Midwives are independent contractors and must establish and maintain their own community practices. Midwives assume responsibility for all aspects of running an office including establishing and maintaining the physical clinic space as well as managing employees.
Midwives usually work in teams of 2 – 4. Some midwives work alone as “solo” providers. A small number of midwives work in collaborative teams, sharing call with family doctors. Regardless of the practice structure, midwives ensure that they provide call coverage 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They also include a number of home visits and after hours calls that require owning and maintaining a reliable vehicle. Midwives must be immediately available by cell phone or pager to respond to client issues. A midwife’s job can be challenging for young families and relationships and carries great professional responsibility.
Midwives typically care for 35-60 women a year. All expenses related to operating a business such as rent, employees, materials and clinic supplies must be paid from the income generated by billing the BC government for this care and can add up to 25-40% of their yearly billings.
Midwives pay additional fees for registration with the College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC), professional fees to the Midwives Association of British Columbia (MABC) and insurance premiums to the Midwives Protection Program (MPP). The full time fees for the MABC, MPP and CMBC are approximately $7500per year, which is about 6 per cent of a full time midwife’s billings. Full time midwives can earn around $80 – 90,000 in taxable income after expenses.
Individuals considering a career in midwifery should interview midwives to find out more about their professional life. Upon graduation from a midwifery education program and completing regulatory requirements for registration in BC, midwives can begin providing their services; however, midwives may not be able to work in the community of their choice. Midwifery job vacancies are advertised through the MABC and the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM).