LEGIT Amazon Mechanical Turk Review: Earn Doing Tasks Requiring Human Intelligence - Scam or Legit?

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Amazon Mechanical Turk Review Earn Doing Tasks Requiring Human Intelligence.jpg

Artificial intelligence and the so-called Internet of Things have gotten pretty advanced lately. I’ll admit, I sometimes worry that my toaster will become sentient and take over our neighborhood. But there are a few things that still require human judgment.

That is why Amazon created the Mechanical Turk platform. It’s a way for companies to hire people to do tasks that require “human intelligence.” It also happens to be a great way to earn money. I gave the platform a shot, and here’s my Amazon Mechanical Turk review.

What is it? And What’s Up With that Weird Name?

The original Mechanical Turk was a chess-playing machine created in the 18th century. The machine featured a humanoid robot that moved the chess pieces. The machine was operated by a human hiding underneath the table. Since its invention, the Mechanical Turk has become a symbol for human-driven tasks - which is what Amazon was probably thinking about when it launched this platform.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing internet marketplace that connects businesses and individual service providers. These workers, also known as “Turkers” do tasks that a machine cannot do, such as identifying musicians on audio recordings or choosing the best photo of a specific subject. These tasks are known as Human Intelligence Tasks, or HITs.

How it Works

You sign up, and make yourself available as a Turker. The site will then present HITs that are available in the area. You can then choose to take these jobs for the specified pay. In this regard, it’s like Uber for odd jobs.

As mentioned above, the tasks involve a human’s touch. A wide variety of HITs are available through Mechanical Turk. They may include the following:
  • Writing reviews of movies or TV shows
  • Transcribing voice recordings
  • Curating images
  • Identifying people
  • Rating websites
For each HIT accomplished, the Turker will get paid either in cash or Amazon Gift Cards.

Earning Potential on Mechanical Turk

Pay per task ranges from five cents to $100, if you’re lucky. I honestly can’t predict how much you’ll make because it depends on the businesses that use Mechanical Turk in your area, and the amount of available HITs to take. I made decent money - not enough to retire on, but good enough to supplement my regular income.

How Does Mechanical Turk Pay?

The site pays in either cash or Amazon Gift Cards. Cash is deposited directly to your bank account. Pretty sweet.

But note that there is a minimum $10 payout for cash, and $1 for Amazon Gift Cards. So you may want to save up your earnings before requesting a payout. If you go for the Amazon Gift Card option, you can expect the card to be sent to your email inbox within the day. Since I usually buy stuff on Amazon anyways, I really dig that!

How to Join

All you have to do is visit the link below:


…then create your worker account. If you’re a business owner and would like to hire Turkers, you can also create a Requester account on this page.

And that’s it! Amazon has always had a pretty good user experience, so it’s not surprising that signing up for Mechanical Turk is also easy.

What I Like and Dislike about Mechanical Turk

Just because Mechanical Turk is owned and run by Amazon doesn’t make it perfect. So after a few months of taking jobs on the site, here’s a breakdown of things I like and dislike about it.


Great User Experience

Sign-up is super-easy, and so using the site to get HITs in my area. No complaints there.

Interesting Jobs

Since Amazon attracts a more discerning clientele, I got some pretty interesting HITs like surveying a museum and identifying the works of famous musicians. Pretty fun!

You Get Your Amazon Gift Cards Pretty Quickly

I love this! No waiting for days for PayPal funds to clear. You can request a payout (at a low minimum!) and get your gift card within the day.


Low Pay for HITs

Working on Mechanical Turk doesn’t offer the highest pay rates. I lucked out and got paid $100 for a museum-related HIT, but that was the exception, not the rule.

Few Available HITs

Other sites, such as Fusion Cash, Clixsense , and InstaGc have more thriving user bases. That said, I hope Mechanical Turk catches up! More users on the site means more opportunities for the rest of us.

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?

It’s Amazon, so you know it’s legit! The site could still use some improvements (a mobile app being at the top of my wishlist) but as it is, it’s a solid way to earn a few bucks.

Amazon Mechanical Turk Screenshots

Click to Zoom
Amazon Mechanical Turk 1.jpgAmazon Mechanical Turk 2.jpgAmazon Mechanical Turk 3.jpg

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experiences working using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Now it’s your turn to share! How you tried getting HITs on the site? How were your earnings?

Let’s hear your stories!

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I know Mturk is legit but its not opened worldwide. But then I'll suggest some other sites related to that and they're:
Humanatics, transcribe me,scribie and other microjob sites like Microworkers. These are opened worldwide and anyone can work.Also the top tier countries members can check swagbucks .


I have been a member of Mturk for a while now and I like that you can earn a decent amount of money if you are consistent and persistent. However, it is boring and tedious work. I normally go for the studies (survey type tasks) since they are usually higher paying and you hardly ever get disqualified for them. I just can't bring myself to work on the site for any length of time. I don't know what it is, but that is how I am. I typically cash out through Amazon Payments and then transfer the money directly to my bank account. I need the cash versus gift cards. It doesn't take that long to do either just a few days is all. I will say the tasks on Mturk are better than the ones on Crowdflower.


I’ve tried working via Mechanical Turk before. There’s a bit of prestige attached to it because it’s owned and run by Amazon, a legit company (unlike other micro task sites - some of which can be pretty shady). But I liken it to a shiny new product that looks good while it’s in the package. But when you use it, it’s pretty meh.

Most of the work I got on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk were transcription jobs. And they can get really, really, reaaaaaally, boring. I transcribed recordings of news programs (called TOAs - short of Tape on Air) for a research company. It was interesting at first, but it became tedious after a while.

I made about $1.05 per hour of doing that. But it didn’t really make me any notable money - it was good for some extra pocket money, but nothing more.

I’m not saying it isn’t legit, of course. One of the things Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has going for it is that it has lots of different jobs. You might luck out and find something that pays really well. And for that alone, I recommend you become a member of the site. As long as you control your expectations, you should be good to go.

Burt Maklin

I thought Amazon Mechanical Turk was gonna be my main gig, you know? I was excited to work through a site owned by one of the largest companies in the world. With some sites, it kinda feels like they’re being run by a bunch of college kids in their parent’s garage.

But Mturk turned out to not be the best site I’ve worked with. There are lotsa Mechanical Turk reviews out there (including here on Earn that Buck) and most will tell you that the tasks are boring and unfulfilling. I can confirm that that was the case for me.

Teaching machines how to learn sounds high-tech (and also a bit scary, to be honest), but in reality you’re doing some pretty boring tasks like labeling pictures and adding keywords. It’s like glorified data entry, almost. Who wants to do that for hours on end?

Machine learning is just one part of working with Amazon Mechanical Turk. I also did some menial tasks like running errands - none of which paid very well. I only wish I got a high-paying gig like the one the OP talked about.

But hey, for what it’s worth, Mturk is legit. That means you will get paid, even if what you get paid will amount to peanuts (thanks a lot, Jeff Bezos). I would recommend you try this just to get a feel for what it’s like, and to give you a point of reference when you inevitably move on to other sites.

Amy Es

Just wanted to add my MTurk review-slash-opinion. Spoiler alert: it’s just okay. I was expecting more from Mechanical Turk, since it was owned by Amazon. But then I realized it’s owned by Amazon, and they’re not exactly known for paying much.

If you want to test the micro-task or odd job market, Mechanical Turk is still a good place to try. I say that because Amazon is still legit. And you can be guaranteed to get paid while figuring out whether this is your cup of tea. If it is, you can be a bit more adventurous and try other sites. But for newbies, I think Mechanical Turk is a great place to start.

It’s interesting to see how the odd job market has changed thanks to sites like Mechanical Turk. We’re no longer limited to like Craigslist, the local classified ads, or the community billboard in the mom and pop coffee shop. Sites like Mechanical Turk greatly increase your scope and ability to get more jobs.

The pay may be so-so, but hopefully that wider reach translates to more earnings. You’ll probably want to try a different site eventually, but by all means, use Mechanical Turk for now.

You can then move on to a wide range of jobs like mystery shopping / dining, and data entry. I wouldn’t have gotten the confidence to do those jobs if it weren’t for me testing the water with Amazon Mechanical Turk!


I’m drawn by the entire premise of the MTurk platform, which as the OP put it is all about “human-driven tasks”. These “HITs” or human-intelligence tasks are what we can make some money out of, and this appeals to me very, very much. This is the reason why I’ve kept this as a fall-back way to make some extra money.

What I liked about MTUrk
  • I skipped audio transcription tasks because I never liked listening to other people’s voices and trying to make sense of ramblings (which is what I often got when I was working as a transcriptionist before). What I did enjoy were the object identification tasks.
  • I liked the flexibility of the entire set-up. There are no restrictions on the HITs and no fixed schedule, so whenever I find myself with some free time, I look it up to see if there are tasks I want to do.
  • So far, the Google search terms have been the biggest money-maker for me on MTurk. I can go auto-pilot on it and without realizing it, have earned anywhere between $10 to $15 within an hour of copying and pasting descriptions.
What I didn’t like about MTurk
  • Most of the tasks don’t pay too much - which is to be expected with a flexible-hour platform such as this. Still, I like that I can still earn without exerting too much effort and rearranging my schedule to accommodate new tasks.
  • It can get admittedly dull and repetitive. The work involved is clerical-level at best.


It’s been a few months since my original post, and I thought I’d amend my review. Overall, my opinion that Amazon Mechanical Turk is a legit site hasn’t changed. That one is no surprise. Amazon can sometimes have pretty shrewd business practices, but they are definitely legit. So no problem there.

But these last few months, I’ve mode on from Amazon Mechanical Turk when it comes to looking for odd jobs to do. The frequency and earning potential just isn’t there. I know that freelance or odd job sites are more often a buyer’s market, but my earnings were pretty dismal on this specific site.

To be fair, your earnings won’t be too hot on sites like Fiverr and other odd job sites (because, like I said, it’s a buyer’s market) either. But Amazon Mechanical Turk doesn’t pay as well as those other sites. In fact, my main MO while using Amazon Mechanical Turk was to hope and pray I snagged a juicy job… which did happen, but very rarely.

It doesn’t take much effort to use Amazon Mechanical Turk, so I’m not dissuading you from using the site. Go ahead and become a member, but temper your expectations.


Staff member
MTurk has added the ability cash out directly to your bank account. Here's how:
  • Sign into your account
  • Click on the “Dashboard” button on the banner
  • Click the “Earnings” button below the banner
  • Click the “Add a bank account to enable this option” hyperlink to the right of the option that says “Transfer to your bank account” (this option is currently disabled because you haven’t added a bank account yet)
  • If you have an existing US bank account, simply verify that your bank account holder name and your MTurk account name match, and then add your account and routing numbers

    As a non-U.S. Worker, you may use any third-party service to get a U.S. bank account. These services help you transfer money from your U.S. bank account to your local bank account. We recommend you do your own research before choosing a third-party service. One example of such a service is Hyperwallet. If you’d like to set up a bank account using Hyperwallet, click the orange “Don’t have a US Bank Account?” dropdown near the bottom of the page, then click the “Set Up Bank Account with Hyperwallet” to get started. HyperWallet is not affiliated with Amazon or Mechanical Turk and separate terms and conditions apply to your use of HyperWallet services.


I dont see the buttons you are talking aobut...in dashboard under earnings i have transfer earnings...but nothing about adding banks. HOWEVER i have been transferring to my bank since i joined 8 months ago by transferring to amazon pay then from there going right o my bank.


Staff member
I dont see the buttons you are talking aobut...in dashboard under earnings i have transfer earnings...but nothing about adding banks. HOWEVER i have been transferring to my bank since i joined 8 months ago by transferring to amazon pay then from there going right o my bank.
I believe this is applicable to those outside of the US


I don't have that option but have always been able to send the money to Amazon Payments which I can then put in my bank account.
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