Prolific surveys is a data collection company founded in 2014 by Ekaterina Damer and Phelim Bradley. The company is based out of Oxford, United Kingdom and connects researchers to online survey participants around the globe. Most companies that use Prolific are educational institutions and businesses mainly from the UK and US. Prolific was voted one of the 50 fastest-growing companies in London in 2021.
The mantra for Prolific is they offer fairer payments in order to collect better quality data for researchers. Let’s be honest, the average survey participant is not going to put much effort in answers when the payout is very low.
How Do I Join Prolific Surveys?
Create an account on Prolific.
You must be over 18 years of age
Computer or mobile device
All participants must verify their account (email, phone, ID)
Have a PayPal account
Your phone number must have a country code that matches your country of residence in order to be verified as well as a legitimate phone number. VOIP phone numbers can’t be used.
Currently Prolific is accepting participants from mostly OECD countries:
If you are from a non-OECD country, you can still participate if you live in an OECD country and have ID.
If there are already too many participants in your demographic from a region, you may be put on a waitlist until they are accepting more from your country. I recently tested signing up from two different accounts, one being an Asian male from the US and one being an Asian female (using a different email and IP address, around the same age). The male account got an immediate acceptance response while the female account was sent a response stating I’d be placed on a waitlist. So it seems they may be seeking specific criteria from different regions at any given time.
After being accepted to be a participant with Prolific, you will provide pre-screening information about yourself including age, income level, job, and interests. You will then be invited to take part in surveys that you qualify for based on the information given.
Surveys on Prolific are typically on the topics of social and work environment issues, psychology, product advertisement, COVID, and other current events. The majority of surveys are just your standard, multiple choice, how much do you agree with this statement, select your answer 1-5. There are some that are more game-like and others that require written opinions and experiences. The longer and more complex the survey the higher the payout will be, also often including bonuses offered for giving accurate answers or good ideas for products and ads.
There can be some days that are a bit slower with no surveys available for hours but for the most part, there is a steady workload where 5-10 surveys daily are available to complete.
The prices are listed in £GBP (British Pounds) since the company is located in the UK. You can easily convert the currency to USD in your PayPal account, which gives a bit extra in earnings due to the conversation rate being in your favor.
All surveys are taken using your Prolific ID number which will be given to you after creating an account. You may have to answer basic demographic questions on your race, age, and gender but nothing that will identify you in anyway.
How and When Do I Get Paid From Prolific?
After completing a survey it does need to be approved by the researcher before payment is released. It usually does not take more than 1-3 days all though at times it can take longer. The maximum review time should be 22 days. If payment is still pending after this time you should contact and inquire with Prolific’s support.
There are no fees to cash out to PayPal all though you may incur regular fees pending on your withdrawal method from PayPal to your bank account. The minimum cash out amount is £5. If you are new, payments will be sent only on Tuesdays and Fridays. So if you hit the minimum £5 on a Sunday, your payment will be sent the following Tuesday. If you meet the minimum on Wednesday, your payment will come Friday.
After you’ve completed 4 successful cash outs which should be easy to do, your account will have instant cash out enabled. You will then be able to cash out when your balance is £5 on any day and have it instantly be available in your PayPal account.
Participants can realistically earn anywhere from a few cents to $10-$15 a day, depending on how many surveys are available and which priced surveys you complete. Most surveys fall between the $0.30 (1-3 minute surveys) to $3.00 (5-15 minutes) range all though occasionally you may find longer surveys with an hour completion time and higher payouts of around $5.00 to $10.00 per survey.
It seems, based off a collection of recent answers on Reddit, the average earnings a month are around $40-$55. It’s definitely not going to replace any full time or part time income but is good for some extra beer money.
I do recall easily earning more than $50 in the months where surveys were abundant. You can still probably hit higher figures if you leave the marketplace open all day. There is also a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome called ‘Prolific Assistant’ that will alert your with desktop notifications whenever new surveys hit the market.
Also judging on comments from Reddit, there does seem to be times where there are cash out delays, mostly due to issues between Prolific and PayPal. The problem is usually resolved within a few days to weeks and it seems for the most part everyone eventually receives their payment.
Other Important Pay Out Information:
For US residents, your PayPal account must be US based in order to comply with tax rules.
For non-US residents, your PayPal country needs to match either:
Your current country of residence or Your country of birth
Only one PayPal account can be linked to one Prolific account at any time.
Higher pay than other survey sites
£5/$5 Minimum payout required
Instant cash out to PayPal once minimum reached
Interesting surveys, some being fun games
May be placed on waitlist before hired
Not reliable, steady income, just extra cash
Some days are slow with only a few to no surveys available
Occasional cash out delays
While online surveys may not be a replacement for part-time income and won’t pay more than minimum wage, they are a pretty low effort, easy way to make extra cash. Prolific is definitely one of the best online survey research sites to work for. Their higher pay outs, quick cash outs, and amount of surveys available will make it worth joining the site if you some extra time through out your day. The average sentiment on Prolific amongst online gig workers seems to be pretty high when it comes to survey sites, further adding to the reputation of the company. So long as you put it in the work, you will receive payment.
Join Prolific and start earning from surveys now.