Many people regularly participate in paid research studies as a side hustle to make extra cash quickly.
However, finding legitimate studies can sometimes be difficult if you don’t know where to look.
If you want to learn more about participating in paid studies, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll share 15 of the best sites and companies offering paid studies.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
I’m sure you want to know all the options for paid research, but here are the top picks we’ve done to get quick and high payouts for our time:
- Quickest Payout: Swagbucks
- Most Survey Offerings: Survey Junkie
- Biggest Payouts: Northwestern University Department of Psychology
15 Best Sites For Paid Research
For paid research studies, we have a variety of survey sites, marketing research, and clinical research that give a variety of payouts.
There are plenty of creative ways to earn money, and these sites give you many options.
Some can give you a few bucks for a few minutes of answers, whereas others take a few hours and can make you $300!
Let’s check out your options for research studies:
Have you taken any Buzzfeed quizzes lately? Where you won’t know which Hogwarts House you’re in, you could answer survey questions and make instant money!
One of the quickest ways to take paid online surveys and get fast payouts is Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is a site that connects people with paid research opportunities from marketing companies.
They have an extensive database of paid online surveys from all types of industries, like beauty products, baby products, housewares, and more.
And they also offer other ways to earn money, including watching videos, playing games, and shopping online.
Check out our Swagbucks Review to find out more!
Most surveys pay an average of $1 to $5.
Many surveys vary regarding how long they take to complete and how much they pay. But you can typically expect to make around $10 – $15 per hour.
- $10 sign-up bonus available
- Can cash out to PayPal
- No minimum withdrawal amount
- Free to join
- Easy to use
- Not available in all countries
- Some surveys may take longer
- Surveys have lower payouts than other research studies
2. Survey Junkie
You can take surveys on a variety of topics. Best of all, you can do it entirely from the comfort of your own home!
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Simply sign up for an account and start taking surveys. Each online survey will earn points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
Learn more about them in our Survey Junkie review!
The typical payout for a survey is around $1 – $3. However, some surveys can pay up to $10 or more.
- $5 sign-up bonus
- Surveys are easy to take
- Payout threshold is low
- PayPal is a cash-out option
- Free to join
- May not qualify for every survey
- Surveys can be boring to some people
Respondent is a platform that connects businesses with research participants. Companies use Respondent to get high-quality feedback from consumers fast.
The platform is free to join, and you can start earning money by participating in online research studies as soon as you’re approved.
Studies are matched to your demographics and profile information. Respondent doesn’t choose who participates in the paid studies; the companies requesting the research choose who participates.
The typical payout per paid study is anywhere from $50 to over $200, with more comprehensive studies paying more.
- High-paying research studies
- Paid research is relevant to the participant’s demographics
- Research opportunities are available to people worldwide
- Slow customer service
- Interface is sometimes slow
- Chances of getting into research studies are lower
4. American Consumer Opinion
American Consumer Opinion is a paid research study site that has been around for over 20 years connecting businesses with consumers.
Businesses and organizations rely on consumer feedback to improve their products and services, so your online surveys provide valuable info.
Surveys on various topics are available, and they also have a panel where you can participate in focus groups and product testing.
You can complete surveys on your own time and get a payout with PayPal cash or gift cards.
The average payout per survey is $2 – $5 for surveys that take only a few minutes.
They offer a few cents compensation if you don’t qualify for the survey, which other sites don’t offer.
- Different research topics are available
- Easy payouts
- Compensation for unqualified surveys
- More lower-paid surveys are offered than higher-paid surveys
5. User Interviews
User Interviews is a website that allows you to sign up to participate in paid studies. These studies can take place through phone interviews, in-person, or streaming focus groups.
The interviews about products, services, and websites usually last between 30 minutes and an hour. Study participants are paid by cash, check, PayPal, or by gift cards like Amazon or Visa.
Want to see what some of the research study topics are? You can see some research studies and the price they will pay before you apply with User Interviews.
Payouts vary but start at around $15 per hour up to over $300 per hour
- Easy to sign up as a User Interviews participant
- Can see current research studies before signing up
- Open to participants in other countries, not just U.S. and Canada
- Studies may take more time to complete than surveys
- May need specialized skills or fit a specific demographic to complete the higher-paying research studies
Engage Studies is a research company that conducts studies on behalf of various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
They’re looking for people to participate in their studies through online discussions or in person.
Engage Studies conduct studies essential for advancing the knowledge and treatment of diseases.
Participating in their studies can help make a difference in the lives of people affected by these diseases.
Their homepage says you can make anywhere from $50 – $250 for studies that often take less than 30 minutes.
- Get paid via PayPal or check
- Different types of studies are available
- Studies only last around 30 minutes
- Can be hard to qualify for studies
They’ve previously worked with organizations like BT, Skyscanner, Zapier, and Nestle. to get research on how their sites work.
You’ll need a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone. In the one-on-one sessions, you can share your computer screen and honestly discuss the websites you test.
They pay you automatically within 7 days of the interview via Transferwise to your bank account or your PayPal account.
You’ll earn rewards from €10 to €100 for each session.
- Get paid automatically within 7 days of the interview
- Can get paid via bank account or PayPal account
- Can work with some top brands
- Requires participating via video chat
- May not be for you if you don’t like web design
8. Recruit & Field
Recruit & Field has been around since 1977, providing many opportunities for paid research studies, focus groups, and online surveys.
Some clients include GreyGoose, Microsoft, Apple, Uber, and more. They have studies for everyone and often have a high payout, especially if you’re a medical professional.
They are a company worth checking out if you’re looking for paid opportunities.
The typical payout is $50 – $300 per study.
- Studies are offered in different formats – online, by phone, or in person
- Offer higher payouts
- The website says there are over 300,000 participants, so there may be competition for getting studies
9. Apex Focus Group
Taking part in one of the focus groups with Apex Focus Group is a great way to voice your opinion and get compensated for your time.
They connect people with paid focus groups, clinical research trials, and phone interviews. You can take part online or in person, and the company has opportunities across the country.
Sometimes, you may even get a sample of new products before they are released to the public!
Participants can get paid up to $750 a week.
- Can participate online or in-person
- Work with legit companies
- Provide samples of new products
- Pay is higher than most focus groups
- Has a low acceptance rate for focus groups
- Customer support can be slow to answer
- Sends out several emails a day
10. Northwestern University Department of Psychology
If you’re looking to get paid to participate in research studies, the Northwestern University Department of Psychology is a great place to start.
They regularly run psychological research studies on various human behavior topics such as linguistics research study, guided breathing and a smell test, mood and phone usage test, and more.
The online research studies may take anywhere from an hour to two hours over one to multiple days, so be sure to know the details of what you sign up for.
Depending on the study, the pay for the in-person research projects ranges anywhere from $7 – $700.
- Interesting tests are available
- In-person studies are available for people under 18 years of age
- Studies are usually available for U.S. residents only
11. Brand Institute
Brand Institute is a Better Business Bureau-certified research company specializing in medical branding.
It’s been in business for over 20 years and has conducted surveys for major pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer and Merck.
Its mission is to assist its valued, worldwide clients in obtaining best-in-class strategy, name development, trademark screening, market/safety research, and visual identity services.
While Brand Institute is geared more toward medical professionals, they also welcome non-medical people such as business professionals, consumers, parents, etc., to participate in their research.
Brand Institute offers various surveys and online research, so there’s sure to be one that interests you.
And, you can be confident that your answers will be used to improve the quality of medical care.
Surveys pay anywhere from $2 – $5 and typically take 30 minutes. Medical professionals have access to medical surveys that pay more, usually around $30.
- Receive invitations to participate in surveys via email from the research team
- No minimum payouts
- Pay for the survey is shown in dollar amounts instead of point amounts
- Pay is low for non-medical surveys
- Most surveys are for a medical professional
12. MIT Behavioral Research Lab
Taking research studies at MIT’s Behavioral Research Lab (BRL) could be a great way to earn some extra money.
BRL conducts studies on various topics, ranging from consumer behavior to economic decision-making.
Participants are typically paid for their time and can sign up for multiple studies if they wish. BRL is an excellent opportunity for those who want to help shape the future of behavioral research.
You may be asked to complete questionnaires, play games, complete computer tasks, participate in group activities, and so on.
Online research and in-person studies are available. Lab studies will be conducted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whereas online tests may be performed online from anywhere using a computer.
BRL offers a competitive pay scale and an opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading researchers.
Participants are paid between $15 – $25 an hour for lab research and $12 – $20 an hour for internet studies.
Participants receive payment in cash, gift cards, electronic gift certificates, or checks. The researcher determines this.
If the payment reaches $75+, researchers will only accept checks to reimburse participants because this is necessary for MIT tax filing.
- Pay is competitive hourly pay
- Offers both in-person and online research
- Sign up process is easy
- The researcher determines the method of payment
- Research is open to U.S. residents only
- Strict criteria for research studies
Mindswarms is a unique survey site that collects responses in video format, which allows respondents to provide more detailed and personal responses than traditional written surveys.
Top brands from all fields such as tech, advertising, retail, healthcare, and other fields use Mindswarms as a market research firm.
A short introductory survey takes less than a minute to complete and has a few multiple-choice questions.
After you’ve submitted your introductory survey, a Mindswarm researcher will go through it within 24 hours to see if you’re suitable for the survey.
Once the researcher accepts the introductory survey, you can start recording video answers to the survey. Mindswarms surveys usually have one to seven questions.
There is a time limit to the video submissions, usually limited to 45 to 60 seconds long.
Respondents are paid based on the number of questions they receive in the study.
Pay for less than seven questions is typically $10. For studies with more than seven questions, the pay is up to $50.
- Video format for the surveys
- Available on iOS and Android apps
- Studies can pay as much as $50
- Acceptance rate for surveys on Mindswarms is lower
Fieldwork connects people with opportunities to participate in paid research studies, typically in person rather than online, but with some phone options available.
The paid focus groups are conducted in one of their locations.
Fieldwork has locations in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.
You can select it if you live near one of the Fieldwork locations. You may join their national database for phone interviews if you don’t reside near any.
The groups last approximately 1 – 2 hours, and participants are paid $75 – $100 for their time and opinions.
- Easy to sign up
- Interesting topics are available
- Focus groups are moderated
- Must go to one of the Fieldwork locations to participate in a focus group
FocusGroup.com is a website that connects people who need engaged and enthusiastic participants for research studies with those looking to participate in a study.
Members of FocusGroup.com are people like you that want to share their opinions on various topics by participating in paid research studies.
The topics available include technology, food taste tests, healthcare, and product and device tests.
Research studies can be completed in one of three different ways:
- Over the telephone
- Online focus group using a computer from anywhere in the world
- In-person focus groups at one of the 16 Focus Group offices in the U.S.
Payment for each research study varies, but you can typically expect to earn $50 – $200 for your participation.
- Simple and free to join
- Several online focus groups and online research studies can also be found on their Facebook page
- Has higher-paying research studies
- Offers both in-person focus groups and online focus groups via phone and webcam
- May take 4 to 6 weeks to get paid
- Can be hard to qualify for in-person research studies
FAQs: Paid Research Studies
What pays better, in-person or online paid research studies?
In general, in-person paid research studies pay better than online research, so they’re the more profitable side hustle opportunity.
However, there are some notable exceptions to this rule, so it’s always best to research various options before choosing which study to participate in.
Also, remember that the amount you’re paid for a study may vary depending on your qualifications and the length and complexity of the study.
What is a focus group?
A focus group is a group of people who market research companies bring together to give their opinions on various topics.
These focus groups are generally used by businesses to get feedback on products, services, or marketing campaigns.
Focus groups generally look for engaged participants willing to share their opinions.
A representative of the market research company usually moderates paid focus group discussions.
The research can be conducted in person or in an online research group, typically lasting for one to two hours.
Are all focus group opportunities legit?
No, not all focus group opportunities are legit. There are several scams out there, so it’s essential to be careful when looking for paid focus groups and use actual companies to connect with research.
The best way to avoid these scams is only to join focus groups that are proven to be from a reputable market research company.
Generally, companies that request payment to participate in a focus group are not legitimate.
Do your online research and look for reviews of the focus groups and research companies you’re considering before joining to make sure you’re not getting scammed.
How much can I earn from paid focus groups?
Paid focus groups can be used as a part of your multiple streams of income. You can typically earn anywhere from $50 to $200 per session, depending on the focus group and the length of the session.
Some groups may also offer a small compensation for your time in transit. Generally, you’ll be paid in cash at the end of the focus group.
What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that test new drugs, treatments, or therapies. They also can be used to compare existing treatments to see if one is better than the other.
Participants vary, including consumers, parents, kids/teens, students, physicians, and business professionals.
The payments can vary significantly, so it’s best to research each opportunity before deciding whether to participate in one as a way to get paid the same day.
Pharmaceutical companies or hospitals usually conduct paid clinical trials. These trials can last several weeks or months and may require multiple visits.
Are there other survey sites that offer paid market research?
Each of these sites has a different payout structure and different types of surveys available, so it’s worth signing up for a few of them to see which one works best for you.
Are there other ways to make money with my phone?
There are several side hustle apps to make money online with your phone. You can complete paid surveys, download and use apps, or get paid to play games.
Paid surveys are a great way to make money with your phone, as you can earn rewards simply for sharing your opinion.
Apps can also be a great source of income, as you can sell products or services through them.
Finally, playing games on your phone can also be a great way to make money. There are many ways to do this, such as entering competitions or earning rewards for high scores.
Paid market research is a great way to make money from the comfort of your own home.
You can easily make an extra $100 per month participating in online focus groups, studies, and surveys. You can also make money by playing games on your phone or downloading apps.
Remember that each site has different rules and regulations, so read the terms and conditions before signing up.
Also, ensure you know the payout structure and how you’ll be paid for your participation in online research studies.
Your time is really the only investment you need to put into this side hustle, so it’s a great low-cost money-maker to try out.
See what offerings there may be in your local town just by searching for research studies, or start small with Swagbucks surveys on your phone.