Death doula salary: How much do ‘death midwives’ make?

Bruno Cooke March 10, 2021
Death doula salary: How much do ‘death midwives’ make?

What is a death doula’s salary? CNN recently spotlighted the importance of death doulas, in providing logistical, emotional and other kinds of support during the dying process – just as a midwife or doula does with the birthing process.

How much does a death doula make?

A death doula’s salary depends on a lot of things. 

For example, wealthier clients will likely have more to spend on the services of a death doula. 

On the other hand, less affluent families will have less disposable income to spend on spiritual, psychological and social support before and just after death.

As a holistic or “alternative” service, death doula jobs are often freelance. Therefore, they agree upon a rate with their clients on a case by case basis.

A stock photo of a Hospice Nurse visiting an Elderly male patient who is receiving hospice/palliative care.

Death doula salary

The hourly rate can be as little as $25/hr, or as much as $100/hr. 

The Sun ran a story in 2018 by an “end-of-life coach” who charged £20/hr to “make sick people look forward to dying”.

Lizzie, the doula in question, apparently takes on numerous roles, from therapist to cleaner, counsellor to friend and confidante, “often all at once”. 

How to become a death doula

“Death midwives” belong to a relatively new profession – which might be part of the reason for having an undefined salary. 

The International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA), founded in 2015, certifies and supports doulas, while also conducting research into the practice.

According to CNN, there are at least 20 individuals and organisations training death doulas in the US alone.

Training to be a ‘death midwife’

Those who wish to train can attend programs and workshops run in affiliation with INELDA. 

The organisation is currently running online training sessions at a cost of $650, excluding certification and other fees.

Going with Grace, founded by Alua Arthur (see below, musing on permanence), is also currently open for enrolment on its June and August 2021 group study training programs.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.