How to Become an

Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)

The complete career guide to be an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN): salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $222,400
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 17.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • High Income Potential
    Career Attribute

Obstetrician gynecologists (OBGYNs) are physicians who specialize in female reproduction systems. They conduct routine examinations like mammograms and pap smears, and treat women for cervical cancer or reproductive issues. They also treat women over the course of their pregnancies and deliver babies.

Recommended Schools

What is an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in obstetrician gynecologist roles:

  • Conduct annual pap smear and mammogram exams
  • Treat women who are experiencing reproductive issues
  • Prescribe birth control pills or install internal birth control devices like IUDs
  • Perform routine examinations of women during pregnancies
  • Deliver babies for natural and caesarian section births

A Day in the Life

Obstetrician gynecologists (OBGYNs) are physicians who specialize in female reproductive systems. As gynecologists, they are responsible for managing the long-term reproductive health of patients. They conduct annual pap smear exams for patients who have surpassed puberty to ensure reproductive health. They look for signs of cervical or uterine cancer, and they perform treatments and surgeries when diseases or issues are discovered. They also perform mammograms for older patients and help patients once they’re reached menopause.

As obstetricians, OBGYNs guide expecting mothers through pregnancy and giving birth. They examine pregnant mothers throughout their pregnancies and conduct tests to determine if any issues exist with the pregnancy or baby. They counsel expecting mothers on what to expect from their pregnancies, and teach them what they should and shouldn’t do while pregnant. When patients go into labor, the OBGYN arrives at the hospital to deliver the baby, performing both natural births and caesarian sections when required.

Another important role of the OBGYN is to educate patients on the importance of safe sex. They prescribe birth control medications to patients, and they install intrauterine devices and other internal birth control systems. They also conduct sexually transmitted disease tests and interview patients to determine their risk for contracting an STD. For younger patients, the OBGYN may administer immunizations that are designed to protect against preventable STDs.

Typical Work Schedule

Most OBGYNs work full-time schedules. While the bulk of their work may be conducted during regular office hours, they are also required to be on call during all hours of the day, weekends, and holidays to deliver babies when patients go into labor.

Typical Employers

OBGYNs may own their own private practices, may share practices with one or more other OBGYNs, or may work for hospital systems. Often, OBGYNs share practices with each other to ensure someone is always available to be on call to handle deliveries when patients go into labor.

Recommended Schools

How To Become an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)

The first step in becoming an obstetrician gynecologist is to earn an undergraduate degree. Common bachelor’s degrees pursued by aspiring OBGYNs are usually focused on science topics, such as biology, chemistry, or health. Most medical schools require students to have complete coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, and most science degrees require these types of courses to be taken before graduation. Students must also take and pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as undergraduates to qualify for enrollment in a medical school.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, students must earn a professional degree from a medical school. These four-year programs provide a thorough education in medicine, treatment, and physiology. Two years of the program are often focused on classroom instruction, followed by two years of practice assisting experienced and licensed physicians. After graduating from medical school., students can take the required tests to become licensed physicians in their state and practice general medicine.

However, to work as OBGYN, and additional four-year residency is required after graduating from medical school. This final program allows aspiring OBGYNs to focus all of their learning and skills on the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. Residents work in OBGYN offices and hospitals and assist with pap smears, mammograms, examinations, and deliveries. When this residency is complete, OBGYNs take and pass another set of exams before becoming licensed to practice obstetrics and gynecology in their states.

Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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How do Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)'s can make an average annual salary of $222,400, or $107 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $157,590 or $76 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #4 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN). a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)s

  • 93.7%   Doctorate
  • 3.3%   Masters
  • 2.3%   Bachelors
  • 0.3%   Associates
  • 0.1%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 4,300 jobs for a total of 28,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 17.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #78 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN)s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Offices of physicians 16,900 3,200 3%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 3,200 200 0%
Self-employed workers 2,400 500 0%

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