What is the yearly income of a midwife?

Written by wanda thibodeaux
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What is the yearly income of a midwife?
Most countries in the world rely on midwives, not doctors, to deliver babies. (baby in the crib image by Tatyana Gladskih from Fotolia.com)

For those who want to try a more natural approach to childbirth, using a midwife is an alternative. Midwives are trained women who help pregnant clients deliver their babies in the comfort of the client's own home, in birthing centres or in regular hospitals. The salary of a midwife can be modest to exceptional.

Certified Nurse Midwives

Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses specialised in birthing. They have taken traditional medical training and usually assist births in hospitals or birthing centres. According to the Citizens for Midwifery website, the annual salary for a certified nurse midwife ranges from £19,500 to £52,000 as of 2010. The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) website reports that, because CNMs are usually part of a practice, they earn salaries similar to those of nurse practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that registered nurses, which include nurse practitioners, have an average annual wage of £43,244 based on 2009 data. This is within the range provided by Citizens for Midwifery.

Direct Entry Midwives

Direct entry midwives are midwives who have received their training by apprenticing with another midwife. These midwives haven't gone to nursing school, but still can be certified, which requires completion of an accredited midwifery program. Direct entry midwives typically make an annual wage that is lower than that of CNMs, according to Citizens for Midwifery. MEAC reports as of 2010 that most direct entry midwives charge between £1,300 and £2,600 per birth. They also assert that a busy direct entry midwife usually takes on two to four births a month. This means that direct entry midwives may earn between £15,600 to £31,200 annually.

Factors Influencing Wages

Income for a CNM varies depending on where she is employed and her precise responsibilities. Citizens for Midwifery claims that a certified nurse midwife can make more if she has management or teaching roles. Wages for independent, direct entry midwives are less predictable. Factors such as geographic location, the legal recognition of direct entry midwives in the midwife's state and the number of births attended all affect salaries for these midwives.


CNMs have wages that are more stable and generally higher than those for direct entry midwives. As part of practices, they also enjoy other benefits that direct entry midwives do not receive, such as health-care coverage and bonuses. From this standpoint, it usually is financially more feasible to be a CNM. However, CNMs do not have the flexibility direct entry midwives have. The ability to vary your schedule may be worth the sacrifice of some perks, depending on your needs.

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