Medical

Midwife

Midwives give care and support to pregnant women and their babies, before, during and after childbirth.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £48,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

What's it all about?

Most jobs are in the NHS but you could also work in private hospitals and clinics, or overseas.

In this role you could be:

  • giving pregnant women advice on issues like healthy eating
  • explaining options like giving birth in hospital or at home
  • running classes about pregnancy (antenatal) and parenting
  • checking the health of mother and baby during pregnancy
  • checking progress when labour starts
  • monitoring the baby during labour
  • giving pain relief or advising on ways to manage pain
  • delivering the baby
  • calling a doctor if you notice any problems

After the baby's born, you'll:

  • give advice to families on caring for their baby
  • visit people's homes to check on mother and baby

You could also visit people's homes to check on mother and baby.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university degree
  • an apprenticeship
  • a specialist course run by a professional body

University

You can do a degree in midwifery, approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Full-time courses take 3 years.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, or a level 3 diploma or access to higher education in health, science or nursing

Apprenticeship

You can do a midwife degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

Other routes

If you're a registered adult nurse you may be able to qualify through a conversion course. These usually take between 18 and 24 months.

More information

Career tips

Previous paid or unpaid experience of working in a caring role would be useful. You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator or manager at your local NHS trust for further advice about opportunities.

£22,000 to £48,000

Starter salary: £22,000

Experienced salary: £26,250 to £41,000 (team managers and higher level midwives)

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You'll work around 37 hours a week, including evening, weekend and night shifts.

You could split your time between working in the community and working in hospitals.

You could work at a client's home, at a health centre, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.

As a community midwife, you'll go to clinics and visit clients in their homes.

The job is physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

You must renew your NMC registration every 3 years to show you're keeping your skills up to date.

You could take further training to specialise in areas like ultrasound or neonatal care.

With experience, you could become a ward manager or team leader.

With further training, you could become a health visitor, a director of midwifery or midwifery consultant.

You can find more on how to become a midwife from the Royal College of Midwives and Health Careers.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has information on midwifery training and registration.


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What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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