How much does a midwife earn in Australia?
In Australia, a baby is born every two minutes. In the past five years, most people have developed a tilt towards midwives instead of hospitals. The two main reasons are that midwives are available in any location you want them to be, and they offer you cheaper services than a hospital. This had spiked the ratio of people relying on midwives, especially in low-risk pregnancies. Registration of midwives in the health care department and their certification has made the occupation of a midwife paramount.
What does a midwife do?
The main job of a midwife is to assist and guide women during pregnancy, labour, childbirth, and post-partum. They make women expecting a child well informed about the care plans, adequate information about child-rearing, monitor the health of mother and child, and help women adjust with their newborn baby. They make women learn about the ethics and manners of lactation, nursing, and taking care of their fragile ones, along with making sure that they overcome their post-partum depression. From the time a person gets to know that one is pregnant, from that moment till post-partum depression, a midwife becomes an unforgettable part of the wonderful experience of pregnancy.
In the past ten years, the number of registered midwives in Australia has grown by 70%, and many insurance companies also cover the expenses of midwives in insurance policies. Presently, there are around 650 vacant posts of midwives in Australia, making it a welcoming field to join. The discussion below reveals how much a registered midwife in Australia can earn and how to become a registered midwife and secure a career.
How much does a midwife actually earn?
On average, a midwife can earn up to $90,000 a year, which makes $7,500 per month. A newly registered midwife can start by earning up to $75,000 per annum, whereas the exceptionally trained and well experienced registered midwives can earn around $122,000 a year. Also, the tax on salaries is 17.6%, so if you are earning $50000 as a midwife, your net pay will be reduced to $41,203 after the deduction of taxes. A midwife can work on an hourly basis as well. In such circumstances, the basic hourly pay of a registered midwife is between $36-50 per hour and depends upon the level of qualification a person holds.
In addition to this, their salaries differ from state to state. For instance, in Western Australia, midwives earn 17% more than other states. A reasonably qualified midwife can earn easily around $1600 in a week. Apart from working as birth assistants, midwives can join professional doctors, community-based health services, and universities to share their knowledge about birth, labour, and pregnancy and ultimately make a living out of it. Most of the senior midwives join institutes as midwife trainers and fresh trained graduates.
How to become a registered midwife?
Observing the ratio of people relying on midwives because of them being cheaper and equivalent alternatives of hospitals, the healthcare department and midwifery board have taken steps to ensure the safety of the citizens and the newborns. To ensure that the life of every mother and child, who are being assisted by a midwife during pregnancy, is in safe hands, the government has made it illegal to practice as an unregistered midwife. There are certain criteria that a midwife needs to meet before being a registered midwife in the state. These standards include the criminal history check of the applicant. One has to hold a clean record to get registered. The demography of Australia has devised the second most important standard. 7.5 million Immigrants live in Australia; being humans, they need midwives too and the most lucid manner of communicating with them is using the English language. So, a person needs to have reasonable proficiency in the English language. Along with this, recency of practice and Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements are also required.
Once done with the first part, the second part of the requirements demands a set of qualifications that must be met to get a midwifery license. A midwife does not need a separate registration for practising in different states of Australia. There is a general registration that can be done at the cost of around $170, right after which one can practice freely all over Australia as a registered midwife. A registered midwife’s qualifications include graduation in a Nursing course in a recognized Australian university or abroad. A list of countries is issued by a government whose bachelor of Nursing degree is recognized by the government.
Some universities also offer Bachelor of Midwifery course, after which one can directly apply for registration without enrolling in post-graduation. Having completed a bachelor’s, a graduate can go for postgraduate in Midwifery studies as well. Alternatively, after achieving the required qualification, the person can apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and get registered to practice freely as a registered midwife.
Things necessary for a midwife
A midwife must have appropriate information and experience about pregnancy, labour, birth procedure, after birth care of mother and child, care of the infant, training of the mother, and six weeks long post-partum. Along with a comprehensive understanding, midwives must handle stress and emergencies and remain vigilant throughout their jobs. They must be strong enough to decide that the pregnancy can become highly risky and a doctor is needed. They must possess reasonable speaking and writing skills to understand what and when is required by their patient. They may work as an educator, practitioner, or obstetrician’s assistant in hospitals or labour rooms. A midwife can join different courses and camps to add to her experience, which makes it easier to reach seniority.
Being a midwife in Australia or anywhere in the world is not an easy task. It involves responsibilities that require great care, ample knowledge, skills, and experience. In Australia, midwives can pursue a rewarding career and earn a considerable chunk of money.