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An Interesting Way to Earn Some Extra Money – Become a Lab Rat


I caught this article on Yahoo about college students participating in studies to get some cash:

“Yochim, a self-described “lab rat,” says she has made more than $3,000 by participating in more than 30 medical studies at Boston’s world-class research hospitals.” [via Yahoo.com]

That’s some serious cash. They don’t say how many hours total the woman interviewed spent participating in these studies, but from the ones that I have seen they pay fairly well for your time.

I did a bit of research and found that for healthy individuals who want to participate in drug research, they can make a decent amount of money. It’s also possible to participate in other non drug studies that still pay well, but not as much as the drug research studies.

I have been tempted to participate in medical research before for the University of Michigan. They were looking for adults who smoke and their parents who smoke/used to smoke. All they needed was some blood from everyone and a few questions answered and I believe everyone involved received $100/each. We never pursued it any further than discussing it.

When I’m bored, sometimes I check their research page to see if there is anything I would be interested in doing. I don’t think I could ever do something that involved taking new medications or having them cut me open. But they can draw blood or ask questions. I’m fine with that.


  • Reply Dawn |

    My husband has a friend who gets paid to basically be a warm body. He doesnt even have to be awake! They are a huge, well know maker of medical equipment like X-Rays, CT scans and tons of other stuff like that. Its supposed to be a great gig…….if you dont mind a little extra RADIATION! I just dont think I could do it! 😀

  • Reply FlatGreg |

    In college I participated in a study that would pay $900 for 2 weekends of my time. I had to stay in a facility, take a pill, and they’d measure the concentrations of it in my blood over the weekend. Most people there who took it were fine, but I was one of 3 that spent most of the time completely nauseous and vomiting. Also after the 25th blood draw, you get a little tired of them poking you. Needless to say I didn’t return for the second weekend, but I still got paid $350. Don’t know if it was worth it though since I didn’t feel right for another week. I heard from a “pro” that the best tests are blood thinners, where your only job is to make sure you don’t cut yourself.

  • Reply Renee |

    I almost got paid to be in a study where you just go to your local hospital and fill out a family history survey and let them draw blood. They were trying to figure out if certain traits were genetic.
    Problem is, I got really lightheaded while they were taking blood and they only got about 1/2 of what they needed… so, no go.
    I may try again if I see another study like that, but I’ll make sure I’m in better health and have eaten a full meal beforehand!
    My sister used to donate plasma on a regular basis and they paid pretty well, too.

  • Reply Dave |

    I’ve done about a dozen studies like the one FlatGreg described, and made over $10,000 doing them. The worst side effects I’ve ever had was extreme drowsiness with one, and an annoyance-level headache with another. The last drug I tested? I kid you not: Children’s Motrin. We’ve used the money for family vacations, home appliances, nice dinners out, etc. If you can do them, I highly recommend them, but run as fast as you can from any first time in humans studies. People die in those.

  • Reply KCLau |

    I will be start looking at what “lab rat” opportunity is available in Malaysia. The only way I get some freebies is donating blood.

  • Reply Catherine |

    My husband did one of these in college and got about 300 dollars. He would have done more, but never qualified for any again! I’m too much of a wimp to try them.

  • Reply Marcy |

    I went to grad school in Philadelphia and did a number of “lab rat” tests for several research labs to pay my way through school. Weirdest one: having my back divided into grids with 1″ squares of DIAPER material taped to it to see how I reacted! I’m one of the lucky less than 1% of the population who reacts to such material next to my skin and they LOVED having me as a test subject to fine-tune the ingredients in the diapers (yes, there are ingredients to absorb you know what!!). That test paid very handsomely if I recall!!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Hmmm…maybe I’m in the wrong profession LOL!

    Rich – thanks for the article. That gives a much better idea of the concept than the Yahoo article I found.

  • Reply shannon |

    my mom used to be um…a “gynecology model”. i don’t know how else to call it. she would get paid to come in and have all of the med students watch the main doctor perform a pap smear.
    not her proudest moment, i suppose (she needed money for christmas presents for us), but i think it’s pretty cool.

  • Reply james maiden |

    They have studies in NYC COLUMBIA PRSBYTERIAN where you can make near THREE GRAND for EACH one they are usually IN PATEINT for about six to eight weeks for DRUG TESTING and some you have to be a SMOKER or HEROIN USER or POT SMOKER etc

  • Reply ethan bennett |

    i would like to sell my time for medical experiment i have copd and chemicals in my lungs an heart diease.so i have reson to sell my time..

  • Reply exNYer |

    When I lived in NYC, I participated in several psychology studies. No drugs. Just memory and perception tests, like read something and later see what I remember; watch a computer monitor and see what I recall, etc.

    Once I saw an ad in local paper, but then when I went in to do one, I saw the bulletin board had many studies that were never advertised.

    So if you live near graduate schools of that kind, keep an eye out for things like that.

  • Reply jeremy |

    I am desperate for financial help.I was laid off at my job and im two car payments behind and one month behind on rent.I am thirty yrs old,ive been married for ten yrs and I have three kids.So make me a lab rat.But make it a big study for lots of money that would really be worth my time.

  • Reply sean |

    im a 19 year old healthy young man who need to get his life sorted and would be interested in becoming a labrat every test every experiment, a am willing to do ,thanks

  • Reply Ernest L. Leisner |

    I am looking for sites where I can be an online lab rat. Sites where the data is collected and sent to whoever is doing the research on the internet. I would be financially compensated for my participation.

So, what do you think ?