Hundreds of Americans make money online every day through a network called Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Working this way allows them to operate whenever and wherever they want. On MTurk, various companies apply human intelligence tasks (HITs) to the website.
Then employees choose the micro-jobs they want to complete. Most of the activities require no specific competencies. At any given time, thousands of HITs are available to complete. But the amount of time needed to complete a job varies widely and so does the pay.
Today on Mechanical Turk, there are a total recorded 500k employees who collectively complete millions of tasks each month. But how much can a person actually earn by performing meaningless tasks for pennies? Is this a feasible means of earning a part-time income? Learn more about this and the jobs you can get through Amazon Mechanical Turk below.
What Is Amazon Mechanical Turk
Launched in 2005, MTurk is a website where “requesters” post mind-numbingly boring jobs called “Human Intelligence Tasks” (HITs) that can be completed by staff for very small amounts of money. Such HITs are usually things computers and algorithms can’t manage quite yet — everything from psychological tests to NSFW image recognition.
A significant percentage of the requesters submitting these tasks are limited-budget academic researchers, and tech companies looking to collect human-cultured data that can be fed into AI algorithms.
When a worker logs into their MTurk dashboard, they see a list of available HITs, who they are provided by, the deadline, and the pay.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is based on the belief that much more can be achieved by humans than by machines, such as recognizing items in a picture or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or researching data information.
Tasks such as this have historically been achieved by recruiting a large temporary workforce, which is time-consuming, costly, and difficult to scale. Sometimes the work simply went undone. Some of the HITs, which you will find to be small work, just pay pennies.
Even given the low pay, due to its versatility, people are attracted to MTurk. Many other remote jobs include a fixed schedule for stay-at-home parents, college students, busy retirees, and people in between jobs. MTurk imposes none of those limitations on its workers — you can do HITs for 10 minutes a week or 10 hours a week.
You can complete the short transcriptions with a CrowdSurf Support requester. For each HIT, you’ll transcribe about 20 seconds of audio, which had a $0.05 payout per HIT — plus a bonus. You can do nearly 50 transcriptions for a $2.30 hourly rate, before the $1.23 bonus.
Bonuses differ depending on transcription duration and complexity. Often the incentive will be just $0.01 per hit and often come out to $0.04 more than the initial payout.
Google Search Descriptions
You can easily accept more than 100 HITs. HITs allow you to conduct a particular term search on Google and then copy and paste something from the results page into the MTurk framework. It only takes about 15 seconds to complete some of those $0.15 HITs.
Next up, you can also work on different surveys as an MTurk worker filling in bubbles. Most of them are part of studies conducted by colleges and universities. The most interesting survey of Facebook’s Memories features asked about a few multiple-choice questions.
By doing 10 surveys, you will get average earnings of $6.85 for the hour. Plus, MTurk lets you pick out the HITs you would like to complete.
A 2018 academic report examined 3.8 million tasks performed by 2,676 MTurk employees and found that the platform’s average earnings were $2 per hour. Just four percent of all employees paid more than the $7.25/hour minimum federal wage.
The amount they receive on MTurk is almost entirely dictated by their ability to: A) obtain as many “higher-paying” tasks as possible, and B) execute them as quickly as possible within the limits of what the requesters will allow.
Also, if the work is not satisfactorily done, then it may be refused without compensation.
Just 20 percent of workers who use a suite of tools and browser extensions to automate every pass, complete about 80 percent of all tasks on the web. MTurk can potentially turn out to be a pretty good side gig for those individuals. Click here for more side gigs you can try out.