Job description

Midwives are highly trained nurses who specialise in providing the necessary care to pregnant women during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period. They also provide care for the newborn, while their services are essential to reducing maternal deaths and making childbirth safer.

Duties

    • Run health checks on expecting and new parents
    • Provide education training on breastfeeding
    • Assess pregnancy requirements and write care plans
    • Examine and monitor the development of the baby
    • Administer any medication, injections or anaesthesia
    • Provide emotional support to new parents
    • Undertake antenatal care in hospitals
    • Calm mothers during the birthing process
    • Look out for any complications during labour
    • Prepare mothers for the birth of their child

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Compassion
Communication
Problem-solving
Manual dexterity
Attention to detail
Decision-making
Adaptability
Customer service
Critical thinking
Active listening
Social perceptiveness
Inductive reasoning
Medical software

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Shift Work

On call for emergencies

Most midwives work in hospitals and private clinics. Others work in classrooms and medical centres.

You may be required to travel to patients’ homes to offer labour and antenatal care. This may involve lots of equipment, which will need to be transported to the place of birth.

The work can be physically and emotionally demanding at times, as you’ll be required to work unpredictable hours. However, being able to help bring a new life into the world can be very rewarding.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$28k

Median

$55k

Top 10%

$110k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Undergraduate

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

4years

To become a midwife, you’ll generally need to enrol in an associate or bachelor’s programme in nursing at an accredited school of medicine, which typically takes four years to complete. A bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) is typically preferred.

Once you’ve successfully completed your degree, you’ll need to get your registered nurse (RN) state licence, before enrolling in a midwifery programme (either a two-year master’s programme or a four-year doctorate programme) accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). You’ll need at least one year of experience working as an RN in order to be accepted on a midwifery programme.

Finally, you’ll need to register with the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), which includes a 4-hour, 175-question multiple choice exam.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

13%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

5k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

5.5%

Career progression

With experience, you could move into a management role such as a ward manager or an education roles such as a midwifery lecturer. You could also specialise in a certain type of birth, while you could also set up your own practice.

A doctoral degree, meanwhile, may be helpful in advancing your career.