Generally, OB-GYNs spend eight years completing their undergraduate and medical degrees before moving on to four-year residencies in obstetrics and gynecology. If they decide to extend their training, it’s usually to focus on a sub-specialty within this branch of medicine.
As of May 2012, OB-GYNs earned an average of $216,760 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, in a surveythe Association of American Medical Colleges conducted, OB-GYNs reported average earnings of around $298,000 annually. This average was down from the previous year, when the average was $304,000.
Salaries by Subspecialty
OB-GYNs interested in pursuing more specialized fields must complete a fellowship after their obstetrics and gynecology residency. It generally takes from two to three years to complete a fellowship, but the additional training may improve earnings. For example, reproductive endocrinologists -- OB-GYNs who treat fertility problems -- earned a mean of $317,312 a year, according to a survey by recruiting consultants MD & DDS Resources. Gynecological oncologists, or OB-GYNs who treat cancers of the female reproductive system, earned a mean of $413,500. A survey published in Becker's Hospital Review found that OB-GYNs in maternal-fetal medicine, which involves the treatment of high-risk pregnancies, averaged $473,227 annually.
Salaries by Setting
The setting in which OB-GYNs choose to practice can affect their earnings. According to a Medscape survery, outpatient clinics pay an average of $154,000 annually. OB-GYNs in academic settings averaged $173,000 annually, while those employed at hospitals averaged $194,000 per year. Single-specialty group practices, ormedical clinics devoted solely to obstetrics and gynecology, paid OB-GYNs the highest average wages at $242,000 a year.
Salaries by Gender
The gender gap also may affect the earnings of OB-GYNs. On average, men earned 14 percent more than women, reports the Medscape survey. In 2011, male OB-GYNs brought home $234,000 a year, whereas women in this same specialty earned $206,000 annually.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook – Physicians and Surgeons
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Association of American Medical Colleges: Healthy Gains
- MD & DDS Resources: Physician Salary Survey
- Becker’s Hospital Review: 25 Highest-Paid Specialties
- Medscape: OB/GYN Compensation Report – 2012 Results
- Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images