- Apr 16, 2018
Modern medicine is advancing at a staggering rate. While there are a few things scientists haven’t figured out yet, our quality of health care has nonetheless been steadily increasing. Diseases such as chickenpox, smallpox, and measles used to be fatal, but are now completely treatable, if not outright preventable, thanks to accessible vaccines.
While scientists and researchers rightfully deserve most of the credit for these advancements, participants in human trials also deserve props. And surprise, surprise, most of these trials actually pay their participants well. They have to: subjecting oneself to a lab trial doesn’t exactly sound like a nice way to earn money. I mean, how many sci-fi movies have we seen where the hero gets led into some shady back-alley lab to get tested on?
The upside is, legit lab trials are just that: legit. They have to follow certain standards, so it’s like they’re going to pummel you with gamma rays (although let’s be honest, turning into the Hulk would be pretty awesome).
If you have a pioneering spirit, or are have a keen interest in scientific processes, I would suggest participating in lab trials. The pay is good and, most importantly, conditions are reasonably safe. To get you started, I compiled a list of clinics and websites where you can sign-in, and wrote down some important bits of info.
I tried a lot of these out, and got paid in the process. And I’m perfectly healthy! (Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this down) Check ‘em out:
The website is a library of clinical studies being held all over the world. ClinicalTrials.gov is government-sponsored, and contains over 100,000 clinical trials. Its global scope means you can look for tests to participate in, no matter where you live.
This is where I first found options for clinical trials. Personally, I appreciated how it provides clear and detailed info on safety regulations and sponsorship disclosure. These pieces of info made me feel confident about my own safety.
ClinicalTrials.gov is extremely thorough (which I appreciated) but if that’s too overwhelming for you, you can check out the next two websites.
2. Guinea Pigs Get Paid
Don’t let the tongue-in-cheek name fool you; this is a serious site. In addition to calls for clinical trial participants, they also have listings for other odd jobs. Some of the openings lead to old or dead links, so prepare to do some digging.
BioTrax is based in the United Kingdom. If you’re a UK resident, you may want to try these guys first. A lot of their tests involve food, so prepare to gobble lots of test samples.
If there aren’t any openings at a given moment, you have the option of signing-up for notifications. That way, you’ll be one of the first to know when an opportunity comes around.
4. Universities and medical schools
If you can find any openings online, you can always look the old-fashioned way: pick up the phone and call your local colleges or medical schools. Institutions such as those are usually at the forefront of research, and should have available tests for you to take part in.
Occasionally, universities and medical schools will place ads in your local classifieds, or even Craigslist, so be sure to check those. A word of warning, though: literally anyone can put an ad calling for medical test participants. You need to do your due diligence and look into the companies placing the ad before signing-up.
“What kind of procedures will I take?”
To put it bluntly, it depends on the type of research being done, and the procedure being tested. Once, I lucked-out with my local classifieds when I found a trial for people looking to quit smoking. I was also trying to kick the habit, so it all worked out.
That said, here are some of the more common procedures I’ve found (and their corresponding payouts). This list at least gives you some idea of the tests you’ll be given.
Take Written Medical Tests ($15 per questionnaire)
This is the simplest, because you don’t actually subject your body to any medical procedures. All you do is answer questionnaires and surveys, which cover topics such as cognitive performance. It’s the lowest-paying item in this list, but hey, not bad for filling out a bunch of forms.
Sleep Studies ($175 to $200 per sleep cycle)
Among the different studies I participated in, this was by far my favorite. It isn’t often I can say I earned money in my sleep! The study I took part in paid $200 per night for two weeks. Yep, I earned $2,800 just by sleeping!
But take note, the test was for a sleep apnea machine. For two weeks I had to strap on the machine before I slept, which wasn’t something I was used to. Also, there were nights I had to wake up in the middle of the night to take tests and enter data.
Donate Plasma (Up to $30 per session)
Donating plasma isn’t exactly a clinical test, but it’s worth including in this list. If you’re not afraid of needles and have a few hours to spare, give this option a try. You can donate twice a week, giving you up to $60 per week. Pretty sweet. What’s also sweet is the treat they give you after each session!
Participate in MRI tests ($125 per MRI and post-procedure interview)
MRIs aren’t painful or invasive, but I’m a bit claustrophobic, so I had to build up some courage before trying this. I got paid $50, on average, per MRI. They usually pay extra if you participate in a day-long interview and screening. If you go for that second option, and I suggest you do, prepare to take time away from work or school.
Participate in PET tests ($675 per PET with post-procedure interview)
These tests pay big - you can earn $600 per scan, plus $75 extra if you take part in the interview and screening. Like MRI tests, these take a whole day, so set your schedule accordingly.
It’s a huge payout, but it comes with some hassle. You’ll have to ingest or get injected with a radiotracer, which is needed for the test. Also, some scans will require the insertion of a catheter. Pays well, but it also comes at a cost. I haven’t tried this yet, but you might be willing to.
I’ve listed the average amounts above, but always check with the clinics, as these amounts are subject to change.
Most clinics pay on the final day of the test, but prepare to wait for a couple of weeks at the very longest. Also, most clinics won’t pay if you don’t actually finish the test, so always read the fine print.
This may not be the first money-making option on your list, but it’s definitely a legit way to make money. The payouts are even pretty good, which makes it tempting to make this a full-time career. While there are people who do just that, I wouldn’t recommend it. Try mixing up invasive and non-invasive procedures, and as with all things, do it in moderation.
Also, be wary of scam clinics that don’t adhere to safety regulations.
Keep those in mind, and you can make this a legit way to earn!
These are my experiences taking part in medical tests. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you done the same? What procedures did you take part in?
Let’s hear your stories!