Librarians: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Librarians administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, educational institutions, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, cataloguing, classifying, circulating, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers’ advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, edit, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.

  • Check books in and out of the library.
  • Teach library patrons basic computer skills, such as searching computerized databases.
  • Review and evaluate materials, using book reviews, catalogs, faculty recommendations, and current holdings to select and order print, audio-visual, and electronic resources.
  • Search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to answer patrons’ reference questions.
Read more about what does a Librarian really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$61530 per year

Average hourly wage
$30 per hour

Librarians with little to no experience tend to make between $34630 and $46130 while the more experienced ones can earn over $74740 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $41 $85,330
CA $39 $81,580
MD $35 $72,470
WA $35 $71,780
AK $34 $71,180

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Librarian is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Librarians are DC, CA, MD, WA and AK.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Librarian is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Master’s degree

We asked other Librarians what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Master’s Degree followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

School Librarian/School Library Media Specialist
Library and Information Science
Children and Youth Library Services
Library Science and Administration, Other
Read more about how to become a Librarian and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Librarian.

Suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there)
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

81% of Librarians said they were satisfied with their job and 77% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Organizers and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Learn more about Librarians

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Related career information

Librarians job description, Librarians salary, Librarians information, what is the job of a Librarian like, pros and cons about Librarians, colleges and universities for Librarians, is Librarians the right career for me, careers in Education

Similar careers

Access Services Librarian, Acquisitions Librarian, Administrative Librarian, Adult Reference Librarian, Adult Services Librarian, Archival Collections Librarian, Audio-Visual Librarian, Automation Librarian, Bibliographer, Bookmobile Librarian

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