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Top 10 Amazon MTurk Tips and Tricks

Updated on October 21, 2016
PaulGoodman67 profile image

Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

MTurk can be a useful and fun way of making money.  It can also sometimes be frustrating, however, and generally speaking, earning rates have been gradually declining over the years.
MTurk can be a useful and fun way of making money. It can also sometimes be frustrating, however, and generally speaking, earning rates have been gradually declining over the years. | Source

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

For those who don't know, Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, is a 'crowdsource' program where you earn money online by performing basic tasks (known as "Hits") for employers (known as "Requesters").

You can be paid either in the form of cash (which Amazon pays into your bank account), or by purchasing Amazon gift cards which you can spend at their website.

In my experience, Amazon Mechanical Turk can be one of the fastest ways to make money online and my top 10 Amazon Mechanical Turk tips and tricks should help you to earn more, as well as lower the chances of you getting ripped off.

Typical MTurk HITs that you might find on the site are simple, but ones that a machine is unable to do, for instance: rewriting sentences, completing surveys, writing original articles, copying text from scans and photos, transcribing audio files.

(Mechanical Turk has a number of rivals, one example being Microworkers, read my article: The Pros and Cons of Making Money with Microworkers for more details. Other sites like MTurk include Inbox Dollars and myLot. For further details of MTurk alternatives read my article: 5 Best Ways to Make Quick and Easy Money Online)

The Main Pros and Cons of Amazon MTurk

Rather than write a formal Mechanical Turk review, I've listed the main pluses and minuses of MTurk in a pros and cons format below.

You can work from home.
You can pick and choose the jobs that you want to do.
It's free to sign up.

Amazon doesn't regulate it, so there are quite a few scams and rip offs and you don't have any comeback.
The payments can be stingy (and they seem to be getting stingier as time goes on).

Top 10 Amazon Mechanical Turk Tips

Here are some of the tips and tricks that I have picked up.

1. Watch out for the scammers!

Stay clear of any hits that ask you for your real email, full name, address, credit card details etc. You don't want to end up being spammed, or even worse, defrauded. Genuine Amazon Mechanical Turk requesters won't ask you for personal info. (For more details see my article: How to avoid MTurk scams).

2. Use forums such as Turker Nation and MTurk Forum to keep yourself informed.

The MTurk Forums will keep you up to date with what's happening with Amazon Mechanical Turk and and you can learn from other worker's experiences. These forums are set up and self-run by Mechanical Turk workers and though they won't give you any comeback against the rip-off requesters and scammers, they may help you to avoid the worst of MTurk and direct you towards the best requesters and practices. You'll find Turker Nation here and MTurk Forum here.

3. Download and use the Turkopticon toolbar.

This is maybe the most important of my Mechanical Turk tips and tricks. The Turkopticon toolbar will allow you to see how previous Mechanical Turk workers have assessed a particular requester. You can see helpful reviews from other Mechanical Turk workers before you decide to take a hit or not. Did they reject an MTurk hit without good reason, did they pay in reasonable time etc. (one scam that some unscrupulous requesters use is to reject your work on the grounds that it is inadequate in order to get out of paying).

This tool is worth having if you're a regular Mechanical Turk user, in my opinion, as it really does work. There are toolbar versions for Firefox and Google Chrome browsers on their website, though I didn't see anything on their website for Internet Explorer.

4. Avoid the 1 cent hits on Mechanical Turk, unless they look like fun, or you're desperate.

Even if a one second hit takes you only three minutes to complete, you are still looking at a pay rate of just 12c an hour. That means you'd have to spend an entire day working on Mechanical Turk just to earn a single dollar. The 2 cent Mechanical Turk hits aren't much better. The only way that these hits pay is if all you're doing is clicking on something or copying and pasting a word or phrase.

5. Think through how long a task takes in Mechanical Turk and the relative pay rate.

It's worth looking at whether it's worth it before you get involved with an Amazon Mechanical Turk hit. Some of them require a qualification test to be passed before you can even begin working on the hit(s) proper. Some of them have extensive instructions, slowing you down and increasing the chance of you getting your submitted hits rejected. If there are plenty of Mechanical Turk hits for you to do and the pay's not too bad, it may still be worth you accepting the hit, but give the matter a little thought too.

6. Surveys are often good payers in my experience.

The surveys you find in Amazon Mechanical Turk pay better than most hits generally and you are more likely to receive your money, as they are often conducted by colleges and universities, rather than virtually anonymous individuals. Some of the Mechanical Turk surveys will pay you $1 or more for 5 or 10 minutes work. Just be wary of the scam hits that sometimes dress themselves up as surveys, eg answer some questions about our website, fill in this form giving us your personal details etc.

The other good payers in Mechanical Turk, if you have writing skills, are the short articles hits that are often advertised, where you put together a 100-200 words for between $1 and $2. Most of the time you can just reword information that you copy from Wikipedia. UPDATE: Since I wrote this article, the payment rates for surveys have gone gone considerably and you often get paid 40 or 50 cents for a survey that 18 months ago may well have paid you $1 or $1.50.

7. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!

Unfortunately the big paying Amazon Mechanical Turk hits are usually put there by scammers. Generally speaking, nobody is going to pay you $10 in Mechanical Turk just to test their website.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Those Mechanical Turk requesters who offer $10 or $20 for a 1 or 2 minute tasks, eg wanting you to check if their website is working, are pretty much always up to no good.

8. Read the instructions carefully before you accept a Mechanical Turk hit.

One of my most important Mechanical Turk tips.  If you regularly end up having to return an Amazon Mechanical Turk hit because you are unable, or don't want to complete it, then this will affect your "hit return rate" adversely. Alternatively you may complete and submit a number of Mechanical Turk hits incorrectly, then get them rejected, which can be very frustrating, as well as a huge waste of time. This doesn't matter if you do it once or twice, but if you do it regularly, then it will limit the range of Mechanical Turk hits that you can take.

9. Use the Sort By and Search options to find the Amazon Mechanical Turk hits that you are after

For instance, if you were looking on Mechanical Turk for a new survey that paid over 50c, you'd type "survey" in the search box and set the hit value to 50c. You can then put the results in order with the newest hits first. Searching like this can save you a lot of time on Mechanical Turk. There are over 100,000 MTurk hits on offer sometimes and you don't want to end up wading through them one at a time.

10. Link your bank account to Amazon if you want to get paid in cash from your Mechanical Turk Account

Amazon keep you posted on how much money you've earned with Mechanical Turk as you go along (though be prepared for the fact that many Mechanical Turk requesters won't pay you immediately). The Mechanical Turk money will appear in your regular Amazon account in a section called Amazon Payments. You can convert this money into gift card money which you can spend in Amazon. Alternatively, if you want it in cash, then you have to link a bank account to your Amazon account.

© 2011 Paul Goodman


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    • ChuckHuckaby profile image

      ChuckHuckaby 5 years ago from USA

      I've wondered if people actually make money taking assignments through Amazon's mechanical turk program. Sounds like it might be possible if you have nothing else that works better!

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @Chuck I make about $20 on a good day. Maybe $5 on a bad day. I generally spend 2 or 3 hours on it. A lot of it depends on what hits are out there. You won't become a millionaire from it, that's for sure, but it gives you a little extra spending money.

    • ChuckHuckaby profile image

      ChuckHuckaby 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks Paul. I've known people who told me though that if (in addition to their other 'day' job) they'd known how to make an extra $20 per day it would have made their lives much easier. That's an extra couple hundred per month!

    • minjin25 profile image

      Mary Jane Hardel 5 years ago from Illinois

      Very useful info. I was not aware of this program. Thanks.

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      Thanks for coming over, minjin! :-)

    • tritrain profile image

      tritrain 5 years ago from United States

      I haven't done any of the jobs yet. I figured it out that it needs to be sorted, so the better jobs are at the top.

      Great tips here!

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      Well I guess it's maybe subjective which are the "better jobs". I enjoy the writing assignments and surveys, but someone else may hate them and prefer something else. There's all sorts of stuff on there. The Turkopticon toolbar is useful for finding the best requesters. :-)

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks for these great tips. I'd forgotten about Amazon Turk, and didn't do much on the site after first joining a few months back, I should pop in there again sometime...

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      My favourite requester on there isn't around at the moment, much to my disappointment, so I've not been doing a lot of turking either! It's one of the better sites though.

    • The Farmers Wife profile image

      The Farmers Wife 5 years ago from Turkey

      Never heard of it before. Very interesting, thank you :-)

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      If you need a few bucks quickly, or want to save up for a treat, it's worth checking out. I bought my stereo system with Turk money! :-)

    • The Farmers Wife profile image

      The Farmers Wife 5 years ago from Turkey

      Hi Paul,

      Well I joined and did 5 tasks so Ive now got 25 cents! I found it time consuming and thought to myself, hmmm I could be using this time to finish this article or that one. I honestly don't think I have the patience for it, but I can see it could be good for someone that has.

      Good to know though so thanks again :-)

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      I think the trick is to find either some low paid jobs that you can do very quickly, or high paid jobs that are worth doing. Looking through the jobs can be time-consuming in itself though. The Turkopticon can be useful for getting tips etc. from other workers. :-)

    • mohitmitm profile image

      mohitmitm 5 years ago

      great hub Paul :)

    • ShaineT 5 years ago

      I've found a lot of fun 5 cent hits but they usually take 2 to 3 minutes to do so not much of a money maker. Also I've noticed a lot of those same requestors have lengthened the amount of time it takes even more on subsequent postings. As if they can't handle paying someone $1 an hour now its gotta be 60 cents an hour LOL.

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      I agree, in the free market world of MTurk, all the pressures seem to drive wages down, not up!

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 5 years ago

      this was helpful information..I have thought about doing this but was afraid of scammers..thanks ;-)

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @Stacie L - You should be aware of the scammers but not let that stop you, methinks. As well as on HubPages, I also write a lot about different aspects of Amazon Mechanical Turk and other make money online websites at my blog:

    • nikkiraeink profile image

      nikkiraeink 5 years ago from So. Cal.

      Just stumbled on Turk today. So far, so good. We'll see how it pans out. I figure, I would rather spend my time on the internet earning money than just reading gossip. I look forward to reading your other hubs.

    • workonlinereviewer 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great tips. I have come across a lot of scammers on Mturk, but now I stick primarily to a few trusted Requesters and I don't have any issues. I have a review of Amazon Mechanical Turk on my blog at

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      Thanks for the link to my MTurk post on your new blog, workonlinereviewer. There are unfortunately a lot of poor quality websites offering advice in the work at home field, but your blog looks informative, and I will be interested to see how it develops.

      I also wrote a follow up to this hub, called More Amazon Mechanical Turk Tips, which can be found at

    • happypuppy profile image

      happypuppy 5 years ago

      Interesting. I've never heard of MTuk but will give it a try. Thanks.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Excellent compendium of advice.

    • HennieN profile image

      HennieN 5 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for the good advice.

    • PaulPd0 profile image

      PaulPd0 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Mturk is great. I've made nearly $100 in a day on Mturk through writing assignments quite a few times. I remember I did about 200 gun reviews for a requestor through Mturk a long time ago - it was pretty decent money. I've found current event and news articles on there that pay great. I stopped using the domain earlier this year, but it's really a good website.

      For the people that can't seem to sit through two thousand 5-cent assignments, consider signing on every day and looking for recent surveys they post. They usually pay at least a dollar or two, and you'll be surprised how often new ones are posted. My wife has used it to get herself little Amazon goodies here and there as well using the quick and easy jobs like you mentioned above - I remember one would show you a life vest of some sort and give you it's size and whatnots. Just had to copy it into a form and you'd make five cents or something like that.

      Your also completely right about the wages getting driven lower and lower by the competition. I remember when I first got on there they would pay a quarter to have you provide them with some basic categorization information of about 4 different pictures. Last I checked they were offering five cents for the same job but you had to do like 20 pictures.

    • sakesare 5 years ago

      Great info about Amazon Mechanical Turk here. I thought of using it but hesitated again n again. Now I might be jumping in again after reading your hub. Thanks for sharing..

    • Sal 5 years ago

      does it work for those working outside of the USA? i read a comment on another site that said you can't. ust wanted to make never know:)

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @Sal - You would have to check up whether you can use it where you live. I am British, but I live in the USA. I have no personal experience of using MTurk outside of the US.

    • ABOOBACKER 5 years ago

      I am using amazon Mechanical Turk...

      Only it is possible for me "little works for $0.(some)"

      Another are too difficult to do

      Please give me any tips for making at least $1-5/day

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @ABOOBACKER - Some of the writing HITs and surveys pay better, but you often need good English skills for those.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @ABOOBACKER : You can make $1-5/day at McDonald's, probably in less than an hour.

    • ABOOBACKER 5 years ago

      Thank you PaulGoodman

    • ABOOBACKER 5 years ago

      nicomp thank you

      I searched for McDonald's but I didn't get it.

    • ABOOBACKER 5 years ago

      Dear's what is the name of your favorite work in amazon Mechanical Turk

    • Aboobacker 5 years ago

      Do you have any idea? Qualifying as a worker for all hits!

    • Steph 5 years ago

      I just found out about "turking" today and thanks to your extremely helpful article I think I will give it a try

    • bala 5 years ago

      wats this i really dont accept there any proof

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      Amazon Mechanical Turk is a good way to earn extra money. Will you make enough to live off? Probably not. It is casual work and what is available varies from day to day.

    • DustyF 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the article. I've actually been turking on and off for a while now and find that article writing and surveys are the quickest way to earn any kind of money. I'm not in it for any substantial money, but when there's a Blu Ray or a game I would like, I'll try to turk for a few days to raise a little extra money to spend at amazon and that's where I find it's biggest value for me.

    • Stephanie 5 years ago

      Hi, I started amazon turk about 2 and a half weeks ago. My best day I made $13.19 on 57 HITS. I don't and haven't seen any legitimate surveys that pay more than a dollar for the most part. Usually only between .15 and .50 cents. I haven't attempted any writing surveys yet because i'm afraid that my work will be rejected. How high quality does the writing have to be? I'm not the best writer, but I can do an o.k. job usually.

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 5 years ago from Florida USA

      @Stephanie - I think the surveys pay less and less as time goes on, although $1 surveys aren't uncommon. But you're right that most pay under 50 cents nowadays. (This is a downside with MTurk, wages get driven down and down!)

      Generally speaking, writing quality doesn't have to be that great on MTurk, they usually want a fluent English writer (not a non-English speaker) and basic spelling and grammar - usually basic, high school level stuff.

      The requesters make their own specifications though, at the end of the day.

    • mrs.stone 5 years ago

      I joined MTurk about a month ago. At first I thought it was a complete waste of time, but I've gotten addicted to it :) I'm a stay at home mom, while attending college part time. I spend about an hour or so on MTurk on most days. I always look for the college/university surveys. Yes, they pay poorly (about $1 a pop, sometimes 5 cents). But I've also found some that are $5 or more. They usually take about 15 mins of my time max. Besides finding them really interesting, I managed to make $80 in the past two weeks. As we're struggling to make ends meet, even this amount was a wonderful bonus to playing around with psychology surveys online. With the money I bought two new cell phones & Christmas gifts :) I find it helps to have something in mind. I'm working toward a Kindle now lol!

    • mrs.stone 5 years ago

      * that was sometimes 50 cents, not 5 cents! I don't believe the 1-5 cent jobs are worth it for the time. I suppose some may say $1 isn't worth 15 mins either! But at least where surveys are involved, you're contributing to higher learning while getting pocket change ;)

    • Sekar from india 5 years ago

      Hi paul now i'am work mturk i need some job websites address!!!!!

    • Shigndas 5 years ago


      The works I got most from Microworkers are rewriting articles. I think this is the online job which s suitable for me. Now a days, this type of work is not found in MW. Hw can I get these type of jobs at least 1 or 2 per day from MW or any other genuinely paying websites?

      Happy X-Mas-)

    • Jerry 5 years ago

      Thanks Paul for your valuable infos..I started HITTING!!!!

    • Cervantes 4 years ago

      Like Justin, also posted this to your blogger page. Paul-- I've gotta say that you have the best and most informative guides for the aspiring Turker! The more I Turk, the more I understand your tips.

      If folks want a better sense of what it's like starting out, you can try following my Turking experiences here:

    • Nishant Sahu 4 years ago

      Dear sir i am making a 0.44 $ in my mturk account but suddenly i am not geeting that hits which i am get i am just do the hit of oscar smith but today i am not geeting the oscar smith in the hits list so what we can do for that please tell me as soon as poosible becoz i am helpless i am not do this work it is very intersting work

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I started out on mturk last year. There was a content farm that consistently had assignments for around 200-300 words for various subjects at $1.80 a shot. I made around $100 and then the content farm started pulling some crap so I left. I have yet to come close to that on HubPages, but I definitely like the fact that I still own what I write.

    • marry 4 years ago

      sir i dont know how to work in mturk. will u teach me

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