The world of money is mainly concerned with what you are capable of producing with your body – Whether it’s a product or a service, generally there is something external that you create that gets you paid. However, in some situations, you’ll wish you could make money with your body simply as-is.
Well, the good news is, you can! (And not just in ways that are less-than-favorable.)
I’ve got a list of 10 ways to make money with your body that you can be proud of here– some traditional, some new and shocking.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. Body Billing / Possible Earnings: Up to $5,000
Body billing is perhaps better known as taking part in a ‘clinical trial.’ Yes, the very same clinical trial you hear talked about alongside medical research!
Participating in clinical trials is an easy way to make some money if you’re in need and you fit the qualifications.
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Since companies are looking for very specific criteria in their trials, they’re willing to pay to attract the type of subjects they need.
Participating in a clinical trial can be lucrative, but you should acknowledge the risks before you begin. Generally, the human testing phase of a clinical trial comes after the animal testing phase, so you will be able to ask if they have seen any adverse affects in the animals they’ve tested. Make sure you inquire about this, as it might be relevant to your health and safety!
Of course, trials are not a perfect science, so there is no absolute guarantee that you will not be affected by the drugs at hand.
Use ClinicalTrials.gov to find paid research studies near you.
2. Use Your Body as A Billboard / Possible Earnings: Undetermined
One of the more outlandish ways to make money with your body is to sell advertising space. You might think it sounds like a joke, but it’s a very real phenomenon!
Consider the story of Ross Harper and Ed Moyse, the Oxford students who sold their face-space in order to pay off their debts.
While they may have tapped the body advertising market, there’s no doubt that this seed idea is valuable. You might have to make your own clients on this (read: without a service to help you) but it’s a way to make money, no doubt.
The earnings are limited only to how well you can net clients.
3. Donating Eggs / Possible Earnings: $5,000 to $8,000
This is an option only for the ladies out there, but we’ll get to the male options in a second.
Donating eggs is a bit of a complicated process, but basically, you’ll be doing a several week drug regimen in preparation for the actual egg donation. The eggs are later extracted via a (minor) surgical procedure, and then the process is over. It is important to note that you’ll also have to pass some medical and psychological evaluations beforehand.
The ideal female donor is between 21 and 29, though some organizations accept women up to 35 years of age. You must not be a smoker or a drug user, must be in your recommended BMI and have no diagnosed mental health orders.
So it isn’t an option for everyone, but there are still millions of women who fall into the viable demographic, like Huffingtonpost columnist, Jasmine Stein, who sold her eggs for $8000.
It will involve an unpleasant few months of drug trials and medical check-ups (averaging a total of 50 hours time) but afterward, you’ll have a pretty fair chunk of change in your hand. For the young, healthy woman in need of money, this is actually a pretty good option.
You can use The World Egg Bank to find local centers where you can donate your eggs for cash.
4. Life Modeling / Possible Earnings: $9 to $14 an hour
We’ve all seen it before: a room full of students with easels, and a naked person in the center. That naked person is participating in life modeling, or, the act of posing for the purpose of being painted, usually by students.
It’s a legitimate option for easy money, provided you’re comfortable being naked in front of strangers.
It will involve a few hours of standing as still as you can, but that’s a pretty good way to get paid, too! All you’ll need to do is make sure you go to the bathroom before you leave, and you’re all set.
5. Sell Your Hair / Possible Earnings: Highly variable
Most people have hair that grows incessantly, and of those people, others still decide to make use of this perpetual resource. Some grow their hair and donate it to charities like Locks for Angels, while others are in the market for hair buyers.
Believe it or not, fresh hair is a whole industry!
Wigmakers are the obvious customers that come to mind, but other artistic professionals may be willing to purchase your hair.
There are multiple websites dedicated to the practice of buying hair, so don’t doubt it. Hairwork is perhaps the most notable site, though there are more.
Color is very important when it comes to donated hair. You’ll be getting a far more favorable rate for hair that is not bleached, dyed, or otherwise treated. Furthermore, exotic hair colors like red and blonde (natural, of course) will get you higher prices than black hair. It’s a classic case of supply and demand.
Hair earnings will usually net you in the low 100s, sometimes a few hundred, though there have been famous cases of women with particularly long hair earning thousands off their luscious locks. Long hair is nice, but make sure it’s healthy and well-maintained, too.
6. Sperm Donation / Possible Earnings: Up to $1,000 a month
You might be surprised to find that sperm donation is not only lucrative but also viewed on a per-month scale. Well, there are reasons for this!
Believe it or not, sperm donation is not all fun and games. It requires that you be a certain age and health, as well as passing several genetic factors beyond your control (with many donation centers turning away their shorter applicants automatically.)
Just like with the egg donors, you can’t be a smoker, drug user, or otherwise diagnosed with a mental health concern.
However, if you fall in the 18-39 age range and you pass the genetic needs, congratulations! You are now a certified sperm donor.
But this isn’t a job that accommodates your mood; sperm donors may be required to come in once a week or even more often to make donations. You’ll be working on a long-term contract that usually takes up to 6 months or a year. Many people think it’s the easiest job in the world, but there are more hoops to jump through than you’d think.
If you are interested, check out Sperm Bank Directory.
7. Participate in a Psychological Study / Possible Earnings: Varies
The much less intimidating cousin of the clinical trial, a psychological study is non-invasive and only seeks information about your mind and the way that it works.
Of course, the lower risk means that there is generally a lower rate of pay, but don’t let that scare you: You’re getting paid just to answer questions and do tasks!
Research universities are the usual source of psychological trials, so make sure you look into any research universities in your area to see if they’re currently running any trials.
Of course, you could always Google “Psychological studies in my area” – Google can pull up some pretty accurate results!
8. Intestinal Bacteria Transplants / Possible Earnings: About $40 per donation.
You may have heard of one of the newest innovations in the medical community: fecal transplants.
While the phrase brings to mind some rather crude images, it is actually a far more civil procedure than it first seems. Essentially, we’ve discovered that the micro-organisms in our guts are very important, so we’ve devised ways to transfer those organisms to other individuals.
Screening is reported to be somewhat unpleasant, but it is worthwhile for a shot at making money so easily.
You don’t need to be there for the transplant, of course; just donate and go.
There are specific locations for this in the UK, but likely places in the US as well.
9. Donating Plasma / Possible Earnings: $25 to $50 for each donation
The easiest way to look at donating plasma is to compare it to donating blood. The actual process is a bit more nuanced than that, since they’ll only be taking a component of your blood, and then giving the rest back, but at a glance, it’s a lot like giving blood.
Donating plasma is more than just a good way to make a few dollars – It’s a very important resource in many medical applications.
Plasma constitutes the majority of your blood and can be used to do everything from treat burn victims to treating blood clotting issues. You can get in the process, so donating your plasma is a feel-good option all around.
If you are interested, check out this article on donating plasma for money, how much you can make and link to local plasma donation centers.
10. Be A Surrogate Mother / Possible Earnings: $20,000 to $35,000 (or more, in certain cases)
I’ve placed this as the last one on this list because it is both the most lucrative and the most intense. Make no mistake – a surrogate mother does carry a child and deliver it. However, it is usually a child conceived from the genes of the donor parents, so the surrogate mother is not strictly related to the child.
Serving as a surrogate mother is something that might seem unthinkable to some women, but not all; there have been cases where wealthy donors have paid women hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver their child (in return for meeting incredibly specific criteria.)
Surrogate mothers of all kinds should be aware that they may be asked to follow certain diets or lifestyles during the term, and that the whole process, from screening to delivery, may be up to a year and a half.
It is without a doubt one of the most intense ways to make money with your body that exist out there, but certainly not something to think of as a purely money-driven activity. Serving as a surrogate mother will allow you to help hopeful couples conceive a child when their own circumstances wouldn’t allow it, so you’re giving the gift of life in return for the payment.
Be prepared to sign some contracts and agreements, because the nature of this process is indeed quite complicated.
From health risks to birth costs, both sides should work to establish a framework that suits the needs of all involved. It is a massive undertaking, to be sure. But also a significant amount of money in return for providing something irreplaceable.
Thoughts in Closing?
There is something of a stigma in the world about “making money with your body” but hopefully this list has shown you that not all of the ways to do that are something to frown upon. Instead, many of the ways that you can make money with your body are good, charitable things that utilize the body in ingenious ways. Modern science is an amazing thing!
Of course, with all of these things, you should be careful to consider the pros and cons of your particular situation.
While it is a good thing to make the most of your natural resources, it’s not wise to give away too much.
If you find an option too risky (or stressful,) don’t do it! There are always more ways to make money.
But for the options you are comfortable with, these are ways that you can help out, and make some money in the process.