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Is Appen A Scam? [2020 Review]

Welcome to my Appen review! If you are wondering is Appen a scam or legit opportunity to earn income you're in luck! I'm here to help you find out.

First of all congratulation for taking the time to do some research on a business opportunity before jumping right in. It's the only way to avoid all the scams and find legit ways to earn honest money.

Appen is a platform that offers online work opportunities in a few different ways. It's a actually a huge company that works with a lot of industry leaders.

If you are new to making money online, there are essentially two ways to work. The regular way, i.e. changing time for money. The other way is creating online assets that work for you. Like websites, YouTube videos etc.

The simplest way to earn money in return for your time online with Paid To Click sites, survey sites and Get Paid to sites. They generally pay very little as the tasks are usually very simple.

Then there are companies that offer actual online work from home opportunities and Appen is one of them. But can you make real money with it? Maybe full-time income? Let's find out.

Before we continue, I want you to know that I'm not affiliated with Appen in any way. I'm just reviewing their online work opportunity to give an opinion if it's a viable way to earn an income online.

My site is about finding the best online business opportunities that have the potential to produce substantial income and help you achieve financial freedom and work from anywhere in the world.

Appen Summary

Product Name: Appen

Product Type:  Online work

Product Price: Free to use service


Appen is a legit online working platform that offers data-annotation and translation jobs that you can do from home.

Appen is a very well established (global leader in their field) company and there is no doubt that they're online work opportunities are legit.

But the salaries unfortunately seem to be on the lower side, especially in the basic work. Translation jobs likely pay a lot better as they require higher qualifications.

Appen definitely offers a legit way to earn supplemental income online if you can pass the qualification test. 

As a long term solution I still recommend starting an online business of your own if you want to work from home. It will allow you to exchanging time for money on the long run. You can check my number one recommendation below.

What Is Appen

In their own words, Appen is a global leader in the development of high-quality, human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Sounds fancy, I know, and it is.

They essentially annotate or label huge sets of data for companies manually, so that this data can be used for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

"At Appen, we’re committed to delivering the high-quality, human-annotated data needed to power machine learning and artificial intelligence. We’re a growing company that works with some of the world’s leading global technology companies, including innovators in search, speech, social media, eCommerce and more." 

Originally an Australian company, Appen has over 600 employees worldwide in over 130 countries and they expertise in over 180 languages so they are not kidding about being a global leader.

The company has been operational for over 20 years and they actually have over 1 million flexible contractors worldwide, so they can handle pretty much any data-annotation job a company throws at them.

The CEO of the company is Mark Brayan.

What Kind Of Work Appen Offers

Appen offers thee types of online or work from homework:

  • Rating
  • Micro TAsks
  • Language Jobs

Rating is flexible home-based work that requires a computer and in some cases a mobile device. Like the name suggests the job involves rating and evaluation of different services, features etc. This includes things like Search media evaluation, social media evaluation and speech evaluation.

Micro tasks are small assorted assignments that can vary depending on the contracts. These include things like survey and data collection, lexicon annotation, transcription etc.

The requirements for rating and micro-tasks are that you must be at least 18 years old, you need to have a high-speed internet connection, a computer with Google Chrome and up to date anti-virus software.

You will also need excellent web search skills, analytical abilities, communication skills and fluency in the language that you will be operating in.

The good thing is that you don't need headsets or a phone as they do not offer call center services and you will not need to receive phone calls as your duty. 

"Appen has made a core promise to our customers to work with only the very best home-based independent agents. Each Appen independent agent is an integral part of our shared success and we are very serious about keeping our promise. Appen independent agents conduct in depth internet-based research and provide information evaluation for leading companies from around the globe."


Language jobs are translation jobs that can be in any media form. Not just anybody can become a translator at Appen. You are expected to have a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D in linguistics, speech science or in some related field. You will also need to have 

"Since 1996, Appen’s linguistics team has created speech, natural language, image, and video data used to train models for a broad range of applications. From chatbots to driverless cars, this data is essential to the advancement of AI and machine learning. If you have a background in linguistics and want to apply your skills to the forefront of human language technology, you’re in the right place."


The language jobs include data collection, content analytics, natural language processing, annotation and phonetic dictionary development, transcription, translation and localization.

To get in, you will need to leave an application and pass a qualification test. The test will consist of similar tasks that the work involves, so it's a good way to tell if it's something you can handle and above all like to do.

They also only offer you apparently two tries to get in. In a way, I think this is a good thing. If you can't get in with two tires, the job probably isn't suitable for you anyways.

Appen apparently pays you once a month, so if you are expecting to get money right after you finish an assignment, that's apparently not possible currently.

You can check how Appen looks on the inside in this video by Work at Home:

Is Appen A Scam

No. Appen is definitely not a scam. Like we've established it's a huge global company that works with industry leaders in data-processing.

There is plenty of third party proof that the opportunities are legit and that they pay you the money you earn from the work you put in.

Appen has a 3.5 rating at Glassdoor and the negative comments mainly involve low pay and lack of benefits. There are over 1,800 reviews, so I would say it's a fairly reliable sampling.

Appen Glass door rating

 Similarly, Appen has a 3.6 rating out of 5.0 at Indeed with 487 reviews. Like with Glassdoor, the negative reviews are mainly about pay, benefits and getting dropped without any warning. 

How Well Appen Pays?

So if Appen is legit, the question then becomes if it's worth your time. How much do they pay?

Appen doesn't seem to disclose their wages on their website and this probably due to the fact that they have so vast amounts of assignments globally, that the wages will differ regionally and depending on the job description.

At Indeed the average salary for independent contractor is $12.14. You have to remember that the numbers at Indeed are based on user data and only give you a rough estimate.

According to Indeed user testimonials, the hourly payment is as low as $3 in the Philippines.

So as you can see, they have different salaries for different regions. Since they are a global company that mainly offers work online, I would guess that this will drive down the average salary as there will be people willing to work for smaller wages from third world countries. This is very common with online work.

Do I Recommend Appen?

I really like about Appen that it's a real corporate business, so you can't pretty much count on that they will keep their end of the bargain.

Since you will be actually working, not participating in a business opportunity of any sort, there are no fees to join Appen. I never trust companies that ask you to pay to work.

You will also get to work on a lot of different tasks and projects, so the work is definitely more diverse than for example mindlessly clicking on ads on PTC sites.

And you, of course, get to decide when you work because you are an independent contractor. This of course that you have the responsibility to manage your time as well.

This is one of the downsides of home-based work. You will need to be self-reliant and self-motivated as you there will be no one telling you to perform better or to help you out face to face.

All that said, I can't really recommend Appen as a business opportunity. Now don't get me wrong, if you are in need of employment or extra income, Appen might help you make the ends meet.

But the income is likely not enough for full-time living, unless you have very small living costs. You have to keep in mind that since the work at Appen is project and assignment-based, there might not be enough work every day to meet your income requirements.

If you are in need of employment, I honestly recommend finding a regular job. If you are interested in becoming a freelancer or a home-based entrepreneur, check out my number one recommendation through the button below:

It's an affiliate marketing-based business model that teaches you how to create website that converts visitors into buyers in almost any niche.

This business model is scalable and allows passive income, in short, it teaches you how to build assets that work for you, so that you don't have to trade time for money anymore

I personally use this same business model and this service includes everything you need to get started, including a free website, training, and a keyword research tool!

I also created a free 7-day course that will help you avoid all the common beginner mistakes. You can join it by leaving your email in the form below:

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I hope you found my Appen review useful and it answered most of your questions about the online work opportunities Appen offers.

If you have any additional feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Appen is deifnitely a legit source of online income if you meet the requirements and can pass the test. The income potential is similar to low wage jobs so it can definitely help ends meet if you are struggling with employment.

But it is actually hard work and will require you to put in the hours if you want to earn more than a few dollars.

If you want to work as a freelancer, I recommend you start an online business of your own. You can grow your business while you work either in a regular job or in an online position.

It takes time to grow authority for your own site and to learn the necessary skills to run your own business. But if you dedicate time to it, you will be rewarded with an incredible asset that will allow you to work whenever you want wherever you want on the long run.

If you found this post useful, feel free to share it on social media to spread the word. Thanks for reading and see you next time!


4 replies on “Is Appen A Scam? [2020 Review]”

Appen is actually very tempting to try to see if I can get some extra income in these difficult times. It would be interesting to know if their opportunities have gone up or down due to covid-19.

I’m not a linguist, so the translation option is not really for me. But I certainly intend to take a look at the Rating and Micro-Tasking opportunities.

Thanks for very insightful and thoughtful review.

Glad you found it useful Lawrence! Yeah it would be interesting to see how the pandemic is affecting these online wor opportunities. I’d be they’ve seen a lot more applications recently with all the layoffs globally. Just goes to show how important it is to diversify your income sources and have your own business in my opinion.

Reading through this, Appen sounds a lot like a regular job and requires you to put in time for a low wage, no benefits, no opportunities to scale your income and makes you rely on what they can give you based on your skill set which can be inconsistent. Doesn’t seem like it would be stable despite it being a legitimate global company.

I agree with you that if you want to live your life to the fullest, you should make your own website instead and base it around your passions, that way you’ll have the best of both worlds; doing a job you love and being free to do what you want, when you want. Plus, there’s a better chance of you getting paid each day without the need to send in a time sheet or log to make sure you get paid for doing the work.

I agree that it’s more like regular job. You just get to do it from your home and when you want. The downside is that there really are no benefits and you have to have the discipline to work efficiently. You outlined the pros of having your own online business well. You get to create content about stuff you love and get paid for it.

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