Midwifery is an amazing profession. It doesn’t always mean that as a midwife your only job is to catch babies, but to empower women, families and other midwives is power that midwifery continually offer. According to wilsoncenter.org, midwives can provide 87 percent of sexual, reproductive, and maternal health services. They provide nearly constant care for their patients and can often experience “compassion fatigue,” particularly when faced with mistreatment and disrespect, in addition to long work hours. Because midwifery is commonly seen as “women’s work,” it is often devalued. Midwives around the world have reported going several months without a paycheck. In some instances, they are not paid at all. Midwives also report that some obstetricians and systems they work in disrespect them. However, in many low-resource settings, many obstetricians are actually trained by midwives.
While midwifery offers great amount of pride and honor, your financial aspects as midwives speaks value as well. It is essential to gain knowledge with how much money you will earn pursuing your midwifery degree and if the value spoken is sufficient enough for you to live while living your dreams and passion. There are many types of midwives and pay ranges based on location (high or low cost of living), educational backdrop (CNM/CM or CPM/LM), certifications, care setting (home, birth center, & hospital), employment status (employee hospital, employee private practice, or business owner). There is lots of data available about Certified Nurse Midwives, but very little data about other midwifery professional backgrounds.
To provide references for many midwifery pay standards, I will start with my many years of experience being a midwife and working in multiple settings for myself, locum assignments, hospital, and physicians in many different states and consulting hundreds of midwives across the country with their businesses and job searching needs. Most out of hospital midwives that own their own businesses are Certified Professional Midwives, Licensed Midwives, and Direct Midwives. Their pay really depends on their service model, business structure, location, and fee schedules. I have seen midwives that barely can pay their bills and dependent on their partners income to support the family’s needs (some decided by choice while others wish their businesses supported them). I have seen midwives literally make hundreds of thousands of dollars running a successful midwifery practice. Birth center midwives tend to have higher income levels to themselves as owners. The more services and larger the operation are, the income streams increase exponentially.
Midwives that choose to work for someone else are limited in pay based on the salary range and bonuses being offered. Private practices tend to offer less salary ranges than larger institutions can due to financial constraints. Across the US, I see many job posting for CPM/LM positions around $60-90,000 for home and birth center services. For CNM/CM positions around $90-140,000 for hospital-based positions (private practices tend to offer less than large healthcare systems can). I also stress that getting more money in a salary tends to mean that the midwife needs to work harder to make that pay. Business owners expect to make more money off a hired staff than what is being paid to them. The more you make, the more work you have to do for the practice (increased patient volume, less time in office visits, more births/procedures a month, etc).
Here are some national data references we gathered to expand your knowledge about midwives’ salaries (mostly Certified Nurse Midwives in the hospital employment setting). Nurse Midwives earned an average salary of $111,130 in 2020. Entry-level positions start at $78,450 per year while most experienced workers make up to $123,934 per year. The best-paid 25 percent made $136,960 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $91,590. Nurse Midwives earned an average salary of $115,540 in 2020.
To summarize everything, a midwife can literally make whatever they want. The biggest factor in getting a higher income is based on increased experience and certifications, working for larger healthcare organizations, starting a business, and transitioning from being self-employed to a business owner mindset. We help midwives all over the country with getting the highest paid job they are searching that fits their passion and location needs. We help start and improve private practices to have more strong foundations and income streams that allow the midwives to really make whatever level of funds from their ventures!
Home. Job Search. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career/midwife/salaries
The importance of midwives in achieving Universal Health Coverage. Wilson Center. (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/importance-midwives-achieving-universal-health-coverage