How Much Do ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ Contestants Get Paid?

The Bachelor Cast
The Season 22 ‘Bachelor’ cast | ABC

If you’re willing to put your heart on the line on national television, you may be hoping to bring home a hefty paycheck. As it turns out, most contestants who appear on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette aren’t so lucky. In order to actually make money with the franchise, you usually either have to be the show’s leading man or woman.

The Bachelor makes around $100,000

The man starring as the Bachelor tends to make approximately $100,000 for the two months of filming it takes for a season. The salary ranges, however. According to Mic, Sean Lowe only made between $70,000 and $90,000 on his season of The Bachelor.

The Bachelorette usually makes more

The star of The Bachelorette actually tends to make more money than the star of The Bachelor. According to WetPaint, Season 8’s Bachelorette Emily Maynard made a whopping $250,000 for her time on the show.

Contestants don’t get paid

MarketWatch reported that contestants receive no payment for appearing on the show. In fact, they often times end up losing money, considering they may have to quit their jobs and provide their own wardrobes. If you’ve seen one episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, you know their outfits have to be costing a pretty penny.

They often go into debt

Jillian Harris, who appeared on Season 13 of The Bachelor and starred as the fifth Bachelorette, explained just how much she had to spend. “I had remortgaged my house and I spent something like $8,000 on clothing,” she wrote on her blog.

Other contestants have admitted to 401(k) cash-outs and racking up credit card bills. Clearly, wanting to look good on TV will cost you.

The Bachelor
‘The Bachelor’ | ABC

Here’s what contestants do get

Only the men or women who become the last two finalists are provided outfits for the final episode of the season. Otherwise, the contestants are given small gift bags when they arrive, including swimsuits and yoga mats.

Even if contestants leave empty-handed, their time on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette isn’t all for naught. They’re reportedly provided with endless amounts of food and alcohol. Courtney Robertson, who won Season 16 of The Bachelor, revealed to Allure, “I gained weight through the process. There’s a lot of food and alcohol at your disposal, which is hard.”

The winner gets a pricey Neil Lane engagement ring

If you end up getting proposed to at the end of the season, you at least walk away with a new fiancé and a Neil Lane diamond engagement ring. According to Insider, the rings typically cost upwards of six figures.

However, if your relationship fall apart within two years, don’t expect to cash out on the ring. ABC requires couples to return the ring if their relationship doesn’t make it past the two year mark. Even if you make it past that point, you can only sell the ring if you give ABC written notice.

Contestants often springboard into new gigs

Contestants are at the very least provided with the platform to go on and earn cash elsewhere. Past contestants often appear on the franchise’s spin-off, Bachelor in Paradise, where they try to find love amongst one another. Those who make it to the final round earn up to $8,000, so they have a bit more of an incentive.

Others have moved on to different reality TV shows, where they’ve been able to make some serious cash. Past contestant and Bachelor Nick Viall, for example, appeared on Dancing With the Stars. Contestants typically make a base of a low six-figure salary, and even earn bonuses the longer they stay.

Whether or not contestants are there “for the right reasons,” they do end up at least semi-famous after their time on the show. So if you’re willing to shell out some cash to appear on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, you could end up earning something in the end.