Career outlook for midwife

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would guide a mother to bring her baby safely into the world. You’d help her through this emotionally and physically demanding experience at all stages - before, during and after the birth.

You would care for and support pregnant women and their babies. Each woman will trust you to do your best to keep their baby healthy and safe.

Before the birth, you would:

  • Advise the pregnant woman on issues like healthy eating
  • Explain the options, such as giving birth in hospital or at home, natural childbirth and types of pain relief
  • Run classes about pregnancy (antenatal) and parenting
  • Regularly check the health of the mother and baby

During the labour, you would:

  • Check how labour is progressing
  • Monitor the baby
  • Give pain relief or suggest how to manage pain
  • Deliver the baby
  • Call a doctor if you notice any medical problems

You would need to stay calm under pressure. You’d try to keep the mother and her birth partner calm as well.

Once the baby is born, you would advise families about feeding, bathing and generally caring for their baby.

As a midwife based in the community, you would visit people's homes to check on the health of the mother and baby.

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Midwife page on the NHSScotland Careers website

Working conditions


You would usually work 37.5 hours a week, including evening, weekend and night shifts. Many hospitals offer part-time hours.


You could work in various places including hospital maternity units, GP surgeries, midwife units and birth centres. In some NHS trusts you would split your time between working in the community and working in hospitals. In other trusts, you may move between antenatal, delivery and postnatal tasks every six months. As a community midwife, you would go to clinics and visit clients in their homes.


As a community midwife, you would go to clinics and visit clients in their homes.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Supporting
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Researching
  • Empathising
  • Social conscience
  • Developing a plan
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.


You need a midwifery degree (SCQF level 9/10) leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

To enter a midwifery degree (SCQF level 9/10) you need National 4/5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at BBBC or above.

If you are an adult without the relevant qualification you may be able to apply to a degree following an Access to Nursing (SWAP) course; you must check it is accepted for entry to the course you want.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many courses)
  • Maths (required by many courses)
  • Science subjects, in particular biology or chemistry (required by many courses)
  • Care
  • Social studies such as psychology 

You will also need

  • Once qualified, to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). If you are already a Registered Nurse you can take a reduced training course (18 months) to achieve dual registration with the NMC. 
  • To be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding of health and wellbeing such as:

  • Health and Social Care (SCQF level 6)
  • SQA Wellbeing Award (SCQF level 3-5)

Scottish Vocational Qualification in Healthcare Support (SVQ level 2/3).