Updated: February 20, 2024

What is Appen? Here is What You Need to Know

In this article, we will walk you through what is important for you to know before applying for a work-at-home job with Appen.

What is Appen?

Appen is a company that offers a range of jobs that you can do from home. These jobs are mostly related to AI training tasks or evaluation of services provided by search engines and social media platforms.

Appen's AI/Machine Learning model uses human input to improve the quality of data, products and technologies for its clients. Clients include global leaders in technology, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook, and also companies in other industries, as well as the government.


The company was founded in 1996 in Sydney, Australia. In 2011, they expanded into the search relevance evaluation services by acquiring Butler Hill, a US-based company that had Microsoft as a major client.

In 2017, Appen acquired Leapforce, a US-based company founded in 2008 that became the main and biggest vendor of evaluation services for Google, and RaterLabs, a subsidiary of Leapforce created to employ the US raters. In 2019, Appen acquired Figure Eight, one of the market leaders in the AI training ecosystem.

Appen Jobs

Appen's workforce is made up of independent agents with whom the company signs a 6-month contract. The company may or may not automatically renew the contract for another similar period depending on the performance of the contractor.

Below is a list of the online jobs available at Appen, most of which are suitable for global remote workers of all backgrounds, even people with no experience:

  • Internet Analyst: Flexible, part-time, home-based work that requires a computer and/or mobile device. At Appen, these jobs are referred to as rater jobs. The two types of rater jobs that can be performed by internet analysts are:
  • Language Jobs: Flexible work in Transcription, Translation and Linguistics.
  • Micro Tasks: Simple data-entry or data collection tasks that can be completed in about an hour from the comfort of your own home.
  • Corporate Jobs: Positions affiliated with Appen's global offices focused on Engineering, Marketing, Finance, and Sales.

The contractor never has direct contact with clients, which can be large corporations like Google, Microsoft or Facebook.

Here in our blog, you can find more details and information about the best search engine evaluator jobs and social media evaluator jobs that are available through Appen.

How to apply for these jobs

Appen utilizes a platform called Appen Connect to manage all project-related information including recruiting and onboarding. Candidates must create a user account and profile to gain access, which can be done here.

Once your application is approved, you can view a list of projects that are available by selecting the “All Projects” option and following the instructions associated with each opportunity to learn more.

Note that just because a project is shown does not always mean that it is actively accepting new participants to the roster. However, you can still indicate your interest on the project page, which may help initiate the qualification process in the event slots open up. Also, you may receive direct invites from project management for new opportunities based on your profile and resume.

If you're looking to apply for shorter-term projects known as micro-tasks, you can do so through this page by creating an account on Appen Contributor Portal.

In 2020, Appen introduced yet another platform known as Appen 9 (or Appen China). When opting in for Appen 9 projects through Appen China, raters can apply to additional projects that are only available through that platform.

For detailed information on how to work from home with Appen, please read this article.

Appen Salary

The pay rate for most home-based workers at Appen ranges from $5/hour to $20/hour. Candidates are informed about the pay rate once they are invited to the qualification exams.

Lower levels of Appen's salary for ongoing projects are often around 7 and 9 USD but can range upwards substantially. Many projects have a median pay of $12-15 per hour, but they may be more difficult to come by or qualify for. Microtasks will often pay at a rate of less than $0.10 per job, and tasks may be scarce. Consistent quality performance can pave the way to more lucrative opportunities.

Appen rate of pay varies by project, locale and admission date.

Payment Method

Appen uses Payoneer, a widely-used international payment platform, as their primary means of disbursing earnings. Through Payoneer, workers at Appen can access their payments and have several withdrawal options. This system is a part of Appen's approach to facilitate consistent and straightforward payment procedures for its global workforce.

When you sign up for a Payoneer account with our link, you receive 50 USD cashback immediately when your account reaches a minimum accumulated amount of 1,000 USD.

Appen Projects

There is very little reliable and comprehensive information about Appen projects on the web. The problem is that the company is very selective regarding which projects they publicly disclose information about. Another difficulty is the large number of different projects that exist, some of which are very short-term, one-off types of projects.

This blog has done extensive research to list and categorize each of these projects. Examples of popular projects that may be available for Appen raters are Yukon, Amur, Shasta, and Uolo, to name a few.

You will notice that there are projects of many different types, which differ in terms of clients, duration, workload, and status. Many of those projects are closed or have a status that is "not clear", which means that, based on our knowledge and online research, we couldn't tell whether the project is active or not.

The Downward Spiral of Appen?

Here at the Wahojobs Blog, we've long been concerned about Appen's operational vulnerabilities, especially following its acquisition of Leapforce in 2017. Our commitment has always been to you, the job seeker, and we feel it's important to discuss Appen's ongoing challenges, as they directly affect those looking for remote work opportunities.

A Troubling Trajectory

From declining revenues to organizational struggles, Appen is undergoing significant changes for quite some time now. The company has seen a string of executive departures and is under scrutiny for alleged workplace issues. These red flags could indicate a turbulent work environment, which might not be ideal for those looking for stable, long-term remote opportunities.

More recently, Google has announced the termination of its contract with Appen, set to take effect on March 19, 2024. This move, which caught Appen off-guard, is expected to result in a significant revenue loss for the Australian data services company, estimated at $82.8 million.

Takeaway for Job Seekers

If you're seeking entry-level online roles, it's important to be aware of these developments when considering Appen as a potential platform for job opportunities. Diversifying your job search and keeping an eye on more stable roles in platforms similar to Appen may be a prudent approach in the current scenario.

Frequently Asked Questions About Appen

Is Appen legit or a scam?

Appen is easily verifiable as an established and legitimate data collection company, concentrating on machine learning and artificial intelligence products. It is publicly traded and employs a global crowd of more than 1 million independent contractors.

Founded in Australia in 1996, Appen has recently experienced major growth and increased scale with the acquisitions of rival crowdsourcing companies Leapforce (2017) and FigureEight (2019).

With a reported eight of the top ten largest technology companies among its many clients, flexible workers have the ability to earn income from home by performing tasks in a wide range of fields using an advanced AI-assisted data annotation platform.

Where is it located?

While Appen has a virtual presence in over 70,000 locations and 130 countries, it maintains nine primary physical sites around the world. Headquartered in Australia, offices are also located in the United States (Seattle WA-U.S. HQ, Detroit MI, Pleasanton CA, San Francisco CA, and Sunnyvale CA), the United Kingdom, Philippines, and China.

The vast majority of opportunities offered at Appen are outsourced and virtual, but corporate office positions are also available and can be searched for on the main website.

How does Appen work?

Appen provides flexible work-at-home opportunities that range from micro tasks and simple surveys to contracted ongoing projects that last for months or even years. To get started, the first step is to create an account (https://go.appen.com/users/sign_up) and determine what interests you or is commensurate with your experience. Based on your qualifications you may also receive direct invites from project managers.

Candidates can attempt to qualify for a range of tasks including search media evaluation, social media evaluation, translation and transcription services, linguistics and natural language processing, lexicon evaluation, image or video annotation, speech evaluation, and many other types of data collection and annotation services. This work is typically performed through a series of independent tasks whose purpose is to collect training data.

You will be compensated either per task or hourly and be measured on quality metrics such as speed, accuracy and process. There may or may not be minimum time commitments.

AppenConnect is the platform used to manage project information and recruitment, billing/invoicing, communication, etc. Tasks themselves are performed on separate web-based platforms that differ greatly in scope, from mobile apps to sites like UHRS (Universal Human Relevance System) or using other client-specific work tools (e.g. Facebook SRT).

Your hours or tasks are recorded, invoiced and paid to you monthly using Paypal or Payoneer.

Is it worth it?

The answer to this is widely variable, with factors such as location, availability, personal skills, client budget, and economy all influencing Appen's perceived profitability. Companies like Appen are also reporting hiring surges due to Covid-19, intensifying competition.

A common complaint is that task/project availability is not always consistent and worker retention is not permanent. However, you have ample scheduling flexibility, work at home convenience, saved expenses from other 'hidden' job costs (i.e. fuel, wardrobe, meals, childcare) and the chance to work, learn and evolve in various capacities.

For many, leveraging all of these factors absolutely makes working for Appen worth it.

Is the work easy or difficult?

Many of the task types offered are designed to be simple and quick, which is conducive to processing large data sets. Some projects are more complex and require critical analysis at a deeper level. Other very specialized assignments exist that call for specific skill sets and Appen may 'internally headhunt’ for more difficult work.

Many candidates find the qualification process challenging, as quizzes and tests can be tricky and extensive. The guidelines that accompany each assignment are often lengthy and confusing to some.

The fast pace and evolving nature of the work can be formidable to newcomers in crowdsourcing, while others thrive in the machine learning environment. Learning to understand, and use practical application of intricate processes is critical.

Motivated workers who are self-disciplined, internet-savvy, and enjoy research, evaluation and analysis find the work ideally suited to them.

What experience do I need to work for Appen?

Generally speaking, little to no official experience is required in order to get started with Appen. However, you should at least have basic familiarity with computer operating systems. Ideally, you would also possess web research skills, social media awareness and/or analytical abilities.

The way in which individual skill, past experience, and ability come into play differ by work type. For those that are proficient in machine learning and crowdsourcing, higher productivity levels may be easily attained, leading to more overall compensation.

Appen has assignments that require fluency in a language other than English. For these assignments, independent agents will be required to pass a language assessment exam.

There are occasions when certain skill sets, education levels, or professional certifications are required, which would be made clear in the job description.

What is the duration of a typical job or project at Appen?

Appen assignments duration varies. For example, many ongoing projects have existed for years, while other jobs have a specified number of data collection sets that you agree to complete. Each individual task can last for a few seconds to several minutes or longer.

For many assignments, task volume is released intermittently based on the need of the client, and work is available until workers have cycled through the HITS posted.

You may be asked to sign a contract, in which you agree to weekly hourly minimums for a set number of months. In all cases, not meeting quality metrics or violating Appen policies can result in termination of the project or job.

In which countries is Appen available?

Appen is a global company that operates in over 130 countries around the world in over 180 different languages. The availability of different projects and jobs may be location- or language-specific, but there is no country requirement to create an account and get started searching for jobs in your market.

Is there an age limit for working at Appen?

The only age requirement specified by Appen is that contributors must be at least 18 years old.

Can I work on my own schedule?

One of the main attractions of working for Appen is the work-life balance that it offers in its flexible and remote part-time opportunities. As long as you meet your contract requirements and/or weekly time commitments, there is a great deal of freedom in deciding where and when you do this.

Jobs that are not ongoing may have completion dates and there are deadlines associated with qualification tests, quizzes, and some administrative details.

Keep in mind that for some jobs, just because you are qualified does not guarantee that tasks are going to always be available when you want to work, so it pays to be proactive in regularly checking to see if HITS are loaded.

How long does my contract with Appen last?

You do not enter into a contract with Appen when you sign up and create an account. This comes after successfully qualifying for a project, in which you agree to a minimum number of hours while maintaining quality requirements.

There may also be project-specific components to the contract and of course, you have to comply with Appen’s terms, policies and standards. All contracts are subject to review and typically come up for renewal every 6 months to a year.

Microtasks, surveys, and other one-time data collection projects do not require contracts.

Can I have multiple Appen accounts?

While you can participate in multiple projects and job types offered across Appen simultaneously, you can only create one account and contributor profile. If you have more than one worker in the household that would be using the same IP address, you should contact Appen support or project management to discuss this issue.

Can I work with Appen before I complete my university studies?

Certainly. University students are welcome to apply with Appen.

The only age requirement is that you be 18. Its flexible scheduling and learning experiences could be advantageous to students.

How many hours of tasks can I get per week with Appen?

This is dependent on work type, availability, and how proactive a contributor is. Projects typically offer anywhere from 5 to an unlimited number of hours per week.

Many contracts may start at a 10-20 hour cap but then offer additional hours weekly. Microtasks, surveys, and other limited data collection jobs are even more variable and reliant on motivation and availability.

Is there a minimum and a maximum number of hours that I can work per week?

There is no universal minimum or weekly limit on hours for Appen contributors. Contracts will authorize a set number of hours, which you are not allowed to exceed unless additional hours are offered on a weekly basis or it has no cap.

Time commitments associated with assignments are clarified during the qualification process. These are independent of each other, and your hourly totals for each project or job are not related. They are invoiced separately during each pay period.

What is the ideal resume to land a work-from-home job with Appen?

Given the scope of projects and jobs offered by Appen, this varies. Experience in crowdsourcing, micro tasks and machine learning would serve a candidate well in adapting to Appen’s format. Knowledge of data analytics, online research, search evaluation, and annotation are all skills that would find a practical application on many Appen tasks.

Individuals who are detail-oriented, can quickly and accurately review data, and like a swift but repetitive pace do well in many jobs. These are all skills that can be learned, and general knowledge of the internet and computers are the only major requirement to start. Candidates who have a background in linguistics, translation, or language processing may find more lucrative opportunities.

What documents or information do I need to provide when applying?

You will initially be asked to provide standard demographic and location information. There are basic questions asking if you’ve had experience with transcription, translation, proofreading, annotation, search engine evaluation or linguistics. You will be able to upload a copy of your CV as well.

If accepted, the process of finalizing your application will include providing a scanned copy of a government-issued ID. You are also required to have a valid tax identification number or social security number to work as a contributor in the US.

There are administrative documents relating to consent with Appen’s terms and conditions that will require an electronic signature. If you are offered a contract there will be additional forms, such as an NDA or time commitment and wage agreements.

Payment verifications and bank information for PayPal and/or Payoneer will need to be added after you are approved to begin working.

Is it safe to share my government ID with Appen?

Appen is required to verify your identity, and it is a credible company that upholds privacy laws. It is not one of the many “work from home” scams that you should be wary of. It is safe to assume that Appen will honor its privacy statement and would not assume risk by using your personal information in any way other than stated.

Can I use a fake ID when applying to work for Appen?

No, you should not apply using a false identity. This is what Appen says when filling out the application forms: “We need to have your legal name. Please enter your first and last name as it appears in your tax records. Failure to do so will SIGNIFICANTLY DELAY your qualification process.”

Companies like Appen are very aware of the increasing threat of identity fraud and account buying on remote work, freelance and gig economy platforms. They use stringent measures to check the integrity of the information you provide.

What should I answer in the Residency History question of the application?

The application asks ‘For How Many Years Have You Lived In Your Current Country Of Residence?’ with a drop-down list of options ranging from less than 1 year to 5+. You should answer accordingly as to how long you’ve been in your current country. This information is relevant to your market, establishing a level of familiarity with the culture, language and region.

How many jobs or projects can I apply for?

You may apply for and work on multiple projects and jobs simultaneously. However, you are expected to meet the time requirements for each, independent of each other.

Projects and jobs are invoiced separately for hours accrued. Therefore, you should be cognizant of your time commitments and expectations when you accept multiple contracts. Be realistic about how many hours you can devote, and be able to maintain quality metrics as well. If there are any unique restrictions that exist in this situation, they will be clarified during the qualification process.

Can I apply for a job or project that is not available in my country?

Projects for which you are eligible are referred to as being in your ‘market’ and will be shown on the All Projects page in Appen Connect. Your market is mostly determined by location and language but can include other factors.

Demand is influenced by the client, who may be looking for certain demographics. You will not be able to apply for projects you are not eligible for, and they won’t be listed. Similarly, other job types that fall outside of your market/eligibility will not be shown to you.

If you wish to apply for a corporate job overseas, you will need to refer to the description for requirements.

Should I apply as an independent contractor or through my own registered business?

You have the option to contract with Appen as an independent agent, or through your own registered business, if you have one. This is a matter of personal preference and relates to how you typically manage your finances.

You do not have to form or register a business in any capacity to work for Appen. Regardless of how you register, you are not hired by Appen directly, but are considered self-employed. This also means you are responsible for filing 1099-MISC for taxes and monies owed if you live in the United States.

Can I choose which projects I want to participate in during the application process?

Specific information about the work Appen has available is not disclosed during the initial signup process. Named projects that you may be familiar will through your own independent research are not presented as options to choose from.

If approved, you will be given access to Appen Connect, and here you can search for projects that are open and explore what interests you. More detailed and searchable job information is typically only found when applying for direct-hire corporate positions, but not in the process for independent contractors.

How long does it take for Appen to review my application?

There is not a specified timeframe in which you will hear back from Appen. It may be a few days or a few months. Their website simply states that their team will review your application and if there is a project that’s a good fit, you'll be sent a link to a Project Page that lists all the projects available to you.

As with many things at Appen, key factors such as your location, experience, the economy, client demand, availability, and competition all play a role in job prospects.

Will I be informed if my application gets rejected?

Appen is not known to notify applicants if they are not accepted. They receive a large volume of interested candidates and it would not likely be useful to contact them directly to inquire about their application status.

If you have not heard from Appen after six months, it would be a good idea to try and re-apply for an account.

Can I reapply for a project after failing the qualification exam?

In many cases, you are given two opportunities to pass a qualification exam, and this is clarified in the onboarding process for each project. If you exhaust all attempts offered, it will no longer be listed on your All Projects page making reapplication impossible.

It could be possible for the vendor/client to request otherwise, but this is the standard procedure followed for Appen project qualifications. If a project is not listed for you in Appen Connect, you are not able or eligible to apply.

Can I reapply using the same email and IP address?

If Appen has not contacted you after a number of months, typically six, and you choose to reapply then yes, you may use the same email and IP address.

Appen states on the signup page “Please Note: We are unable to offer more than one Internet Analyst position per household.” Therefore, you will not be allowed to apply multiple times using different email addresses from the same IP.


In two decades, Appen has transformed from a small consultancy to a giant in human-annotated data for machine learning, thanks in part to acquisitions like Leapforce and Figure Eight. The company now boasts over 1 million work-at-home agents but faces challenges in managing expectations from investors, customers, and its workforce.

Disturbingly, Appen has consistently opted to scale its operations by drastically cutting corners on worker compensation, putting the quality and well-being of its workforce at risk. This approach not only erodes Appen's standing among both existing and potential workers, but also risks altering the character of its labor force over the long term.

Given that the bulk of its revenue is concentrated in a few key clients like Google and Facebook, Appen's strategy is fraught with vulnerabilities (and we've been saying this for years!). While future expansion into emerging sectors of the AI market is almost certain, Appen's long-standing tactics raise serious concerns about its long-term stability and ethical commitment to its workers.