The average salary of a doula is $30,000; however, there are many factors which can help you earn a higher income. For example, if you live in a large metropolitan area, you can charge more for your services because there is an increased demand for doulas. One of the large factors to determining a doula salary is whether or not you are certified. Becoming a certified doula is an indication to your potential clients that you have gained real world experience as well as the ability to pass a rigorous academic curriculum. The following are tips to how to get certified so that you can earn a fair wage as a doula.
Enroll in an Accredited Certification Program
Not all doula certification programs are created equal. Some are accredited, meaning that they are officially recognized. The largest accredited certification organization is called DONA or Doulas of North America. They are nationally and internationally accredited. Therefore, if you earn a certification from DONA, you will become a respected doula in the eyes of anyone looking to hire. Since people recognize DONA as a well-respected training organization, they will be more apt to hire someone who has been trained through DONA. A certified DONA doula can earn $50,000 or more, depending on how many clients she serves. By becoming certified, a new doula becomes much more competitive and is able to charge more for her services.
Becoming a Certified Postpartum Doula
Many women who become a certified birth doula also train to become a certified postpartum doula. While birth doulas provide physical and emotional support to the mother during childbirth, postpartum doulas provide support to both the mother and newborn in the few days and weeks after the baby is born. It is easy for a birth doula to transition into a postpartum doula after the birth of the baby; so many birth doulas continue their education to become postpartum doulas. This enables the doula to provide many more services to better take care of her client and her newborn. Postpartum doulas are paid by the day; however, some doulas sell a birth and postpartum support package together as a combo. The going rate for a combo package is around $1000. Therefore, become a certified postpartum doula is a great way to increase your salary.
Train to Become a Childbirth Educator
Experienced doulas have a wealth of knowledge regarding the anatomy, physiology, and common issues of childbirth. Some doulas use that knowledge and transition into a career as a childbirth educator. Childbirth educators instruct soon-to-be parents on the ins and outs of having a baby. Educators can be hired by hospitals, birth centers, or work independently. They typical charge around $200 for expectant parents to attend weekly classes. This is another great way to raise your salary as a doula.