If you have always dreamed of working in a profession that helps mothers usher newborns into the world, midwifery could be a great career choice. The success of television shows like "Call the Midwife" has given the general public insight into the rewards of midwifery and the profession is growing as more women seek the assistance of licensed midwives. Even if you have a degree in a completely unrelated field, you can change careers and become a successful midwife with dedication and a few years of training.
Do not be fooled the gender specificity of the term midwife. Both men and women can enter the profession and have successful careers in the private and public sector. You can choose between become a nurse-midwife or a direct entry midwife.
If you lack a background in healthcare or science but already have an undergraduate degree, you can enter post-baccalaureate, pre-health programs to earn the necessary prerequisites for midwifery programs.
If you want a nursing credential along with your midwifery education, you need to apply to certified nurse-midwife programs (CNM) after you finish your prerequisites. Accredited, full-time programs require approximately three years of study. If you are only interested in becoming a certified midwife (CM), you can apply to a certified midwifery program.
Licensing and Certification
Once you finish your education, you need to apply for your midwife certification. You must renew your certification every five years. In addition to the certification, you have to apply for a state license in order to practice midwifery legally. Each state has different requirements, licensing fees and renewal requirements.
In addition, some states may require you to take additional classes, such as pharmacology, in order to apply for a license.
While you can be on call as a general midwife, helping women have uncomplicated, safe pregnancies in a relaxed setting, you can also specialize in a subject area and increase your job opportunities and earning power.
Midwife specialties include:
- Routine gynecological exams
- Labor and delivery
- Family planning and contraceptive counseling
- Home births
- Water births
- Newborn care
Sonography is a new specialty in the profession. A midwife specializing in the field will need to complete additional courses and earn a certificate in order to examine fetuses using ultrasound. In addition, some midwives take classes and earn certificates in holistic health specialties to add to their expertise.
Salary and Job Outlook
Even though the number of midwives is increasing, employment of these healthcare professionals is growing much faster than average compared to other professions. This growth is due to an increase in the demand for health services according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, between 2008 and 2013, the number of midwives increased by 48 percent.
Consequently, once you finish your training and earn certification, your job prospects should be excellent, even in traditional, mainstream healthcare settings.Approximately 95 percent of midwives work in hospital settings. The demand for these skills will be even higher in rural areas and medically underserved areas like poor urban areas.
The median salary of midwives in the U.S. is $82, 419 as of 2015. If you work on an hourly basis, you can expect to earn anywhere from $22.15 to $59.60 per hour and up to approximately $19,000 in yearly bonus pay.
Instead of lingering in a profession that bores you and provides no personal satisfaction, follow your dreams of becoming a midwife. Midwifery has a history that goes back hundreds of years and you will be serving in a profession that provides a much-needed health service. Learn more about your options by visiting resources like http://www.whallc.com.