There’s a near endless list of ways to make money online. Many people go for longer-term, higher-paying gigs, such as freelancing or starting an online store, but there’s still room for you in the gig economy even if you don’t want to start an online business.
Multiple platforms offer the ability to complete small tasks on your own schedule that take as little as a few seconds each. These are known as microtasking or micro job sites.
This article highlights several of the most popular micro jobs sites and discusses the type of compensation you can expect for your time.
What Are Micro Jobs?
Micro jobs are small, short-term gigs that involve completing a specific task. Most of the time, these tasks are part of a larger project that was split up and distributed over the internet, effectively crowdsourcing workers.
In some cases, you’re handling these tasks for businesses that don’t have time for them. However, many micro job sites are run by companies in the field of artificial intelligence; in such cases, the tasks you complete help train AI.
Micro jobs generally take between a few seconds to no more than 20 minutes, and you often don’t need any experience, skills or training to do them.
Some common micro jobs include:
- Answering simple questions.
- Categorizing information.
- Checking address data.
- Data entry and verification.
- Tagging people, places or objects in images.
- Transcribing audio.
- Website testing.
- Writing short bits of content.
How Much Do Micro Jobs Pay?
Micro job pay varies depending on the site you work for and the type of task you complete. But no matter which platform you choose, understand one thing at the outset: you won’t make a lot of money doing micro work. You’ll earn a few dollars per hour at most.
For example, when New York Times writer Andy Newman tried his hand at micro jobs on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the biggest micro job site, he reported averaging just 97 cents per hour.
Granted, some sites pay more than others — and it’s even possible to do better than that on Mechanical Turk, once you’ve racked up experience and qualified yourself for better jobs (the site uses a tiered ranking system). Additionally, some sites will increase your pay the longer you continue doing micro jobs for them.
So while the work is easy and can be done in short bursts whenever you have time, the plain fact of the matter is that micro work isn’t good for much beyond putting a few bucks of spending money in your pocket. There are plenty of side hustles out there where you can earn much more for your time.
But if you’re looking for ways to make some spare change in your free time, without much stress or commitment, then these options can help you do so.
The Best Micro Job Sites
The online micro job space has exploded in recent years, leaving you with plenty of options. Here are some of the best micro job sites if you’re considering diving into this world.
Our rankings are based on a combination of the following factors:
- Pay rate.
- How much work is available on the platform.
- Ease of signing up and claiming tasks.
- User interface.
- Reputation among users.
And as a reminder, we’re defining micro jobs as: jobs that take no more than 20 minutes; require no specialized education, training or skills; and can be completed at any time from any place.
Appen workers complete tasks to help train artificial intelligence to perform various functions for use in several industries. Examples of micro jobs available on Appen include moderating content, categorizing social media posts, transcribing audio and drawing boxes on images. The company also offers longer-term and data collection projects.
Clickworker freelancers complete tasks that train artificial intelligence to recognize objects in images and to interact with humans. On Clickworker, you might create sections of text, categorize data, proofread/copy edit text, perform basic research, snap photos, record audio or video and take surveys. Clickworkers can also mystery shop and test apps. Payments are made weekly or monthly via PayPal.
#3. Mechanical Turk
Mechanical Turk, which is owned and operated by Amazon, crowdsources micro work to help businesses outsource numerous small tasks. Mechanical Turk workers may assist with processing images and videos, processing and cleaning up data, gathering information for companies, taking paid online surveys and more.
Neevo sources micro workers to do work that helps train artificial intelligence to perform various manual tasks. Neevo workers may tag images with the correct labels, annotate text, or even read text and convert it into audio by recording themselves. Freelancers can take tests to gain access to more jobs.
#5. Hive Micro
With Hive Micro, workers may categorize objects, track objects across video frames and transcribe audio, among other tasks. Harder tasks pay more, but workers must complete a test before each task. You’re paid weekly via PayPal, although Hive Micro also lets you receive payment in Bitcoin.
UserTesting pays you to test their clients’ websites for usability and intuitiveness. Tests take 20 minutes on average, and testers can earn $10 per test, making it the best-paying opportunity on this list. Testers can also have live conversations with the business they’re helping for about $1 per minute. However, you have to qualify for each opportunity based on a variety of factors (like your age and gender), and there’s a limited number of testing opportunities available.
TriMyUI is another site where you can sign up to test websites for usability and intuitiveness and get paid for it. As with UserTesting, you record your voice and screen while performing the test, then answer some written questions after. Payment is sent out via PayPal every Friday.
Spare5 workers get paid to annotate images, assess language for tone and other elements, isolate elements of photos by drawing borders around them and provide keywords for photos. Spare5 uses your work to train artificial intelligence. The company offers both a website and mobile app for micro work on the go.
Scribie is a micro work site focused on audio transcription services. Scribie workers can earn $5 to $25 per audio hour transcribing, plus a monthly bonus of $5 per three hours of audio transcribed. All of the platform’s audio files are 10 minutes or shorter. Scribie also generates an automated transcript to make the work easier. There are no commitments regarding time or hours, and you can transfer your earnings to PayPal at any time.
Other options: see our list of the best online transcription job sites.
#10. Slice The Pie
Slice The Pie is a micro job site that pays you to write short reviews and share your opinion. The site focuses on the music and fashion industries, so you’ll review songs, albums, merchandise, apparel and similar items. You can earn more per review as you continue using the platform and write more helpful reviews.
MicroWorkers offers access to a wide variety of tasks that businesses need someone to complete. Each task you finish raises your “Success Rate,” giving you access to more jobs and earning opportunities. You can also participate in group jobs, where one company will hire you and several other micro workers for a larger task.
Picoworkers connects business owners with micro workers to help with small jobs. Some tasks you complete as a worker on the platform include writing reviews for a business, taking surveys, testing apps, and writing short articles. You get paid in your choice of cash or crypto the moment you deliver your work to your client.
RemoTasks offers numerous types of micro tasks, from image annotation to data collection to transcription and more. RemoTask workers who gain enough experience on the platform can become trusted reviewers and increase their earnings. You can also take exams to expand your work opportunities on the platform.
Toloka is a micro job website that primarily offers work related to data. Tasks include annotating photos, confirming certain data, labeling data, categorizing information and moderating content. You can withdraw your earnings once a week with as little as 2 cents, depending on withdrawal method, or more than once a week with a $1 minimum.
EasyShift pays you to eat at certain restaurants, take photos of products, review promotions and check prices, among other similar activities. It’s a legit site, but some people have complained that the app rejects submissions quite frequently despite the already-low pay.
OneSpace is tailored more towards freelance professional services, but there are plenty of micro work opportunities on the platform. However, you must apply to OneSpace job openings to be considered for jobs, as opposed to other platforms where you can claim tasks without prior approval. You can also submit an application ahead of time detailing your skills and OneSpace will let you know if relevant opportunities come up.
Survey, Online Rewards & Get-Paid-To Sites
The sites below offer similar (or better) earning potential than micro task platforms.
- Swagbucks: Earn points (called SBs) for taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, browsing the web, shopping online and signing up for special offers. SBs are redeemable for PayPal credit, gift cards and sweepstakes entries.
- Survey Junkie: Earn cash for taking surveys. Survey Junkie offers an intuitive and easy-to-use site, and you only need to accumulate $10 in earnings to cash out via PayPal.
- MyPoints: Earn by answering surveys, shopping online or in-store, checking out partner sites, watching videos and dining out. You can redeem your rewards after earning 700 points, which is generally worth a $5 gift card.
- Shopkick: Earn points (called Kicks) by visiting stores, scanning barcodes, purchasing certain items in-store and online, and viewing online offers. You can redeem your Kicks for gift cards to a variety of retailers.
- Field Agent: A consumer research firm that pays you to mystery shop, try new products, give your opinion on products and more. You have a limited time to complete jobs when you accept them, and you can earn $3 to $20 per job.
- GigWalk: Pays you to do small, location-based tasks — typically involving retail stores. Most tasks involve verifying availability, conditions and pricing of products. For many tasks, you simply snap a photo and upload it into the mobile iOS or Android app.
- TaskRabbit: Perform all kinds of chores, errands and small gigs for people in exchange for cash. Some potential tasks include yard work, helping someone move heavy items, doing someone’s shopping and assisting someone with assembling furniture.
Some of the above sites make surveys their primary focus. Check out our list of the best survey sites if you’re interested in learning more ways to get paid by sharing your opinion.
Freelance Sites With Micro Jobs
These sites connect freelancers with clients that need services. While they tend to cater to clients with larger projects, there are plenty of micro task opportunities available as well.
- Fiverr: Earn money by completing pre-defined, one-off tasks in dozens of categories — from content writing to basic virtual assistant tasks.
- Upwork: A freelance marketplace with micro work available in various fields, including writing, editing/proofreading, data entry, formatting documents and more.
- People Per Hour: UK-based freelance marketplace focused on creative work. Both micro jobs and larger gigs are available on this platform.
- Envato Studio: Offers work centered around digital marketing and online creative work. Job categories include logo design, web and mobile app programming, video and animation, online marketing and more. You must either apply or receive an invite to join the platform.
- ProBlogger: A job board containing various types of content writing work, from blog articles to sales copy. Many tasks tend to be larger projects, but you can sometimes find micro writing work here.
Although you can perform micro jobs on these freelance sites, that’s not the only kind of work available. Rather, you can do all sorts of gig economy jobs, from those micro tasks to full-on freelance work.
The Best Micro Job Sites: Final Thoughts
Micro jobs can be good if you have a few spare minutes and you’re in a location — such as public transit — where you can’t easily work on more in-depth side jobs.
Outside of that, however, you simply won’t make all that much on an hourly basis. You are, after all, only completing one or two small gigs that are part of much larger projects.
So they’re worth a shot if you have a few minutes to spare, but we’d recommend pursuing a side hustle idea that involves a bit more effort if you’re hoping to establish a serious side income.