Amazon Mechanical Turk Review: When Outsourcing Doesn’t Even Earn Pennies On The Dollar

April 6, 2024

Amazon Mechanical Turk, a global crowdsourcing marketplace, offers a diverse array of Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) including data entry, image processing, and survey participation that people from around the world can accomplish to earn money. Commonly, these tasks, ranging from simple surveys to complex data categorization, can be completed in just a few minutes, so it’s conceivable to finish several tasks in an hour and earn a decent income - or at least, that’s what Amazon would have you believe

To qualify for high-paying, premium tasks in categories like advanced transcription or detailed market research, completion of at least 5,000 “low-level” tasks such as basic surveys or image tagging is required. Not only that, but you would need to maintain a high rating for all your clients, despite the allegations that there are a lot of scam requesters who reject tasks and give a negative rating just so that they don’t have to pay.

Amazon Mechanical Turk reviews are mixed with a 3.4/5 rating on Indeed, 4/5 on G2, and 2.5/5 on Sitejabber. Users mostly praise the diversity of tasks and opportunities. Critics point to the high learning curve of the better-paying tasks and that the dollar-to-hour ratio as being to low with most tasks. Users outside of the US do not recommend the platform.

This Amazon Mechanical Turk review will cover what type of tasks you can expect from the marketplace, the going rate for each HIT task, and how much extra money you can realistically earn per month. Despite its advantages, this model still pales compared to local lead generation, a digital marketing strategy, where you can potentially earn thousands in passive income monthly without the monotony of daily repetitive tasks like those found in MTurk’s data entry or survey completion.


Operated by the renowned e-commerce giant Amazon, ensuring stability and reliability in the crowdsourcing market.

You can do MTurk directly on your phone. It does not require any other equipment.

Highly flexible work model - earn based on the tasks you complete, from simple image identifications to complex research surveys, at your preferred pace.


The platform predominantly offers menial and repetitive tasks, such as basic image categorization or simple survey responses.

Does not earn you a lot - This is meant for extra income only.

Limited profitability for users outside the US or India, with payment often restricted to Amazon credits rather than cash.

Steep learning curve.


Free to register




Varied, with user feedback ranging from positive experiences in task diversity to criticisms regarding pay rates and task availability.

How Much Can You Make with Amazon Mechanical Turk?

You can earn between $10 to $20 for approximately 3 hours of work daily, undertaking tasks such as audio transcription, survey participation, or data verification. ($3.33 to $6.66 per hour). MTurk pays less than a dollar per task, with most paying pennies.

Assuming you will work for 5 days each week, you can realistically expect around $200 to $400 each month. Naturally, this can be more (or less) depending on the number of tasks you can complete, but keep these considerations in mind, especially if you’re just beginning. 

  • During your first 10 days of starting, you are restricted to 100 HITs per day, encompassing a variety of tasks, from simple surveys to basic content moderation To build up your reputation and earn “credits”, you need to accomplish the less demanding (but also less paying) ones. 
  • Upon building your reputation, you can select more advanced and higher-paying jobs, like detailed market research surveys or complex data analysis as a Turk master. However, some HITs require a certain percentage of previous jobs before you can be qualified to do them. Think of it like a microcosm of the actual employee journey: You need to start out small and keep grinding until you can earn more money because you have more experience. 
  • Most people recommend you reach 5,000 completed short tasks to qualify for more well-paying jobs. 
  • There are many scripts you can use, but most people use a script to automatically “accept” tasks for them. 
  • ONLY accept jobs from a requester who has a 99% worker rating. This may sound too harsh, but keeping that rating is actually quite easy and getting a rating of 90% or below means that a requestor has had THOUSANDS of negative reviews. 
  • This is because requestors can reject work for arbitrary reasons, not pay you, and STILL use what you gave them. 
  • There is a steep learning curve. Though the interface is simple and the tasks are repetitive, it requires handling and mastering different features all at once. This means that during the early stages, it’s quite possible for you to spend 20 to 40 hours just figuring things out before going to your first task. 
  • To maximize earnings, focus on batch HITs, which typically involve a series of related tasks, such as large-scale data annotation or extended survey series. As their names suggest, these are human intelligence tasks that you need to complete in batches. However, batch HITs are usually only given to more experienced Turkers. 

One more thing that I should mention is that the Amazon payment differs from the United States and India and other parts of the world. Whereas those two countries get paid in cash (meaning that the money is transferred to your respective bank account), they will only pay you in an Amazon gift card if you live anywhere else in the world.


These gift cards ONLY WORK on Amazon.COM, not your country’s respective Amazon page. This can mean more expensive shipping fees. 

Why Qualifying for HITs Is Now More Challenging

It’s a basic rule in economics that when supply is low and demand is up, suppliers can be pickier. It’s the same in Amazon Mechanical Turk. More experienced Turkers have scripts that allow them to monopolize many higher-paying HITs and these workers are more likely to be accepted by a requester because of their qualifications. 

If you’re just starting out, you may need to fight tooth and nail for scraps.

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk a Good Side Income?

Amazons Mechanical Turk was a great place to earn extra income back when it started in 2005. Not a lot of people knew about it, and you didn’t have to jump through hoops just to get more meaningful jobs. 

2024 is a lot different though. The competition is fierce, there are so many Turkers in the market and you still are earning the same pay as 10 years ago. It is quite possible for you to earn more than $1,000 each month being an Amazon MTurk, but you’d have to put in a lot of effort for brainless and inconsistent work each day. 

To have a point of reference, the average hourly rate for a freelancer in the United States is $33.15 an hour. Even in a developing country such as India (where Mechanical Turks seem to be targeting), freelancers earn around $26 an hour. These are more than what you’d earn in Amazon Mechanical Turk. 

So, is it a good side income to earn money online? Yes, to a certain degree. It’s great if you have spare time and would like to earn extra cash, but it is not something you should consider if you are looking for a consistent and decent income. 

How Much Can You Realistically Make with Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in 2024?

How is Amazon Mechanical Turk in 2024?

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in 2024 isn't as good as it used to be back in 2015 to 2018. It remains to be an active platform even though Amazon doesn't talk about it much. However, it can be hard to find good-paying tasks here and people don't earn as much anymore. You can still make some money, though. The website is user-friendly, and you get your money in your bank account every three days. MTurk is now mostly for small side tasks, but it's not a big money-maker.  

How Much Can You Realistically Make with Amazon Mechanical Turk in 2024?

You can't make much with MTurk anymore. Most people only make about $3 per hour, occasionally, a bit more. In 2023, a regular user might have made around $825 annually for part-time work. You could make around $1,000 in a year if you regularly use MTurk. Using tools like the Panda Crazy Max extension may also help in optimizing task selection. 

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Still a Good Side Hustle?

Amazon Mechanical Turk might still be good for small, quick jobs that you can do in your spare time, but don't expect to make much from it. It's more for making a bit of extra cash, like just enough for gas. 

What's not mentioned in the video: An article in The Online World mentioned that MTurk workers usually make between $1 to $10 per day. A study from Cornell University in 2017 reported a median wage of $2 per hour for MTurk workers, with only very few tasks paying above the U.S. minimum wage. 

What Qualifications Do I Need to Be an Amazon MTurk?

To qualify for Amazon MTurk, You need to be at least 18 years old, have a reliable internet connection, basic digital literacy, potentially including familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite, and basic data entry skills. You can learn the other skills, as you go and as needed. It takes as long as 3 business days to be approved for Amazon MTurk.

Is MTurk a Good Side Hustle for People Living in Developing Countries?

MTurk is not considered a good side hustle for people living in developing countries. In a 2022 report by the Commission on Population and Development, researchers found that most Filipinos now work 2 to 3 jobs just to pay for daily expenses. Necessary items such as gas and vegetables are now at rates comparable to first-world countries ($600 to $2,000 a month) that need to be paid for with a developing country's salary (the average monthly salary for a Filipino is only $300). When MTurks opened in the Philippines, many Filipino workers decided to try their hand at using the platform. However, even Filipino participants found the work to have such a steep learning curve, was too repetitive and had too low a pay for them to continue.

This is something you should consider: If even Filipino Mechanical Turk workers avoid MTurk to pay for their survival, then it is highly unlikely that you can support yourself if you live in another country. At best, Amazon Mechanical Turk is something that can earn you extra income each month. 

Do I Need to Pay My Taxes From Amazon Mechanical Turk if I Live in the United States?

You are considered an independent contractor so you need to report any income you earn from MTurk. However, you do not need to submit your earnings through Form 1099 unless you make more than $600 per month. 

What Tasks Do You Do in Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Examples of tasks that you do in Amazon Mechanical Turk are online surveys, image annotation, transcription services, data entry, data verification, and content creation. As mentioned earlier, these human intelligence tasks are pretty simple, but many former workers caution about a lot of unpaid hours. Remember that you are only paid for a HIT task you complete, not the number of hours you spend learning about it, how to set up scripts, or qualifying for more HITs. Your goal is to make your work environment more efficient, but even then, you may not notice a significant pay increase (keep in mind as well that a scam requestor can always reject your work!). 

How Do You Sign up for Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Registration is free on the official website. You need to enter some personal information (including your social security number if you’re in the US) and then wait for 48 hours for your account to be confirmed. 

It’s typically faster to get approved if you live in the United States. Some workers in the United Kingdom, for example, say that their first attempts at registering in MTurk were denied for unknown reasons. 

Once you’ve been verified, you will have a 10-day probation period. During this time, you can only finish 100 HITs a day. You also can’t withdraw your money. 

The minimum payout is $1, and you can get paid either every 3, 7, 14, or 30 days. 

Amazon Mechanical Turk Tips

To make the most of your time, it is crucial that you set up the right scripts. There are several scripts you can use depending on what you need and how you work. I’d recommend joining an MTurk forum or community groups on Reddit or searching for specific MTurk script guides to help you decide which ones you want. 

Another tip I would give is to have patience. Amazon Mechanical Turk is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme and you need to be patient with yourself to earn real money. If you’re really set on using this platform to earn extra money, you need to keep your nose to the grindstone. 


There is actually no predetermined number of small tasks you need to accomplish to become qualified for higher-paying jobs, but a good number to have is 5,000. Most students say that this was the number that “broke the ceiling” and allowed them to earn more. 

Amazon Mechanical Turk Reviews

Reviews for Amazon Mechanical Turk have been getting more negative as the years pass. Complaints range from beginners having a difficult time getting approved for tasks to the increase of low paying tasks that take more time to complete.

amazon mechanical turk review

This user mentioned on Reddit that they could earn $23 to $200 in a month doing tasks on MTurk. What you earn will really depend on the tasks you work on and how much free time you have to put into them. They also mentioned that some tasks have age restrictions, mostly the surveys. An important detail to know that many users have complained about is that you have to be quick to apply for tasks. Several users have taken advantage of night hours to get the good tasks that are requested at night.

amazon mechanical turk review

A full-time MTurk user posted on Reddit that he was earning $350 to $400 a week. They explained that they were earning this much because of their master's status and could access closed qualification tasks. They also mention the decrease in the number of work although this is probably because of the increase of users looking for tasks.

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth It? 

MTurk is not worth it if you’re intending to replace the income you make from your full-time job. If, however, you have spare time and want to earn a few extra dollars each month, then maybe I’d suggest this. All things considered, you’d still need to become an “experienced” worker, working 4 hours per day to earn a decent amount of money. When you’re just starting out, your MTurk earnings will not be enough, and you will be spending most of your time just understanding what you need to do for a simple task. Unless you just have free time and want to earn a few dollars, Amazon Mechanical Turk is not worth it.

Earn Monthly Passive Income With Local Lead Generation

Earn $500 to $2,500 a month in passive income with local lead generation. As a type of digital real estate business model, you earn a predictable income every month. It works by creating and ranking a website on Google using SEO tactics, then renting it out to local businesses. Once your site is launched, it's basically hands-free. You don't have to worry about looking for tasks and completing them. A local lead generation business is also easily scalable. You simply need to repeat the rank and rent process. There is no limit to how many sites you can have, which makes your earning potential also limitless. This makes local lead generation the best business model to create passive income.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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