Can You Make Money With a Metal Detector?

Yes, I’m telling you right now that you can make money with a metal detector. However, the amount of money you earn from your metal detecting sessions depends mostly on where you go to look, how frequent you are with it, and what type of metals you find on each session.


Making Money with a Metal Detector

Many metal detector enthusiasts claim that you can make good money if you truly commit to your metal detecting sessions and get proper equipment. However, many people still wonder: “Can you really make money with a metal detector?”

Metal detectors have been used to discover ancient coins, jewelry, and even gold. Discovering those artifacts could give you some serious money, but keep in mind that the odds of finding those precious metals frequently are low.

If you want to make money with a metal detector, you must keep in mind the following factors that may affect your metal detecting sessions:

  • The type of metal detector you use.
  • The metal detector brand you use.
  • Your experience with metal detectors.
  • The location you’re exploring with your metal detector.
  • Your dedication and patience.


Overall, I’d say that you can make money with metal detectors as long as you commit yourself to this activity. You can’t expect to go metal detecting outside your porch and find huge jewels and gold every day. People who want to make a living out of metal detectors need to go a step beyond and work hard to achieve those results.

There are many ways you can earn money with metal detecting.

I’m going to list some of the most popular ones below:

Searching for people’s lost items or jewelry with your metal detector.

  • Running a metal detecting YouTube channel.
  • Selling valuable items that you find.


However, keep in mind that some states have regulations for metal detecting in certain areas. Some local laws may even request you to turn in items that are worth a particular value, meaning that you can’t even keep all your findings in some cases.

If you want to make the most out of your metal detecting sessions, you must see it primarily as a hobby. As long as you follow the metal detecting code of ethics [you can find more about them here] and have fun with what you’re doing, finding valuable items that you can exchange for money becomes much more exciting.


How Much Money Can You Make with a Metal Detector?

As I mentioned before, the amount of money you make from metal detecting depends on several factors, such as where you go metal detecting, the items you find, and more. Considering how different your metal detecting experience can be from another person’s, it’s hard to come up with a specific profit number.

If you were to live in an area where there’s natural gold hiding underneath the surface, you could make a significant amount of money each week since you could sell your findings. However, in the average case, people tend to find small relics and change, which doesn’t give you much money in return.

For example, if you found a ring worth $50 during a metal detecting session, that would be great news for you. However, the chances of finding several rings worth that kind of money are fairly low.

Most metal detecting enthusiasts (Including myself), recommend that you set money as your primary goal when you go metal detecting unless you’re going to an area where you’re certain you’re going to find valuable gemstones or gold. Even in those cases, you’re not likely to make consistent findings.


Can You Make a Living with a Metal Detector?

I believe that you can make a living with a metal detector as long as you have consistent findings that allow you to cover your living expenses. Unfortunately, that’s not the average case for metal detector enthusiasts. Most of those enthusiasts believe that you cannot make a living with metal detecting unless you have little to no expenses each month.

If you want to make a living off metal detecting, you would have to move into a great location so that you could make consistent, valuable findings (i.e., gold nuggets or rare gemstones). Even then, you have to take into account the investment that you have to make on your gear and transportation before you consider final expenses.

First, high-quality metal detectors are fairly expensive. People who want to make rare and consistent findings need to invest in the best metal detectors on the market (Such as the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector). Additionally, you must keep in mind your travel expenses since you’re likely to travel to conducive areas to find those rare items you’re expecting.

In essence, you have to take the amount of money you earned from your metal detecting sessions and compare it with the amount of money you had to invest in your gear and travel. If you cannot cover your investment with your findings, then metal detecting isn’t viable for you yet.


Pros and Cons of Making a Living with a Metal Detector

To summarize everything I just explained, here’s a table that outlines the pros and cons of trying to make a living with a metal detector. Keep in mind that those pros and cons don’t apply to every person since everyone has different life circumstances, gear, etc.

Pros Cons
If you’re lucky, you can make a significant amount of money from your metal detecting hobby. Metal detectors are expensive.
Investing in a metal detector can save you from having to explore areas manually, saving time. You have to consider travel expenses in each of your sessions.
If you dedicate enough time to this activity, you may learn more about more profitable areas to explore. In some cases, metal detecting is not enough to make a living.
The odds of finding rare items are low.


Is Metal Detecting Profitable?

Considering everything I’ve said up to this point, it’s safe to conclude that metal detecting can be profitable. However, there are many factors to keep in mind that may affect your profits.

One of the biggest factors that may affect your results is luck. In most cases, you have to spend several hours scouting an area to find a valuable item. If you consider your travel and gear expenses, some sessions may not be as profitable as others.

To answer the question: “Do metal detectors make money?” I’d say that they can, as long as you’re patient with these items and your sessions in general.


How to Make the Most out of Your Metal Detecting Sessions

The key to profitable and exciting metal detecting sessions is to prepare yourself. As I mentioned before, there are several things to keep in mind. If you prepare for your sessions accordingly, you’re likely to have a much better time.

First, you need to get the fundamentals of metal detectors in check. A long as you know the basics about how metal detectors work, you’re going to be ready to assess the secondary factors, such as location, transportation, etc.

A significant part of your sessions is spent scouting the location you chose. You should study your location as much as you can if you want to avoid running in circles all the time. Additionally, it’s important to note that not all metal detecting sessions are the same, especially if you’re dealing with complex areas, such as underwater areas.

Finally, you should outline your full travel plan so that you can assess your expenses accurately. If the travel seems profitable for you, then you may go ahead!


Types of Metal Detectors

There are three main types of metal detectors. While there are several metal detectors tailored to specific purposes (finding gold, coins, jewelry, etc.), all of them are based on the three types I’m going to explain briefly below.


Very Low-Frequency Detectors

These detectors are the most common ones, and they’re also the least expensive. VLF detectors come with two coils. One of them creates the magnetic field and the other that senses disturbances in the area.

If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend that you use this type of metal detector since it’s much more user-friendly than the other two.


Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
It’s affordable. It doesn’t perform as well on mineralized soils.
It’s easy to use. It usually has a single frequency only.
There are multiple models on the market.


Pulse Induction Detectors

Pulse Induction detectors work with a single coil which does the work of both generating a magnetic field and detecting conductive materials. These detectors work better for rivers, underwater, or at the beach, although they tend to be more expensive.


Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
They’re not affected that much by mineralization. They’re heavier than VLFs.
They’re great for beach hunting and gold prospecting. They tend to be expensive
They usually come with deep depth detection. Some models feature poor discrimination (which is the option to exclude particular metals from detection).


Specialty Detectors

Specialty detectors involve metal detectors that you may use for specific purposes. These detectors include multi-frequency detectors, gold detectors, and waterproof detectors.


Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
You often have multiple frequencies to work with. They’re usually more expensive.
You have much better depth detection. The efficiency may vary from model to model.
They work better in mineralized soils. Some features and frequencies are not disclosed to the user.
They’re multi-purpose machines. The odds of finding rare items are low.


The Best Metal Detectors to Make Money With

As I mentioned before, you need to work with the best metal detectors on the market if you want to make a significant profit.

You may check my best metal detectors list if you want a full overview.

However, here’s a glance at some popular options you can consider today:


And What Are the Best Metal Detector Brands?

There are many metal detector brands on the market, so it may be hard to choose an appropriate one for you at first. If you want to check what brands may work best for you, consider checking out my best metal detector brands list to get the full picture.

In that list, you’re going to find some popular names, such as Garrett, Minelab, Nokta Makro, and more. Make sure that the brand that you go for is a reliable one; in most cases, it’s better to make a significant investment in your gear and get better results, than investing in poor equipment and struggling with your metal detecting sessions.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many things to consider when buying a metal detector, especially if your primary goal is to make money. Remember that the more passionate you’re about this hobby, the better results you’re going to get since the main point of going metal hunting is to have fun and you’re more likely to stick with it.

Overall, you can make money with metal detectors, but don’t let that blind you from the excitement of the activity!

Man found necklace by metal detector
So, what did we talk about on this page?
Shimon Leizerovich
Shimon Leizerovich
I like to Find Gems and Treasures Around My Area, So Enjoy From My Biggest passion, Metal Detecting. I fall in love with the Metal Detecting area, and it connected with me to another hobby I had as a child, that to find gems and "treasures" around me and my area.