What is an OB/GYN

OB/GYNs, or obstretrician/gynecologists, are physicians who deal with the health of the female reproductive system. While this includes the health of the vagina, uterus, and ovaries, OB/GYNs offer more focused and specific health care related to pregnancy and birthing care, helping to guide women through the entire process, from prenatal to postpartum care. For more information on job duties, please visit our obstetrician job description page.

 Work Environment

OB/GYNs, like gynecologists, typically work in hospitals, clinics, or private offices. Some may also offer their services in family planning centers. They often work with other physicians in the field of reproductive health, as well as other administrative and health care personnel. They work in clean, well-lit offices, often designed to make patients more comfortable in lieu of the standard sterile environment a hospital may provide.

Work Schedule

OB/GYNs often work very full schedules, putting in many extra hours. In particular, they may need to provide extra care to patients nearing the end of their pregnancies; they (the pregnancies) can be quite unpredictable, and an OB/GYN may need to be on call or work overnight hours during labor and delivery, making regular and consistent office hours difficult to maintain. 

Mean Annual OB/GYN Salary

The average annual ob/gyn salary is $212,570. The mean salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and divid that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $109,550 and the top 10% makes well over $320,000.

OB/GYN Salary: Quick Summary

2013 Mean Salary$212,570 per year
$102.20 per hour
Top 10% Salary$320,000 per year
$153.85 per hour
Bottom 10% Salary$109,550 per year
$52.67 per hour
Number of Jobs, 201321,730

OB/GYN Job Outlook and Prospects

The job outlook for OB/GYNs is promising, expected to grow by 18 percent from 2012 to 2022. This is almost on par with the average for physicians and surgeons. There are currently about 21,730 OB/GYNs in the United States, which means that there will be approximately 3,900 new positions. This growth rate is driven in part by a growing need in all health care fields caused by a growing population both due to new birth and to immigration. There is also expected to be a higher than average number of OB/GYNs retiring.

OB/GYN Salary: Factors and Influences

An OB/GYN’s salary is affected by many factors, not least of which are experience, education, and position. Specialization is also an avenue for consideration, and the industry worked and the geographic location can offer great differences in wages; they are, in fact, the primary drivers behind increased monetary gains. On average, OB/GYNs earn around $212,570 per year.

Education and Specialization 

OB/GYNs, like all doctors, require a bachelor’s degree followed by a four-year medical degree. After the medical degree, they must take part in a three- to four-year residency, and if pursuing a specialization, must take part in a further two- to four-year fellowship.

Taking part in a more prestigious medical program or residency does offer some improvements in the salary for an OB/GYN, in part because of the reputation these institutions have.

There are also numerous routes of specialization for an OB/GYN, including gynecological oncology, infertility evaluation and treatment, as well as gynecological surgery (such as laparoscopy or endometrial ablation). Those OB/GYNs who hold such specializations can see great salary gains, often in excess of $50,000.

Experience and Position 

Experience is a primary factor affecting OB/GYN salary, in part due to the reputation included with it. Like education, greater experience will mean one has a greater reputation in the field, and such a reputation will make one more sought after by both patients and larger institutions.

Coupled with this is the matter of position; OB/GYNs who have a higher position in a hospital or clinic’s hierarchy will receive higher wages, and heading a department will be well rewarded. Similarly, and OB/GYN who also takes part in training, either of residents or in a university lecture hall, can earn more than those who do not.


Industry is another primary factor influencing the salary of an OB/GYN, leading to more than $100,000 in difference. Working in a college or university will bring an average wage of $109,120, while working for a local government earns $205,940. Ambulatory health care services are even higher, at $210,970. Those running a private office, however, earn the highest average wage. Their practice can bring an average salary of $216,740.


The geographic location worked is the third primary factor affecting OB/GYN salary, with a potential range of earnings from $87,550 in Puerto Rico to more than $248,070 in Wyoming. Interestingly, OB/GYN salaries show a locational trend differing from most medical fields. Wyoming has the fifth highest wage, followed by Oklahoma in fourth position at $251,010. Third is Idaho, followed by Pennsylvania, and the highest wage is in Wisconson; the specific data for these top three is not listed by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, however it is in excess of $251,000.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics also does not have the specific numbers for the top ten metropolitan areas, however it lists Manchester, NH as offering the highest annual mean OB/GYN salary.

ob/gyn salary state by state