An NHS midwife salary is determined by the NHS pay scales, known as Agenda for Change. If you are looking for a midwife salary, we have set out how much you can earn in each band as you progress through your career, including the salary differences in London and Scotland:
Midwife salary UK
Band 5 midwife salary – newly qualified midwives typically join on band 5. A midwife starting salary is £25,655 and goes up to £31,534 with four or more years’ experience.
Band 6 midwife salary - starts at £32,306 and goes up to £39,027 with five or more years’ experience.
Band 7 midwife salary – starts at £40,057 with less than two years’ experience and progresses to £45,839 with five or more years’ experience.
Bands 8b - 8c midwife salary – progressing to a consultant midwife salary in the UK, places you in bands 8b-8c, which start from £54,764 and £65,664 respectively.
Midwife salary London
Midwives that live and work in central London are entitled to a 20% uplift of their pay, those just outside of London are entitled to a 15% uplift, and those that work in the fringe zone of London are entitled to a 5% boost.
For a newly qualified midwife in central London, this would work out at £27,059 on band 5.
Midwife salary Scotland
The Agenda for Change pay scales are different in Scotland. Midwives starting on band 5 can expect an average salary of £26,104, band 6 starts at £33,072, and band 7 begins at £40,872.
Roles and responsibilities of a midwife
Midwives are trained health professionals who provide care, support, and advice to women during pregnancy, labour, and after the delivery of their babies. Midwives are responsible for the health of both the mother and the child and will only refer to obstetricians if there are any medical complications.
They help women make their own decisions about the care and services they receive and will provide health education and parenting advice until care is assigned to a health visitor.
Midwives can either work within a hospital, at a GP surgery, a specialist midwife or birth centre, or provide care in the community at local clinics, children’s centres, or the mother’s home.
As a midwife, you will:
monitor and examine women during their pregnancy
develop individual care plans
provide antenatal care, including screening tests, examinations, and parenting classes
identify high-risk pregnancies and refer to doctors and other medical specialists
provide parenting and health education
offer support and advice following events such as miscarriages, terminations, stillbirths, neonatal abnormalities, and neonatal deaths
supervise and help mothers in labour, monitoring the condition of the baby and providing knowledge of drugs and pain relief
give support on breastfeeding, bathing, and making up feeds.
Qualifications / training required
To become a midwife, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree in midwifery, postgraduate degree or diploma, or a midwifery degree apprenticeship.
In order to gain entrance onto a midwifery degree, you will usually need to have a minimum of:
Five GCSEs at grade 9-4/C or above, including English language or literature and a science subject
Either two or three A-levels, or equivalent qualifications such as GNVQ advanced level or NVQ level 3.
Throughout your career, you will need to ensure that you remain up to date with the latest developments, which could include completing further training. The Royal College of Midwives has a wide range of courses, all of which can help you to improve your skills and add qualifications to your CV.
Additionally, you will need to renew your registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council every three years. To do this, you need to show that you have completed work outside of your day job, including 35 hours of continuing professional development such as attending conferences, workshops, or relevant training courses.
Midwife job benefits
Midwives typically work around 37.5 hours a week on shift patterns that can include nights, early starts, evenings, weekends, and bank holidays.
Independent midwives and those who work in the community may regularly be on call for 24 hours a day and should expect to be part of an on-call rota at some point in their career.
There are many benefits that midwives will receive when working with the NHS, including:
Generous NHS pension
NHS discounts with many shops and services
Study leave and budget
Maternity and paternity leave
Midwives also receive an initial 27 days of annual leave, plus bank holidays, which increases the longer you work for the NHS. After five years, it goes up to 29 days, and after 10 years you can get 33 days of annual leave.
There are many opportunities for midwives to progress their careers. You could gain more skills and experience and become a consultant midwife - working directly with patients but also training other junior midwives - go into management positions such as a head of midwifery services, or specialise in one area such as antenatal screening, breastfeeding advice, or ultrasounds.
If you are looking for more advice on salaries and benefits across a range of sectors, download our 2023 salary guides now.