What Can You Make on Mturk ? The Plain Simple Truth
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
This is, by far, the most frequently asked (and answered) question concerning Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform. It's also the answer most often misstated, dodged, or even flat out lied about. There are dozens of YouTube videos, blog articles, and books that will attempt to lead you down either a primrose path, or a highway to Hell on this topic. So, let's get right to it then.
I've been turking for about two years. I really went at it full bore, and I've done everything that I know of to increase my earnings. On average (throughout a year), I make around $1,200 a month from doing Hits on mTurk. I do not yet have the, often coveted, Master's Qualification.
Here's A Shot of My Dashboard
Things to Be Mindful Of
Mturk work is somewhat seasonal, there are times of feast and times of famine. Mostly these coincide with the college academic calendar. Summer is slower than Fall and Spring typically. The two weeks before and after Christmas are a virtual no man's land on Mturk. Spring & Fall Break times are a bit off, but manageable.
Many turkers have daily goals. I used to, but along the way, I realized that this wasn't very realistic, or feasible. Now, I typically have a weekly goal. Some turkers that I know do monthly goals, and I'm sure that's fine too.
Can You Do This Too ?
Well, yeah...but not right away. Like most everything else in life, you get what you put into mTurk. You've got to sign up. You've got to start accumulating qualifications. You've got to get your Approved Hits number up as quickly as you can above 1,000 and then 5,000 Hits. You've got to keep your rejection numbers as low as possible, especially in the beginning. You've got to find other, more experienced turkers to mentor you. It took me about 6 months to get up to speed. You can find everything here at Our Hit Stop.
It's a Balancing Act
I've learned that there's a balancing act going on between making money, and keeping your rejection numbers right too. There are a lot of Hits that can be somewhat questionable about how they give out rejections. There are other requesters that like to reject based on the time you take doing their Hits.
You can toe their line 100% and keep your rejection rate very, very low. But, this also can have the effect of keeping your earnings lower than you like. I've chosen to err on the side of, well...greed I suppose, and make as much as I can. I'm not reckless about it, but I'm also not walking on requester eggshells either. If I get a rejection now and then, and I do, then...okay.
It's a Job...
You've got to get up in the morning. Many of the best Hits post during this time. You've got to keep going pretty much all day long. You've got to be vigilant at keeping your eyes peeled for good Hits. You've got to work when the work is there to be done. Most of all, never stop learning.