OB-GYNs, short for obstetricians and gynecologists, are physician specialists who provide medical care for women. Some emphasize obstetrics, or pregnancy and childbirth, while others specialize in gynecology, or reproductive health. Board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists must spend four years in residency training after medical school. After their long years of training, OB-GYNs earn high hourly wages, although not as much as the highest-paid specialists.
The average OB-GYN in the United States received an hourly wage of $105.10 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This equals an annual salary of $218,610 for a year of 40-hour weeks. This sounds low for a physician, but the BLS statistics don't include self-employed OB-GYNs, who can set their own fees. But self-employed doctors have extra expenses, such as funding their health insurance and retirement plans. Many physicians work more than 40 hours per week, increasing their income potential.
A majority of OB-GYNs work in other physicians' offices, which employed 16,320 out of a total 20,540 such specialists in 2011, according to BLS statistics. These doctors averaged $107.69 per hour or $224,000 per year, the highest pay of any industry. Hospitals employed more than 2,700 OB-GYNs, paying them an average of $96.49 per hour or $200,700 for a full-time year. Fewer than 1,000 worked in outpatient centers, where they averaged $105.20 per hour, the equivalent of $218,810 annually in 2011.
States with High Employment
Four states employed more than 1,000 OB-GYNs as of 2011, according to the government report. California led with 2,840 jobs paying an average of $107.19 per hour, equivalent to $222,960 for a full-time year. Texas had more than 2,500 jobs at average pay of $108.86 per hour or $226,420 per year. Ohio and New York each had approximately 1,100 jobs, paying more than $96 per hour, or slightly more than $200,000 per year.
A compilation of industry salary reports in "Modern Healthcare" in 2011 provided broader insight into OB-GYN pay. This study reported annual wages, rather than hourly ones, and compiled reports from industry organizations, such as the American Medical Group Association. The average salary range for OB-GYNs based on 15 industry groups ranged from $247,680 to $420,000 annually. Cardiology, for example, was higher paid, with wages ranging from $373,500 to $532,000 annually, as was anesthesiology, ranging from $341,853 to $520,000. Specialists in internal medicine, for example, were lower paid, earning between $188,500 and $236,544 per year.
The number of jobs for physicians in all specialties will increase by 24 percent between 2010 and 2020, states the BLS, faster than most jobs. Low-income and rural areas will have the best opportunities. OB-GYNs will share in the good job prospects. They are among the 20 most-requested physician specialties, according to a Merritt-Hawkins study reported by the Massachusetts Medical Society in 2012.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook and Wages, May 2011: Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicians and Surgeons -- Pay
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicians and Surgeons -- Work Environment
- American Board of Obstretrics & Gynecology: Frequently Asked Questions
- Modern Healthcare: Par for Doc Pay?
- Massachusetts Medical Society: 2012 MMS Physician Workforce study
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Physicians and Surgeons -- Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
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