Making Money // Amazon Mechanical Turks

Sep 26, 2014

For those looking to make a little extra money from home Amazon Mechanical Turks is a good option.  Simple jobs (like receipt transcription) and surveys (from universities and companies) are posted, with payment ranging from a single penny to several dollars.  The work is easy enough and it is run through a credible website  However, it is slow money and can get discouraging.  This site is not for those looking to get rich quick but those looking to make a little extra money each month.

Below I'll be discussing setting up an account, finding hits, tools to use, and payment.

To set up an account, you'll need to visit: and click "Account Settings."  You'll need an account on to proceed.  If you have one, enter your log in information.  If not hit "No, I am a new customer."  It will take 24 - 48 hours (maybe less) for them to verify your account and approve it for Mech. Turks.

Once your account is set up you can log in to your dashboard -which is where you will be able to see your earnings, completed/pending/rejected hits, and daily revenue. You'll see three tabs above this area as well -your account, HITs, and Qualifications.  To begin you will want to click the HITs tab.  (HIT stands for Human Intelligence Tasks.)

You'll see a bunch of hits listed, many of which won't currently be available to you.  If the HIT is gray that means you are not qualified.  Each hit has different requirements.  Some require you to have completed x amounts of hits.  Others require you to have a certain percentage of approval ratings -so make sure you read and follow directions for HITs.  If the HIT is blue it means you are eligible.  You'll need to click "HITs Available To You" in the top center to see ones you are qualified to do.

Once on the "HITs Available To You" you'll find all the HITs you can choose from and as you reach milestones (like completing 50, 100, 500, or 1,000 HITs) more will open up.  So where do you begin?  You'll see a few transcriptions tasks.  Some you should stay away from because they may be known for rejecting hits or waiting 30 days to approve hits. 411Richmond transcription tasks are tedious to do, but quick to be approved, and may be good to build up your approved hits.  Below I'll walk you through how to complete a simple transcription task from 411Richmond.

If you type in 411Richmond in the search bar you'll see a few hits comes up.  For this I'll be clicking the second one "Extract purchased items from a shopping receipt."  Once you click it you'll see this screen:

This is what all HITs will look like.  On the top left you will see a timer.  Then there are two buttons, asking if you want to "Accept HIT" or "Skip HIT."  Below that you will see the requester to the left and on the right will be the Reward, number of these tasks available, and time limit.  (For this task it is 1 cent and a bonus.)  Then below that is a preview or instructions of what the HIT is.  If you decide you want to do a HIT you click "Accept" at the top, and the timer will begin.  If I click "Accept HIT" for this task this is what will appear:


A new receipt will appear, and you'll need to enter in each line of it -both the items name and the price.  You'll receive a penny per HIT and bonus of $0.004 per item. 

When you have completed it, there'll be a button to 'Submit' at the end of the HIT.  Once you click it, you'll see a green check that is has been submitted and you'll be taken back to the "HITs Available To You" screen.  Some HITs are accepted almost instantly, others can take hours, days, or weeks.  To view a HITs status, click the "Your Account" tab, then "Dashboard."  Under "Your HIT Status" each day you worked will be listed and if you click it, you'll see each HIT you did.

One website I can't recommend enough is Hits Worth Turking For.  The community posts hits that are worth your time, meaning pay rate is around $6 an hour, or 10 cents a minute.  So if a survey takes 5 minutes it should pay 50 cents.  Obviously this is not the case for most tasks, so if you can snag some hits on here it will bring up your daily pay.

You may have noticed a red triangle next to each requester name.  This is a tool called Turkopticon which you can download for free for Firefox and Chrome.

This allows you to see the ratings of every requester and read reviews as well.  It allows you to stay away from requesters who may not pay or reject HITs unfairly.  I only accept HITs if the reviewer is in the green.  If you see yellow or red, take the time to read the reviews and then decide if you want to risk taking the HIT from that person.

Another tool to use is  Turk Alert allows you to add requesters you like to a list, and whenever they add a new hit you'll get an email notifying you.  This allows you to quickly access well paying HITs before they are gone.

After you've been on Amazon Mechanical Turks for 10 days you can transfer earnings to your Amazon Payment account.  Once it processes on Amazon Payments you can spend your money on or transfer it to your bank account.

While it's not a fast way to make money, if you're looking for a little extra cash that you can easily make from home I definitely recommend this site!

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