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How Much Do Sperm Donors Make? 2024 Update

Last updated 12/21/2022 by

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Edited by

Fact checked by

Most people who donate sperm will receive $25 to $100 per donation sample. However, the pay you receive will vary based on the sperm bank, the number of donations you give, and whether your ejaculate is purchased.
Maybe you’ve heard of college students paying for part of their tuition through sperm donation, or maybe you personally know someone who once donated sperm to get some quick, much-needed cash. In any case, you probably know that it does pay to be a sperm donor, and perhaps you’ve even considered making some money from sperm donation yourself.
However, becoming a sperm donor is not a straightforward process, and while it is possible, making a decent amount of money from sperm donation can be difficult. So how much do sperm donors actually earn, and does this “side hustle” make sense for you?

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What does it take to become a sperm donor?

It’s not as easy to become a sperm donor as you might think. In fact, only 5% of all sperm donor applicants at any typical facility are chosen to donate sperm. In order to be a sperm donor, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Be between 18 and 40 years of age
  • Have a family medical history free of genetic diseases, like sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis
  • Have a high sperm count
  • Must not have been recently exposed to high levels of radiation
  • Must not have a history of intravenous drug use
  • Must not have had sexual intercourse with another man in the last five years
  • Must not have any STIs, including HIV
  • Have a minimum height of 5’7″ to 5’10” (for most, but not all, sperm banks)
  • Have a college degree (for some, but not all, sperm banks)
  • Have a healthy BMI
As you can see, it can be difficult to meet all the requirements for sperm donation. In fact, because the standards are so high, there is actually an international sperm donor shortage.

Pro Tip

Some requirements will differ between sperm banks, which is especially true for tattoos or piercings.
Most sperm banks ask that donors not have any tattoos or piercings from unlicensed or uncertified shops as this could lead to a later infection. Other locations will ask that donors not have any recent tattoos or piercings or that the candidate wait a certain number of months after the procedure to ensure no infections result.
If you recently received a tattoo or piercing, make sure call the center before applying to be a sperm donor.

How sperm banks determine if you’re a good candidate for donation

Unfortunately, even if you do check all the above boxes, you can’t simply walk into a sperm bank and claim you’re an ideal candidate for sperm donation. You’ll need to actually prove you’d make a good sperm donor. Here’s what to expect during a typical sperm donor screening process.

Family medical history

First, the sperm bank will ask you about your family’s medical history. This can be done through an online application or in person. Questions will include whether you’ve ever had certain illnesses, where you’ve lived, and whether you’ve had any sort of close contact that could affect the quality of your sperm.

Medical examination

If you’re not disqualified after the initial questions about your family history, you will undergo a quick medical examination. Similar to a regular physical exam, a doctor will check your blood pressure, height, weight, and other important vitals.
You’ll also need to provide samples of your blood, urine, and stool. This will ensure that you do not have any underlying diseases that can’t be detected during ordinary physical exams.
IMPORTANT! Remember that you don’t need to worry about health insurance for this step. Since this is a requirement to be a sperm donor, the clinic will cover the cost of the medical examination.

Genetic screening

After the physical exam, you will undergo a genetic screening. The sperm bank will also cover the expense of this step. This genetic test will help the clinic determine if you have any underlying genetic conditions or predispositions toward disease that may disqualify you from sperm donation. Potential donors will be made aware of their test results upon request.

Sperm samples

If all goes well up to this point, you’ll have the chance to offer sperm samples. However, a sperm sample is not the same as a donation. Sperm samples, or semen samples, are used to determine your sperm count and sperm quality. If you produce high-quality sperm with no irregularities, then you will qualify as a sperm donor.

How much does a sperm donor make?

Sperm donor compensation can vary wildly from bank to bank, but regardless of the facility, sperm donors always get paid. A typical donor will receive between $25 and $100 per donation, with many donation centers adding additional bonuses once the sperm is released to a client.
Donors can make up to $12,000 a year, depending on the frequency of their donations. Keep in mind that every sperm bank limits how frequently a single donor can make a donation, so be sure to confirm in advance how much you can earn for sperm donation from your local clinic.

Pro Tip

Some sperm banks also offer a referral program. If you know a man who would be an ideal sperm donor candidate, you could earn a little extra cash by referring him to the nearest sperm bank. But if you aren’t eligible to donate, consider looking into one of the other side jobs below.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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How are sperm donors paid?

Different sperm banks have different policies regarding sperm donor compensation. Some banks will require that you donate a specific number of samples before getting paid, after which they will pay you for the samples in bulk. Other clinics will give you a payout as soon as you’re finishing donating, then send you an additional bonus once one of your donations is bought by a client. In many cases, donors will have to sign a contract and wait at least six months after their final donation to get paid.
Common payment methods for sperm donation include checks, bank transfers, and cash. Before donating sperm, ask the clinic about the payment options they offer.

What to know about the legal side of donating sperm

Before you, ahem, get to work donating sperm, there are a few legal matters regarding sperm donation that you need to be aware of. The following are some of the universal rules attached to donating ejaculate:
  • Donors are required to pay taxes on the payments they receive from a sperm bank. The clinic will typically provide its donors with a 1099 form.
  • Sperm banks usually have donors sign a contract requiring them to make a specific number of donations. These contracts exist because it can cost a clinic thousands of dollars to find a single eligible sperm donor.
  • Every private sperm bank has its own standard payment method and schedule. The bank you choose to donate to should explain in advance how payments will work.
  • Legally, you will have no claim to any child fathered using your sperm. This means you won’t have to pay alimony or child support to any clients of the sperm bank.
  • Most modern sperm banks will make every effort to preserve your anonymity as a sperm donor. Any clients who use your sperm or children fathered by you will not be allowed to learn your identity or contact you in any way.

Pro Tip

Thanks to the onset of take-home genetics tests, sperm banks can no longer fully guarantee your anonymity as a sperm donor. Some genetics tests connect people who share DNA, which means that any children fathered with your donated sperm may someday be able to find you and even contact you directly. Be sure to carefully consider this possibility (and its potential impact on your future relationships) before you commit to being a sperm donor.


How often can you donate sperm?

Most banks will allow you to donate up to twice a week. Some may limit your donations to once a week, while others may choose to allow donations up to three times a week.

Do you have to be 5’10” to donate sperm?

Most sperm banks require potential donors to be around 5’10”, but some clinics will accept shorter donors. If you’re shorter than 5’10”, it’s best to call the clinic to find out whether your height disqualifies you from donating sperm.

Can you make a living donating sperm?

While you might be able to make a lot of extra cash donating sperm, you shouldn’t expect to be able to live off of sperm donor compensation alone. At most, donors can expect to receive $12,000 a year, which isn’t exactly a living wage.

What is the maximum age to donate sperm?

At many sperm banks, the maximum age to donate sperm is still 40. However, based on recent studies about sperm quality and fertility, sperm banks have begun limiting the age for potential donors to 35 instead.

Can you see photos of sperm donors?

Most potential sperm recipients will be able to see a photo of you before they choose your sample. This is intended to help families choose a donor who resembles an aspiring father who may not be able to provide sperm of his own.

Key Takeaways

  • Sperm banks typically pay sperm donors between $25 and $100 per donation, up to an average of two times per week.
  • Sperm donors who commit to making regular donations can make as much as $12,000 a year from donating sperm.
  • Not everyone can qualify to be a sperm donor. You will have to meet certain requirements and pass a thorough examination, including providing a healthy sperm sample.
  • Sperm donors can get paid via check, cash, or direct deposit after providing a certain number of successful donations.

Build your savings with side gigs

While donating sperm can be a lucrative side hustle, it may not be the right fit for you. If you’re a woman, for example, you’ll need to find other ways to make money fast. And if your health or other circumstances are an obstacle, you’ll probably want to find a side job you can do from home instead.
If you are interested in making money as a sperm donor, you should have a plan in place for all that extra cash. Start by reading SuperMoney’s guide to building an emergency fund, then use our comparison tool to find the best savings accounts to stash your money!

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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