How Much Do 'The Bachelor' Contestants Get Paid?

Season 24 'Bachelor' contestant Hannah Ann Sluss
Season 24 'Bachelor' contestant Hannah Ann Sluss / Instagram/Hannah Ann Sluss

Your favorite Bachelor contestants probably aren’t in it for the paycheck, according to Life & Style. Most cast members on the ABC reality franchise are unpaid, says the publication, and that means that more of them than you'd think might be on the show for "the right reasons."

That said, if your favorite contestant doesn’t leave The Bachelor with a wedding ring, she’ll at least have a big platform to capitalize on. In 2020, leveraging that fame for some extra cash barely requires getting off the couch. Alums like Lauren Bushnell can find success posting content for brands like Revolve, SmartSweets, or Zero Fuss Hair Care. According to Refinery29, Bachelor mega-stars can earn up to $1 million in a year for sponsored Instagram content.

Still, any earnings have to offset what contestants spend on things like wardrobe and beauty. That’s right—contestants pay for their own glow-ups, and as you'd expect, the women wind up with way steeper bills than their male counterparts. Jaclyn Swartz told Refinery29 that she spent around $5,000 to look her best for Season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise. “I invested in lash extensions, a personal trainer five days a week for the eight weeks leading up to the show, dermaplaning…and a fresh head of blonde,” she dished. “I also waxed, brought way more makeup, and embraced makeup trends like contouring.”

At the same time, leading men and ladies are paid around $100,000 for their season, according to Life & Style. Though Bachelorette Meredith Phillips said she made $10,000 from the show back in 2004, times have definitely changed. It's rumored that Season 8 star Emily Maynard was paid a whopping $250,000 (and her stylist revealed that she had a $350,000 clothing budget!). 

Former Bachelor Ben Higgins explained to BuzzFeed, “They really just match whatever you’d be making in the real world during the months that it tapes. And then you have the experience that kind of pays for the rest.” In short, most contestants will quit their jobs and spend a bunch on clothes, fitness, hair, and makeup—and not see a single penny in return. As Ben puts it, “You don’t do The Bachelor to make money, I will say that.”