Selling plasma is a bit more challenging than donating blood. Doctors have to extract your blood, separate the plasma, and then return the blood back to your body.
This can be more time-consuming than simply donating blood, which is why they are willing to pay you for your time and effort.
Donating plasma shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even though you’ll be helping others, you should know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about selling plasma in a safe and ethical way.
Interested in even more ways to earn some extra cash? Check out our favorite ways to make money here.
How Much is Plasma Worth?
While it’s unlikely that you will make a full-time income from selling plasma, it can be an excellent side hustle to bring in some extra income.
Compensation is based on a few different factors, such as:
How Often You Donate
Most plasma centers will let you donate around two to three times per week. Check with the center near you to see how often you can safely donate. Some centers will even pay you more for your first visit and offer higher payouts to frequent donors.
How Much You Weigh
Those who weigh more, get paid more. The FDA requires that you give a certain amount of plasma, based on your weight. The current weight ranges are 110-149 pounds, 150-174 pounds, and 175-400 pounds.
The Quality of Your Plasma
If you have the Anti-D protein in your plasma, you can get paid even more since this protein is rare and can help protect the unborn children of expecting mothers.
Donation Center Location
Every donation center has its own fee structure, so be sure to check available listing for the highest paying plasma donation center near you.
Generally speaking, you should expect anywhere from $20 to $50 for every donation. Most donation centers will pay you via debit cards, redeemable rewards points, or cash.
What is the Donation Process Like?
Donating plasma is a lot like donating blood.
During your first visit, you will complete an extensive screening to make sure you are eligible to donate, make sure you are in good health, ask about your medical history, and see where you’ve traveled over the last twelve months. This screening determines your eligibility to donate plasma for money. Some donations centers may also require you to take a physical exam as well.
Once you finish your screening, a trained phlebotomist will take you to a donation bed to begin the donation process. You will be given a needle that feels like an IV, which starts a process called plasmapheresis. This process extracts your blood, separates the plasma, and puts the blood back into your body.
For your first visit, the donation process usually takes two hours but could take more depending on how busy the facility is. Each donation after that usually takes about 90 minutes.
How Much Can You Really Make Selling Plasma?
Most people who make money selling plasma claim to make up to $300 per month. This may be true due to how often you are allowed to donate and promotions run by the companies.
However, you need to determine if this amount of money is worth the time and effort it takes to sell plasma.
If selling plasma is worth your time, find ways to increase your plasma donation pay. Many centers will pay you more the more often you donate, and even give you extra incentives for referring people to their donation site.
Plasma Donation Requirements: How Can You Qualify To Sell Plasma?
There are certain requirements you must meet in order to donate plasma for money. Each state and company may have their own requirements but are quite similar to blood donation rules.
Be sure to check the center’s website for specific information, but keep in mind that state and local laws may override company requirements.
You must be between the ages of 18-69 to be qualified to donate plasma.
Be sure to check your state laws to see if this differs in your state. For example, residents in Nebraska must be 19 years old to donate. Upper age limits vary by state and plasma center as well.
Items to Bring
To donate plasma you will need to bring the following:
- Valid identification to prove you are a citizen (driver’s license, government-issued I.D., passport, military I.D., or school I.D.)
- Social security number (Social Security card, paycheck, or W-2)
- Proof of address (driver’s license, utility bill, lease or mortgage documents, or W-2)
Be sure your name exactly matches across all of your documents.
Body Type Requirements
You must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good physical health in order to sell plasma.
Most donation centers will not allow you to donate plasma if you have had any tattoos, piercings, or permanent make-up applied in the last twelve months.
During your first visit, a staff member will test your blood and make you take a physical examination as well to make sure you are in good health. If you are found to be ill, the center may give you a deferral.
You will receive a temporary deferral for minor medical problems or procedures. The company will advise you what to do next and when you will be eligible to donate.
However, if you receive a permanent deferral, donating plasma could harm you or the person receiving your donation. If you feel like there was an error, you are allowed to appeal this decision with a second medical opinion.
Any Surgical Operations Recently?
You may be disqualified from selling or donating plasma if you’ve had a recent surgery. Qualification depends on the type of surgery done, how long ago it was performed, and if you’ve been released from your physician’s care.
How Should You Prepare Your Diet?
The most important thing you need to do when donating plasma is to stay hydrated. Aim for around eight cups of water the day before and the day of your donation.
Avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages the day before you donate and the day of as well. These drinks can dehydrate you, so avoid them and stick with water for now!
You also need to eat the right foods as well. Avoid fatty foods high in cholesterol and eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
If you plan on donating plasma more frequently, focus on eating protein and iron-rich foods like fish, eggs, beans, seeds, and nuts.
Overall, you need to be eating well (i.e. making healthy choices), regularly, and drinking plenty of fluids to make sure you stay healthy.
Daily Protein Intake
In order to be eligible to donate plasma, you must have adequate blood protein levels. You can avoid being disqualified by incorporating high-protein foods into your daily diet.
Depending on your age, gender, and lifestyle, try to aim for around 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. You can get plenty of protein from the foods listed above.
Eat protein-rich foods and stay hydrated. Not only will this help qualify you to sell your plasma, but it will also help you recover from your donation.
Helpful Tips to Prepare for Selling Plasma
Here are a few helpful tips to make sure that you are selling plasma in a safe and healthy way.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Since fatigue can be a side effect of donating plasma, it is important to make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep the night before donating.
Drink Lots of Water
Be sure to drink lots of water before and after your donation. Drinking water can prevent you from being dehydrated (another side effect of donating plasma) and can make sure your veins are ready for donation.
Eat a Healthy Meal 1-2 Hours Before Donation
Don’t donate plasma on an empty stomach – you may not pass the pre-qualification and be unable to donate. If you do pass and donate, you will be left feeling tired, dizzy, and nauseous.
Eat a healthy meal at least 1-2 hours before your visit to ensure you pass the pre-screening and recover from your donation quicker.
How Long Does It Take?
Expect your first visit to take a couple of hours. You will be going through many tests and filling out paperwork to determine your eligibility, so the process will take longer than return visits.
Since donating plasma is more time-consuming than donating blood, it can take up to 90 minutes for return visitors. If you weigh more, the process can take longer since you are donating more.
Is It Painful to Donate Plasma?
This is a common question from those who are looking to donate plasma for money. However, it’s about the same level of pain as donating blood. Most people describe the feeling as similar to a pinprick. Others note feeling cold due to the saline solution going through your body when the blood is returned.
There may be some discomfort, pain, or swelling around the injection site, however, the pain is usually very manageable. The good news is that the more often you donate, the less painful the needle is!
Side Effects of Donating Plasma
Donating plasma is generally a safe process, but some people may experience side effects.
The main side effects of donating plasma include
- Bruising, swelling, or tenderness around the injection site
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Dehydration (which is preventable by drinking plenty of water)
- A small chance of infection
There is a very small chance of more severe side effects. These situations are rare but important to consider.
Right before the needle is injected into your body, the staff member will rub the injection site with a disinfectant called iodine. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to this substance and experience symptoms such as redness and irritation.
After the plasma has been separated from the blood, the blood is mixed with a saline solution and returned back to your body. If the donor reacts negatively to this process, they may be having an allergic reaction to a substance known as citrate.
Citrate is a substance that is mixed with blood and returned back to your body to prevent clotting.
If a donor is having an allergic reaction, they may start to feel a tingly feeling in their fingers, mouth, or a loss of sensation.
Severe reactions include shortness of breath, shivering, a rapid or low pulse, and seizures. It is important to get immediate treatment to avoid going into shock or cardiac arrest.
Be sure to discuss any concerns with a staff member prior to collection.
How to Find a Plasma Donation Center
Ready to start selling plasma but aren’t sure where to go?
A simple Google search of “donate plasma near me” should pull up the best results.
You could even take it a step further and search “highest paying plasma donation center near me” in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Plasma Donation Centers Near Me
Here are some of the best and most-trusted plasma donation centers (near me). Check their website to see how much they pay and if they have a location near you.
CSL Plasma now has over 200 locations across the United States, Europe, and China, so there is likely a facility near you!
Their website claims that new donors can earn up to $400 per month depending on your weight and the location of the facility.
CSL Plasma offers frequent promotions and pays using iGive Rewards points that you can redeem for cash or merchandise on a prepaid debit card.
Octopharma Plasma has locations across 24 states in the U.S., so you have a good chance of finding a facility near you.
They pay you on a prepaid debit card where you will receive your first plasma donation pay and all future donations.
Octopharma offers monthly bonuses for frequent donors and even has a refer-a-friend program, so this is a great location to earn a high payout.
DonatingPlasma isn’t a physical donation center – it’s an online resource sponsored by the Plasma Proteins Therapeutic Association.
This site is an educational resource that teaches you everything you need to know about donating plasma. You are also able to search over 780 locations to find a plasma donation center near you.
Grifols Plasma has over 150 locations across the United States. Be sure to check the name of the company as it varies by location. Their website informs and educates donors on how to donate plasma and why your plasma matters.
Grifols pays with a prepaid debit card. If you have friends who want to donate plasma for money, be sure to check out their Buddy Bonus Program. You can boost your plasma donation pay by recruiting donors.
Is Donating Plasma Ethical?
Now that you know all about selling plasma, you may be wondering if donating plasma for money is ethical.
After all, you are donating your plasma to companies who are making a profit off of your donation. There is also little transparency as to where your donation goes and what it is used for.
However, if a company is profiting off of your plasma and your time, there is nothing wrong with making money for your time and donation.
In the end, your plasma is saving lives, so it is safe to say that donating plasma for money is completely ethical.
Final Thoughts on Selling Plasma
Selling plasma can be a great side hustle to pay off debt, build your emergency fund, and help others at the same time.
If you still don’t like the thought of donating plasma for money, you can always donate plasma for free.
The American Red Cross collects plasma for free and allows you to donate once every 28 days.
No matter how you decide to donate, the sick people who benefit from your plasma are thankful for your donation.