Skip to content

Librarianship as a Career

This week on CNN and
15 jobs that pay $50,000 — and might be hiring.
“To help you figure out what your options are, we’ve come up with a list of 15 jobs that earn in the $50,000 range and are expected to increase in demand between now and 2016.
With the annual median salary for full-time workers in the U.S. at $33,634, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these careers will help you earn well above the average salary.
They also require various levels of experience and education, so workers from all walks of life can find opportunities.
Here are 15 jobs that pay between $50,000 and $59,999:”
Annual median income: $50,970*
Projected employment in 2016: 164,000
Increase between 2006 and 2016: 4 percent
The rest:
Accountants and auditors
Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists
Conservation scientists
Detectives and criminal investigators
Environmental scientists and specialists, including health
Insurance appraisers, auto damage
Insurance underwriters
Landscape architects
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing (excluding technical and scientific products)
Subway and streetcar operators
Teachers, postsecondary
Urban and regional planners
I have to say librarian still appeals to me the most on this list. I like teaching but I can do that in this profession – a lot. I love the detective work but my hours are better. personally, I loved my positions where I was working as a librarian for accoutants and auditors, consultants and HR pros. It’s possible to practice librarian ship for nearly anyone on this list and have a bigger impact.
We continue to see these studies done by independent or at least non-librarian sources showing a bright future for information professionals. Usually when I point to the studies I get comments that this is impossible and there’s no way there are any jobs out there. it’s sad that some people are so sadly demotivated. I know there are difficult times, hard personal circumstances and hard job searches. I hope everyone keeps a good attitude as long as they can and is successful in the end.
This year I’ve had the great opportunity to meet so many LIS schools’ students, staff and faculty. They are an awesome crew and it’s a wonderful experience. I know they’ll do well.
This week, I was also asked to provide a quote for my MLS alma mater and their new recruiting brochure/website. I did. As I dug deeper, I, for one, found that I am still happy with my choice of profession. It might not be right for everyone but diversity is what makes the world great. I like variety, insights and people – and this profession certainly delivers that.

Posted on: September 26, 2008, 11:12 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. As a hiring library director who is in frequent contact with potential employees, I’m having trouble with the “$50,000” part of this story. Some special library positions may offer this as a starting salary: law or medical libraries, for example. However, most of these positions often warrant second degrees. That salary may also fit the offerings of some mid-size or large cities, per cost of living.
    On average, however, most new librarians are finding salary offerings in the 35-45 range (and lower – I’ve seen many public & state libraries offering positions from 25-32).
    I’d be interested in learning where Career Builder gets their data. If they are taking a snapshot of all jobs classified as “librarian” – including “library director” – then perhaps that will be the average. But this would include all of the librarians who have been employed for 20+ years and earned the rank of Librarian III or faculty status.
    I’m not trying to dissuade potential librarians from getting their MLIS/LIS/MLS and joining the profession. I look forward to seeing qualified, innovative and interesting folks joining the ranks. But I also think that we should look toward our basic information literacy skills and question numbers that seem a bit too good to be true.
    You’d have to ask them but they state their source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I doubt they’re talking starting salaries only. 35-50K is close to what I see as starting salaries but there are huge regional variations and the school library salaries are often backed out in the US since they don’t seem to try to attract and retain teaching staff. People should choose careers based on their mid career compensation. Doctors graduate barely able to pay their debt and yet somehow come out well in the end. I know hundreds of librarians making well in excess of $100K and those aren’t just special libraries. It’s worrisome that the culture of poverty in our profession seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

  2. Lindsay Payne said

    Hi Stephen,
    As a very recent LIS school graduate I hear a lot of “de-motivational” comments from people who insist that there are no library jobs to be had in this economy. Even while I was still in school librarians I worked with would ask me how my classes were going, and then tell me “You’re never going to find a job, you know.” While I haven’t actually landed a full-time professional position yet, I do have a part-time support staff job and I work as a sub-librarian. I think that having a negative attitude about my chances would only limit my opportunities. I believe there are jobs to be had for people who are dedicated to the profession and willing to seek them out.
    You’re right. There is something wrong with these fools who would say such things! They do not speak the truth and they must have some other motivation. Ignore them and pity them. Keep your head in the game and you’ll be great! it’ll help with promotion too as long as you keep a positive attitude. Gee – I wonder if their lousy attitudes have limited their promotabilty!? Who wants to be around such black holes of people who try to suck the life out of new librarians? Creepy.

  3. I graduated in December of 2006 and have yet to find a job because I can’t relocate. If you have the mobility and willingness to move across the country then you can (probably) get a position, as all of my peers did after school. Also, the statistics don’t take into account two important points: many librarians retire years after the option opens up for them and when they do retire, positions previously held by professionals are replaced with para-professionals due to tighter budgets.