'60 Days In': How Much Are Participants on the Netflix Show Paid?

60 Days In is now in the Netflix top 10 series chart in the U.S., after being a hit for A&E over the last five years. The reality TV show sees volunteers going undercover in prisons to find evidence of illegal activities.

With the cast of 60 Days In having to effectively give up their liberty and put themselves in danger, Netflix viewers have been left wondering whether the volunteers get financially reimbursed for their time on the show.

One user of the 60 Days In Reddit has made an estimation about how much participants might be paid. They wrote: "I used to work in reality TV and A&E budgets for 1-hour show are typically around $375,000 per episode. That has to cover the costs of the production offices, production crew, post-production, location, etc. At most, they are getting paid about $3,000 per episode."

As the most recent season of the show (Season 6) had 18 episodes, this represents a potential payout of around $54,000 for the show.

60 days in paid
'60 Days in' volunteers may be paid up to $3,000 an episode. Netflix

Though this has not been confirmed by A&E (Newsweek has reached out to a representative of the network and will update this article when we get a response), this does seem consistent with what we know about how much reality show contestants get paid.

On American Idol, for example, contestants are made to join the AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) union. This means that they get a minimum rate of $1,571 plus meals for the then two-hour Idol shows, $1,303 for one-hour shows and $910 for half-hour results shows as of October 2018. US Weekly also reported that newbie contestants on MTV's The Challenge make $1,000 per week.

Though some may feel that the possible $3,000 an episode the 60 Days In volunteers are making per episode is not that much, if that is how much they are paid then they are doing better than many other reality TV show participants. RuPaul's Drag Race contestants, for example, make $400 an episode per a contract obtained by Reality Blur. The Bachelor, meanwhile, does not pay any of its contestants—though Bachelor in Paradise does pay.

Though we do not know exactly how much 60 Days In participants are paid, we do know that the A&E show also pays money to the prison to film there. For example, the show paid $60,000 to the Clark County jail for filming there over 120 days—about $500 per day. The jail's sheriff Jamey Noel said to Indiana's News and Tribune that the money, "will go to training and equipment actually for the jail."

60 Days In is streaming now on Netflix.