National Avg. Salary$93,610 More Salary Data →
Job Growth Rate24.5% More Growth Data →
Recommended DegreeMaster's Programs & Degrees →
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While midwives are most commonly known as individuals who assist during births, the role of the midwife extends throughout pregnancies and potentially after birth. They counsel expecting mothers during pregnancies, assist during births, and provide advice and guidance to new parents after births.
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in midwife roles:
- Perform exams and provide prenatal care to expecting mothers
- Deliver babies when mothers go into labor, and assist physicians when emergency procedures—such as caesarian sections—are required
- Teach new mothers how to properly breastfeed their newborn babies and how to use pumps
- Provide pediatric care and offer advice and guidance to the parents of newborn babies
- Counsel women of reproductive ages on the importance of safe sex, and provide STD education
A Day in the Life
Recognized as an occupation and career with a history that goes back more than 3,000 years, midwifery involves pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care. Modern midwives have become true experts and assist with a growing number of births. In the United States, midwives are equipped with the knowledge and experienced needed to handle common birth complications, such as breech births. However, patients are sent to obstetricians for more complicated issues.
With the growth of the midwife as a career, the scope of the profession has also increased. While previous midwives may have been responsible only for the period of pregnancy and for a short duration after the child is born, many midwives today have taken a more holistic approach and are primary care providers for women on a long-term basis. They have extensive knowledge in sexual and reproductive health as well as prenatal and postpartum concerns.
Most midwives are hired at the beginning of a pregnancy, and their primary responsibility during this early period will be to conduct physical examinations to track fetal development as well as the health of the mother. Additional tasks will include maintaining health records and referring women to specialists when needed, such as for a caesarean section delivery. Many midwives also provide childcare instruction after the birth as another service to clients.
Typical Work Schedule
Most midwives work full-time schedules. While the bulk of their work may be conducted during regular business hours, they are also required to be on call during all hours of the day, weekends, and holidays to deliver babies when patients go into labor.
Midwives are most commonly self-employed, though they may have close relationships with obstetricians in their area with whom they exchange referrals. Midwives typically operate their own businesses and take on clients on a freelance basis. However, they may also work as nurses or assistants in hospitals or the offices of OBGYNs.
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Midwife Salary Data
We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Annual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Midwife salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Midwife's can make an average annual salary of $93,610, or $45 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $73,460 or $35 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#83 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
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How To Become
To study for a career in midwifery, there are many universities and organizations that offer both undergraduate and alternative-entry graduate programs. In the case of the latter, an existing graduate degree, such as one in nursing, is required and will lead to certification as a nurse midwife (CNM). While this certification is licensed in every state, other midwife certifications do vary from state to state and you’ll need to ensure that you are correctly licensed for the state where you wish to practice.
Apart from the CNM, the other three primary designated certifications are as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Certified Midwife (CM), or Licensed Midwife (LM). Of these, becoming a CPM has the lowest barrier to entry, and you will need to complete a program approved by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council. However, this certification is only available in 28 states and does not give the midwife the ability to prescribe medicine.
As with many medical careers, maintaining a CNM or CM license will require that you complete continuing education courses on a regular basis. This is done every five years and will also include retaking the certification test. For those with a CPM license, the cycle is shorter and you’ll need to be recertified every three years. Common continuing education learning might include gestational diabetes, midwife ethics, neonatal resuscitation, or other pregnancy-related topics.
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In many states, a graduate degree is required to become licensed as a midwife, but some states allow for midwife licensing with only a bachelor’s degree.
Recommended Min. Degree
Programs and Degrees
Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Midwife. a Master's is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.
Highest Education Among Midwife
- 13.5% Doctorate
- 77.7% Masters
- 5.8% Bachelors
- 1% Associates
- 1.2% College
- 0.6% High School
- 0.3% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs5,300
2024 Est. Jobs6,600
Job Growth Rate24.5%
Est. New Jobs1,300
How does Midwife job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 1,300 jobs for a total of 6,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 24.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#30 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
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