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Salaries of librarians with an ALA certified education are nearly $5,000 more than librarians without certified degrees.

There are more than 200,000 librarians employed in the USA and approximately 80% of them are women. Roughly two thirds of them work at a public library and the rest work at private institutions or non-profit organizations.

Surveys consistently show that librarians report lower stress levels from work than many other professions. No job is stress-free, but librarians do have a more pleasant work environment than many other jobs.

Average public librarian salaries

As virtually always holds true for any occupational sector, profession or career path, lifetime earnings potential for librarians vary widely and depend on many interrelated factors as well as external circumstances. Below is a concise snapshot of average librarian salaries in the U.S.

Official tally of total librarians employed in the U.S.

According to latest available official figures published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014, there were 133,150 librarians employed in the U.S., who earned an average annual salary of $58,110.

Further Occupational Analysis for Librarians

If you look at public records published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you will find the five highest-paying occupational sectors for librarians in respective order as:

  • Federal Executive Branch
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
  • Financial investment activities
  • Legal services
  • Computer systems design and related services

According to additional BLS data, the highest paying librarian employment sectors were in the following niches, respectively:

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Local Government
  • Higher educational institutions
  • Other professional services
  • Junior colleges

Other BLS stats report the highest paying geographical locations for librarians as of May 2014 in respective order were:

  • NY
  • TX
  • CA
  • IL
  • FL

States with the highest number of jobs and location quotients for librarians as of May 2014 in respective order were:

  • VT
  • DC
  • NH
  • WY
  • MT

General Occupational Trends for Librarians

Most recent available data reported in the official BLS publication Occupational Outlook Handbook projected "lower than average" growth of 7 percent during 2012-2022, compared to average growth of all occupations projected at 11 percent during the same period. The former figure reflects a job change of 11,000 for the same 2012-2022 period. Accompanying explanatory notes reveal the primary bases upon which projected growth of librarian positions were based as large-scale transitioning to electronic data storage media, with which the public is rapidly become increasingly comfortable and proficient. This will reportedly decrease the overall need for professional librarian services. Quite interestingly, the OOH lists entry-level education for librarians as a master's degree.

Additional supporting data about Librarian Salaries

In 2015, the average annual salary for all librarians in the U.S was reported as $48,000. That figure encompassed a broad range between $28,000 and $70,000.

The most lucrative positions were reported to be in large databases and historical archives. In addition, geography and length of tenure affected librarian salaries, with the former variable being more influential. Moreover, the majority of respondents reported having fringe benefits such as health insurance and dental coverage. Also, three quarters of librarians surveyed were female. Finally, survey results indicated that librarians generally enjoy their work and reported high levels of job satisfaction.

There was a possible slight pay increase for librarians who transition into new roles such as Library Director, with average pay of $54,000 per year. However, the most common promotion was School Librarian, with an average annual salary of $41,000. In addition, many librarians voluntarily assume Special Library Librarian roles, where average annual pay typically hovers around $48,000.

All figures in the immediately preceding section were based on self-reported data from online surveys.

Do you have a real interest in working with the community, improving the education of our future generations and being part of an institution that maintains the history, stories and experiences of our past? If so, then a career as a librarian might be right for you. This resource is designed to provide information on librarian careers, educational requirements, and job specializations to help you decide if becoming a librarian is something you want to pursue.

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