Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

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Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Midwives job prospects are good and their services are in high demand in a number of areas in New Zealand. A steady increase in employment is expected and the income for midwives is high.

How to become a midwife

What they do

Midwives are health professionals specialising in childbirth. They support and care for the mother and child, and their role includes: monitoring the health and wellbeing of women and their growing babies during  pregnancy, care during labour and birth and for six weeks after birth.  Midwives can provide all of the necessary care to women who experience normal pregnancy and birth. They refer to and work alongside other health professionals if complications arise. Midwives can choose to work as either Lead Maternity Carers (working in small group practices looking after their own caseload of women), or employed to work rostered shifts in maternity hospitals.

Their tasks may include:

  • providing advice and support during pre-conception, intrapartum, antenatal and postnatal periods in partnership with women
  • providing care and management of pregnancy and birth
  • assessing progress and recognising warning signs of abnormal and potentially abnormal pregnancies requiring referral to an Obstetrician
  • monitoring the condition of women and foetuses during pregnancy and throughout labour
  • conducting health education classes and seminars to promote the health of mothers and babies such as reproductive health, antenatal education, preparation for parenthood and breastfeeding
  • providing advice on nutrition, childcare and family planning.


A Bachelor of Midwifery is needed to become a midwife. This qualification is a four year equivalent degree, which usually takes three years to complete full-time.

Midwives must also be registered with and hold a practising certificate issued by the Midwifery Council of New Zealand.

For more information on midwives’ education, see the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM) page on education.

NZCOM educational website:

Cost of study

Bachelor of Midwifery
$29,500 over three years


Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free
tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services:

Where to study

There are currently four providers of a Bachelor of Midwifery. These are AUT, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Wintec, and Otago Polytechnic. As well as having students in the main centres where these institutions are situated, , these schools also offer satellite education in other locations. Check with the individual institutions for details.

Income and employment prospects


The average annual income for midwives is estimated to be around $71,700.

Estimated Average Income

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index

Employment and skill shortages

Midwives’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2023 2028
2,256 2,421 2,600 2,720
  1.0% 1.2% 0.7%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
* Growth projections are based on the broader category “Midwifery and Nursing Professionals”.

The number of midwives in employment grew steadily between 2006 and 2013. That growth is expected to continue at around 1.2% to 2023 and 0.7% to 2028.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Midwives are on Immigration New Zealand’s  Immediate skill shortage list.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list:

Where to find job vacancies

Following a decline until 2015, the number of online job vacancies for midwives has been increasing at a greater rate than that for all vacancies.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Midwife vacancies are advertised through NZCOM’s website, District Health Board websites, health sector job boards such as Kiwi Health Jobs, and general job boards such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek.

Trade Me Jobs:
Kiwi Health jobs:
NZCOM, vacancies:

Career path

Midwives can choose to work as either Lead Maternity Carers (working on call, in small group practices looking after their own caseload of women), or employed to work rostered shifts in maternity hospitals. As they gain experience midwives working in hospital settings can be employed in senior roles with more responsibility and earn a higher income. Some midwives study to get a master’s degree or PhD to increase their knowledge. Other career paths include teaching and education or research and academia.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level midwives.

  • Obstetrician
  • Registered Nurse

Other information


More information on midwives is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand:


The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of midwife has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:

2541 –Midwives