How much do sperm donors get paid? What are the sperm donation requirements? If you want to know how to become a sperm donor, this is the article for you. Virtually every aspect of the sperm selling process is covered. And if something isn’t covered, ask a question below and it’ll be answered.

Donating sperm seems like it should be a pretty straightforward process. And sperm donor pay wouldn’t vary much. Couples want to have a baby, but for any number of reasons, they need sperm from a donor to do so. Men donate sperm and get paid because they’re helping someone fulfill their dream of becoming a parent. Simple, right?

Donating sperm is not as simple as you may think.

There are some extremely strict qualifications that determine who can donate sperm – and even if you meet those qualifications, it’s not a one-and-done kind of deal. Sperm donors typically sign agreements with the donation center that require them to donate at least once a week for up to a year. We’ve done some research about what it takes to become a sperm donor, what the process requires of men who qualify, and how much you’ll be paid for your troubles. Sperm donor pay does vary.

What’s Covered in This Article:

  • How the Sperm Donor Qualification Process Works

  • General Requirements for Getting Paid to Donate Sperm

  • Sperm Donation Compensation

  • Are the Donation Centers Discreet?

  • Requirements and Payment Policies for 12 Major Sperm Banks in the United States

  • What Happens After You’re Approved as a Sperm Donor

How the Sperm Donor Qualification Process Works

In most cases, sperm banks are extremely particular about who they allow to donate. You may be asked to fill out a preliminary form where you supply your name, address, and other basic information. After that, you’ll face the real application. This will include an extremely thorough medical history questionnaire about yourself and your family, often going back as far as four generations – so make sure you have access to that information when you’re ready to apply. You may be asked about your talents, your hobbies, your educational background, your sexual history, and a variety of other details about your life.

If you pass this screening, you’ll typically be asked to come in for a physical, an interview, a blood test, and to provide a sample of sperm. This initial sample (which you are usually not paid for) will be analyzed for sperm count and motility (how well your sperm swims). Not all sperm will survive the freezing and thawing process that sperm donation requires, so the clinic will also check to see how well your sample handles the cold. Sperm donors are required to have an above-average sperm count to participate, so quite a few men (even ones that have fathered children) won’t make it past this round.

If the sample is deemed acceptable, you may then be signed on as a donor. This is typically a 6-12 month agreement where you’ll be expected to donate one to three times per week. Most clinics will continue spot-checking your sperm count, and if it falls below the desirable range, they may prescribe a certain diet or regimen to increase the count. If the counts consistently register low, you may not receive payment for those samples.

In general, it can take up to 1-3 months from your first application until you actually start being paid to donate. Sperm donation money comes after an initial investment of time.

Sperm Donation Requirements

The requirements to be a sperm donor are strict. At most organizations, men must meet the following requirements to be considered for donation:

  • 18-40 years of age
  • Minimum height between 5’7″ and 5’9″
  • Must have a post-secondary education, or be enrolled in a four-year university at the time of donation
  • Do not use drugs or tobacco products
  • Have a clean personal and family medical history
  • Are legally allowed to work in the US
  • Have had sexual partners that are exclusively female
  • Must be willing to abstain from sex for 48 hours prior to each donation
  • Live close to the clinic location

These are, again, the general sperm donation requirements. We’ll get into the specific rules for each clinic later.

Sperm Donor Pay

So how much money do sperm donors make? Sperm donors can typically expect to be paid between $50-$125 per acceptable sample of sperm. With donations 2-3 times a week, some men make $1,000 a month by donating sperm. The exact rate can vary between organizations and by the individual donor. Sperm bank pay rates vary.

Certain desirable traits, like having a doctorate degree, can earn higher payments. Donors are typically paid by check, either once a month or every other week. Some clinics offer extra incentives for additional steps, such as providing a baby photo of yourself (although some will require this as part of the application process), referring other donors, or participating in an exit blood test after the contract concludes. The money made from sperm donations is considered taxable income, so most clinics will send you a 1099 form if necessary. Yes, sperm donation money gets taxed.

Is Sperm Donation Anonymous?

The default policy of most sperm donation organizations is anonymity. In most cases, the recipients will not receive identifying details about the sperm donor and will have no way of contacting him. However, many, if not all, clinics offer an “open donor” program, or a Willing To Be Known (WTBK) option. Under this program, a child that was conceived with donated sperm has the option to request contact with their biological father when they turn 18 (or 16, in some cases). Only the child is allowed to initiate this contact, not the parents. The child can choose to arrange a meeting with the donor, either in person or via phone call or Skype. Many organizations offer this type of program, but the details can vary from one clinic to another. We encourage you to contact the clinic where you wish to donate if you have any specific questions about donor anonymity or opting in to an open donor program. Just like how sperm bank pay rates vary, other policies vary.

Are the Sperm Donation Centers Discreet?

Most donation centers are located in large office parks where the buildings are shared with other companies. The centers are rarely standalone buildings, and usually not identified anywhere on the outside as sperm banks. If the donor center needs to contact you, they’re usually discreet when leaving voicemail messages or sending anything in the mail as well. In the vast majority of cases, the only way someone will know for sure what you’re doing is if you tell them yourself.

Sperm Donation Requirements for Major Sperm Banks Across the United States

Remember that these basic qualifying factors are really just the beginning. Donors will undergo an extensive screening process before they are accepted into the program. To know whether it’s worth starting an application, here are the basic details about some of the top sperm donation centers in the United States, including each sperm bank’s core requirements and the sperm donation compensation details:

1. California Cryobank

  • Age: Between 19-38 years old
  • Height: At least 5’9″
  • Minimum education level: Donors must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or be currently enrolled in a four-year university
  • Where the clinic has locations: Los Angeles, CA; Los Altos, CA; Houston, TX; Cambridge, MA; New York, NY
  • Minimum time commitment: Donors are expected to participate for 9-12 months with at least 1 donation per week, but more donations are encouraged
  • How much donors are paid: Up to $1,500 per month
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the FAQs page on California Cryobank’s website

2. CryoGam Colorado

  • Age: Between 18-35 years old
  • Height: Not disclosed online
  • Minimum education level: Donors must be a college graduate or currently enrolled in college
  • Where the clinic has locations: Loveland, CO; Denver, CO; Boulder, CO
  • Minimum time commitment: Donors are expected to participate for 6-12 months with at least 1 donation per week
  • How much donors are paid: Not disclosed online
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Become a Donor page on CryoGam Colorado’s website

3. Cryos USA

  • Age: Between 18-44 years old
  • Height: 5’9” tall for most donors (5’6” for donors of Latino descent and 5’4” for donors of Asian descent)
  • Minimum education level: Donors must be college-educated professionals, students pursuing a degree or certificate beyond high school, or in a successful, long-term career (i.e. civil service, trade specialty)
  • Where the clinic has locations: Orlando, FL
  • Minimum time commitment: Donors are expected to participate for a minimum of 90 days with at least 1 donation per week
  • How much donors are paid: Cryos states that the payment amount is calculated on the basis of sperm quality and volume together with certain bonus amounts. Therefore, the amount paid will vary.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Become a Sperm Donor page on the Cryos USA website

4. Fairfax Cryobank

  • Age: Between 18-39 years old
  • Height: Not disclosed online
  • Minimum education level: College-educated professional
  • Where the clinic has locations: Austin, TX; Fairfax, VA; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Roseville, MN
  • Minimum time commitment: At least 3-6 months
  • How much donors are paid: The average donor earns $4,000 in a 6-month period, although some will make more based on on a healthy lifestyle and optimal abstinence hours. Only applicants that are fully accepted into the program are compensated.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the BeASpermDonor website, associated with Fairfax Cryobank, the Genetics & IVF Institute, and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc.

5. Manhattan Cryobank

  • Age: Between 18-39 years old
  • Height: Not disclosed online
  • Minimum education level: Not disclosed online; website only says donors must be “educated”
  • Where the clinic has locations: New York, NY
  • Minimum time commitment: Not disclosed online
  • How much donors are paid: Up to $1,500 per month
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Manhattan Cryobank website

6. New England Cryogenic Center

  • Age: Between 18-38 years old
  • Height: 5’8” to 6’6” in height
  • Minimum education level: Donors must be a college student or graduate, a technical or trade school student or graduate, or military
  • Where the clinic has locations: Brookline, MA
  • Minimum time commitment: Minimum 12-month commitment with at least 1 donation per week. Months need not be consecutive.
  • How much donors are paid: Donors are paid $100 per viable specimen.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Become a Sperm Donor page on the New England Cryogenic website

7. NW Cryobank

  • Age: Between 18-35 years old
  • Height: At least 5’10”
  • Minimum education level: Post-secondary education (college, vocational or technical)
  • Where the clinic has locations: Spokane, WA; Pullman, WA; Missoula, MT
  • Minimum time commitment: 6-12 months with donations 2-3 times per week
  • How much donors are paid: Up to $1,000 per month
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Sperm Donation page on the NW Cryobank website

8. Pacific Reproductive Services

  • Age: Between 19-36
  • Height: At least 5’8″
  • Minimum education level: Preferred donors are registered college students or graduates, or – whether in training or on the job – a police officer, firefighter or EMT
  • Where the clinic has locations: Pasadena, CA; San Francisco, CA
  • Minimum time commitment: 9 months, with at least one donation per week
  • How much donors are paid: $300 signing bonus and another $200 when the program is completed; $100 per acceptable donation
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the How to Become a PRS Donor page on the Pacific Reproductive Services website

9. Phoenix Sperm Bank

  • Age: Between 18-39 years old
  • Height: None specified
  • Minimum education level: None specified
  • Where the clinic has locations: Tempe, AZ
  • Minimum time commitment: None specified
  • How much donors are paid: $70 per sample; $50 cash is paid at the time of donation, and $20 is paid after the sample is analyzed. If sperm count is low, the remaining $20 will not be paid. Healthy men can make up to $1,000 per month.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the FAQs page on the Phoenix Sperm Bank website

10. Seattle Sperm Bank

  • Age: Between 18-39 years old
  • Height: No height requirements
  • Minimum education level: No education requirements
  • Where the clinic has locations: Seattle, WA
  • Minimum time commitment: One year with donations at least once per week
  • How much donors are paid: $70 per donation ($50 immediately and $20 after the sample has been analyzed); maximum 3 donations per week.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the FAQs page on the Seattle Sperm Bank website (not all the information was available on the website; we used the customer service chat to verify requirements)

11. The Sperm Bank of California

  • Age: Between 20-39 years old
  • Height: At least 5’7″
  • Minimum education level: Donors must have completed or be currently pursuing a college degree
  • Where the clinic has locations: Berkeley, CA
  • Minimum time commitment: 6-12 month commitment
  • How much donors are paid: $125 for each acceptable sperm sample. Most donors donate once per week and earn $400-$600/month. Donors can earn an additional $100 for providing a childhood photo of themselves and $500 if they complete the exit blood test.
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Sperm Bank of California website

12. Xytex

  • Age: Between 18-38 years old
  • Height: Not disclosed online
  • Minimum education level: Donors must have a college degree or be currently enrolled in college
  • Where the clinic has locations: Atlanta, GA; Augusta, GA; New Brunswick, NJ
  • Minimum time commitment: One year, with at least one donation per week
  • How much donors are paid: Not disclosed online
  • Read the above information and more by visiting the Become A Donor page on the Xytex website

You’ve Been Approved as a Sperm Donor – Now What?

As extensive as the screening process is, your commitment has just started when you’re approved. Now you’ll need to visit the donor center at least once per week (many donors will go 2-3 times per week) for as long as your agreement with the organization specifies. After the initial tests are completed and you’ve been approved, the actual time you spend at the donation center won’t be very long – typically around 15-45 minutes for most men, depending on how long they take to do the actual donating. (On that note: Yes, most clinics will provide magazines or videos. Yes, you’re also welcome to bring in your phone. No, none of the staff will “help” you. That’s where sperm donor pay would turn into something entirely different.)

Like any contract, you’re expected to agree to certain conditions when you sign on as a sperm donor. One common stipulation in these agreements is that donors are to abstain from sex for 48-72 hours prior to every donation (which, if you donate 2-3 times per week, is nearly every day). This requirement is imposed to keep your sperm counts high with each donation. The lab will continue spot-checking your sperm count throughout your contract. If your sperm counts are low for several donations in a row, you may not be paid for those donations, and in some cases you may even have your acceptance as a donor withdrawn. Most clinics will also do additional health checks every 3 to 6 months or so to verify that you’re still free of infectious diseases.

Sperm Bank Pay: The Conclusion

How much do sperm donors make? It varies but $1,000 per month is attainable.

Sperm donation is a remarkable way to have a positive impact on a stranger’s life. You’ll be helping couples have the family that they’ve always wanted. Even though it can be a big commitment from you, you’ll be well compensated, and you’ll know that you have made a profound difference for a whole family. It may not be for everyone, but sperm donation is definitely an option worth considering for men looking for a unique way to make some extra money and help change someone’s life in the process.