Ultimate Guide to Making Money as a Tester on UserTesting
Based in San Francisco, UserTesting was founded in 2007 by Darrell Benatar and Dave Garr with the goal of helping companies of all sizes gear their products for consumers with usability in mind.
With the exponential growth of the internet over the past twenty years, companies using web-based platforms are constantly seeking authentic feedback for their customers’ online experiences.
UserTesting addresses this by offering a much-needed service: real feedback from real people to help businesses offer the best experiences to their customers.
As of September 2020, over 14,000 studies are conducted each month, leading to over $100 million in annual revenue. Since 2007, over $50 million has been paid out to testing participants for their feedback.
In recent years, UserTesting has reached many other milestones, such as the expansion of its European office, a 50% increase in the number of employees, and the addition of a service offering feedback for digital marketing campaigns.
The platform boasts over 2,000 subscription customers and has served over 35,000 total customers to-date.
Having won countless awards for its growth and positive corporate culture, UserTesting recently announced the close of a $100 million round of funding.
Requirements to Get Paid to Test for UserTesting
Fortunately, a specialized skillset is not required to review for UserTesting. As long as you can communicate your thoughts clearly and can provide insights to the client, you have what it takes to make UserTesting your next big gig.
Remember, test participants must provide value to the clients in their reviews of the websites and products. This comes from clear articulation of your thoughts as you review the product or website.
There are a number of technical requirements that must be met to be successful on UserTesting. Having a computer that runs Windows or MacOS is required, along with a stable internet connection with an upload speed of at least 2MBps. You may use your internal microphone, although mic can be used as well.
Downloading UserTesting’s software is also required to conduct tests. While a majority of the tests can be performed on your Mac or PC, some exams are geared for a smartphone, and the prompt indicates the required device for the particular test. You will need to download UserTesting’s app if you’d like to conduct tests on your Smartphone.
Test participants must be at least 18 years old and must be able to speak English fluently and clearly.
Getting Started as a Test Participant for UserTesting
To sign up as a test participant, start by clicking on “Get Paid to Test” at the top menu bar of the homepage. You will need to enter your email address, to which an email will be sent for verification. Clicking the link in the verification email will allow you to continue with the application process.
Next, you will be prompted to download UserTesting’s software, which will allow you to conduct tests on your computer. Make sure you download the software on the computer that you will be using to conduct tests. Once downloaded, you can take the steps to install the software as you normally would when downloading software on your computer.
Not every applicant is accepted as a test participant for UserTesting. To ensure you can provide high quality feedback to its clients, UserTesting requires all of its applicant to complete a brief sample test.
Once you install UserTesting’s software on your computer, you will be able to move forward to take your sample test.
To give you the best chance to succeed, UserTesting tells you outright what makes for a high-quality test:
- Take the test in a quiet place, without any interruptions. Tell family members you will not be available and that you should not be interrupted. If you have small children, it’s best to wait until they are asleep.
- Place yourself in the scenario provided in the prompt.
- Fully complete each task as per the instructions provided.
- Add questions and comments to provide additional value for the client.
- Above all, the most important thing to remember is to keep talking for the entirety of the sample test (and every test you take thereafter). Even if you are unsure as to what you should do next, keep talking the entire way through. The clients want to hear exactly what you are thinking as you conduct your assessment, and your review of is no value to them if you are not speaking.
Before beginning your test, the software will check to make sure your microphone is working. Before recording begins, you will be prompted to find a quiet place, minimize any windows you’d prefer not to be in the recording, and to speak aloud constantly when completing the tasks.
Be sure to do exactly as the instructions say and continue to speak out loud continuously until the test is complete. Once you have completed your test, you should receive a confirmation email, informing you that your submission is being reviewed. It will take a few days for your sample test to be reviewed.
Once you are approved, you will be notified via email every time there is a New Feedback Request.
Logging in to the UserTesting platform will take you to your dashboard, where you will be able to view all the feedback requests available to you. Make sure you fill out as much of your profile information as possible, as this will lead to more testing opportunities.
In all likelihood, you will not be eligible to complete all of these feedback requests.
Each study starts with some preliminary qualifying questions. Most studies want specific types of people to participate and will provide a few questions to weed out participants that don’t meet their qualifications.
While you may be tempted to answer in the way that you think will get you approved for the study, answering dishonestly will ultimately get you removed as a test participant. While you certainly won’t qualify for all the studies available to you, you will qualify for some of them.
What to Expect as a Test Participant for UserTesting
Test participants get paid via PayPal. Therefore, test participants must have an active PayPal account in order to receive payments. Typically, payments are received seven days after completing a test. This allows UserTesting to review the recordings in advance of payment.
Working as a test participant for UserTesting has a number of advantages when compared to similar types of online work. Perhaps the most attractive advantage is the high pay rate.
Standard, unmoderated tests pay $10 for approximately 15-20 minutes, or $30 per hour. Live conversations pay $60 per hour and vary in length from thirty minutes to two hours.
This is significantly higher than minimum wage in all states and will be twice as much as the $15 minimum wage that many states are striving for in the coming years.
The high pay rate is coupled with the flexibility inherent in the work – test participants can work whenever they want for as long as they’d like. Due to UserTesting’s large client pool, studies are readily available and new studies will frequently appear in your dashboard.
Despite these advantages, UserTesting may not offer consistent earning opportunities, depending on your line of work. You may find that you qualify for very few of the studies that are available to you, and therefore you may not be able to provide feedback as often as you would like. This could greatly limit the amount you earn on UserTesting.
How much can you earn providing feedback on UserTesting?
The amount of money you can make will depend on the time commitment you devote to testing. Obviously, the more time you have available, the more tests you are able to take.
In addition, test participants with experience in corporate or technology positions will likely qualify for more tests. Test participants who engage in different types of online services, such as travel booking, online banking, or media consumption are also more likely to qualify for tests.
UserTesting makes it clear that it is not possible to earn a full-fledged income as a test participant. However, depending on your availability and qualifications, it is possible to earn a nice supplement to your current income or to test alongside another gig job like Uber, Instacart or many others. UserTesting reports that most users take 1-2 tests per week, although you can certainly take more if you have the time and if you qualify.
One online user reported earning $300-$350 per month.
When comparing UserTesting to other gigs and side hustles, UserTesting provides a high salary without the significant legwork needed to build up a business or create a brand.
Most survey platforms and many other gigs pay a fraction of the pay rate offered by UserTesting. If you’re able to maintain a high tester rating, and consistently check your dashboard for new studies, you can gradually increase your earnings over time.
Maximizing Your Earnings with UserTesting
As UserTesting is a popular and widely used service, there are constantly new studies available for test participants.
UserTesting offers a number of tips to maximize your earnings on the platform:
- Remain logged in to your account and keep the dashboard open in your browser. You will hear a sound to notify you when a new test is available. Since there are many test participants vying to complete the same tests, the sooner you are able to answer the qualification questions, the more likely you are to be admitted to the test (assuming you qualify).
- Build and maintain a high rating (ratings are between one and five stars) which will result in more opportunities to perform tests. To do so, follow all the guidelines mentioned above, such as following the instructions exactly as provided and talking constantly and coherently throughout your tests. Provide as much value as you can to the client.
- Complete additional surveys, located at the top of your dashboard and highlighted in blue, to qualify for more tests.
- Make sure your profile is completed fully.
- Remove third-party software that may interfere with UserTesting’s software, such as ad-blockers or anti-virus programs.
Do I have to pay to be a test participant?
No – you will earn money if you are accepted as a test participant.
When are payments made for completed tests?
Payments usually arrive seven days after a test is completed.
Is PayPal the only way to get paid?
Yes. There are no other payment methods.
Are my payments taxed?
It is the responsibility of the tester to declare income for tax purposes. UserTesting does not withhold any taxes from its payments to test participants.
How do I reach UserTesting customer service?
You can reach customer support at 1(888)877-1882 from 8:30AM – 9:00PM EST on Monday through Friday or reach out via the Contact Us page on the UserTesting website.