Certified nurse midwife holding a newborn baby

Certified nurse midwives care for women through puberty and menopause. They are specialists in pregnancy and reproductive health. For expecting mothers, they are confidants, caregivers, and an indispensable part of the birthing experience. As registered nurse specialists, these professionals earn a higher salary than the standard RN.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the average nurse midwife's salary is $123,780 per year or $59.51 per hour. 

Our research shows that earnings for nurse midwives in the United States range between $44,240 to $167,310. 

Recommended Reading - What Is A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in The USA?

How much does a certified nurse midwife make a year?

Our data research shows the average certified nurse midwife earns $110,618.42. Payscale.com reveals that salaries for nurse midwives in the United States range from $77,000 to $124,000 on average, with most professionals earning $10,000 to $15,000 a year in bonuses. 

As specialized RNs, these professionals commonly earn six figures and are highly sought-after in the medical field in every state in the USA.

How much does a certified nurse midwife make an hour?

The average certified nurse midwife’s hourly wage is $53.18, though some may earn higher depending on their experience and location. While these nurses are usually salaried, hourly rates can apply for part-time workers or during overtime. 

What does a certified nurse midwife do?

CNMs perform similar duties to an OB/GYN or obstetrics nurse practitioner. However, their focus is on pregnancy and childbirth, so they spend most of their time counseling mothers-to-be and assisting with vaginal deliveries. They help to ease expectant moms’ fears about giving birth and provide the emotional support they need to feel confident during birth. 

A certified nurse midwife collaborates with doctors, social workers, and a woman’s care team to ensure she receives the greatest possible prenatal care. They can also see patients for reproductive health and perform testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infertility. 

CNMs work closely with mothers throughout their pregnancies, offering prenatal visits as well as postnatal follow-ups. Many nurse-midwives treat their patients from the moment they find out they’re pregnant through childbirth.

You may work in a hospital or clinic working 8 to 12-hour shifts. Depending on where they work, some CNMs are on-call during nights, weekends, and holidays. 

You will often have to be prepared to head into work at odd hours since your services are needed whenever patients go into labor. After babies are born, CNMs provide education and assistance to parents on proper infant care. They can assist first-time parents in the learning process of having a newborn. 

What skills does a certified nurse midwife need?

In addition to practical skills they learn through their education, nurse midwives must be understanding and compassionate people. 

Listening, empathizing, and supporting patients are essential to quality care. Midwives must also be culturally competent, recognizing the unique experiences and challenges women face based on their ethnicity. 

Additionally, CNMs must be patient, attentive, and keen eye for detail. They must also work well under stress and handle difficult situations. While the goal is for every mother to have a perfect delivery, anything can happen, and they have to be ready to intervene during emergencies.

Sometimes, babies are born with congenital disabilities, or they are stillborn. Parents may be grieving as they anticipate the birth of a baby with no life expectancy. As their caregiver, you will have to be able to create a safe emotional space and help guide them through the experience in a way that they can eventually start to heal. 

Certified nurse midwife's salary by state

Here is a compilation of certified nurse midwife's salaries by state. Please note that some states do not have exact figures available. 


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Compared To National Average





























District of Columbia








































































New Hampshire




New Jersey




New Mexico




New York




North Carolina




North Dakota
















Rhode Island




South Carolina


South Dakota


























West Virginia










National Average



Factors that affect how much a certified nurse midwife makes

The greatest factor that affects a nurse’s salary is their experience. Certified nurse midwives earn more the longer they’ve been in practice. As you start your career, you will earn between $80,000 and $95,000. 

You may qualify for a higher base salary if you have prior nursing experience or a background in midwifery. As with other jobs in healthcare, earning more accreditations and certifications, in addition to experience, can increase your salary.

Certified nurse midwives also earn more because of their advanced education requirements. All CNMs must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Their experience, education, and specialized skill set qualify them for higher pay than many other nurses.

Location will also influence your earning potential as a CNM. In states with a greater demand for certified nurse midwives, salaries will be higher. Salary can also vary by hospital, so it’s a good idea to compare job listings in your state.

Recommended Reading - How to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in The USA?

How quickly can you become a certified nurse midwife and start earning?

Nurse midwives must have at least six years of college education before becoming certified. Earning your bachelor’s and master’s will take six years, and you will also need to meet the clinical requirements before sitting for your exam.

As far as work experience, requirements vary by state. The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) requires a graduate-level nursing degree and a valid RN license. 

Certified nurse midwife salaries vs. other nursing professions

As you decide on a career path, comparing potential earnings in multiple roles is helpful. If you’re interested in becoming a nurse midwife, you stand to earn some of the highest pay in the entire nursing field.

Here’s how the average CNM salary compares to similar nursing professions.

National average certified nurse midwife salary: $110,618.42

  • Registered Nurse –$76,944.90

  • Labor & Delivery Nurse –$75,192.16

  • Neonatal Nurse – $71,267.04

  • Pediatric Nurse – $69,473.96

Certified nurse midwife salary FAQs

Am I being paid fairly as a certified nurse midwife?

Fair pay is something every nurse should consider in their career. The best way to gauge fairness is to consider the national average salary for your title, plus your years of experience. Most hospitals review nurses’ performance annually and offer pay raises according to performance. 

One of the most noticeable periods of salary growth will be between your first and fifth years. After that, your earnings will stay relatively fixed. At ten years, nurses tend to qualify for an additional pay raise.

Evaluate the fairness of your pay by your state’s average CNM salary, your experience, and the pay of other nurses you know.

You should start a conversation with your employer if you aren’t being compensated for your time, energy, and education. 

Are certified nurse midwives paid mostly hourly or annually?

Most CNMs earn an annual salary, but some may receive hourly pay depending on their work schedule. If you work fewer than 40 hours a week, or three 12-hour shifts a week, your hospital might pay you hourly instead of annually. 

When exploring job listings, you’ll often see how employers pay for each position. Many will offer an annual salary but still specify the hourly rate. This rate can apply during periods when you work overtime or when you work on holidays. 

Do certified nurse midwives get paid overtime?

Yes, certified nurse midwives are entitled to overtime for any hours they work over 40 per week. Overtime can be an hourly wage according to your salary or your hourly wage plus a half. 

Do certified nurse midwives get paid more privately or in hospitals?

Most CNMs work in hospitals to find the most opportunities in hospital settings. However, some clinics and private practices may also offer competitive salaries. Location will affect how much the average pay varies between hospitals and private practices.

What state pays certified nurse midwives the most per hour?

Our data shows that West Virginia has the highest hourly CNM pay of $80.44 per hour, followed closely by California, which pays CNMs an average of $74.37 per hour.

Can you live off a certified nurse midwives salary in the USA?

Financial security is relative, so it’s impossible to say whether you’ll find the average CNM salary enough for your life. However, given that most CNMs earn upwards of six figures annually, you should be able to support yourself on this pay.

Factors that influence your financial security to consider are the cost of living in your state, student loans, transportation, and housing costs. Your financial goals also play an integral part in whether your salary is enough.

For the most part, CNMs are some of the highest earners in nursing, so they can receive some of the most dependable incomes in the field. 

The cost of living index can also help you understand how comfortably you could live off a mental health nurse’s salary in your state. Metropolitan areas have higher living costs but tend to present greater job opportunities.

A note about our data. We use the median of the data gathered from The BLS at data.bls.gov and other salary data sources such as Salary.com, Indeed.com and Zippia.com. We believe that this is the best average to follow, rather than the mean or mode. The mean will find the average of all salaries in each state; the mode will favor the most frequently reported salaries. However, the median will find the middle. All data in this report will favor the middle salary from all ranges, which means 50% will fall below and 50% will be above the salary data reported below. On another note, we have removed data from Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands from the data we have sourced as we have focused on the 50 US States plus The District Of Colombia.

Registerd Nurse Median Salary