Midwives support pregnant women and their babies before, during and after, childbirth.
Salary range: £24,214 to £43,772
How to become a midwife
You can get into this job through:
- a university degree
- an apprenticeship
- a specialist course run by a professional body
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), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, or a level 3 diploma or access to higher education in health, science or nursing
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can do a midwife degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
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.
- you’ll need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
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.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
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 work at a client’s home, at a health centre, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
You must renew your Nursing & Midwifery Council 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.
You could also train to become a health visitor, a director of midwifery or midwifery consultant.