To work as a midwife in Canada, employers usually require that you have completed an undergraduate degree program in midwifery (or equivalent program) along with supervised practical training. As well, to get a midwife job you must register with a regulatory body (see links in Section 5) in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) is the national organization representing midwives and the midwife profession in Canada. It provides leadership and advocacy for midwifery as a regulated, publicly funded and vital part of the primary maternity care system in all provinces and territories. CAM also promotes the development of the profession in the public interest and contributes the midwifery perspective to the national health policy agenda.
If you’re interested in continuing your midwife career in Canada, explore the job requirements, job search techniques, professional associations, and more.
Before You Move to Canada
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of continuing your midwife career in Canada:
- Attend the free webinar What to Know About the Canadian Job Market to get a sense of the labour market.
- Contact the provincial midwife regulatory body in the province where you plan to work to determine:
- How your international qualifications will be assessed
- How to follow the licensing process, costs, and time required to become registered
- What documents to bring for employment purposes, or to continue your education. Verify if documents need to be translated. You may need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Steps that you can take before and after you move to Canada.
- Check out the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Council (CMRC) website for internationally-educated midwives for information about registering as a midwife in Canada and the required competencies.
- Understand how midwifery is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with the procedures, regulations, and legislation that govern your profession in the province where you will settle.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Improve your language skills. To practice midwifery, you require advanced English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency.
- Enroll in language classes while in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country.
- Know example midwife job titles that are used in Canada to help with your job search.
1. Understanding Midwife Job Requirements
The midwife profession is regulated in Canada (except in Newfoundland and Labrador; Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory). In regulated provinces, provincial/territorial regulatory bodies set the standards for entry into the profession and issue licenses to practice to those eligible.
Midwives who register with a regulatory body can use the title “Registered Midwife”. This also allows you to legally perform duties that are restricted to midwives through legislation. So it’s critical to gather information about the registration process before you move to Canada.
Researching the Midwife Profession in Canada
If you have international midwife qualifications, it’s essential to research the profession in Canada. What’s required, the type of duties, and example job titles. All of the information will help you to prepare for your job search before and after you arrive in Canada.
Using the NOC 31303
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a great place to begin your research. The NOC 31303 provides a standard definition of the midwife’s role. You can use the information to clearly understand the role, main duties, job requirements, and example titles. This information can help you conduct your job search more effectively when you arrive in Canada.
2. Employment for Midwives in Canada
Another helpful resource to conduct research about the profession is the Government of Canada Job Bank. Here you can explore information about regional wages, job prospects, and requirements.
The midwife occupation is projected to face a labour shortage until 2028. However, job prospects can vary across Canada. Identifying the best locations or cities for midwives can help you decide what location offers the greatest job opportunities.
Internationally-educated midwives must demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge, and abilities required of a Canadian Registered Midwife. This process known as credentials recognition ensures that your international experience and credentials are assessed fairly and rigorously.
Requirements for full registration differ by jurisdiction. Please check the CMRC website for the latest requirements.
If you plan to attend college or university to upgrade your skills, contact the school to find out what steps to take and what assessment agency to use to assess your education credentials.
Be sure to highlight your international education and skills. Build on your existing knowledge, skills, and education before you decide if you need to return to school for more training. You may be able to receive advanced standing, transfer some of your credits and benefit from prior learning assessment options, and gain credit or course exemption. Any of these activities will allow you to complete additional education more quickly, save money, and avoid repeating the education you already have.
Credentials Assessment Services
To find more organizations and agencies providing credential evaluation, assessment and qualification recognition services click here.
Best Locations for Midwife Jobs
Generally, job prospects in this occupation are very positive and demand is soaring for midwives from different cultures.
Though most Canadian cities offer employment opportunities to practice as a midwife, you may find more opportunities in the fast-growing cities such as Edmonton or Calgary, Alberta, or the province of Ontario. When looking for jobs, broaden your geographic area to include smaller cities and towns close to your target city.
Before deciding where you want to settle in Canada, research and find out where there is a high demand for midwives.
Major Employers for Midwives
In Canada, midwives work in collaboration with other health professionals and consult with or refer to medical specialists as appropriate. They attend births in hospitals, birth centres and at home. Midwives can work in hospitals, clinics, birthing centres or in private practice.
Visit Canada’s Best Diversity Employers website to locate hospitals or healthcare centres that you might be interested in. The Best Diversity Employers receive this special designation for their commitment to workplace diversity, inclusion, and equity.
3. Upgrading Your Skills to Meet Midwife Job Requirements
Canadian employers put a high emphasis on soft skills, which are personal attributes that enhance your interactions, job performance, and career prospects. Unlike your technical or hard skills, you can apply your soft skills broadly. If your hard skills get you an interview, often it’s your soft skills that will get you the job and succeed in it.
If you plan to work in private practice, you need to have good business administration skills, such as hiring staff and record-keeping and have knowledge of medico-legal issues and risk management.
Midwifery is relatively a new profession in Canada, and you must be willing to educate the public about it and deal with the challenges of integrating a new profession into the health care system.
Though not a must, upgrading your education and skills through a bridging program or other education may be an important part of your journey to becoming a successful architect in Canada.
While you may have strong technical skills, often that’s not enough to get a job or maintain it afterward. You may need more training or skills upgrading.
Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French – is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you intend to live.
You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) through school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario.
If you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you more employment opportunities.
Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D. or MBA. Learn more about the benefits of higher education for newcomers.
Canadian universities offer midwifery programs; each program administers exams recognized by their respective provincial regulatory bodies.
- Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario)
- McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario)
- Metropolitan Toronto University (Toronto, Ontario)
- Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (Quebec)
- University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia)
- Mount Royal University (Quebec).
Midwife Bridging Programs
Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities and immigrant-serving agencies offer bridging programs or workshops for newcomers. You may be eligible for one.
There are two bridging programs that are offered in Canada:
University of British Columbia (UBC)
The IEMBP program is for midwives who have completed their education at an approved midwifery program outside of Canada. It helps midwives to use their skills in a Canadian context.
Toronto Metropolitan University
The IMPP is a bridging program for qualified midwives educated outside of Canada who wish to practice in Ontario. The program is intended for experienced international midwives, fluent in English, who have practiced midwifery for the past five years. It is not a re-education or re-training program.
4. Midwife Job Search Techniques
The demand for midwives is high in most Canadian cities. However, the Canadian job market is very competitive, so be prepared and understand each of the steps needed to practice or gain employment. As well, finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country.
There are many ways through which you can search for opportunities to practice as a midwife.
- Seek out a mentor in the midwifery sector – for example, a retired midwife – who would give you valuable insights and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
- Join healthcare-related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
- Attend industry job fairs and regularly check the employment sections of your local newspapers.
- Some colleges or associations maintain a job bank or suggest a commercial job site.
Immigrant Settlement Agencies
Most settlement agencies and other immigrant-serving organizations offer help to find job vacancies, update your resume, write cover letters, prepare for interviews, understand what Canadian employers are looking for, and educate about self-employment.
To find immigrant services in your area, click here.
Resume Writing for Midwife Jobs
As the Canadian job market is competitive, you need to stand out from other midwifery applicants with your right resume and be able to launch your career in Canada.
Your resume is the most important part of your midwife job search. It’s your marketing tool that shows your credentials and an invitation for employers to learn about your midwifery skills and qualifications.
Submitting a well-written resume along with a strong cover letter is the primary step in your job application process. Your goal is to write an effective resume that highlights your relevant experience and accomplishments that will spark their interest in interviewing you. Your resume must link your experience, education, and skills directly to the midwife job description. As you begin to write your resume, work on the content and composition, then decide on a format that highlights your strengths and career goals. Expect to go through several drafts in this process.
Interview Techniques for Midwife Jobs
Your application for your midwifery post has been successful and you’ve been invited to interview – well done! Having reached this stage of the selection process, you need to prepare for your interview. The interview is your chance to show potential employers that you have the right personality, qualifications, experience and proven track record for the role.
During the interview, the hiring manager will ask you standard questions that you can easily prepare for. However, they may ask questions that you do not expect. But, the more you prepare, the more confident you will be. So focus your responses around the key competencies and skills of the midwife job.
Interview Preparation Tips
To help you succeed, these tips will help you prepare for your midwifery interview.
- Research your prospective employer before the interview. Visit their website for standard information such as the size of the organization, key priorities, and other details. Ask other midwives about the reputation, strengths and weaknesses of the practice.
- Read the job description and assess how your knowledge and experience match the job requirements.
- Identify why you want to work at the organization. Hiring managers commonly ask why you’re interested in working for the organization.
Here are some common questions that you can expect to answer.
- What do you consider your strengths to be as a midwife?
- What qualities make you an effective member of the maternity team?
- Describe how you stay current on midwifery best practices.
The interviewer may ask questions to gain insight into your approach to work situations and people. For example:
- If a woman had a post-partum hemorrhage immediately following the delivery of a baby, what would you do? In this case, you might outline a process similar to this:
- Assess the situation
- Take appropriate action
- Follow procedures and guidelines
- Communicate appropriately
- Keep proper records
- Evaluate and learn from the situation.
Prepare to ask questions at the end of your interview to show that you have a genuine interest in the position. For example:
- How do you support employee professional development? This question shows your commitment to learning and development and may help you decide if this is the right employer for you.
- How would you describe the work culture? This can help assess if the employer is attentive to issues such as work-life balance, team dynamics, and a positive work environment. This question indicates your interest to work in a positive environment. Hopefully, you will be seen as someone who would contribute in a positive way.
- What are the most significant issues that the organization is facing? This shows that you see your role in the context of the bigger picture. You can also find out how your role may be affected by future changes or projects.
An informational interview is a brief (20–30-minute) meeting that you schedule with a midwife to learn more about the profession in Canada.
You should not try to get a midwifery job during an informational interview but rather find out more about practising midwifery in Canada. An informational interview with a contact from your network can be an excellent source of career information. In addition to gathering information about the midwife profession in Canada, you’ll gain the benefit of a professional’s first-hand experiences and impressions.
Networking to Help You Find a Midwife Job
Meeting new people, building relationships, and sharing information are really what networking is all about. It’s also an essential activity that can help you discover job leads, learn about the profession in Canada, and expand your network.
As many midwife job vacancies are not advertised, connecting with other midwives can help you find a job in what’s known as the “hidden job market”. Good places to network include conferences and association events.
LinkedIn is another important professional tool for networking. It is great to connect with former colleagues, search for companies and jobs, and get introductions to people currently working in a midwife job.
You can also join some related professional groups to learn about midwifery in Canada, make contacts, and access important resources. But remember, that you have to allow time to cultivate and grow the ties you establish through networking. Nothing will happen overnight and it’s helpful to be patient.
5. Midwife Associations in Canada
The following associations provide information about licensure, certification and offer professional development, and networking opportunities.
Provincia Regulatory Bodies
Professional immigrant networks are organized, volunteer-run member-based associations or networks created by and for immigrant professionals that seek to:
- Create a forum to contribute to and enrich their respective communities
- Provide opportunities for their members to find meaningful employment and achieve their professional goals.
Activities offered include networking events, mentoring, information sessions, professional development opportunities, and connections to job opportunities.
isans helps newcomer professionals with their full economic and social integration in the province of Nova Scotia.
Professional Immigrant Networks (TRIEC)
For more information about working and living in Canada, visit our Finding a Job in Canada page. We’ll help you to achieve your goals in Canada!