Nurse Midwife Salary and Job Growth

Nurse midwifery can be lucrative once you've earned your degree. Here are some salary figures.

Median Annual Salary

nurse midwife administering care to pregnant woman

Nurse midwives are currently enjoying phenomenal job growth partly due to their advanced nursing background. A nurse midwife's earning potential can vary based on their employer, education and area of specialty, but generally the salary range is excellent.

Like many jobs in the medical profession, nurse midwifery can earn you a pretty decent paycheck. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median expected annual salary for nurse-midwives is $89,600. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

How do nurse midwife salaries compare?

Nursing Career Median Annual Salary*
Registered Nurse $65,470
Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse  $41,540
Physician Assistant $90,930
Nurse Practitioner $89,960

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Registered Nurses; Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses; Physician Assistant; Nurse Practitioner.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

What's my earning potential?

The BLS notes that the top 10 percent of nurse midwives earned more than $161,030.

Is there demand for this career?

Nurse midwives are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future, especially in places with fewer medical resources, like inner cities and rural parts of the U.S. Additionally, The American College of Nurse-Midwives estimates one in 10 babies will be delivered by a certified nurse-midwife in the near future. This is a jump from the 3 percent of U.S. births attended by a midwife just 10 years ago.

What is the job growth for the field?

Nurse midwives can expect a 29 percent increase in jobs through the year 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than average for all occupations through 2020. Be aware that national long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions. 

The advanced training nurse-midwives receive allows them to write prescriptions, act as a primary care provider and perform many of the same tasks as a doctor, but at a lower cost to employers and patients. Because of this, nurse-midwives have become an invaluable resource in the medical community.

How much competition will I face for a job?

Registered nurses are less likely to face competition in a hospital setting because turnover can be high. On the other hand, nurses looking for jobs in physician offices—where regular hours are the norm and conditions are generally better than hospitals—might find more competition.

Whether a job is located in a city or rural community can also impact competition.

What kinds of institutions hire nurse-midwives?

Aspiring nurse midwives have a range of options when it comes to their work location. The BLS reports the following industries employ the largest number of nurse midwives:

  • Outpatient care centers—6 percent
  • Physician offices—47 percent
  • Offices of other health practitioners—3 percent
  • General medical and surgical hospitals—28 percent
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools—4 percent

How do I advance in my nurse midwife career?

In most fields, furthering your education can help propel you to the next phase of your career. Since nurse-midwives must have a Master of Science in Nursing and certification, there isn't much further to go after that. Students can earn a doctorate in midwifery, although it's not required. This can open the door to leadership roles. This degree is somewhat new to the field and while the ACNM supports these programs, they don't have enough evidence yet to determine whether a doctorate will positively impact salaries.

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