How Much Does a Midwife Make a Year?

Only a small percentage of women in the United States use midwives as of 2011.
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When a woman is pregnant, one of her most important decisions is which health care provider to use. Are you wondering, "how much do midwives make?" This question is often asked in comparison to OB/GYNs. Most women in America rely on licensed OB/GYNs to deliver their babies. However, midwives are available for women who trust their bodies and want a less invasive, more autonomous care option. Depending on the branch of midwifery in which you are employed, pay can approach six figures, although most midwives make more modest salaries.

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Direct-Entry Midwives

Many midwives enter the profession by attending formal training programs or completing apprenticeships. These midwives usually aren't affiliated with hospitals and other facilities, as they usually assist women in their own homes and are self-employed. They may work in conjunction with other birth-support team members, like doulas.

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The average yearly salary for a direct-entry midwife is ​$78,859​, according to data from Comparably. Direct-entry midwives may make more if they assist with more births. Even so, due to the unpredictability of the onset of labor, most midwives schedule cautiously so as to guarantee availability for delivery. If you are considering work as a midwife, consider how much time you have to schedule births each month. From there, you can use prevailing salary amounts to determine how much to charge so you can still make the salary you need.

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Certified Nurse Midwives

Certified nurse midwives, or CNMs, are different from direct-entry midwives in that they have gone to nursing school. They are advanced practice nurses (APNs), which means they are registered nurses (RNs) who have gone on to get at least a master's degree.

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CNMs generally earn an average of between ​$106,326​ and ​$131,081​ per year, according to Salary.com. In general, a CNM thus usually makes more than a direct-entry midwife. This can be attributed to the fact that a CNM goes through additional training and educational experience than a direct-entry midwife.

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Location, Experience and Midwife Salary

Where a midwife works affects her earnings, as is the case with most jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, according to 2021 data, the five best states, salary-wise, for midwives are West Virginia, Utah, California, Massachusetts and New York. These salaries range from an annual mean of ​$163,190​ in West Virginia to ​$126,170​ in New York. West Virginia and Utah do not have as high a cost of living as the other states on the list, so these higher salaries might seem odd. However, they also have many areas that are rural or remote, which would make a midwife in greater demand, particularly if a hospital or birthing center is not convenient.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have similar data for direct-entry midwives. It is more difficult to assess pay for a direct-entry midwife by region due to the fact not all states recognize direct-entry midwives legally. Direct-entry midwives may operate "under the table" and ignore salary survey opportunities to avoid prosecution in the states where direct-entry midwifery is still not accepted.

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As with any other profession, a midwife may earn more as she gains experience. This is particularly true for direct-entry midwives, because many direct-entry midwives have to rely on their experience rather than on a nursing degree to prove competence. Additionally, midwifery salaries may vary for CNMs depending on whether they are employed by a hospital, birthing center or other medical facility that takes insurance. Midwife salary may be higher if they have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree instead of the standard Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

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