Best Places to Live

Gaithersburg, MD

Population: 64,945
iStock Photo/DenisTangneyJr

You can’t walk around Washington D.C. for long without meeting somebody who is involved in politics. The same is true for STEM jobs in the D.C. suburb of Gaithersburg, where one in every five employees in the city works in a STEM-related profession. The median salary for those employees is nearly $90,000, which is approximately $37,000 greater than the median income for the city overall.

There are a number of major corporations – such as Lockheed Martin and IBM – that have a presence in Gaithersburg partly because of the city’s proximity to the defense industry in the nation’s capital. But there also are several smaller STEM-centric companies headquartered in Gaithersburg.

Examples include Emergent BioSolutions, a specialty biopharmaceutical company. Emergent develops vaccines and antibody therapeutics for infectious diseases, oncology and autoimmune disorders, and provides medical devices for biodefense purposes.

GeneDx is a world leader in genomics, with a focus on ultra-rare genetic disorders as well as a comprehensive genetic testing menu. GeneDx is attempting to make clinical genetic testing more easily available to patients and their families.

OpenText GXS manages the integration of Internet-based cloud computing systems for business clients, with the goal of creating frictionless and secure interaction between companies. And MedImmune is a 30-year veteran within the pharmaceutical industry that specializes in medication for the prevention of respiratory infections in infants.

In addition, Gaithersburg is home to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901, NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories, with programs that include Nanoscale Science and Technology, Engineering, Information Technology, Neutron Research, Material Measurement, and Physical Measurement.

Gaithersburg also is focused on the future of STEM education with the recent opening of the Art of Problem Solving Academy. Through a partnership with the Magnet Foundation, which has started a STEM Talent Pipeline Program, the Academy brings in elementary school students to attend accelerated math classes, with an emphasis on creating a more diverse pipeline of STEM-ready students.

Residents of Gaithersburg are able to enjoy the comforts of a small-town community, but with easy access to all the activity that can be found in the D.C. metropolitan area. 

Find out more about living in Gaithersburg.