At LibSource, we regularly benchmark library and information services salary data for our clients.
But we wanted to present some current salary information and resources for job seekers:
- Recent LIS graduates
- Librarians changing careers
- People considering a career in any of the LIS specialties, from archiving to digital collections to records management
We asked one of our library colleagues and consultants, Kim Dority, to conduct some LIS salary research from the job seeker’s perspective. Kim has been a regular contributor to LibGig, our recruiting arm. Following are some points that may be of interest, including a link to the full article.
New LIS jobs and job titles are muddying the waters
Prior to the digital information age, library roles were well-defined and narrowly described – generally, librarian! Today, new needs and new LIS specialties are leading to creative new titles and job descriptions, which has led to a new game of hide and seek between job-seekers and employers. These new positions also present new compensation challenges, in terms of establishing pay with limited benchmarking data for guidance.
Library salaries are influenced by factors other than the work
Positions that require essentially the same skills and experience can offer different salaries, depending on location, whether it’s in the private or public sector, and other factors.
Where to earn the most as a librarian
What may be most interesting are the range of salary ranges! For example, archiving/preservation shows a range between $19,000 and $165,000, indicating many different variables and opportunities. The much narrower slice of usability/user experience with a range of only $8000 demonstrates that too much specialization could limit your earnings potential.
If you’re looking to make as much money as possible, a special library should be your destination.
Special libraries, which deal with specialized information needs for specific clients, not only pay well, but the opportunities may be greater and they are more varied. Nonetheless, according to AFL-CIO Professional Employees job data, in 2015, 57% of librarians worked in academic libraries, nearly 30% in public libraries and the remainder in special library settings in business, law and science.