What is a doula salary? How Much Do Doulas Make? These are very reasonable questions and one that we want to answer for you before you start your new doula career!
Good news, you can earn as much as you want as a doula! The range for salaries of doula is based on geographic location, how long you have been at it, how many clients you have and if you offer specialized care. This is where your lived experiences can really help you out – you can finally put all your amazing skill to use here as doula care intersects with so many of the helping and healing things we do for our family and friends for free.
Yes, this means doulas in larger cities typically charge more, and do not be discouraged, rural birthworkers, we teach you how to build a lucrative business.
Ok, ok let’s talk numbers…
How much do doulas make a year?
Like we said, the annual doula salary can vary depending on the above mentioned variables. Roughly though, a doula can earn about $40,000 and $50,000 annually in Canada and the US. Best news, we have many alumni earning over $100,000 annually! We teach you how to have a thriving doula business with client care as well as passive income.
Let’s break it down to an hourly rate…
How much do birth doulas make an hour?
As a birth doula, you are the prenatal educator and advocate for your client. After your on-call period, you attend the birth and you do a postpartum follow up. This is a magical role as you get to watch the miracle of birth over and over and over again. We recommend that birth doulas create a package that typically has 2 or 3 prenatal appointments, on-call support, labour and delivery care plus a follow postnatal visit. This package has a package rate of $700 – $2500 per birth, depending on experience and where you live. We are going to discuss a live wage and pro-bono births further down this post.
How much does a postpartum doula make?
Unlike birth doulas, postpartum doulas typically charge by the hour as opposed to packaged rate. That said, we encourage our alumni to sell bundled hours for their postpartum packages. As a postpartum or postnatal doula, you do hands-on support for new families. You answer questions, you screen for mood disorders, you help them with infant care and sleeping and feeding. You get to be the nurturer to the family. It is a beautiful role! On average, postpartum doulas earn approximately $25 to $60 per hour. This would vary depending on if you are servicing a major city or a rural area, and like with birth doulas, you have the factors of experience and if you provide a specialty. We tell our alumni that you can expect to make approximately $25 – $35 per hour in your first year.
OK, so let’s put it together so you can see what you could earn…
What can you earn in your first year as a birth doula?
We made pictures and different scenarios to help you see this clearly…
Well, training with bebo mia will mean that you are in school for 17 weeks. You are free to take clients in while you are still training. We even give you the KickStarter Package (which is your doula business in a box) so that there are no barriers to getting started. We will err on the side of caution for these scenarios and assume that these doulas are a bit nervous to start before their classes are done, so we are only going to take doula clients for 9 months of the year.
Don’t worry we will do the math for you.
Doula 1: Lives in a smaller town and wants to work part time because she still has 2 kids under 4 at home. Well, first, this doula wants to charge $1200 per birth and can take 2 clients per month. This means that she will earn $21,600 in her first year!
Did you notice that your course has almost paid for itself after 1 birth?!
Doula 2: They live in a city and they have kids who are in school full time now, so they have the daytime to work on their business. This means they are charging $1700 per birth for their first year because they live in an area where that is the low end of average (they plan to raise it once they feel more confident) and they can take 4 clients per month. So, this doula has $1700 per birth, with 4 per month for 9 months meaning they will earn $61,200 in their first year.
In each of these scenarios, the following year, they will have 12 months to work since they will not have to count their school.
So, first we will circle back to doula 1 who will make $28,800 their second year! They may make even more if they decide to raise their rates with experience.
Now we are going to come back to doula 2. They will make $81,600 their second year, as they decided to not raise their rates for year 2, but they will for year 3 which will push them over the $100,000 annual salary mark!
This is just for your doula services… you may also do postpartum work or teach classes or send digital products which would mean that above income would just be doula care and not your other streams of revenue.
How much does a postpartum doula make in a year?
We are going to use some conservative averages here for you. If you do an hourly rate with clients, that would be about $30/hr. Overnight shifts are also really common and that average for this is $300/night.
Let’s do some visuals and math here (we know you like this!)
First we are going to look at a part time doula working in a smaller community.
Now, let’s look at a full time postpartum doula working in a large city.
Where can you work?
Well, you have options! Good news! All of the ways you can practice as a doula have pros and cons. You have to find the way that you like to work and how you can thrive. Do you do better with more direction from your boss or do you like autonomy as an entrepreneur? Are you a go-getter and self-motivated to run your own company or do you thrive with a system and framework from an employer?
Here are the main options as a doula:
- You can run your own business – we see you entrepreneurs!
- You can work for a hospital (mostly in the US and you can get about $30/hr and some have benefits and overtime)
- You can work for a doula agency – you would be an independent contractor for the agency, although, some do have employees.
- You can run a collective with a group of doulas – also a self-employed model
Being a doula is incredible and you are changing, and saving, the lives of so many babies and their parents. We cannot find the words for what an honor and a privilege it is doing this work.
Is there a demand for doulas?
There is a rise in demand for folks looking for well trained and certified fertility, birth and postpartum doulas! Especially after the last few years, the rates just keep going up.
Birth Doula Salary
A birth doula salary will vary depending on location, experience, how many clients they take and specialization. Most labour and birth doulas will make between $18,000 and $90,000 per year.
Postpartum Doula Salary
A postpartum doula salary will vary depending on location, experience, how many clients they take and specialization. Most postpartum or postnatal doulas will make between $15,000 and $75,000 per year.
How do I become a doula?
Well, you are in the right place! bebo mia provides the most comprehensive and inclusive doula training out there. Our doula training is 17 weeks long so you learn everything you need to know to work with clients. At the end of the training you are a certified fertility, birth and postpartum doula. Yup, 3 in 1 for the win!
PLUS we offer:
- free therapy to our students and alumni,
- we have no recertification fees,
- You have lifelong continuing education from us,
- We teach you HOW to run a doula business!
The live & interactive doula training starts in September and March and we want you to follow your passion and grab one of the spots in the program. We know it is a big decision, a big commitment, and a big change, which can all be a little bit frightening. If there is something holding you back from jumping in with both feet, feel free to send us an email and ask any questions you like. We read all our emails and are here to support you 100%.
If you want to sign up, click RIGHT HERE.
We also have a free workshop all about our program right here.
We offer payment plans as well! We look forward to adding you to our amazing and inclusive community. If you’re still not sure, get in touch, we are happy to talk with you.
See you in the bebo mia’s MSP doula training!
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