’m still active a few hours a week, to fill in gaps in my schedule with something that makes extra money.

Now that diapers are behind us, I dump all the money I make on Mechanical Turk into my and my wife’s IRAs. In that sense, making that extra money makes more money for us. Every little bit helps for the end goal of financial independence!

Nick’s Notes: In 2017, researchers at Cornell University released, “A Data-Driven Analysis of Workers’ Earnings on Amazon Mechanical Turk.”

They recorded over 2,600 workers performing 3.8 million tasks on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Their findings? The average worker earned roughly $2 an hour, while only 4% of workers earned more than $7.25 an hour.

Level Up Your Account to Earn More

Your potential earnings really depend on how much time you put into it. There’s work available immediately upon signing up, but many of the higher paying requesters require you to complete a certain number of HITs before you can work on their tasks. Qualifications of 100/500/1,000 HITs completed are pretty common to access some of the better work on there.

Nick’s Notes: In that sense, it’s similar to other freelance platforms. You might have to “put in your time” with some lower-paying work in order to build up your portfolio.

Having worked on Amazon Mechanical Turk for over 6 years (completely as a side hustle), I basically meet all qualifications from a HITs completed standpoint (over 150,000 completed!).

Mechanical Turk Alternatives

Nick’s Notes: That averages out to $0.25-0.35 per task, but as you can see in Mike’s case, it definitely adds up to some significant earnings.

The best-paying “online survey” operators I’ve found actually specialize in more in-depth market research studies:

If you love the idea of getting paid to do short tasks like surveys, check out these popular Mechanical Turk alternatives:

  • Swagbucks – Earn up to $35 a survey with this mega-popular app, and get a $10 bonus just for signing up!
  • Survey Junkie – Take 3 surveys a day and earn up to $100 a month.
  • KashKick – Get paid to answer surveys, test games, and try new products.
  • InboxDollars – Get a $5 bonus just for signing up!
  • American Consumer Opinion – Join millions of free members and earn up to $50 per survey.
  • Branded Surveys – One of the best-rated survey sites with millions paid out.

Another tasking site that may be worth a look is Remotasks. The onboarding process does take some time, but once you get through, it’s a viable way to earn from home. Check out our full Remotasks review to learn more.

How Long Does It Take To See Real Money on Mechanical Turk?

So what about those just starting out — without all of those HITs completed yet?

I’ve gotten a few friends of mine signed up and earning $100/week after only a couple of weeks.

I try to look at it from an hourly rate standpoint. Sure, a survey might only give you $0.40 but it might take you 2 minutes to finish. That’s a $12/hour pay rate and you made it sitting on your computer at home.

Every HIT pays a different rate, but you can probably expect to average $6-12/hour on average.

These days, I can be more selective about the work I do and consistently average $16-22 an hour. 

(You can use a browser extension like CrowdWorkers to help track and optimize your hourly rate.)

What Else Could You Be Doing?

Nick’s Notes: One thing to consider with Mechanical Turk is the opportunity cost. We’re talking about less than minimum wage in some cases.

Is there another activity that would bring you more fulfillment or income?

What if you used that time to start a blog or online business instead?

Could you learn a more in-demand skill?

Admittedly, I delegated work there because it was cheap labor that didn’t require any specialized skills. If you think your time is worth more per hour, you’re probably right; it’s just a matter of finding a client with a problem you can solve.

Still, Mechanical Turk represents an easy-to-start side hustle. You can see some results with it right away, even if the initial dollar figures aren’t huge. Persistence pays and as Mike has shown, the quarters DO add up.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Earning Potential

When you’re just starting out and learning the ropes with a limited number of HITs completed, you’ll probably be on the lower end of that pay scale. But it definitely picks up as you go.

Some HITs are amazing. I’ve had $3 surveys that took me 2 minutes (a $90/hr rate!) and batches of work that are 25 cents each but I could complete 3-4 per minute. It’s just a matter of being on there at the right time.

make money on mechanical turk

Mechanical Turk Benefits

What I love about it is the flexibility.

You can work on there all day or for 10 minutes if you have a break in your day.

While you can use your earnings directly on Amazon, you can also link your bank account to transfer cash directly into your account. There’s also no minimum to hit before you cash out (unlike some other survey sites).

Mechanical Turk Drawbacks

While Amazon Mechanical Turk is convenient, it’s not perfect.

The highest paying work tends to come through during normal working hours on weekdays. If you only have time to do it at nights or on weekends, you’ll still find work but likely not as much good work.

It’s an interesting way to make money on Amazon, but it’s also not going to make you rich. The pay is pretty decent but it definitely works better as a supplemental source of income.

Additionally, there is work available in most countries for people living outside the US, but only workers in the US and India can withdraw cash. Workers from other countries can only redeem their earnings through Amazon gift cards.

(Roughly 60% of my fellow workers are from the US; 30% are from India.)

Nick’s Notes: Perhaps the best way to frame a Mechanical Turk side hustle is with a specific monthly income goal in mind. Take one recurring expense you really hate to pay — car insurance, a cell phone bill, day care, etc. — and try to “erase” it with mturk earnings.

I call this the Side Hustle Snowball.

How to Get Started on MTurk

You can sign up for free at

It takes about 48 hours to approve your request. During that time, they verify your social security number (needed for tax purposes).

Once verified, you start out in a probation period where you need to complete at least 1 HIT for 10 days. During that period, you have a cap of 100 HITs per day and you can’t withdraw your money. After the 10 days are over, there are no withdrawal restrictions.

Your Turn

What do you think? Viable side hustle or no?

Let me know in the comments if you’ve worked on Mechanical Turk before or if you think you’ll give it a shot after reading this.

Looking for More Side Hustle Help?

side hustle show cover art

The award-winning Side Hustle Show is a
Top 10 Entrepreneurship podcast
with over 1,200 5-star ratings!

5-star rating

Listen in your favorite podcast app or directly in your browser.

listen on spotify
listen on overcast listen on podbean


Mike’s book includes all the tips and tricks he learned in his first 2 and a half years as a Mechanical Turker. He shares scripts that will increase your efficiency, useful forums, and the highest paying requesters. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Mechanical Turk is a platform created and operated by Amazon for low-skill “human intelligence tasks,” such as identifying pictures, data entry, quick surveys, and more. It is a way for companies to quickly and affordably outsource and crowdsource certain tasks, and a way for individuals to make extra money performing those tasks.

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk legitimate?

Yes, Mechanical Turk is legitimate. The service is owned and operated by Amazon and has hundreds of thousands of users.

Can you make money on Mechanical Turk?

If you’re looking at Mechanical Turk as a potential side hustle, you can make money performing microtasks on the platform. One Side Hustle Nation reader reported earning over $50,000 on the site. Be sure to check the blog for his story. However, most Mechanical Turk tasks pay very little and may not be the best use of your time.

What are some alternatives to Mechanical Turk?

If you like the idea of making extra money performing small tasks online in your spare time, you might also consider one of several online survey apps. The most popular of these include Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, and Survey Junkie. Check Side Hustle Nation for more Mechanical Turk alternatives.

Like That? There's More!

Join the 100,000 Who Get My Best Stuff via Email

I'll also send you my free guide: The 5 Fastest Ways to Make More Money.

Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

100 thoughts on “Amazon Mechanical Turk Review: How I Made $50,000 in My Spare Time”

  1. I tried this and was turned down for reasons they would not specify… Anyone know what can cause this or a way to fix this? I am a united states citizen and have a ssn that is original and valid

    • They originally did that to me as well, then about a month later, e-mailed me again and said I was accepted. So I say wait and see if you hear from them again. Sometimes they turn people down because they have too many people applying at that particular point in time.

    • So, Christopher, did you ever get accepted? I saw a response from Layna that said sometimes they come back and let you in. I was rejected for no reason too (applied a few days ago). Just wondering.

        • Same here. Applied and turned down for reasons unknown. Just got an email and started working yesterday.
          I find the article to be spot on-no hyperbole. It can be an ok extra income. Good luck!

          • I was told to go here and make an account and when I made $10 they would invite me to join. I did that and they soon sent me an email that said I could join. Also I have found that you cant have more than one account. So if you inadvertently signed up with another email with the same person information then you wont get approved on the second account, but they don’t tell you why.

  2. How are the taxes handled? R u considered an independent contractor and given a 1099 at the end of the year?

  3. That was never mentioned in the screening process except to say that if a turk does too much qork for the same requester it could be considered contract work. Nothing more specific was said about that. The rejection simply stated that I was rejected and to respect the privacy of their users they could not state the reason

  4. Nice idea for a side hustle. I’ve taken survey’s on line before so the variety of work on Mechanical Turkey seems logical.

    • I noticed that you are asked to give your social security number. Doesn’t this worry anyone out there? Is it safe to give out your number?

      • Giving your social security number in this case is perfectly normal. you are actually entering into contract work with an employer. this means that you are not being hired directly by the company but you are agreeing to a arranged payout for completion of a project. this is how they can get away with not paying you a full minimum wage and you actually have to work to earn. The social security number is because this is a legal job and And it’s fully tracked for income and tax purposes.

        that said you always have to consider the company who is asking for it. In this case we’re talking about Amazon is an established and well-known business that you are agreeing to give your information to. if you were responding to an email with a company that you hadn’t really ever heard of then I would think twice about actually giving out any of that information. Also consider that you are going to their website directly and not responding to a phishing email trying to get your information.

  5. Mechanical Turk is nice as you say. But it only brings benefits to those in India and USA alone.
    Other regions such as Africa are left out coz you can’t withdraw your earnings to PayPal or Bank transfer. You can only spend them on Amazon gift cards. There’s no opportunity to earn money here. I think this site only favors a chosen few.
    Hence, its creators are selfish
    It would be great if doors were opened up to Africa. We have a lot to offer the world. If only were given a chance…

    • You can use your iPad mini. I use my iPhone and have no trouble performing the hits. The only time I incur an issue is if the requester requires the use of a PC. Other than that all hits I’ve completed were strictly from my iPhone or tablet.

      • How long did it take before your amazon account was approved? I’m coming up on three days and it still won’t let me do any hits because it’s waiting approval

  6. I just started this last week. It is okay, I wouldn’t call it much of a side hustle. I completed 8 HITs and only made $0.26. I’m also not crazy about the fact that some requesters just want you to go on a site and like things. I mean buying likes really? Idk I’ll stay with it for a while and see.

    • Because you have to learn how to make the most of the site (hence the article above). Once you complete more hits you get better approval ratings and more approved hits. So you become qualified for better paying hits. Plus you should always make sure you filter your available hits by “reward amount, most first” so you know if you can do the highest payout hits first. I’ve been doing this VERY part time and average $1.00 a hit! So my advice would be just keep at it. You can’t expect to just get rich instantly from it. Just extra side cash.

  7. I do amazon turk and mint vine. Mint vine is a survey site that pays you in gift cards or straight into your pay pal account between m turk and mint vine I make like 300 dollars a month and that’s not bad for a few minutes a few days a week :)

  8. Thanks for the article guys! I’ve recently signed up from South Africa, so I only have the option to receive payment as gift cards, which has opened up a whole other can of worms – apparently, you can sell your Amazon gift cards (sometimes for more than they’re worth…) for cash, but it all sounds REALLY dodgy – has anyone heard of this or done it successfully?

      • Oh cool – thank you for the reply. I was just concerned because some people reported that they had issues with ebay where the person they sold the card to would claim they never received it, and be refunded by Paypal, leaving them with the card and the seller’s money. But I hear only good things about Granny, so I think that option should be pretty safe then – thanks for the feedback :-)

    • They’re paid! I’ve been on for about 2 weeks now. I’m just shy of 100 hits and have earned about $25. It’s not a lot of money, but it covers my half of the electric bill and I did it all while laying on the couch watching Netflix. Plus, once I do hit the 100/500/1000 bench marks I’ll hopefully earn more.

  9. I’ve been working on Turk for about two years now and while I’ll never get rich on it, I sure enjoy the pocket money I’ve earned. I am somewhat limited to the tasks I can do because I am visually impaired and there are a lot that will not work with screen reading software such as having to extract text from images which I cannot do or surveys that do not include the accessible version which makes them more difficult if not impossible to complete, but I still enjoy what I do and it is the best place I have found for making consistent money. The convenience of being able to use it for amazon purchses can’t be beat and I love how the pay is almost instant with no minimum required to cash out.

  10. Hi, I also wonder how the income of Mturk is handled by the IRS.
    Is it 6$ – 12$/hr before deductions for self-employment, social sec tax and such? If so, it is way less than min wage and a joke. Can anyone enlighten me please? Thank you!

    • To answer this question, working as a Turk would be independent contracting work (1099 worker). The Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply the minimum wage payment requirement to independent contractors. As such state and federal taxes would your responsibility to track and pay to the IRS.

  11. Hi there,
    I am Subhash from India. I am a private school teacher, struggling to make both ends meet. So I am looking for some online work as a part tlime job. I tried to register in mturk, but it was rejected. Anyone know why I might have been rejected? Is there any possibility someone can help me in this regard?

    • Sometimes it’s hard just to make ends meet, and you’re trying to make both ends meet.. That’s a struggle. Hopefully one day we’ll figure out how to get the meat in between the ends.. #LuxurySteak

  12. When he said:
    “Once verified, you start out in a probation period where you need to complete at least 1 HIT for 10 days. During that period, you have a cap of 100 HITs per day and you can’t withdraw your money. After the 10 days are over, there are no withdrawal restrictions.”

    Did he mean:
    “Once verified, you start out in a probation period where you need to complete at least 1 HIT **(PER DAY)** for 10 days”?

  13. I’ve had an Mturk account since 2010 (since before they had Amazon payments that messed up the whole thing, IMO) and only recently started using it again. I don’t yet have 100 HITs but in a week, I’ve earned enough to pay my premium CopyScape fee, lol, doing 3-4 surveys about maybe 15-20 minutes a day. Amazon payments only recently started doing business with my bank so I’m able to withdraw my earnings in cash. If you don’t have the ability to transfer to a bank account (as in you’re outside of the U.S.), it’s not worth it. I have no idea how to sell gift cards and that’s not something I’m interested in learning.

    • to me it seems like you should buy the cards and just use them for things you might want from amazon like toilet paper or detergent. we often buy things like that from the site anyway.. I’m lucky to have both options and I get the aggravation of it. I read in one comment that you can use a card to buy something then just resell it. is there anything like craigslist or ebay or something like that around the world? I would use that. also facebook as a ton of garage sale sites too.

    • When you register with Amazon you usually give your tax number and then the tax agreement for that country is applied. For example in NZ we agree that the US takes the first 5%. In turn that is a tax credit for me in NZ>

  14. Generally, I agree with everything in your post with the exception of the true hourly rate. $0.40 for a 2 minute survey is only $12/hr if you have tons of them lined up and no down time. I block out two hours per day for turking and average between $1.25 and $2.00 / hr. You have to factor in the time you spend searching for hits, accepting them, getting thrown out by a hidden screen, badly formed or broken hits, checking TO ratings, monitoring your assigned queue, negotiating rejections, and so on.

    One of the biggest wasters of time are hits that you appeared qualified for, but aren’t really (because the requester didn’t make their requirements known up front).

    Honestly, you could make more money roaming through a parking lot looking for spare change on the ground.

  15. Their refusal to tell people why they are refused admission to mturk seems dodgy, and I wonder what discrimination laws are being violated. But then, the whole scheme seems dodgy, designed to bypass numerous labor protection laws.

  16. I just started on MTurk 2 days ago and have completed 45 HITS and earned $5.64 already! And this is with 25 HITS still pending, so I’ve earned $10-11 over 2 days (maybe 4-5 hours total time commitment). I’ve estimated I can earn $400-$500 a month if I do 1000 HITS a month at at least $0.30 a pop. I don’t know if MTurk updates its list regularly, but I can definitely see how one can make a not-insignificant amount of extra cash there.

  17. I’ve just begun on MTurk. I’ve done 40 hits in the last two days and only one has been approved. The rest just silence. Can anyone tell me how long average wait is to hear back if approved or rejected? I hope I didn’t do all these hits for nothing :/ .

  18. I was turned down originally and approved 8 months later I think it was that it was reopened to Canadians. The first few weeks I gave up so much work for pennies. I tried again in the last couple of months only taking surveys that paid over $1.00 and have made $70 in the last month spending very little time on it. Don’t give up if you are Canadian if there is a whole foods near you we can order whole foods gift cards from and they convert to Canadian dollars in store.

  19. I applied in October of 2016 and today is 4/28/2017 and I just got the email saying I got in. This isn’t an instant get in and go type deal. Try and be patient with it and find other things to do in the meantime. I signed up with the same month and have become a travel agent while waiting. I think that this was totally worth the wait and with the income I can generate from this it will pay my monthly insurance for the travel company I’m with.

  20. Just so you know too, your account will be under review for up to 48 hours where you can look at HITs available but not accept them. there is also some that don’t pay you anything but match you to hits you qualify for. take that into consideration when you do sign up and get to this point.

  21. Great info here. I just got started, on day 4. Looking forward to the end of my 10 day waiting period so I can do more!!!! This looks like a great side hustle!!!!! Thanks.

  22. I’m retired and using a few survey sites and Mturk helps supplement my income pretty well. It takes the time to learn the ropes and build yourself up. Also if you’re doing Mturk they want quality work and your rating in this determines how much you can make to a great extent.

  23. Was turned down also. The email stated they couldn’t disclose the reason. It’s a little disappointing, but they say when one door closes another opens. I will remain positive and patient.

  24. Hello, please i made my first withdrawal in amazon and it was sent to my giftcard balance but i dont know how to redeem the giftcard code.
    Any idea?
    Please help.

  25. Does Amazon report your earnings to the IRS if it’s under $20K in a year? I heard that they don’t communicate with the IRS for earning under that amount.

    • I’m not sure about this, but my understanding is the typical threshold for 1099 reporting is $600 in a calendar year. Still, even if you earn $1 it’s technically taxable.

  26. Thanks….I thought it was $600 too. But I read other reports about MTurk not having to send 1099 forms until it went over 20K. Hmm!

  27. I am a worker on MTurk and I love the flexibility. Some weekends I’ll set aside 8 hours straight but I normally just do it for a few hours here or there. Since I am new I get only the smaller priced ones .. however its starting to add up.

  28. It took me months before I was accepted, but I was never rejected as a worker. I started working there about 2-3 weeks ago, just in the usual spare times available, and when I was tired of playing games on my phone or whatever fun stuff I usually do to de-stress. I am a stay-at-home mother of 3, so I need some “me time”. I do a lot of the survey hits and I find it fun and a little addictive at times.; similar to playing word games (my other biggest hobby). Since I started, I have earned around $80, and I have about $10 pending. My husband started at the same time as me, also as an alternative to his regular game playing time, and he has earned double what I have! We use a Greendot card, as opposed to a regular bank account, so aren’t able to transfer our earnings into cash. But, we can use them through our Amazon gift cards, and this is allowing us to get most anything we need for our children. That is a luxury we couldn’t afford before on one (very small) income. So, to sum up, Amazon M.Turk is REAL/LEGIT. It is FUN. It is PROFITABLE! I totally recommend this to anyone who wants to earn some spare cash in free time, or full time if you’re up for it. I’ve already recommended it to several of my family members.

  29. I worked for Mturk for a year and earned a fair amount. I took some leave for a while & logged back in to do hits again and after doing numerous hits was paid 20 cents which I did not receive and again today did 7-8 hits and 1 right out of those hits earning 5 cents. My advice for anyone thinking of signing up with Mturk is NOT to. You’ll save yourself a lot of heart ache in the long run. They take your $ and run.

  30. I signed up to Mturk on 9/11/17. I havent missed a day since, doing a few each day and more on weekends. As of today 12/17/17; I have made 539.00. It bought my Christmas this year plus more. I love it.

  31. MTurk has thus far been a great alternative to stewing in my retirement and just doing nothing. It has really inspired me, let alone the fact that I am earning money while doing it. I am now approaching 500 hits completed and the pay rate is going up. I am very happy with the whole setup.

  32. Hey everyone. I read this article in Sept ’17. I went in skeptical and like some of you have mentioned, figured I could replace this with some of my mind numbing computer gaming time. I was accepted in a couple of days. Since hitting the ground I have made about $130.00 a month. I just went and quickly did the math and I average .24 cents a “hit”. As also mentioned this isn’t to be considered a true “income” but for $1,560 a year I’m pleased. I am also using another cash survey company where I gain around $30.00 a month. This is no get rich quick scheme, but it is what it is. Should pay for a cruise by the end of the year. :)

  33. I have made approx $8,500 over the past few years.. However I was going to go back to it because Im a stay at home single mom , also taking care of my disabled mom, but the quality and quantity of hits have dropped. I have my masters and I still can’t find anything to work on. Most hits now are only $.01 each and take too many steps and too long to complete to be considered worth it. It’s a shame because I need the money.

  34. I’ve been an MTurker for about 2.5 years now, off and on. There’s no tried and true “easy” method to make money, but it is out there, it is real money, and it is paid to you (side note : I’m in the USA and I opt for direct deposit into my bank account). I do tasks (“HITs”) anywheres from .30 & up. I’ll do blocks of time or as I feel like it. I have no special training above and beyond what I have done so far in my non-online life (meaning I didn’t pay for online “How to make money at Amazon mTurk” schemes).

    To date : Just crossed the 5,200 HIT threshold and have made ~ $4100.00 … roughly .78/HIT. I can’t tell you per hour rate, but it’s getting better as I find new strategies that work for me. Definitely can’t do it as a “regular job” unless you go the transcription route but even then there’s better companies than mTurk that you could work for to do that kind of work.

    TLDR : not get rich quick, it’s a “side hustle”
    2.5 years — $4,100 in spare time
    real money — no problems getting paid in the USA

    • If you have made over $4000 maybe you can answer a question nobody else can. I assume you are in the United States because that would make a difference.

      Who sent you a 10-99 at the end of the year? Did this come from Amazon? Or from individual requesters?

      I am not looking to get rich quick. I am looking for legit ways to make money from home.

  35. Some things are not clear. I applied and have not been accepted yet. When you start out do you have to give your SS#? Some sites you only have to provide that when you get close to the $600 mark which is when it has to be reported. And to the people saying you have to report $1 – no you don’t. But I am here for help not to argue.

    I do the surveys and I know what they pay. I figure the same people saying you will make $14 an hour on here are the ones saying that about the surveys as well. High paying surveys are few and far between and you get kicked out of way more than you get paid for. I also read where the “requestor” can deny your work if they don’t like your answers. Seems unfair to ask me to take a survey then reject my answers because you do not like them.

    The more I read these questions and answers the more I think I probably will skip this. I have only submitted my name and address and phone number. No social security number (which I am not comfortable giving) or bank account info.

    • I have a little more info – and Amazon seems very vague and incredible good and avoiding answering direct questions. I have chatted back and forth with emails and have done a lot of googling. Hopefully my comments can help someone else. And if I have misunderstood something or someone has different experiences then let me know.

      I saw something on this site about $20,000 and wondered where in the world that came from but Amazon actually says if you make more than $20,000 they are required to send a 10-99. That is totally incorrect. If you make over $600 you are required to send a 10-99. Amazon told me you have to give them your SS# before you can do any HITS. It is up to the requester (the person who provided the HIT aka the mini job) to pay you. They can reject your work if they do not want to pay you. But they will say something like you did it wrong or provided incorrect info. And they (the sequesters) can also ask Amazon for your SS# so they can send you a 10-99 if they want to claim you. After $600 they have to send one but they can send one for as little as whatever they pay you. So you could end up with 50 10-99s at the end of the year.

      So as for now I think I am going to skip this. I am def looking for ways to work from home. But am leery about something when no one can give me a straight answer. :(

  36. I’m not sure what you all mean when you say you were turned down? I never got a rejection email or anything stating that from Mechanical Turk, but when I signed up two years ago, for some reason when I set up the Amazon Payment, got an email stating they couldn’t verify my information and required me to fax a copy of my driver’s license, SSN, official letter with my address from a utility company, et cetera. They suspended the account. I never followed up with that since it seemed like a lot of info required just to make a few pennies.

    I went in and checked it today for the first time in two years, and it says the Amazon Payment is closed and to open another one, but it won’t let me do it. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get in contact with a live person and clicking on contact us or help requires me to sign which I can’t do without a valid account. I’m just going around in circles.

    My Mechanical Turk account is still open and I can view the jobs but it won’t let me accept HITs without the Amazon Payment set up. I’m not sure where to turn to try and fix this.

  37. Now mturk become worst, all requesters left mturk because increase in commission from 10% to 40%. In 2013-2016 boom in work, daily 10 to 20 projects to work, but now 1 project in couple days. I don’t know who is head of mturk, he is worst person.

  38. I have been a mechanical turker for two years and it has been a great job for me when I need it. I am a behavioral technician and I have the fortune of having my wife as a client so I get to stay home with her and go to school on the side. We are not usually short on cash but when we are, like now, I try to crank out 100 hits a day but trying to reach 1,000 a day, if possible. I always make good money and at this time, I am not transferring the money anywhere and letting it grow like a savings account.

  39. Your story is very interesting. I started MTurk about a year ago. At first i wasn’t making lots of money because i was confused about the way it worked. Then, one day on my second day of my Staycation, i took some time to do some online work with the site. In two days of answering surveys, looking at pictures and giving my opinion on certain issues, i made a total of $25. Not bad. I go for the $0.10, $0.25, and the $1 surveys. If you don’t cash it right away and save it, you’d be surprised how much you can save for a rainy day. Thank you.

  40. I’m assuming the restriction of cash payments only to US and India workers has to do with Amazon’s inability to transfer payments outside of those countries’ banking systems. I’m an American planning to retire with my wife in SE Asia, where the cost of living is low. A gig like MTurk would be a nice supplement to our retirement income!

    If we maintain a bank account in the US, would I still qualify for cash payments? I suppose they could see from my IP address that I’m doing the work in another country, but I plan on using a VPN anyway (so I can watch Netflix and Amazon Prime video).

  41. Could any new sign ups OR people rejected for whatever reason comment about the current status of getting hired with great articles like Mike’s giving more publicity to MTurk? Are any long time Turks getting less work with the influx of more workers? Ready to sign up and want to avoid being rejected in every way possible. Is anyone else like Mike and earning over $600 a month every month? Thank you for any and all information- Elizabeth posted 9 am EST 10/18/18 Thursday


    “technology is also enabling a new type of terrible work, in which Americans complete mind-numbing tasks for hours on end, sometimes earning just pennies per job. And for many workers living in parts of the country where other jobs have disappeared—obviated by technology or outsourcing—this work is all that’s available for people with their qualifications.

    This low-paid work arrives via sites like CrowdFlower, Clickworker, Toluna, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, to name a few. Largely unregulated, these sites allow businesses and individuals to post short tasks and pay workers—in cash or, sometimes, gift cards—to complete them. A recent Mechanical Turk listing, for example, offered workers 80 cents to read a restaurant review and then answer a survey about their impressions of it; the time limit was 45 minutes. Another, which asked workers to fill out a 15-minute psychological questionnaire about what motivates people to do certain tasks, offered $1, but allowed that the job could take three hours.

    These are not, by and large, difficult tasks—someone with just a high-school education could complete them easily. And they may seem like one-off jobs, done for money on the side by people with a surplus of idle time. But a growing number of people are turning to platforms like Mechanical Turk for the bulk of their income, despite the fact that the work pays terribly. It’s emblematic of the state of the economy in certain regions of the country that some people consider this type of work to be their only choice. A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found that 25 percent of workers who earned money from online job platforms like Mechanical Turk, Uber, and TaskRabbit went on these sites because there was no other available work in their area.”

  43. “A research paper published in December that analyzed 3.8 million tasks on Mechanical Turk, performed by 2,676 workers, found that those workers earned a median hourly wage of about $2 an hour. Only 4 percent of workers earned more than $7.25 an hour. Kotaro Hara, the lead author of the study and a professor at Singapore Management University, told me that workers earn so little because it’s hard to secure enough tasks to be working every minute they’re in front of the computer. He says workers spend a lot of time looking for tasks, waiting for the interface to load, and trying to complete poorly explained tasks before deciding to return them. “

  44. Hello Mike. I live in New York and I’ve been hearing about Mturk for a while now and it sounds quite interesting to try out even when reading from your article. But the problem here is I’m not a citizen and don’t have SSN. Do you think I can work with them knowing that they may ask of tax information?

  45. Hi Mike: Thank you for being a wealth of information. I’m having a problem zeroing in on the information to make money at Mturk as a transcriptionist. Is there a direct way to get this information or is it even an option. Any help is appreciated. Please contact me as soon as you can.

  46. I started with turk about 2 weeks ago and love it! Definitely perfect as a side gig. Tasks are easy. If you don’t understand, move on

  47. I signed up two days ago, says still waiting.
    I have bought many things on amzn and had my card setup with them. I got a different bank so that will have to be changed.

  48. I’ve done a total of 8,720 HITs and made $9855.74 total including bonuses. Doing only surveys, I can make between $45 to $80/day on average.

    However, closed quals + batch work + plus custom scripting = the real money turkin’

    My best day ever doing closed qual’d batch work was $528. That month, April ’18, I made over $3K.


    I only do MTurk work when other things slow down.

  49. I did mturk while stuck at home with small kids. I work full-time, so I do this when I’m sitting in front of the TV. I’ve made close to $500 in two years. While it’s not much, every penny counts when you’re trying to pay down debt or save for something not in the budget. I would not count on this as a main source of income. I would not snub it if you are unemployed.

  50. Hello I am Colombian, living temporarily in South Africa but I have a working visa in Australia. My application to a Mturk was rejected. Do you have Any suggestions to be accepted.

  51. I tried it and it’s true the HITs are boring and very low pay but I was pleasantly surprised when my $3 I made hit my amazon gift card balance. It’s definitely the effort and time put into it cause I only put half an hour or an hour for a few days but got $3. I’m gonna put more time into it and try to get more.

  52. It would seem that, at this time, there are not a lot of hits available, perhaps because so many people are trying to find work on-line? I have somewhat limited options like someone wrote above (I am visually impaired), but at this point MTurk is the only place that I was able to find any work at all. I guess it will all depend on each and every person’s circumstances and outlook. For some it may be the only income, for others a side hussle while some may not want to work for the money at all. One thing I wanted to mention about gift cards for those outside the US is that the option of buying things you need from Amazon is only a good one if you don’t take into account the cost of postage, packaging and import taxes. The cost of getting a product from the US to South Africa is very high and can take a long time. Just thought I’d share about this.

  53. Hello everyone,
    Thanks to the writer of this interesting and informative article.
    I really enjoyed it and especially comments.
    I am amazon associate for last 6 years and made around $35, 000 and little more than this.
    Now I just applied for Amazon mechanical turk work, I’ll see how it is going to work for me?

  54. I just got registered and would love to try it out but waiting for them to verify my banking info. I’m really curious about this. I’m looking to get any income transferred to my account to build my savings. I don’t really want an amazon gift card.

  55. I’m concerned about giving out my Social Security number. Is Amazon the only one who has access? It’s not given to individual requesters is it?

  56. Hello, My personal experience. I joined mturk on april 2012. From 2012 to 2017 I earn more than 600$ per month working on mturk, where as from 2018 to till now, my monthly salary gone down and reach to 80$ per month.
    Reason, amazon mechanical turk increased pricing from 20% to 40 percent. All clients disappointed and left amazon mechanical turk. I am very angry and sad working on amazon mechanical turk. They are ashamed of doing this. They behave rudely. Amazon mechanical turk has worst management. By increasing mturk pricing they loss, we loss and clients loss.

  57. The only reason I would be doing part time work is to qualify for social security benefits.

    I am a U.S. citizen. I worked in the US but not quite long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. I have lived abroad for a long time (and plan to continue living there in perpetuity). I need to work jobs that pay US social security taxes for about a year and a half to qualify for retirement benefits.

    International shipping charges make (and thus Amazon gift cards) pretty much useless for me. I also rarely use my U.S. credit cards as using local ones is more economical. So visa gift cards are not a big help either. And neither is PayPal since my U.S. bank does not partner with PayPal. So I can’t convert PayPal into cash to my bank account.

    I need work that pays the old-fashioned way—direct deposit into my bank account. Or a good way to transfer gift card balances to my bank account.

    Is there anything like that out there?


Leave a Comment

Usually Hustling, Occasionally Social

plutus winner

The Company

4580 Klahanie Dr SE #155
Sammamish, WA 98029

The Fine Print
Terms of Use
How We Make Money
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.