Median academic librarian pay in 2013 was $53,000

LJ Salary Survey 2014

Image credit: Library Journal

Library Journal recently released results from its first Salary Survey for U.S. librarians and paralibrarians, across all library types. This new survey is a bit different than those we’ve talked about before in Weekly Number posts here and here and Fast Facts reports like this one: It isn’t tied to a particular library type or position category. Library Journal received responses from more than 3,200 librarians of all types—public to special to consortia—from all 50 states.

School librarians had the highest median salary of $58,000, and public librarians had the lowest at $47,446. Having the MLIS degree made a big difference in academic and public libraries: Staff with MLIS degrees earned almost 50% more than those without the degree. But for school librarians, the MLIS degree offered a median pay jump of just about $3,500 compared to non-degreed librarians. Two-thirds received a pay increase last year, with a median raise of 1.5%.

The survey also asked about job satisfaction, and the picture isn’t great: Less than a third (31%) said they were “very satisfied” with their jobs, and just 27% said they felt they had opportunities to advance in their role. Less than a quarter (23%) of those with part-time work reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs.

Part-time status is still a reality for many librarians, according to the survey: 16% of public librarians, and 6% of academic and school librarians said they worked part-time. Perhaps most telling is the fact that half of those part-timers had an MLIS degree.

You can peruse the tables from the report here and additional data here. And keep your eye out for our annual review of Library Jobline’s data to give you an idea of how the library job market and pay is shaping up based on last year’s job posts.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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