Compensation remains a hot topic in librarianship, especially this time of year when new MLIS grads are preparing to enter the job market. Our last post about librarian salaries gave readers information on how to determine librarian salary potential, with representative library salary ranges for LIS duties based on 2017 data. This post will be an update to reflect more recent data.
Base salary is just one part of your total compensation package. Additional components may include:
- On-the-job training
- Conference attendance
- Health insurance
- Vacation time
How to determine what is a good fit for you
1. Do you fit the job description?
Can you effortlessly pull off the basic job requirements or will this push you out of your expertise? It’s important to truthfully understand the areas in which you shine and those you may not be able to execute.
2. Does this job correlate with your standards?
Will the job require you to be on-site 100% of the time when you’d prefer to work from home now and again? Do the missions and values of the company correlate with your personal belief system? If you’re not enthused about the employer, the integrity of your work may not be the best.
3. If the job isn’t ideal, does it get you on the right path?
Some opportunities will truly resonate and appeal to you. Others may be a good stepping stone. Only you can determine the value of any position, based on your needs and realistic expectations.
These are just some of the questions you want to ask yourself when on the job hunt. Once you determine what’s best for your career and potential growth, it’s easy to decide if it would be advantageous to initiate the application process. Clarifying total compensation with benefits will give you an overall picture of how easy (or difficult) it will be to meet your personal, professional and financial goals.
For 2018, the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the following statistics on librarianship:
Representative librarian salary ranges by LIS duties
Librarianship is a diverse field and where one works may greatly affect salary ranges. For instance, the geographic location (urban or rural) and the environment (industry or type of library), may drastically change average salaries. The following LIS salary ranges were provided by Library Journal in its Placements & Salaries 2018 report and may not be representative of salary ranges in all locations, industries or types of libraries.
Source: “Placements & Salaries 2018,” Library Journal, October 15, 2018
The library job market continues on a healthy trend and salaries are on the rise especially for those with critical library skills such as cataloging, reference and acquisitions. Location and skillsets continue to be the largest factors when negotiating your compensation package. Ultimately, experience will continue to pay off, so do what you can to gain experience, viewing it as part of every career journey.