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How To Get Started On Amazon Mechanical Turk?

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How To Get Started On Amazon Mechanical Turk?

how to get started on mturk

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Before we answer, How To Get Started On Amazon Mechanical Turk, lets review what they represent. Basically, Amazon Mechanical Turk jobs are a type of crowdsourcing platform (in simpler terms a ‘marketplace’). It’s employed by various individuals, businesses and organizations. They outsource things like products, jobs, processes, services. They do this by distributing it across multiple workforces virtually to get the job done.  

The range of products or services is vast in this particular marketplace. It covers major activities like conducting a simple data validation and research to even deeper studies. These studies can include many things. Conducting a survey and active participation, information gathering, data processing, content moderation, are all study examples. Amazon Mechanical Turk also called ‘MTurk’ enables business firms to gather collective intelligence, insights, specific skills, intelligence, and efforts. These are gathered across a global platform of the dedicated workforce in order to run business processes. They also improve machine learning and its development or augment data collection and analysis.  

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What is the importance of Amazon Mechanical Turk? 

As technology grows each year, and minor to major improvements are done to make it more efficient for people. Nowadays where every process is automated, several things require human intelligence. Tasks such as content moderation, data de-duplication, research and such are more capable in the hands of humans instead of computers. 

For a long time, a large project acquired by a certain business firm used to be distributed among a limited workforce which sometimes resulted in faults. A limited workforce or sometimes a small one is inefficient or time consuming or expensive. And the results haven’t matched up to the expectations. 

And this is why Crowdsourcing emerged as a better way to deal with such issues into a business. Good crowdsourcing breaks down manual, time-consuming projects into smaller and more manageable pieces. Then, it’s distributed among the vast workforce over the internet that is to be completed by a deadline. These tasks are known as microtasks and the jobs offered are termed as micro jobs online

How to get started on Amazon Mechanical Turk?

It is fairly easy to know the process of how to get started on Amazon Mechanical Turk. At first, you need to visit the official link of the Amazon Mechanical Turk website. After you reach the site, tap on the ‘Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk’ option. Then you will be redirected to a page which provides you with two options. Either you can create a Requester account or a worker account. A Requester account is basically an account that lets you create tasks. These will be based on human intelligence. They go through an API program to select a 24×7 working team on a global basis. Whereas the worker account is for those who want to work under the MTurk program and do the listed projects. 

Once you have chosen the type of account you need. It will direct you to a page that needs your information. For a requester account, you will be needed to provide details such as Company Name, Address, City, State, Country, Phone number. Also, you’ll have to list the process through which you want the API to work. Additionally, which expectations you have with MTurk, whether it is for a one-time basis or more. 

Worker Account?

When you choose the worker account, you’ll be directed to yet another page. Here you’ll have to fill in details such as, Country, Full Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone number. Also, you’ll have to list the reason for choosing Mturk and some other information. After this, it will direct either of your accounts to some proper pages. Here you can create a task if you have a Requester account. Or, you can select any of the ongoing tasks if you have a Worker account. For a Requester account, you will be required to set up payment information for paying the workers. For a workers account, you choose the payment type and withdraw minimum that you prefer. 

How fair is Amazon Mechanical Turk pay?

how fair is mturks pay

Some surveys and reports have been conducted about Amazon Mechanical Turk pay. It was recently published that there are around 3.8 million tasks on Mechanical Turk registered daily. And the number of workers count globally is around 2600+. And looking at this report, it was found that these workers earned an hourly wage of about $2 per hour on average. And some more information revealed that only 4 percent of the total number of workers earned more than $7 per hour. 

When this is studied in brief, reports reveal that on average, the Requester has to pay $11 per hour which is given to a certain number of workers working on that hour. Reports also say that almost 5 percent of Americans earn money by doing such online tasks. And to look this through in a broader aspect, the numbers are quite high when compared to other micro jobs online.  

Why Micro Jobs?

One of the very reasons why these micro jobs are being preferred over the main jobs is because it gives the workers a certain amount of freedom. People can actually control their time on how long they want to do a job and also the amount of workload they want to take. This isn’t available for other jobs where you have to work for hours to complete a task and the workload is very heavy. 

This is perfect if you want to take a nap, eat something, or just get some headspace. It’s also nice to do as a supplement to your normal job.

Now, you may think, $2 per hour! That’s nothing! Well, the tasks required for Mturk are extremely easy and require very little attention. This allows you to complete tasks while watching TV, a movie, riding the bus or waiting for an appointment. It’s nice to be able to earn some money when you normally wouldn’t have been.

What are the benefits of the Amazon Mechanical Turk job? 

Deciding to pursue Amazon Mechanical Turk jobs will get you to experience a lot of benefits in terms of a Requester. Some of the most noticeable benefits can be. 

  • Efficiency optimization

    MTurk is a platform where Requesters can deploy simple and repetitive tasks. These tasks are related to workflows and are needed by the workforce to handle them manually. By using the Amazon MTurk service, such tasks can easily be outsourced into microtasks. This is so the company can ensure that these jobs get done quickly. And while these are taken care of by the virtual workforce, the company employees can actually get some free time. This allows them to focus on the larger and valuable activities. The internal staff can now give more effort into the company’s tasks which matters more, and not be worrying about any menial or micro-jobs online

  • Increase in flexibility

    Whenever you put up a job for hire, you need to ensure that there is a proper workforce in your team that could successfully handle the job without any defaulters. And this is where you need to filter the candidates which are appropriate for the job and those who aren’t. And sometimes this gets to be a difficult task when you have a large internal workforce. With MTurk, you get access to a global, on-demand and 24×7 workforce where workers are sorted on their specific skills and abilities. MTurk thus helps businesses and organizations by sorting the workforce based on the required skills and choose only those who are best for the job. This helps in getting the job done quickly and efficiently. Thus, MTurk solves the problem of dynamic scaling of the workforce.  

  • Reduce labor and overhead costs

    Defining the cost of labor and other overhead costs are something that each company faces a problem with. But with MTurk, you have a way to effectively manage every type of costs associated with the workforce you are hiring. Be it temporarily, or occasional, every cost including labor and overhead costs are covered properly inside the MTurk program. MTurk works by following a pay-per-task business model. It leverages different skills of the workers into a certain task and how well do they do it. This model has helped in reducing the overall cost several times and also have proved to be more efficient in producing desired results. 

How do you get approved for MTurk?

how to get approved for mturk

Once you have followed the proper process of getting started on the MTurk job. You will have to wait to get approved into the job program. For most of the workers, it takes around 48 hours to have your request approved by the proper authorities. The authorities thoroughly check the information filled in the registration form. Then, once verified, one’s social security number for payment and tax purposes will be required.  

Once you are verified, you will be contacted either through mail or phone number. At first, every worker is required to start out into a probation period. This periods’ requirement is to complete at least 1 HIT within a period of 10 days. During this 10-day probation period, you will have a daily HIT rate of 100 HITs and under this period. Whatever you get paid for completing HITs, you can’t withdraw right away. Only after the probation period is over after 10 days, you will be eligible to withdraw your payment from proper channels. 

While keeping all of that in mind, you’ll unlikely get accepted unless you live in the United States. I applied 3 years ago and still haven’t been accepted. I’m guessing that’s because I’m located in Canada. I’ve read a lot of people having issues getting accepted unless they live in the United States. So, if you do live there, this is a great opportunity for you.

What are the major jobs that are found on MTurk?

Data processing

Data processing is one of the most popular jobs hosted over MTurk or any other micro jobs sites. Most companies prefer to use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. They direct their workforce to understand, decrypt, and respond to different types of data sent over various hosts or servers. After this data is processed, a clean format is sent to the Requester for personal or business purposes. The most common use of data processing skills is found in areas such as search engines, encrypted emails, transcription and translation and so on. 

There are tools out there that can aid you in the completion of transcription. There is a voice to text option within Google Docs. This can serve very useful to easily repeat the audio you’re hearing into your microphone to be typed out into Google Docs. There are also pedals you can get to easily start and stop audio/videos. Having this pedal will dramatically increase your earnings per hour. Also, having a quality mic is important too. This is because the better-quality microphone you have, the better Google Docs will convert your voice to text. I recommend this microphone.

Data verification

After data processing jobs, data cleaning and verification tasks are next in demand. Companies with large online databases often feel the need for identifying genuine files and verifying them before putting them into the directories. This also includes discarding any duplicate or false files regarding the company. And this is why companies seek the help of Mechanical Turk job workers for this purpose. 

The workforce hired has specific skills that are helpful in the identification and verification of job details. For instance, for a yellow page directory or an online catalog. When this is put on the internet or into some specific websites, and you need to identify or verify this information. This is solved by you hiring some workers who will do this on your company’s behalf. These workers help in identifying, fixing or removing duplicates or errors from the given information.  

There are programs out there that will delete duplicate files. Search Google for one of these free tools to tremendously help speed up your work efficiency. 

Another example of Data verification comes when workers are hired to verify details. These might include restaurant details such as, phone number, open hours, booking options and more. Other verification jobs may include finding and verifying content. Additionally, you could be verifying contact information from random web pages as well. Contact information can be phone number, email, address, etc. 

Image and video processing

Image and video processing are two of the most in-demand fields out there. Almost every organization or business requires an image or video processing. Be it for their advertisement, range of interests, target potential clients or many more. And at Amazon Mechanical Turk, you get the perfect platform of having skilled people. These people can process images and videos according to the requirements of your company or organization.  

Requesters often feel the need to create tasks that include labeling objects. These objects can be found in an image or process a video with a hidden meaning or message. Workers are also tasked to select the most relevant picture amongst a group of pictures for business purposes. The image processing also includes filtering out contents that are inappropriate for public screening. Also, sort out objects from satellite imaging. Furthermore, workers get a range of other tasks such as digitalization of details from an image, such as a form or a survey record. 

There are free programs on Google to quickly and easily edit tags of images and files. You’ll likely want one of these free tag editor programs. This is because right-clicking the file and selecting properties only allows you to do so much.

Information compilation

Information gathering and collection are extremely important when the requesters want reports about something in particular. Information gathering can be applied for almost anything. For instance, the details of the report made in a survey, information gathered from research under the company name. They may also want basic demographics and a lot more. 

When a certain task is put forward in the MTurk server, people from different regions across the world take part. This brings in new knowledge, ideas, and information regarding a subject. When this information is compiled, one could easily notice the vast diversification of this information. Especially when you are using an efficient crowdsourcing platform. This allows the Requester to gather a large mass of responses. These responses are first compiled into a single area and then sorted out based on necessity. To make this sorting more viable and useful to the Requester, workers often put comments. These comments describe the nature of the response or create a blog entry so that a detailed excerpt is found for each of the responses. This type of service is mainly adopted in large government bodies and legal directories to keep a definitive record. This information is also used to search for data or particular fields in search engines or specific websites. 

Some Suggestions

There are many different third-party websites employers can use for surveys. Survey Monkey is one of the best out there. It is commonly used by many professionals and has a great user interface. Consider using Survey Monkey if you want a smooth survey experience.

Social Media

social media jobs on mturk

Now, this is one of the more fun types of tasks you’ll encounter on Amazon Mechanical Turk. There are many things that employers want you to do for them in terms of social media. One thing is to share their company website on various platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This helps the company gain traffic as your followers will see your post and possibly click through to the company’s website. For these types of tasks, you’re usually required at least 100 friends or 200-1000 followers.

Companies may also want you to share a product they want you to promote. This can seriously bring in some good income for the company doing this and they’ll reward you nicely. One thing I’d recommend is to have a spam social media account. This is so you don’t bombard your friends with promotional material every day. For Facebook, check out some groups related to Amazon Mechanical Turk and Online Micro Tasks. Then, add a bunch of people from these groups. For Twitter, find Amazon Mechanical Turk and Online Micro Task profiles and follow a bunch of people. Enough of them should follow you back. You’ll be able to get your required 200-1000 followers quite fast this way. You’re limited to following around 50 people per 30 minutes on Twitter. So, be careful not to get shadowbanned or your posts won’t show up to any of your followers.

What else?

Another thing you’ll be requested to do is sharing posts of companies that are already made. This can be easier for you because it only requires one click. Companies usually switch things up between getting micro workers to share an original post and retweet a post they’ve already made. This is because too many posts coming from the original source will seem spammy. But, if thousands of people are posting once or twice for that company, this will do the opposite. This will come off as the company is very popular and that you should visit their site or purchase from them.

Review

People who have worked for Amazon MTurk either as a Requester or a worker have praised MTurk jobs. They say Mturk is one of the most legitimate jobs that you can pursue from your home. You can do is living your usual life such as education or retirement. It gives a fair share of income to those who think they can work for a few extra bucks.

Despite the low pay that Amazon MTurk offers, people seem to be attracted to it positively. This is mainly because of MTurk being so flexible towards its workers. There are no restrictions on when you can or can’t work.. Once can choose to accept HITs for 10 minutes a day. Alternatively, one can choose to work over 10-15 hours on completing HITs in a week. Pay differs in both the cases. But, at least they’re providing you with something that other HITs companies won’t. Most other online micro-jobs require working on a set schedule according to their requirements. This makes it feel like an actual job. Such may not be convenient for most people. Set schedules don’t work for stay-at-home parents, students, retirees or people already in a primary job schedule. 

Conclusion

To put things in short, if you possess the ability to pen down readable writing very quickly you may be in luck. If it positively helps the Requester, you can have the chance to earn a minimum wage position within Mturk. You should note of the short timeframe and amazing variety of tasks available at MTurk. It is something that one should certainly look to do in your spare time. All you have to do is simply sit on your computer (or phone) and do the necessary tasks. 

With other micro-job sites you run the risk of fraud or phishing. MTurk is a very reputable company so you don’t need to worry about that. Also, payments are easy. They can be easily transferred into your bank account through internet banking. Or you can easily redeem them for Amazon gift cards. It can be quite nice sometimes to not have to worry about having the cash for gifts.

You should know that withdrawing to your bank account online is fast. But, if you want to have access to the money immediately, you can cash out for an Amazon gift card.

It can be quite rewarding to work for Amazon Mechanical Turk. It’s a great site for earning some side income. The side income you earn can be funneled into starting some reliable businesses. You can read our blog to find some of these online business methods.

Well that’s it!

I hope this post helped you take action. If you learned something, share this article with your followers. I’m sure it will be a great read for them.

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