Robert Fleming is a 20-year veteran of the market research industry and now serves as co-CEO of Paid Survey Update which he co-founded in 2015. He resides in Myrtle Beach with his dog Scraps.
Taking paid surveys is an awesome way to make extra money. But sometimes you could use just a bit more supplemental income. If that’s the case, you should consider signing up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
As a Mechanical Turk Worker, you can earn cash for doing a wide array of simple “Human Intelligence Tasks,” or HITs, as Amazon calls them. For example, you might translate a product description for $2.50 or describe an image for $0.10.
Of course $0.10 isn’t a lot of money, but there are tons of different tasks available and with a little effort you can build up some nice extra income. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons and see if mTurk works for you.
Pros for Mechanical Turk
1. Get Started Easily
Setting up an Amazon Mechanical Turn account is very easy, though it can take up to 48 hours for approval. The good news is once you’re approved you can start making money immediately.
2. Work Remotely
As long as you have a computer and an Internet connection you can be making money with Mechanical Turk, from your couch to an airplane and everywhere in between. And naturally your schedule is completely up to you.
3. No Limit Earnings and No Payment Thresholds
You can earn as much money as you want, as long as you are willing to put the time in. Plus, Mechanical Turk doesn’t require you to meet a specific earning threshold to cash out.
4. No Coding or Programming Skills Needed
While some companies that provide work on Mechanical Turk prefer people with certain backgrounds and skills, most don’t. In fact, as long as you are over 18 and meet basic requirements, you should be able to set up an account relatively easily and earn money the same day.
5. It’s Run by Amazon
This should probably be higher on the list, since one of the best things about the Mechanical Turk is that it’s run by Amazon. With their backing, you really don’t have to worry about not getting paid.
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Cons for Mechanical Turk
1. Low Pay
If you get paid over $1.00 for a competed Mechanical Turk task, that’s good. Most of them range from a few cents to $0.25. Of course, the tasks shouldn’t take you very long. So, you won’t get rich off of it, but you can definitely put in a few hours worth of work and save up to help pay for something you want, like a video game or a new book.
2. You Can’t Quit Your Day Job
While mTurk is great for making some extra loot during your downtime, don’t expect it to turn into a full time gig. Easy work generally means lower pay, so don’t expect to retire on your Mechanical Turk payouts.
3. Not A Lot of Room For Advancement
With many online work opportunities, there is room for advancement with different perks opening up for different levels. With Amazon Mechanical Turk, you can complete various tests to be certified in certain areas, but as of right now, there are no specific rewards for completing a lot of tasks and doing them well.
4. Some Questionable Opportunities
One type of job I saw offered on Mechanical Turk was that people can get paid to click on ads on various websites. If this is for personal gain as opposed to business research for the people advertising this job, it is actually against Google’s terms of service. I’m not saying every person who advertises this type of job is doing something unsavory, but please do your research before completing tasks that seem questionable.
Ultimately, how much you can make from Mechanical Turk is completely up to you. While it may not be benefit seasoned freelancers used to a higher hourly rate, it’s great for college students or those who are between jobs and looking to make a few extra dollars.
With a focused effort and a strategy to pick only high paying opportunities, you can definitely make minimum wage with Mechanical Turk, especially if you’re also supplementing your income with paid surveys.