How Much Do Librarians Make? | 2023 Average Salary – (Updated)

How Much Do Librarians Make
How Much Do Librarians Make

The librarian job exposes you to opportunities in collection building, information systems, and research. This makes it an exciting career, but how much a librarian makes, to a large extent, depends on the area of focus and level of experience. 

Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to ask, “How much does a librarian make?” Knowing how much a librarian can make a year can help you decide whether a librarian career will suit you.

After reading this article, you can pick the suitable librarian salary range that fits you best. Or choose the state you can work with based on its interesting salary.  

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So, let’s dive in!

What do Librarians do? 

Librarians can do various jobs related to data, information, literature, etc. Meanwhile, the primary job responsibilities of a librarian vary according to the place they work (such as a public library or university setting). 

However, in simple terms, a librarian helps individuals or groups of individuals find public information, perform scholarly research, and take care of assets that colleges, institutions, and public libraries own.

Providing book recommendations is not excluded from the services offered by librarians. They also teach patrons and assist them in searching for business competitor data, cryptic legal data, and other information. 

Librarians are learners on various topics and can give counsel on general library resources and other available media. 

Considering the various types of libraries worldwide, librarians can work in various settings. 

Moreover, there are four significant types of libraries: public libraries, academic libraries in universities, special libraries in museums or hospitals, and school libraries for K-12 students.

Are Librarians in High Demand?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedly says that the librarians’ job market will likely increase by 6% in the next decade, which is typical for every career. 

Based on the need for librarians by people who seek information, the demand for librarians will continue to increase. 

And as the older librarians retire, the younger ones will be used to replace them. Hence, there are more opportunities for younger librarians to hone their skills and gain experience in the field. 

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What are the Types of Librarians? 

There are different job types available for librarians. However, here are the typical types of librarian jobs:

  • Digital librarian: Digital librarians create and maintain an amassment of digital materials that can be accessible online by patrons.
  • School librarian: School librarians work with kindergarten students through 12th-grade students in schools (private or public).
  • Public librarians work in state-owned, city-owned, or county-owned libraries. 
  • University Librarians: As the name implies, they work in universities and colleges. The majority of them develop special research collections.
  • Reference librarian: Reference librarians assist patrons in using reference materials and research topics for personal use, work, or school. 
  • Special librarian: Special librarians are well-rounded in areas such as law or medicine. Hence, they build collections based on their specialized areas. 

See the possible hours you can work as a librarian if you decide to work part-time; How Many Hours Is a Part-Time Job? | 2023

How Much do Librarians Make? 

According to ZipRecruiter, most librarian salaries are between the range of $43,500 (25th percentile) to $68,000 (75th percentile), and top earners (90th percentile) make $76,000 a year across the United States. 

Meanwhile, the average salary of a librarian differs by as much as $24,500, which could mean that there could be several chances for career advancement and increased salary depending on the location, level of experience, and skills. 

The average annual salary of a librarian as of March 21, 2022, is $55,395 a year. Hence, this is how much a librarian makes a year

Whereas, if you want an easy salary calculator, it turns out to be an approximate value of $26.63. And we can say this is how much a librarian makes in an hour.

Entry-Level Librarian Salary

CityAverage SalaryHourly wage
New York$49,847$23.96
San Mateo$49,188$23.65
Daly city$47,139$22.66
Santa Monica$47,052$22.62

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Highest Paying Cities for Librarian Jobs

CityAnnual salaryHourly wage
Sunnyvale, CA$68,741$33.05
Santa Rosa, CA$66,486$31.96
Williston, ND$65,413$31.45
Manhattan, NY$65,241$31.37
Cambridge, MA$64,434$30.98
Arlington, VA$64,071$30.80
Scarsdale, NY$63,877$30.71
Dickinson, ND$63,680$30.62
Ketchikan, AK$63,442$30.50
Vacaville, CA$63,196$30.38

Average Librarian Salary by State

We found nine states where the average Librarian pay is higher than the national average. Massachusetts is at the top of the list, followed by Hawaii and Connecticut in second and third place, respectively. 

Connecticut outperforms the national average by 3.2 percent, and Massachusetts continues the trend with an additional $3,212 (5.8%) above the national average of $55,395.

Significantly, the Librarian employment market in Massachusetts is quite active, with several organizations now hiring for this position.

StateAnnual SalaryHourly wage
Rhode Island$55,594$26.73
New York$55,263$26.57
North Dakota Utah$54,672$54,378$26.28$26.14
New Mexico$53,551$25.75
New Hampshire$53,346$25.65
South Dakota$53,075$25.52
South Carolina$50,139$24.11
West Virginia$48,036$23.09
New Jersey$47,665$22.92
North Carolina$42,725$20.54

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Major Factors that Influence a Librarian’s Salary 

1. Level of Education 

How much a librarian makes is hugely influenced by his/her level of education. A bachelor’s degree holder in library science can work in a clerical assistant position. However, it typically requires a master’s degree in library science. 

You can also advance to the Ph.D. level as there are also Ph.D. programs available in library science. 

2. Work Environment 

Most often, how much a librarian makes a year will be based on where they practice or work. 

For instance, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedly states that librarians in university settings make the most money. Whereas librarians who work in the public library earn the lowest. 

3. Level of Experience 

It is a known fact in every profession that the higher your experience level is, the higher your pay will be. The same thing applies to a career in library science. 

As you keep advancing in experience, higher positions will await you alongside higher pay. 

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Jobs as a Librarian that Pays Well

1. Research Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $55,500-$96,000

A research librarian works for a college or university’s academic library or a public research institution like the New York Public Library or the Library of Congress. 

Your primary responsibilities as a research librarian are to assist students, scholars, and other researchers in locating books and materials and advise them on conducting research related to their topic. 

Academic librarians may also conduct their original research. Others are more concerned with reference services, library acquisitions, or handling rare books and other materials. 

Research librarians are increasingly focusing on better integrating and advancing library information technology.

2. Data Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $50,000-$90,500

Most Data Librarians earn between $50,000 (25th percentile) and $90,500 (75th percentile) per year in the United States. 

This wide range of salary potential suggests that, depending on skill level, location, and years of experience, there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay. 

The Data Librarian job market in the United States is very active, according to recent job postings on ZipRecruiter, with many companies hiring.

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3. Head Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $43,000-$80,000

The average yearly salary for a Head Librarian in the United States is currently $43,000 (25th percentile) to $80,000 (75th percentile). 

This wide range of compensation possibilities shows that, depending on skill level, region, and years of experience, there may be numerous opportunities for promotion and better pay. 

According to recent job ads on ZipRecruiter, the Head Librarian job market in the United States is busy, with some organizations hiring.

4. Systems Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $47,000-$79,000

The computers and software in a library are overseen and maintained by a systems librarian. You’ll be responsible for updating library databases and ensuring that library software and hardware are up to date. 

The systems librarian collaborates with IT specialists to design applications that improve library services for customers, such as a more streamlined manner of categorizing and searching for resources when the library requires new computers or updated programs. 

Implementing the new software, teaching library employees how to use the automated systems, and resolving hardware difficulties are all possible job responsibilities. 

Some systems librarians also work at the reference desk, assisting patrons in locating items on library shelves and in the online catalog.

5. Hospital Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $33,500-$77,000

A hospital librarian is a medical information professional who disseminates medical materials to hospital personnel, patients, and community people. 

Research, clinical staff support, and community outreach are all responsibilities of a hospital librarian. 

Working as a website manager, finding current and relevant medical research, educating healthcare teams, and assisting doctors and patients in their search for information about medical conditions, illnesses, procedures, and treatment options are all part of your job responsibilities. 

Extensive hospital facilities, particularly those with community medicine clinics and teaching hospitals specializing in training new doctors and clinical staff, may have hospital librarian positions.

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6. Law Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $34,500-$76,000

A university, law school, or firm of lawyers employs a law librarian. Overseeing operations, promoting teaching, giving research materials to students, and validating sources are among their responsibilities. 

Also, a law librarian, whether employed by a school or a legal firm, provides information to students and professionals and assists them in obtaining the materials they require for work or learning law practice. 

A master’s degree in library science is required for this position, and some states also require licensure.

7. Library Manager Salary

Annual salary range: $32,500-$74,500

A library manager is in charge of the library’s day-to-day operations. Coordinating programs and services, ensuring that personnel and users follow library policies, managing the budget, maintaining library websites, and formulating long-term goals to foster growth are all typical job responsibilities. 

A bachelor’s degree in library science is required to work as a library manager, while many library managers additionally have a master’s degree. 

Other qualities are prior management experience, good analytical and research abilities, and familiarity with all library items and operations, including books, magazines, and digital resources.

8. Medical Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $27,000-$66,500

A university library, a medical education institution, a research organization, or another medical institution employs a medical librarian. 

Nonprofit groups, as well as private pharmaceutical and medical device corporations, may employ these researchers. 

As a medical librarian, you’ll organize research needs with staff, locate requested information from the medical library archive, and do administrative tasks as needed. 

Depending on your job, you may also be responsible for maintaining databases and assisting with acquiring research materials.

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9. Film Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $34,000-$65,500

A film librarian organizes and maintains a collection of various forms of media. There are two categories of film librarians: those who work in libraries or schools and those who deal with radiologists. 

A media film librarian buys and catalogs movies, video and audio recordings, photographic slides, and other media types. 

This job entails cataloging new video material using a specific classification system and keeping track of items received and those you loan to students and others. 

You could also plan to attend events or offer talks in class. Filing, revising, updating, organizing, and archiving medical records for a medical business that provides diagnostic imaging services to patients are among the responsibilities of a radiology film librarian. For radiologists, you must recover and hang films on lightboards and gather any relevant paperwork.

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10. Digital Librarian Salary

Annual salary range: $25,000-$65,500

As a digital librarian, you are an archivist in charge of selecting, organizing, and conserving digital content in a library, including online public library resources and genealogical record collections. 

Because digital libraries are open to the public and must be easy to use, organizing abilities are essential in this field. 

Many of the same daily tasks as a traditional librarian, such as cataloging and keeping accurate records, are part of your job description. Still, you also ensure that information is properly licensed, monitor budgets and expenditures, maintain vendor relationships, supervise junior staff, and assist in hiring. 

To work as a digital librarian, you’ll need a lot of postsecondary education, usually at least a master’s degree in library science.

11. Librarian’s Assistant Salary

Annual salary range: $33,500-$46,000

An assistant librarian collaborates closely with the principal librarian to run a library. As an assistant librarian, you’ll engage with library patrons intimately, work at the circulation or assistance desk, and answer queries. 

Managing library equipment, maintaining archives, and categorizing new items are all standard responsibilities. You must have a master’s degree in library science and work experience as a library technician to be considered for this position. 

Strong communication skills and the capacity to collaborate with people from various backgrounds are further credentials. A passion for literature and reading is beneficial.

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12. Library Technician Salary

Annual salary range: $34,000-$45,500

The librarians’ assistants are known as library technicians. Library technicians help patrons identify books in the library, arrange books and materials, and set up educational activities. 

Cataloging library books, registering new patrons for library cards, and checking out materials for patrons are among the other responsibilities. 

Technicians are responsible for extracurricular school activities such as art courses, reading groups, and book clubs, in addition to the duties connected with administering the library.

13. Cataloger Salary

Annual salary range: $24,500-$44,000

A cataloger catalogs the works and resources of a library or other similar settings. Managing inventories and keeping correct records of books and other items available at the facility are the cataloger’s responsibilities. 

Your responsibilities include managing the organization’s system so library visitors can use bibliographic records to locate a specific work. 

Guests at most modern libraries use a computer system to search for books or other works using keywords. You may also be entrusted with updating or establishing a new way for more efficient information cataloging.

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How to Become a Librarian

Now that you’ve known how much a librarian makes a year and how much a librarian makes an hour, you might also ask the question, “how can I become a librarian?” Well, we will be discussing the procedures to become a librarian. So, here are the steps:

  1. Get a bachelor’s degree
  2. Research the kinds of librarian positions
  3. Take a master’s degree program
  4. Earn a master’s degree
  5. Get certified.
  6. Finish extra requirements

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree 

The first thing is to consider getting a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. You can choose from various majors, such as engineering, history and education, and natural sciences. 

Meanwhile, try as much as possible to get a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, as most schools accept this as their minimum. Bachelor’s degree program will take you four years to finish.

2. Research the kinds of Librarian Positions 

Next, you should report your findings concerning the kinds of librarian positions available to pursue. Your research could be done online, in person, or even both, so you can learn a lot. 

For instance, you could be a digital librarian, a public librarian, a university librarian, a school librarian, a reference librarian, or any other type of specialized librarian. 

3. Take a Master’s Degree Program

When you have figured out the kind of librarian job you want to focus on, search for the appropriate graduate program. 

You must take a master’s degree program in library science because that is what many employers are looking for. While searching for graduate schools, ask the representatives about the job prospects and the program’s specialty. 

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4. Earn a Master’s Degree

At the end of your graduate school program, you will be awarded a Master of Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) degree. 

Although, some MLIS degree programs require you to finish internships or projects. In all, the majority of MLIS programs require a year or two years to finish. 

5. Get Certified

The type of librarian position you pursue may necessitate certification before you can work as a librarian in such a position. 

For instance, you will need a teaching certification to work as a public school librarian, whereas you will need state certification to work as a public librarian. Hence, you should reach out to your state’s licensing board to know the requirements before applying for jobs. 

6. Finish Extra Requirements

Aside from having state certification, certain librarian jobs need extra certifications. For instance, law and medical librarians require working experience in those disciplines. 

Certain specialized librarians also require master’s degrees or PhDs in their respective disciplines.

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Frequently Asked Questions on How much do librarians make

What type of librarians make the most money?

Federal government librarians, University librarians, special librarians, and curators.

Is librarian a good career?

If you love reading books and researching, then being a librarian is a good career.

What is the head librarian called?

Chief Librarian, Dean of libraries, or director of libraries.

What are library users called?

They could be in the following categories; patrons, clients, consumers, information seekers, information users, readers, etc.

Why do they call it a library?

The library comes from the Latin liber, which means “book.”

What type of librarians make the most money?

Federal government librarians, University librarians, special librarians, and curators.

Is librarian a good career?

If you love reading books and researching, then being a librarian is a good career.

What is the head librarian called?

Chief Librarian, Dean of libraries, or director of libraries.

What are library users called?

They could be in the following categories; patrons, clients, consumers, information seekers, information users, readers, etc.

Why do they call it a library?

The library comes from the Latin liber, which means “book.”

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