Amazon MTurk HITS Worth Doing – Updated!

Amazon MTurk (if you’re not already aware) is a short task site. You sign up as a worker and then browse through all the different little tasks there are to do, which might range from writing to data entry and everything in between. I often direct people who are looking for data entry to this site because work for it sometimes pops up here. Amazon MTurk will pay you with either a direct deposit to your bank account (you have to have at least $1 to get that transferred over) or in Amazon money to add to your gift balance.

I’ve been doing some digging because, while I know that many of the HITS (human intelligence tasks) on Amazon don’t pay well for the time spent, there are some gems in there that are easy, fun, and pay OK. So I made a list of those HITS that Turk workers seem to think are worthwhile. When you’re digging around for work to do on there, you may want to check for work from these requesters:

  • Crowdsource – This is search engine evaluation. You are given two terms and are then asked to Google them and paste in the link to the most relevant result showing up on the first page. I did some of these the other day and they were simple. Pays .05 cents per HIT.
  • Oscar Smith – This is data entry. I am looking at one of these now, and you’re given an image of a business card. You simply type the text you see from the business card into the appropriate fields. Pays .02 to .05 cents per HIT. Update – Unless you are lightning fast, these really do not pay that well, but may be good for getting your numbers up.
  • Catalog Choice – Also data entry. You are mainly just copying info from one form to another. Pays .02 cents a HIT.
  • ClariTrans – Short audio transcription. Pays 10 cents each.
  • Ignite Media Solutions – Short transcription. Pay ranges from as little .03 cents a HIT up to around .08 cents a HIT.
  • CUPS Research Lab at CMU – Take a 5 minute survey for a .55 cent payment.
  • CrowdFlower – Lots of different jobs including surveys and categorization work. Opinions vary on this requester, but they always have a lot of different HITS up. I really love the “indicate” ones that pay you five to seven cents a piece for determining which audio file sounds best. You are limited on how many of these you can do per day however.
  • SpeechInk – Transcription work. These audio files are a bit longer, some up to 5 minutes, but you are occasionally eligible for bonuses.
  • Amazon Requester – On these, you are just putting products into the best category. They give you a list of the ones that might be appropriate, and you pick the best. Pays anywhere from .02 to .10 cents.
  • Jimmy Dragon – Has data entry/transcription type HITs up on occasion.
  • Readabl – Identify the type of mail in the picture. These pay low, but you can do them fast.
  • Hubpages – Rating online articles. Have to take a screening test first to get approved for these HITs.
  • Crowdsurf – Short transcription that is said to approve quickly.
  • Tagasauris – Categorizing and tagging various images.
  • Redwood – Caption and transcription work.
  • – Photo moderation, categorization, etc. Have to request qualification.
  • Houdini Inc. – Mostly research type HITs, verification, and so forth.
  • Two Lakes Research – The HITs up now require you to classify the sentiment of a written piece. Must request qualification.
  • Sofia Wright – Easy surveys that pay decently.
  • PickFu – Answer short surveys/polls.
  • Aditya Chandra – Simple application categorization.
  • SET Master – Simple image categorization.
  • Agent Agent – Answer simple questions. Fast and easy, approves quickly.

Please remember that you may not be qualified to work on every HIT you see. Many requesters require that you take a qualification test first or request a qualification before you will be given access to their HITS.

The main things most people want to avoid in requesters are slow approval rates (ones that take more than 3 days to approve your HITS) and mass rejecters. If you get too many HITS rejected, your quality score will take a serious blow, therefore making it difficult for you to do any work on the site as most HITS have a minimum quality score requirement.

Some Useful Tools & Links for MTurk

mTurk List – This site is user-powered and helps you easily sort for the HITs you want to find (pay, time to complete, user rating, etc.).


Downloads & Tools

  • Turpticon Toolbar – Download this and it will let you see what feedback a requester has gotten from past workers before you do any work for them.
  • Turk Alert – Register for a free account here and add your favorite requesters to work for to your list. You’ll then get email notifications when your favorite requesters have posted work available to do.

Blogs About MTurk

And there were some others, but most had not been updated in over a year. The two above are really good, though.

Some MTurk Tips

  • If you’re doing work for a requester you’ve never used before, just do a few and see if they’re approved. You don’t want to do hundreds in case the person ends up being very hard to please and they all get rejected, which would really hurt your quality score.
  • Be careful. Not all HITS are trustworthy, and there are scammers out there. Avoid HITS that ask you for a lot of personal info.
  • If you get a bunch of HITS rejected, consider contacting the requester to ask why. Some people have reported success with this and gotten many of their rejects approved. This won’t always work, but could be worth a try.
Your turn! What requesters on MTurk have you had good luck with? Any of the above or do you have some I didn’t list to share? Also, what are your tips for making the most out of MTurk?

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  1. Heather says

    A bit of advice… not Mturk without the Turkopticon toolbar. This tool is a God-send! It will steer you away from bad requesters and highlight good ones. I will try and post the link for it here (I am uncertain if that is allowed?). Please let me know if posting a link is taboo…..the link is legitimate. I learned the hard way what it is like to Mturk blind (without it). So, I thought I would assist others in a more successful venture.

  2. John says

    You are right about Crowdflower. I have had to return so many hits and I don’t know if that has any affect on my score, but it is frustrating. I have also noticed on a lot of there HITs they are only giving you 15 minutes. I hope they are able to resolve this. They have a lot of hits.

    • Heather says


      You must look at how much time is allotted from any requester. Some of the tasks do take longer and an expiration equates to an abandoned HIT (not good). I noticed that inconvenience myself!

      Also, I like CrowdSource for mindless url searches because they are fast and pay decent by comparison.

      The writing tasks are kind of hit & miss because of the subjectivity involved, but I have heard that CrowdSource rarely rejects anything even if it requires a rewrite. However, some of the private scale HIT’s for writing can be judged in an abrasive manner. They are less forgiving.

      Some of the great money can be in survey and research study HIT’s. It depends on what you select. Also, I am conditioned to adult content so I work those HIT’s frequently. Those can add up quick, but they are offensive.

  3. Melissa says

    I also recommend Turkopticon if you are going to work on MTurk. It helps people to decide whether or not it is worth it to work for a requester.

    Oh, and be careful with CrowdFlower. They are now notorious for telling you you can work on a Hit, then denying you. They also have a low Turkopticon rating. Do not mistake this with CrowdSource, which is actually a good requester.

    • Heather says

      I agree, CrowdFlower is not always honest…..already experienced that one first hand so I avoid their HIT’s now. The only recourse you get if you complain, is NOTHING. So beware! Mturk can do nothing for you either regarding the dispute.

  4. Bonny says

    Just my 2 pennies (Thanks Oscar Smith for the pennies, by the way…)

    I hadn’t done any Mturking since early 2011. In fact, I think I did 3 bucks last year. I joined in 2008 and made just over 30 bucks between then and 2011. This post inspired me to go back and check it out again. I’ve made just over 80 dollars in the last week, not counting the 6 dollars I’ve done so far today. I did mostly Gaddy hits since I’m a writer. I average 9-10 an hour doing the writing hits.

    I got approved to be a proof reader for Gaddy just this morning after doing a 20 hit trial last night. So far, I absolutely love this. It saves my hands from the cramping I get when I do a lot of writing in a day. At first I thought that I’d use it to break up the monotony of writing. Now I’m thinking that I’ll use writing to break up the monotony of the proofreading!

    I’m still making about the same amount hourly. I do get caught up in some of the hits I’m proofreading and take a minute or so to decide what to do with it, but it’s not that common. Usually it’s 20-40 seconds, with 30 seconds being the average. At 10 cents a pop, it’s really worth it.

  5. Jean says

    Great tips here Anna ty for this blog. Makes me want to MTurk more often. I slack off of it thinking it’s not worth my time but with all then hints between here & wplh makes me think it might be worth my time.

  6. XTurk says

    The Oscar Smith hits eventually allow you to take a Qualification that increases the .02 cent hits up to .05 cents a hit. It makes it really worth it to do the same HIT for a bit more pay.

  7. Brian says

    Look out for those non-payers. I submitted about 10 article writing HITS, that have been sitting for weeks neither accepted or rejected. So like it says here, only take a few HITS from a stranger and wait to see how trustworthy they are.

  8. says

    Anna, thanks so much for taking the time to put this together. I used to be a Turker way back before I even started working from home. I haven’t been over there in a long time though. There are a few things up there that look rather fun if you have a few spare minutes.

  9. Paula says

    I love MTurk. I am making more with them than I did with TQA. I do mostly John Gaddy HITs. The trick is to not over think them. Great post!

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