Amazon Mechanical Turk Review: A Scam Or Legit Opportunity?

Amazon Mechanical Turk Homepage
Amazon Mechanical Turk Homepage

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk a scam or legit? How much money can you make? Is it worth the time and effort?

If you are looking answers for any of these questions, you have come to the right place. In this review, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about this money-making opportunity.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Homepage
Amazon Mechanical Turk Homepage

Amazon Mechanical Turk Review 2017

Name: Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT/MTurk)

Founded: 2005

Type: Freelance/Mini Jobs

Short Review: MTurk gives similar earnings like most GPT sites. You can’t expect to earn more than $5 per hour. Usually, the salary will be even much smaller.

I’d rather recommend following these steps to make good money online.

What Is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk (in this article I may also use the name AMT or MTurk)is an Internet marketplace where you individuals can accomplish a little task to earn money. On the other side, the businesses offer their jobs for freelancers. Notice that you won’t be working for Amazon on this website unlike you may think because of its name.

The website is owned by Amazon but jobs are offered by other businesses. Tasks are by nature usually something fast and as my friend likes to call them “ape jobs” which means that anyone is able to do them.

Still, tasks are something that couldn’t be accomplished by the computer but they require human intelligence. Let’s have a look at the tasks more in detail in the next chapter.

How Does Amazon Mechanical Turk Work?

The process of making money on AMT is pretty simple. This is how they represent it on their homepage:

how to make money with Amazon Mechanical Turk
1.Find an Interesting Task 2.Work 3.Earn Money

At this point, you are probably asking, “Well, what kind of tasks do they offer on MTurk?” There are many kinds of tasks:

At this point, you may probably guess that the reward of completing this kind of tasks isn’t very good. I have reviewed more than 80 so-called get-paid-to (GPT) sites that pay money for accomplishing these mini-jobs. Guess how many of them I am still using? 0.

How Much Can You Earn on Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Let me show a few examples of available jobs. There is all the time hundreds or even thousands of tasks (on MTurk they call them HITs) available.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Available HITs

In the picture above you can see an example of one of the highest paying HITs at the moment. The requester promises to pay $4,63 reward for transcribing an audio which is 17 minutes and 9 seconds long. If you have transcribed audios, you know that it takes usually at least 5 times more to transcribe the audio than its actual length is.

So, if you are a fast transcriber you could do this task in 90 minutes. Then your hourly salary would be around $3. Remember also that the salary of this job was in the upper-end scale of MTurk. Let me show you the highest paying job at the moment:

making money on Amazon Mechanical Turk
The highest paying available job on Amazon Mechanical Turk at the moment.

The job is for a video captioner and it pays $83,97 for the video that length is almost 4 hours. To be honest, I don’t have personal experience of video captioning but I took a look at how much video captioners earn on average. The average salary for a captioner in the U.S in 2014 was $58,000.

We can quickly calculate that for captioning this 4-hour video you can reach even close to a typical salary of a captioner. Another thing we need to consider is that captioning videos really takes time. Experts say that if you are fast, you can caption a 2-minute video in 10 minutes. So, this 4-hour video would take at least 20 hours. This makes your hourly salary around $4.

MTurk Earnings in One Month

Let me show you an example of one person who has been working on MTurk.

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Amazon Mechanical Turk Reviews

This person has been enjoying working on MTurk and his earnings have been $150-250 with only “little effort”. However, we can assume that his salary is way below the minimum salary in the U.S. as our calculations showed before.

Most people report that they are earning $1-5 per hour on MTurk.

Therefore, I can’t really recommend wasting your time. I use a website One Hour Translation to earn $20-40 per hour as a translator but I think that building your own online business is even more profitable in the long run.

=> Forget $1-5 Per Hour Jobs. Learn to Make Good Money Online!

Amazon Mechanical Turk Cash Out

You can cash out immediately when you have reached the low $1 cash out limit. There are two ways to get your money:

  1. Take money to your bank account. It takes usually 3-4 days to transfer.
  2. Transfer money into Amazon gift cards.

There are tens of Amazon Mechanical Turk reviews on the Internet and among them have been many complaints. Let’s have a look at the most common ones.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Complaints

Even though the screenshot above showed that somebody has enjoyed using MTurk it seems that most people aren’t satisfied with the earnings.

1.”Low Earnings”

Amazon Mechanical Turk Complaints
This worker approximated earnings to be 20-75 cents per hour on MTurk.
Amazon Mechanical Turk Complaints
Linda explains that MTurk jobs could be worth it in third-world countries but they aren’t available there.

2.”I Couldn’t Accomplish Tasks”

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk a scam or legit
Mark says MTurk is just a joke. The majority of tasks don’t work.

3.Is MTurk Safe?

Some people also pointed out that accomplishing all tasks isn’t safe because you need to give your credit card details and other information. You should always use common sense and follow my 5 tips to avoid scams.

I’ll give you a few additional tips that will help not being scammed on MTurk:

  1. Don’t give your credit card information unless you are 100% that the requester is reliable.
  2. Avoid jobs that promise huge earnings. As we saw above, most of them pay maximum $4 per hour. If some job would promise $10 per hour, you need to be extremely careful because it may be a scam.
  3. If you are suspicious, you can ask other workers on Turker Nation or on MTurk Forum what they think.

Conclusion – Is MTurk a Scam Or Legit?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is not a scam but I don’t recommend this website because there are 10-50 times better-paying opportunities out there.

I recommend taking a look at my list of scam-free online jobs where I show you tons of opportunities to make money online.

My #1 recommendation, especially for beginners, is Wealthy Affiliate. I started their training some years ago without any experience of affiliate marketing but I can say that it changed my life. Their support, tools, and training taught me step-by-step how I can earn money online. It has allowed me to quit my 9-5 job and start traveling the world.

I want to remind that making big money online doesn’t happen overnight. It requires work and effort but when you succeed in the long run it’s way more profitable than sticking to an average 9-5 job.

=> Start Free Training to Make a Living Online!

Have you worked on MTurk? What kind of experiences did you have?

Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

By Roope Kiuttu

Hello! I am Roope "Robert" Kiuttu, the founder and owner of I created this website back in 2015 to help you to make money online. You can ask me anything and I'll be happy to help you out. I help people daily to make more money online and I love seeing people succeeding. If you want to get my 1-on-1 support and help to make money online as well, get started HERE.


  1. Earning as low as $3 working on Amazon Mechanical Turk per hour is not really an amazing way to go about things. It doesn’t look cool that I spend an hour working to finish some simple, but tiring task and earn that little. It is not the type of work that I desire.

    1. Exactly. $3 per hour is just my estimate. I think that some people earn more and some people less but overall $3 hour for working someone else is really something you wouldn’t like to do.

      Recently, I got paid +$50/hour for translating for One Hour Translation but I ended it now to concentrate on affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is even better because the earning potential is limitless and I don’t need to work for anyone else.

      1. I just signed up on One Hour translation, but it seems that I need to have some skills in order to be able to earn. Please, what are the ways that I am going to improve on my rank so as to be able to earn on it. Note that I speak only English.

        1. Yes, One Hour Translation requires skills. That also applies to any money-making in this world. If you want to earn, you need to provide some skills/value in return.

          Therefore, if you want to earn with translating, you need to know 2 languages. You can also think about what skills you would like to use to make money. Then start developing that skill day in and day out to make a living out of it.

          Nowadays high-paying skills are many skills related to the Internet marketing: FB, YouTube, Twitter marketing and other social medias. Website creation, designs, conversion optimization, etc. Programming.

          Those are just a few ideas. At the moment, I am refining my skills with email marketing and conversion optimization to earn more money.

  2. MTurk is surely a legit program. You may not be able to draw a proper salary by working on the program owned by Amazon, however, you can make few bucks and it is fun. sadly, I have never worked on MTurk because it is not available in my locaion.

    1. Yeah, it’s possible to make a few bucks here and there with MTurk but earning a good income is not possible. It’s also limited to specific locations like you mentioned.

  3. I think MTurk is just some form of affiliate marketing work. It’s sad though that they now have limited to hiring only US-based workers. Another thing is the fact that it still is prone to scams. That’s really something to be wary of in the freelancing world.

    1. As far as I know, MTurk doesn’t offer affiliate marketing.

      But if you want to make money by promoting other people’s products on Amazon, that’s completely possible through affiliate marketing. I have made some money by promoting products on Amazon but my main focus has been on other things.

      However, I have friends who have made big money by promoting Amazon products.

  4. Even though working on Amazon Mechanical Turk doesn’t mean working for Amazon, it’s still a good thing that the site is owned by Amazon, so the company is somehow affiliated with job. The only worrying thing I see about giving working on Amazon Mechanical Turk a trial is the issue of giving out one’s credit card details. That doesn’t seem safe in my opinion.

      1. You know that a lot of people have been scammed from releasing their social security numbers or credit card information. It’s actually why people are advised against divulging some certain sensitive information online because there is no way of telling who is at the receiving end of the details and what they are going to use it for.

          1. Seriously, it’s very frightening what people can by just having access to someone’s data. I had a friend who was duped close to $4000 for carelessly releasing his credit card details. I guard my ordinary debit card details like my life depends on it, not to talk more of credit cards details.

          2. Wow that’s surprising! :O Where did he submit his credit card? I have given my credit card details to tens of different websites and services but never has happened anything bad. I think he must have been very careless :O

          3. I can’t really recall the site name at the moment but I can still reach out to him and find out. Although, I would say he is just careless with such things because I have cautioned him on several occasions to mind the kind of sites he divulge his credit card details to as not all of them are safe. He fell a victim on that particular occasion.

  5. MTurk is definitely not a scam. But just like every other opportunity, it is relative!

    It depends on your location. For Americans, they might feel that these pay rates are very low. MTurk has been called many times as slave labour. But for other countries, it can be a great opportunity to make around 5 USD an hour.

    I tried applying to MTurk but they told me they can’t send out an invitation for me to work and they can’t make further comments on why they can’t send the invitation, but I already know why! Because of where I am from, I have not had any luck working with these big legit companies! I think they’re missing out though. If they allow other countries to work for them, they’d profit big time!

    As always, detailed and informative reviews are your thing!

    Thank you for taking the time to make this post, I hope your review helped others. Your effort is, as always, appreciated.

    1. Yeah, MTurk is only available for some specific countries where $5/hour is not a good income. In third world countries $5 would be quite okay but MTurk is not available there. That also applies to many other similar websites.

      I think that MTurk wants to guarantee a high quality or promise their clients that workers are only from specific countries. That’s why they don’t allow other countries. But yeah, you may be right that they can miss out some profit because of that.

  6. While there are better money making opportunities out there, mturk actually isn’t such a bad way to earn a little extra money. There are plenty of forums and subreddits dedicated to sharing links to reliable mturk tasks that require very little effort and time to complete. They may not be the best paying jobs, but if you have a few minutes to spare it’s a nice way to earn some extra pocket money.

  7. Amazon Mechanical Turk is very legit and I like your review about it. I had an interest in joining it but my application got denied. I am still happy to know it is a legit site and I would encourage members from accepted countries to join it.

    1. Why would you encourage people to join MTurk when they have much better opportunities out there?

      I always ask people, would you prefer earning $1-5 per hour or $50 per hour? If you answer $1-5 per hour, I don’t understand it :D. If the answer is $50 per hour, then you should stay away from sites like MTurk.

      1. Because I heard that members from accepted countries can earn well on mturk. I did not know it was that low. I guess the payment proofs were a little bit exaggerated.

        1. I see. Overall, earnings on MTurk or similar freelance programs are much lower compared to doing something more profitable like affiliate marketing. 2 days ago I earned $435 in 5 minutes with affiliate marketing 😀

  8. There was one time that I really wanted to try Mechanical Turk and I tried to register. They said that I should wait for a confirmation email that will verify that I can start working. A few hours later, an email came and it says that I can not be able to work on their site and they cannot tell me the reason why.

    I was confused and tried searching online why I did not qualify. I found out that Mechanical Turk is not accepting freelancers from my country which is quite disappointing. I would like to try it just to see how it works, but I can’t.

    1. Yes I understand. It’s not available in all countries.

      But in my opinion, it’s just a good thing for you because now you don’t need to waste time with their site. I can say that there are way better opportunities to make money online.

      Have you already started Wealthy Affiliate training to learn how to make big money online?

  9. I tried many times on mturk. Every time I got a rejection from mturk. Are there any tips or tricks about how to get accepted on mturk?

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