How to Make Money With Amazon Mechanical Turk?
Once you become familiar with Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), you soon realize that to make “decent” money with MTurk, you need some experience, patience and realistic expectations since MTurk will not likely be your primary source of income.
After all, MTurk was designed for you to make some extra money in your spare time, not to become your only income source.
It is possible to make near USA federal minimum wage within the platform, but this is only achieved by a few experienced Mechanical Turk workers (also known as Turkers).
Turkers are considered independent contractors, not employees. As with any entrepreneurial activity, the harder and smarter you work, the better the results. No matter how you slice it, Mechanical Turk will most likely not be your primary income source.
The big plus of MTurk is that you can do the tasks wherever and whenever you want for the most part using the skills you already have.
Table of Contents
What is Mechanical Turk?
Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a platform where workers called Turkers complete small tasks for individuals or companies who need the work completed. MTurk exists because there are still many tasks that humans can complete better than machines.
For a typical task, a person who needs a small job completed (a Requester) will post a task, which is called a HIT (Human Intelligence Task), the amount to be paid, and the approximate time to finish. The worker (Turker) will complete the job, submit it for approval, and get paid when the task is approved.
Meet the people inside the land of Mechanical Turk.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is named after the chess-playing fake machine from the 18th-century, which surprisingly defeated nearly every opponent it faced. But the machine was not using artificial intelligence. There was a chess master cleverly hidden inside.
This is an interesting podcast where NPR staff sneak into the world of the Mechanical Turk and find the people who live inside.
Who can sign up for MTurk?
MTurk’s only requirement for completing tasks and receiving compensation from Requesters is a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet and be at least 18 years of age. Based on Amazon Mechanical Turk Blog, MTurk is now available to Requesters from 43 countries. I believe the same MTurk workers are also accepted from the same countries below.
Source: MTurk Blog
Americas: Barbados, Canada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, United States, US Virgin Islands; Africa: Botswana, Mayotte, Reunion, South Africa; Asia-Pacific: Australia, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan; Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
How can you sign up for an account?
To create a worker account on MTurk, go to the worker website and click the “Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk” link and follow the instructions.

You need to be a little patient, it usually takes about 48 hours to get approved. 
After signup, during the first 10 days, you can accept a maximum of 100 HITs per day. After the 10 day introduction period, you can accept a maximum of 3800 HITs per day. I don’t know who can complete so many, but that’s your limit.
How much can you make with MTurK?
We already said that the vast majority of Turkers make less than $2 per hour. But what is the earning potential per month? I believe the majority of Turkers make a few dollars a month with little effort, but below are examples and proof of people who make significantly more than than that.
This is an example of a Turker who made over $1,000 in his first month.
This is an example of one Turker that made almost $2,500 in less than one month. I don’t think he mentioned how many hours he worked though. But I think it is important to show that you can make more than pennies.
This is an example of a Turker that makes over $10,000 every year. This is particularly interesting to me since it means that I could potentially achieve my 2020 income goal only working on MTurk.
How do you get paid?
Requesters pre-pay for HITs. Once a HIT has been approved, the money assigned for the HIT goes to the MTurk account of the Worker. Below is the screenshot of my MTurk account. As you can see I have a total of 389 HITS completed, 374 approved, 14 pending and 1 rejected. The amount available for transfer is $108.92.