How to Donate Plasma for Money

While donating plasma isn’t technically a side hustle, it can be a great way to generate an additional source of reliable monthly income while helping people at the same time.

What is plasma?

How to donate plasma for money

Plasma is a clear, straw-colored liquid component of blood that contains essential proteins and nutrients for proper blood clotting and other vital functions.

When you donate plasma, these proteins and nutrients are separated from your blood cells and used in life-saving treatments and medical research.

Who can donate plasma?

To donate plasma, you will need to have the following:

Be in good general health

You Should not have high or low blood pressure. If you are morbidly obese, you can still donate. You may need to consult your doctor and provide proof of clearance.

Be at least 18 years old (16 or 17 years old with parental consent)

Some states may require you to be at least 21 years old.

Weigh at least 110 pounds

Individuals weighing less than 110 pounds may still be eligible but will need to provide a physician’s note. Some states will not allow individuals under 110 pounds to donate.

Have a valid photo ID

Every plasma center requires a photo ID. Social Security and other forms of ID without photo proof may not be accepted.

Can You Make Money Donating Plasma?

Before we get down to the details, we’ll cover just how much you can make to become a plasma donor.

can you make money donating plasma

First Time Donors

If you are a first-time donor, you will typically make more money. Most donation centers offer incentives and referral bonuses for using their services.

How Do You Get Paid?

Most Plasma centers pay their donors through a prepaid or reloadable debit card. You are generally given the card before your first donation but may have to wait 3-5 days, depending on the donation center.

How Often Do You Get Paid?

Major plasma centers such as CSL Plasma will deposit your earnings within 24hrs of your donation.

What Plasma Center Pays The Most?

Most donation centers will offer new donors a bonus for using their services to stay competitive. The amount of money you can make depends on how often you donate, as most companies will pay between $30 to $50 per donation.

Average Income For Donating Plasma

The average payment for donating plasma is $35 to $50 per donation.

Donation centers often run bonuses and incentive programs that pay up to $100 per donation.

The average income you can expect for donating plasma is between $350-$1,000 per month.

What to expect on your first visit to donate plasma

what to expect when donating plasma

When you arrive at your plasma donation center, you’ll first be asked to present your photo ID and complete a short medical questionnaire.

Next, a staff member will take a small sample of your blood to test for certain viruses, such as HIV and hepatitis. If everything comes back negative, you will be able to move forward in the donation process.

You’ll be comfortably seated, and a donation tech will insert a needle connected to a plasma extraction machine into your arm. The actual donation process takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

The process can take a bit longer if it is your first donation. After the donation is complete, you’ll be given a snack and asked to rest for a few minutes before leaving.

How Is Plasma Removed From My Blood

After you are seated, and the tech has successfully inserted the needle. They will start a machine that draws your blood into it. The plasma machine will then separate the plasma from your blood and store it in the machine while it returns the blood to your body through the same needle.

blood plasma machine

How often can you donate plasma?

Every plasma donation center will have its own guidelines about how often patrons can donate plasma.

Most will allow at least one donation per week, while others will allow up to two donations per week. While not exceeding eight donations within thirty days.

Is plasma donation safe?

Donating plasma is in many ways safer than donating blood. The plasma donation machine returns the body’s blood through the same needle it extracts it from. The only thing taken from the body is the plasma itself.

Some donors have experienced lightheadedness immediately after the donation process has been completed. This is why donors are required to wait at least five minutes after donating before leaving the plasma center.

Will donating plasma affect my health?

No, donating plasma should not adversely affect your health as long as you are healthy and meet the eligibility requirements.

How long does it take to donate plasma?

The actual process takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete. If you are a first-time donor, you can expect the process to take anywhere from two to three hours.

What Should I Bring With Me?

You will need to bring a valid photo ID. Other suggested items you can bring are a book or cell phone and headphones. Something to help keep you entertained while waiting for the plasma donation process to finish.

Can you donate plasma after COVID-19?

If you have contracted Covid-19 and have fully recovered, you are still eligible to donate plasma. If you still show signs or symptoms of Covid-19, you will not be allowed inside the donation center.

What disqualifies you from donating plasma?

As mentioned before, each plasma donation center has different eligibility requirements. However, a few things will automatically disqualify you from donating plasma.

These include:

  • If you have HIV or AIDS
  • If you have ever had hepatitis C
  • If you have ever used intravenous drugs
  • If you have had certain types of cancer
  • If you have a history of heart disease
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have had a recent tattoo or piercing
  • If you have had any recent infections
  • If you are currently taking any antibiotics

What States Have Plasma Donation Centers?

Most states have at least one plasma donation center. For a complete list of states with plasma donation centers and their locations, CLICK HERE.

What are the side effects of donating plasma?

possble side effects of donating plasma

Side effects from donating plasma are usually mild and resolve quickly on their own. Some common side effects include bruising, soreness, irritation at the needle site, and fatigue.

These side effects usually go away within a few days after donation. More severe side effects are rare but can include fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea/vomiting.

Please seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these side effects during or after donation.

Which plasma place pays the most?

The two largest plasma donation centers in the US are Biolife Plasma and CSL Plasma.

Biolife Plasma

Biolife Plasma Services has over 170 plasma centers in 35 US states with approximately 8,000 employees and are part of Takeda, a global biopharmaceutical company.

New donors can earn more money using bonus coupons on their website found HERE.

CSL Plasma

With over 300 plasma collection centers in the U.S., Europe, and China, CSL Plasma is one of the largest plasma collection centers in the world, with over 12,000 employees.

CSL Plasma offers bonuses for first-time donors. You can learn about their latest bonuses on their website HERE.

My Experience With Biolife Plasma

biolife plasma center

I started donating plasma about a year ago. One piece of advice I wish I had known at the time was about the new donor bonuses. I missed out on that lovely little piece of information.

My first visit was a pleasant experience. I didn’t have an appointment and just did a walk-in donation. There was no wait time, and I finished the paperwork and physical screening in about an hour.

There was a large room filled with plasma machines and a few other donors already hooked up. The donation tech was very friendly and professional. she guided me through the entire process and educated me on how the machines worked and how long the process lasted.

About 45 minutes later, she returned, gave me a glass of juice, removed the needle, and instructed me to remain seated for at least 5 minutes.

I was at the center for about two and a half hours. I was given a reloadable Mastercard and a receipt and informed that my payment of $50 would be deposited within 24 hours.

I asked when I could come back for another donation and was told I could donate twice a week, up to eight times a month.

I told the donation tech I didn’t know about the new donor bonus and asked if I was too late to get it. They were very understanding and said that a lot of new donors don’t know about the bonus money.

I left feeling very satisfied with the services and was impressed with the level of professionalism of the techs and office workers. The center was clean and well maintained, with comfortable, reclining seats for the donors.

My Experience With CSL Plasma

csl plasma center

CSL Plasma has a reputation for providing its plasma donors with a consistent, professional experience.

The CSL Plasma donation center near me was located within a ten-minute drive. I didn’t have an appointment, like my visit to Biolife, and I wanted to see how I would be received by the staff.

I was greeted by the front desk attendant and asked if it was my first plasma donation. I informed them I had been donating for a few months at another facility.

They asked how long it had been since my last donation. which was about eight days at the time.

I didn’t have an account with them yet, so they had me fill out the appropriate paperwork and did a quick physical screening. They also checked my blood to make sure I qualified to donate plasma with them.

The room with the plasma machines was a bit more crowded than the other places I had been. But it was still very comfortable. The techs were professional and were able to get the needle injected on the first try.

They had excellent leather-bound reclining seats facing a few tv monitors playing various shows. With the number of machines and people in the room, I expected it to be much louder than it was.

But the hum of the plasma machines was quite pleasant, and I found myself nodding off after a few minutes.

The process lasted about an hour when the tech returned, offered me some juice, and asked me to stay seated for at least 5 minutes after removing the needle.

I returned to the front desk and was given a pre-paid, reloadable debit card with my paperwork. The total time I was at the plasma donation facility was about three hours. It was busier than other facilities I have visited.

For that plasma donation, I was paid $35 plus a $15 bonus for it being my first visit.

I highly recommend Biolife Plasma and CSL Plasma for their professionalism, cleanliness, friendly staff, and the highest pay for plasma donors.

write a list of the pros and cons of donating plasma.

pros and cons of donating plasma

The pros of donating plasma:

Guaranteed Extra Cash

Can Be Done In Your Free Time

Referral Bonuses

Helping Others

No Bank Account Needed

The cons of donating plasma:

Donation Requirements

Time Commitment

Must Be Near a Donation Center


Final Thoughts

Out of all the side hustles we will be covering, donating plasma is the one that most people never even consider, even though the money-making opportunity is almost guaranteed.

Being able to schedule out a few hours a week in return for a consistent amount of monthly cash isn’t something you want to miss out on.

Plasma donation is perfect for college-age students, and many donation centers plan their business around or near college dormitories. Think about it. In the three or four months of classes, you can earn an extra $2,500 to pay for books and tuition costs.

Or if you have surprise expenses like medical bills or your car breaks down. Even if you want to save up for a new PS4 or XBOX. Donating plasma is a win-win. You earn cash and help people at the same time.

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