Delivering babies constitutes only part of the midwife’s job. Midwives attend to the needs of expectant mothers all throughout the process. Other tasks include prenatal care, gynecological examinations, family planning and assisting physicians with difficulties in births or cesarean sections. In the United States, midwives earn on average $102,390 per year. In Canada, midwife salaries range from C$42,894 ($31,911 USD) to C$88,045 ($65,503 USD). Pay runs from £22,000 ($27,468.14 USD) to £48,000 ($59,931 USD) for midwives in the United Kingdom, AU$38,754 ($29,220 USD) to AU$83,512 ($62,969 USD) for those in Australia, and NZD$47,000 ($32,731 USD) and NZD$150,000 ($104,461 USD) for midwives in New Zealand. In this article, we will explore the reasons why a midwife salary can vary so much.
How Much Does a Midwife Make?
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Midwife Salary Determinant Factors
The country of practice shapes midwives’ salary to a significant extent. Countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand have single-payer or national health care systems. As such, the government sets the level of compensation. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom establishes a salary scale for various healthcare employees. Generally, a midwife salary rises with experience.
1. How Much Does a Midwife Make By State?
Midwife Salary in the US
Nurse midwives in the United States earn on average $102,390 as of May 2016, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Median pay stands at $99,770, with the top ten percent of earners fetching over $142,510 per year.
Midwife Salary in Canada
PayScale reports that midwives in Canada average pay of C$60,000 per year, with pay ranging from C$42,894 to C$88,045. According to the Canadian Business Journal, the median pay stood at C$74,880 as of 2015.
Midwife Salary in the UK
According to the National Careers Service, midwives in the United Kingdom earn between £22,000 and £48,000 annually. Those in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service typically are paid at Bands 5 and 6. This translates to annual salary ranges of £22,128 to £28,746, and £26,565 and £35,577 per year respectfully.
Midwife Salary in Australia
In Australia, the average midwife salary as reported by PayScale is AU$56,694 per year. Total pay spans from AU$38,754 to AU$83,512 per year.
Midwife Salary in New Zealand
According to the New Zealand Government, salaries for midwives in New Zealand run between NZD$47,000 and NZD$150,000 per year.
2. How Much Does a Midwife Make According to Experience?
According to PayScale, the median salary for entry-level midwives in the United States is $51,000 and stays essentially level for the first five years. By ten years of experience, the median jumps to $90,000 per year. Midwives in late career, beyond 20 years of experience, earn a median pay of $106,000 annually.
For “starter” midwives, pay generally runs £22,000 per year. “Experienced” midwives, who serve as team managers or higher level midwives, make £26,250 to £41,000 per year. Pay for “Highly Experienced” midwives, or consultant midwives, can reach £48,000 annually.
In Australia, entry-level midwives have a median salary of AU$53,000. For those with five years of experience, the median level is AU$62,000. Median pay rises to AU$68,000 at ten years of experience and AU$83,000 after 20 years.
For midwives employed by a District Board of Health in New Zealand, the starting pay generally is NZD$47,000. The salary can climb to NZD$64,000 after five years of experiences. Beyond that point, salaries range between NZD$64,000 and NZD$70,000, with senior midwives earning at least NZD$94,000.
3. How Much Does a Midwife Make According to Work Environment?
Midwives generally work in outpatient centers, physicians offices and hospitals.
In the United States, salaries for midwives in outpatient centers average $115,070 per year as of May 2016. The averages are $105,710 in “General Medical and Surgical Hospitals” and $103,360.
In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, midwives work within a predominately single-payer regimen, though some work on a self-employed basis. For example, midwives in District Boards of Health in New Zealand make generally between NZD$47,000 and NZD$70,000. Salaries for self-employed midwives range from NZD$70,000 to NZD$150,000.
The shifts of midwives typically depend on work settings. Those in physicians’ offices normally work daytime hours on weekends. For midwives in hospitals, irregular work hours and weekends are part of the work conditions. Since they deliver babies, midwives often must remain on –call.
In Canada, approximately 74 percent of midwives work full-time, compared with 81 percent of employees overall.
According to the Australian Government’s “Job Outlook,” approximately 45.5 percent of midwives in Australia worked full time. Among those full-time workers, the average work week was 35 hours, compared with 40.2 hours for workers overall in Australia.
Bonuses and Benefits
New Zealand and Australia entitle midwives and other employees to perks that include four weeks of paid annual leave and superannuation, or employer-funded pension benefits. In the United Kingdom, health workers in the National Health Service typically have vested benefits at age 65.
The United Kingdom affords maternity benefits in the form of the either (1) lesser of £139.58 per week or 90 percent of average weekly earnings for 39 weeks, (2) £27 per week for 39 weeks, or (3) £14 per week for 39 weeks. In Canada, pregnant midwives get up to 15 weeks of maternity benefits, while parents of newborns or newly-adopted children get a maximum of 35 weeks of parental benefits.
Overall, increased access to healthcare and awareness of prenatal or other preventive care will spur more demand for the services of midwives.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nurse-midwives in the United States should grow by 25 percent by 2024, which translates to 6,600 additional jobs in the field.
The Canadian Government’s “Job Bank” projects that, by 2024, Canada will have 10,400 job openings for midwives, with 6,400 people seeking these jobs.
Australia’s Job Outlook reports that the country had 17,400 midwives as of November 2015. Job openings should number less than 5,000 by November 2019.
In New Zealand, prospects for midwife employment rate as “good” by the New Zealand Government. Prospective midwives have better opportunities for employment in Auckland due to high birthrates. In other regions, a rise in the number of midwife graduates has eased shortages. Stuff reports that many major hospitals in New Zealand experience shortages of midwives.
Midwives earn based on their experience, skill level, seniority and place of practice. In Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, pay is set by government-determined scales or standards. These countries also afford various paid benefits such as maternity leave, superannuation, parental leave and other paid leave. There are relatively few midwives currently employed. However, demand for midwifery services will rise with increased awareness of prenatal and women’s health. This will likelyhave a positive impact on a midwife salary in general.