Lactation consultants review, monitor, and teach appropriate breastfeeding techniques for new mothers. If an expecting mother experiences lactation problems before or after the birth of her baby, it could cause serious problems to the breasts and to the nursing baby. Lactation consultants correct nursing problems as they arise, and they ensure that new mothers and babies are taken care of after a birth. If you would like to become a nurse specializing in breastfeeding, this could be a great career path for you. The lactation consultant job description below provides an overview of this line of work so you can determine if it is a fitting solution for you.
Lactation Consultant Job Duties
The job duties of a lactation consultant do not vary much from job to job, as these specialists focus on one key part of the body during their everyday activities. Thus you should be able to transition from one lactation consulting position to the other without having to go through extensive training for the adjustment. Common responsibilities you may encounter as a lactation consultant include:
- Identify lactation problems in new mothers
- Correcting lactation problems after diagnosis
- Planning breastfeeding classes for new and expecting mothers
- Examining breastfeeding practices to ensure the safety of mother and child
- Advising healthcare providers on patients’ lactation problems
- Leading seminars and lectures related to breastfeeding
- Teaching other nurses to monitor breastfeeding practices
You may have a slight change in job duties based on the place of employment you work in, but that will be a result of the request from your employer. You may have to hold special classes or fundraisers to promote lactation awareness, or you may have to work with breast doctors to ensure that they are taking care of a woman’s chest properly. If you look into the career requirements in your area, you may have a better idea of what kind of work you will have to do.
Lactation Consultant Salary Levels
Lactation consultants do not earn as much as some nurse practitioners, but they can still make a good living with minimal education. The lactation consultation salary you earn will be based on your experience, degree, location, certification, and much more. Thus it may be a little hard for you to calculate the exact amount of money you will make in this career. The national averages below should give you a rough idea as to how much money you will earn so you can plan out your future.
Salary by Years of Experience
- Less than 1 year: $10.97 – $22.50 per hour
- 1-4 years: $10.63 – $30.35 per hour
- 5-9 years: $11.63 – $32.97 per hour
- 10-19 years: $13.00 – $36.65 per hour
- 20 years or more: $26.80 – $33.86 per hour
Salary by Certification
- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: $14.39 – $34.15 per hour
- Registered Nurse: $29.35 – $34.47 per hour
Salary by State
- California: $14.00 – $33.75 per hour
- North Carolina: $23.77 – $32.29 per hour
- Pennsylvania: $18.50 – $33.83 per hour
- Texas: $13.00 – $28.00 per hour
Salary by Industry
- Health Care Services: $19.26 – $35.29 per hour
- Healthcare: $10.10 – $34.51 per hour
- Hospital: $14.24 – $36.05 per hour
As long as you have the education you need to work in this career, you should have no trouble securing an income that can provide for your family. The salary levels above may be a little higher when you enter the career, depending on how economic inflation and demand for lactation consultants has changed over the years. No matter what the situation may be at that time though, you should be able to get a well-paying job as a lactation consultant.
How to Become a Lactation Consultant
To become a lactation consultant, you will need to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing or higher, with an emphasis on lactation courses throughout your degree. After completing your training program, you will take an exam to become a certified lactation consultant. Then all you will have to do is take some time to find a job in your area. In just a few years, you could become a lactation consultant that women around you can truly count on for advice.