Getting ready to moving to Bethesda, MD? Bethesda is an unincorporated town in Montgomery County, Maryland, located just seven miles from Washington, D.C. Bethesda took its name from the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, a place known for miracles and recovery. Well, though the town is generally recognized for hosting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, this very town has a lot more to say.

In this guide, we will cover everything about moving to Bethesda: the economy and education, cost of living, neighborhoods, and amenities.

Economy and Job Market

Lockheed Martin headquarters in Bethesda, MD

Bethesda is a booming economy founded on various industries. The following is a closer look at what drives this economy in Bethesda.

Major Industries

🏥 Healthсare: Bethesda is chockful of a renowned healthcare network. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center form the biggest employer in town, providing many jobs for the working class in medicine and for research purposes.

🛡️ Defense: The defense industry forms a strong foundation in the economy of Bethesda. Bethesda is known for being the base of operations for Lockheed Martin. This single corporation offers many thousands of jobs of every variety.

💼 Finance: Marriott International operates in Bethesda, headquartered there, along with Walker & Dunlop, a managed healthcare company.

💻 Technology: Bethesda also hosts several tech firms, contributing to its economic diversity. These companies offer a range of opportunities in IT and engineering.

Fortune 500 Companies

Bethesda is home to many Fortune 500 companies, noting:

  • Lockheed Martin;
  • Marriott International;
  • Walker & Dunlop;
  • Digital Management, LLC.

All the companies listed above are ranked among the top employers in the US.

Career Opportunities

The job market in Bethesda is highly flexible and diversified to employ almost all types of industry or business categories, as enumerated below:

  • Healthcare Jobs: There are many career opportunities at NIH and Walter Reed for physicians and scientists and jobs for the ancillary staff.
  • Defense Sector: Opportunities are abounding in the Capital Region, ranging from systems engineering to administrative jobs, through Lockheed Martin and others from the defense side.
  • Finance and Business: Significant corporations in Bethesda include Marriott International and Walker & Dunlop, which presents job opportunities in higher and middle management, finance personnel, marketing staff, and operational roles, among others.
  • Technology Sector: Various tech startups and established firms offer roles in software development, IT support, and cybersecurity.

Average Salaries in Bethesda

In Bethesda, the following examples contain the average salaries, which show that the city has a high standard of working, with an experience of solider benefits coming from the solid economy.

  • Healthcare Professionals: Average salary of $80,000 – $150,000 per year.
  • Engineers and IT Professionals: Average salary of $70,000 – $120,000 per year.
  • Finance and Business Roles: Average salary of $60,000 – $110,000 per year.

Here’s a quick look at the average salaries across major industries:

IndustryAverage Salary Range
Healthcare$80,000 – $150,000
Defense$75,000 – $130,000
Finance and Business$60,000 – $110,000
Technology$70,000 – $120,000
💵 Average Salary in Bethesda, MD: $85k/ year.

Source: 🌐 PayScale – Average Salary in Bethesda, MD

Job Search Websites

For job seekers, here are some useful websites to find employment opportunities in Bethesda:

Notable Quote

 Bethesda Green

«All in all, Bethesda boasts many features that make it particularly well-suited to starting a business or organization. From amenities to transportation to the nature of the industries themselves, Bethesda is a modern city that keeps up with the inspiring leaders it houses.»

Cost of Living

Infographic Suggestion: An infographic comparing the cost of living in Bethesda with national and state averages.

Overall, Bethesda has the highest cost of living. The section below details the actual costs of living in Bethesda.

Housing Costs

The bar chart compares the median home price and median monthly rent between Bethesda and the national averages. Bethesda's median home price is $1,172,932 compared to the national average of $358,734. The median monthly rent in Bethesda is $3,532 compared to $2,120 nationally. Bethesda's costs are shown in blue and national averages in gray.
Comparison of Housing Costs in Bethesda vs. National Averages

This section details the actual costs of living in Bethesda. A house is an individual’s most expensive cost when in Bethesda. A home here has a median value of about $1,172,932, while United States average: $358,734. The median rent is $3,532 a month, so accommodation is equally costly for renters.

Housing TypeBethesda AverageNational Average
Median Home Price$1,172,932$358,734
Median Rent (per month)$3,532$2,120
Sources: Zillow

Utilities and Everyday Expenses

The bar chart compares monthly expenses for Utilities, Groceries, Gasoline, and Local Transport between Bethesda and national averages. Utilities in Bethesda cost $222.47 versus $152.08 nationally. Groceries average $425 in Bethesda compared to $325 nationally. Gasoline is $3.42 per gallon in Bethesda versus $3.00 nationally. Local transport tickets are $3.00 in Bethesda versus $2.50 nationally. Bethesda's costs are shown in blue and national averages in gray.
Comparison of Monthly Expenses: Bethesda vs. National Averages

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage costs for utilities, on average, are over the top in Bethesda. Here’s a breakdown for you:

  • Utilities: the average cost for utilities like electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage is about $222.47 (according to;
  • Groceries: Prices for common items (according to Numbeo):
    • Milk (1 liter): $1.09;
    • Bread (500 g): $3.68;
    • Chicken fillets (1 kg): $8.59;
    • Apples (1 kg): $4.58.
  • Transport: Local transport costs approximately $3.00 for a one-way ticket.
Expense TypeBethesda AverageNational Average
Utilities (monthly)$222.47$152.08
Groceries (monthly)$350 – $500$250 – $400
Gasoline (per gallon)$3.42$3.00
Local Transport Ticket$3.00$2.50
Sources:; numbeo.

Recommended Income for Comfortable Living

🤔 What is a good salary in Bethesda MD?

In Bethesda, average families in the area are required to have an annual earning of $205,560, whereas $82,400 is for single persons to live standard lives. It is so to take care of the relatively expensive housing and daily cost of living standard.

Tips for Managing High Living Costs

  1. Engage in Budgeting: Record your spending habits and make a monthly budget.
  2. Take your housing: Find cheaper housing in the outskirts.
  3. Public transport: Save the transport cost by using the Metrobus and Metrorail systems.
  4. Be a Smart Shopper: Food is going to be cheaper if you purchase from high local markets and discount shops.
  5. Energy Efficient: Lowering the consumption bill can be made possible if you attain energy-efficient appliances and practice it.

Real Estate Websites

For those looking to buy or rent a house in Bethesda, here are some useful websites:

💡 Interesting Fact: 

Despite the high cost of living, Bethesda boasts a high median family income of $185,546, making it one of the wealthiest areas in the country.


Bethesda Suburb Photo

Bethesda offers a variety of neighborhoods, all with something different that is appealing and a distinct selling point. Some of the top choices tend to be:

Downtown Bethesda

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Description: Downtown Bethesda is an active urban area that mixes both residential and commercial spaces with great entertainment. It’s known for its bustling streets, modern apartments, and proximity to shops and restaurants.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: Downtown Bethesda has eateries, malls, and cultural venues, such as the Bethesda Row and Strathmore Music Center.
  • Demographics: Ideal for singles and young professionals.
  • Transportation: Excellent public transit at the Bethesda Metro station.

Recommendation: Ideal for young professionals and those who enjoy an urban lifestyle.

Bethesda Row

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Description: Bethesda Row is a trendy neighborhood known for its upscale shopping and dining experiences. It’s a hub of activity with a mix of modern apartments and townhouses.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: High-end boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife.
  • Demographics: Attracts a mix of young professionals and affluent families.
  • Transportation: Walkable area with good public transportation access.

Recommendation: This area is suitable for those who wish for a busy life with enough dining and shopping opportunities.

Woodmont Triangle

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Description: Woodmont Triangle is a vibrantly pulsating heart that lies in the past and magically seems to meet the present. A place hosting some historic, ancient buildings amid modern development, the secret behind the neighborhood’s charisma and convenience goes unmatched for miles.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: Gourmet and casual restaurants, art galleries, and entertainment joints.
  • Demographics: Artists, young professionals, students.
  • Transportation: Public; easy access to major highways

Recommendation: Great for creatives and young professionals looking for a vibrant community.

Chevy Chase

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Description: Chevy Chase is a locality where residents looking for some suburban environment enjoy the gently winding residential leafy streets in an area that is an escape to relax and find most of their adult needs with relative ease.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: Consists of parks, neighborhood shopping, and top-ranked schools.
  • Demographics: Fit for families and retirees.
  • Transportation: Easy to access through the Red Line Metro and significant roads.

Recommendation: Most appropriate for people who like peace and a suburban life at home.

Glen Echo

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Description: Glen Echo is a classical home to lovely scenic beauty and cultural landmarks. The neighborhood is low-key and exuberates with a great sense of community.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: Glen Echo Park, castles, trails, and other community events.
  • Demographics: People who find themselves in love with nature and arts and culture.
  • Transportation: There are very few public transportation facilities; therefore, owning a car is best here.

Recommendation: Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and individuals who want cultural facilities.


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Description: Sumner is an area with high-status settlements being vast spaces in the houses and good keeping for the yard. It is that beautiful and peaceful.

Key Features:

  • Amenities: High-status country clubs, high-level private schools, local shopping.
  • Demographics: High-end earning families and retirees looking for high-end earners in society.
  • Transportation: The road network is excellent but public transport is not.

Recommendation: Ideal for very wealthy families and for older people who desire peace and absolute comfort.

Demographic Snapshot

NeighborhoodPopular DemographicKey Features
Downtown BethesdaYoung professionals, singlesUrban lifestyle, dining, and shopping
Bethesda RowYoung professionals, familiesUpscale shopping, dining, nightlife
Woodmont TriangleArtists, young professionalsHistoric charm, diverse entertainment
Chevy ChaseFamilies, retireesFamily-friendly, parks, top-rated schools
Glen EchoNature lovers, cultural enthusiastsScenic beauty, cultural landmarks
SumnerAffluent families, retireesLuxurious homes, exclusive amenities
Best neighborhood to live in Bethesda, MD

Education System

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Bethesda is known for its excellent education system, making it a desirable place for families. Here’s an overview of the educational opportunities available in Bethesda.

Overview of Public Schools in Montgomery County

MCPS is one of the very best-rated school systems in the country. Montgomery County Public Schools offers highly diversified wide varieties of educational services starting from pre-kindergarten through up to grade 12. The system has been described by many as rigorous and diverse, with a sound support system.

  • Number of Schools: More than 200 elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Student Enrollment: It serves more than 160,000 students.
  • Academic Performance: Graduation rates are high, and test scores are above the national averages.

Top-Rated Public Schools

These are the best public schools in Bethesda:

  • Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
    • Challenging academic programs and many extracurricular programs.
    • There is an excellent arts program along with Advanced Placement coursework.
    • Rank: One of the top high schools in Maryland.
  • Walt Whitman High School
    • Has a proud history of posting strong academic performances with the highest college acceptance rates.
    • Boasts a broad range of AP courses.
    • Rank: Consistently among the high-ranked high schools in the nation.
  • Thomas W. Pyle Middle School
    • Strong academically in STEM and the arts.
    • Supportive learning environment and extracurricular opportunities.

Prestigious Private Schools

Besides several reputed private schools in Bethesda, examples include:

  • Georgetown Preparatory School:
    • A well-reputed all-boys Jesuit college school with ultra-strong academics and outstanding athletic programs. Its alumni constitute potent people in politics and business.
  • Sidwell Friends School
    • A Quaker school that has raised children of US presidents and stresses one of the balances in education: such must have strong academics, arts, and community service.
  • Landon School
    • Nondenominational, college-preparatory school for boys that stresses character education. Provides students the opportunity for wide-ranging extracurricular experience, from sports to the arts.

Higher Education Opportunities

Bethesda has no higher educational schools. Here are a few that are a short ride to the Washington, D.C. area:

Links to School Rankings and Resources

For the relevant information regarding school rankings and resources for the parents, the readers may follow the links below:

Healthcare Facilities

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

One of the best reasons to live or work in Bethesda is the quality healthcare.

Major Healthcare Institutions

Other Medical Facilities

  • Suburban Hospital: Part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, well-known for its cutting-edge medical attention and advanced treatments.
  • MedStar Health: Offers various services between primary care, emergency services, and unique treatments.

Specialized Clinics

There exist several specialized clinics in Bethesda, including:

The treatments are specialized and act as a point of attraction for patients from other parts of the Maryland and Washington D.C.

Healthcare Quality and Access

The healthcare services in Bethesda are quality, use the best technology, and their patients have a high recovery rate. The medical services accessible by the residents vary from primary to specialized care.

Employment Opportunities

The healthcare sector in Bethesda provides many job opportunities for medical professionals, researchers, and support staff. Most of this work comes from NIH, Walter Reed, and Suburban Hospital.

Transportation and Commuting

Bethesda station
Bethesda station

Bethesda has plenty of transportation available, from which it’s easy to get to any place and just as easy to travel to Washington, D.C. But aside from that, it should be noted that the city is also well developed for pedestrians, allowing you to conveniently go from point A to point B within the city without transportation.

Transportation Options

  • 🚇 Metro: Bethesda is located on the Red Line of the Washington Metro system, with stops at Bethesda and Medical Center.
  • 🚌 Bus: Multiple Metrobus and Ride On Bus routes connect Bethesda with Washington, D.C., and other areas of Montgomery County.
  • 🚴 Bike Trails: The Capital Crescent Trail and other bike paths are also found offering scenic and efficient routes for bikers.
  • 🛣️ Major Roads: Wisconsin Avenue (Route 355) and the I-495 Beltway are the main thoroughfares of Bethesda.

Average Commute Times

  • To Washington, D.C.: Approximately 35 minutes, with peak traffic, to downtown Washington D.C. by car. Approximately 20-30 minutes from Bethesda to downtown D.C. via Metro.
  • Local Commutes: Most of Bethesda experiences an average commute time of 20–25 minutes.

Tips for Navigating Traffic:

  • Use Public Transport: Avail the services of Metro and buses to save your journey time from traffic jams.
  • Plan Ahead: Get a report on the traffic positions and plan to avoid the peak time road rush.
  • Carpooling: Traveling in any other vehicle – less Ride share with one’s colleague or friend.

Public Transportation Routes

  • Metro Red Line: Starting from Bethesda and going to central locations of Washington, DC, including Union Station and Gallery Place.
  • Metrobus and Ride On: Great service all over Montgomery County and into D.C.
  • Future Projects: Light-rail line, the Purple Line, to improve connections between Bethesda and other parts of Maryland.


  • Uber and Lyft: Accessible in Bethesda and provide suitable substitutes for driving.
  • Electric Scooters and Bikes: Pilot programs to test electric scooters and bikes as additional options for short trips around town.
💡 Interesting Fact: 

The Capital Crescent Trail is the most popular bike trail in Bethesda, offering a picturesque way to get from Georgetown in D.C. to Silver Spring in Maryland.

Notable Quote

For me it’s 98 walkability score, safety, Metro access, short commute to work. 100+ restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. Multiple choices of groceries all within walking distance.”SuperBethesda, Reddit User

Recreation and Lifestyle

Bethesda, Maryland Attractions

Bethesda offers a wide range of recreational activities and cultural attractions, making it an ideal place for residents of all ages.

Recreational Activities

  • 🌳 Parks and Hiking Trails:
    • Cabin John Regional Park: Features hiking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports facilities;
    • Capital Crescent Trail: A popular trail for biking, running, and walking, extending from Georgetown in D.C. to Silver Spring, MD.
  • Sports Facilities:
    • Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center: Offers tennis courts, as well as programs for all ages.
    • Bethesda Soccer Club: Supplies soccer programs and leagues for both kids and adults.
  • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family-Friendly Activities:
    • Imagination Stage: A children’s theater that provides performances and classes.
    • KID Museum: Interactive exhibits and programs that focus on creativity and STEM learning.

Cultural Attractions

  • 🎭 Art Galleries and Theaters: Bethesda is full of arts and entertainment.
    • Strathmore Music Center: Hosts concerts, art exhibits, and family activities.
    • Round House Theatre: Stage performances and education programs so everyone can have outstanding theater experiences.
  • 📅 Monthly Events: Monthly events that keep everyone in touch.
    • Bethesda Art Walk: A free, monthly, self-guided tour of downtown Bethesda galleries.

Dining Options

Bethesda has several excellent dining options. Some of the best include:

💡 Interesting Fact: 

Bethesda hosts over 200 restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines to suit every taste.

Challenges and Considerations

Traffic is seen on the Capital Beltway in Maryland. (WTOP/Dave Dildine). Source:
Traffic is seen on the Capital Beltway in Maryland. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

Living in Bethesda is great, but there are some challenges to consider. Here is what you need to know:

High Cost of Living

Bethesda has expensive living expenses, which could bother many residents. Prices on housing costs and everyday expenditures are far above the national average.

  • Strategies to Cope:
    • Budgeting: Prepare a specific budget so you can handle your funds correctly.
    • Housing Options: Look for cheaper neighborhoods or nearby localities.
    • Public Transportation: To avoid the cost of commuting, rely on public transport.
    • Smart Shopping: Shop in the local markets and the discount sales.

Traffic and Commute Times

Due to the relative nearness of Bethesda to Washington, D.C., traffic is heavy, especially during peak hours of the morning and early evenings.

  • Commute Times:
    • To Washington, D.C.: Almost 35 minutes by car in non-peak hours, but it can be more during peak hours.
    • Local Commutes: Generally from 20 to 25 minutes within Bethesda.
  • Tips to Manage Traffic:
    • Public Transport: Utilize Metro and bus services to avoid traffic.
    • Carpooling: Share rides and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
    • Flexible Hours: Change your working hours, if possible, to avoid peak traffic hours.

Seasonal Weather Variations

Bethesda has distinct seasonal weather that can affect your day-to-day life.

  • Summer: Warm and humid with some thunderstorm days.
  • Fall: Mild and beautiful, with colorful foliage.
  • Winter: Cold, with occasional snowfall. Snowstorms can disrupt travel and your daily routine.
  • Spring: Mild, with numerous rain showers.
  • Tips to Handle Weather:
    • Summer: Stay hydrated and use air conditioning.
    • Winter: Be ready for snow with supplies and snow removal tools.
    • Spring and Fall: Dress in layers to be prepared to acclimate to the changing temperatures.

Potential Challenges

  • Cicada Infestations: Roughly every decade, Bethesda faces cicada infestations that can become an issue.
    • Impact: Cicadas are extremely loud and create a significant amount of noise pollution at the height of their infestation.
    • Preparation: Know when they usually occur and plan outdoor events to avoid those times.

Interesting Fact: Cicada infests in different cycles. The most common is Brood X, with a 17-year cycle.

Notable Quote

“Best: the trails and dining, seriously tasty food everywhere and then great space to walk or run it off… Great community spirit and events, people seem proud to live here and keen to make the best of it.”cameron1978, Local Resident


Bethesda works to ensure a high quality of life through excellent amenities, strong community ties, and an array of job opportunities in healthcare and technology. While the traffic and cost of living are high, it is these vibrant cultures and first-class education that make living here quite appealing.

If you’re planning a move to Bethesda, consider using AT Movers, a local moving company that can help make your transition smooth and stress-free. If you are preparing to move, explore our blog for tips that are already of immediate use in organizing and executing your move. Separately, we recommend using our moving checklist.