Librarian Salary Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Librarian Salary in United States for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $61,660

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Best College Majors for Librarians in 2023

Librarian Salary Overview

Librarians play a crucial role in our society by managing and organizing information, assisting patrons with research, and promoting literacy and lifelong learning. If you are considering a career as a librarian, it's important to have a good understanding of the salary expectations for this profession. In this section, we will provide you with an overview of librarian salaries, including factors that can influence earning potential.

Average Librarian Salary

The average salary of librarians varies depending on several factors, such as experience, education level, geographic location, and the type of library they work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage for librarians was $60,820. However, it's important to note that salaries can range significantly below or above this figure based on individual circumstances.

Factors Affecting Librarian Salary

The following factors can have an impact on a librarian's salary:
  • Experience:

    Like most professions, librarians with more years of experience generally earn higher salaries. As librarians gain experience and develop specialized skills, they may also qualify for higher-paying positions.
  • Educational Qualifications: Librarians typically hold a master's degree in library science (MLS) or a related field. Advanced degrees or additional certifications can enhance job prospects and potentially lead to higher salaries.
  • Geographic


    Salary levels for librarians can vary depending on the cost of living and demand for these professionals in specific regions. Metropolitan areas and regions with higher living expenses tend to offer higher salary ranges.
  • Type of Library: The type of library in which a librarian works can influence their salary. Librarians employed in academic libraries, government libraries, or specialized libraries may earn higher salaries compared to those working in public or school libraries.
  • Job Responsibilities: Librarians who hold management positions or have additional responsibilities beyond traditional library duties may be eligible for higher salaries.

Career Growth and Outlook

The demand for librarians is expected to remain steady in the coming years. According to the BLS, employment of librarians is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. While technological advancements may impact some aspects of the job, librarians will continue to be valuable in helping individuals navigate and access information.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information about librarian salaries and career prospects, you may find the following resources helpful: Remember that salary ranges can vary depending on many factors, so it's essential to research specific information for your desired location and job market. By understanding the average librarian salary and the factors that can influence it, you can make more informed decisions regarding your career path and potential earnings in this rewarding profession.

Librarian Salary Breakdown by Sector/Industry

When it comes to working as a librarian, the salary you can expect may vary depending on the sector or industry you choose to work in. Here, we will explore the different sectors and industries that employ librarians and provide a breakdown of the salary ranges within each.

Public Libraries

Public libraries are an essential part of any community, providing access to information, educational resources, and recreational materials. Librarians working in public libraries typically serve a diverse range of patrons and perform various tasks such as organizing collections, assisting with research, and hosting community events.

Salary Range:

The average salary for librarians in public libraries is around $50,000 to $70,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the library system. Learn more about public libraries: American Library Association

Academic Libraries

Academic libraries are found within colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. Librarians in this sector often work closely with faculty and students, assisting them with research, locating resources, and providing instruction on information literacy. Salary Range: Librarians working in academic libraries tend to have slightly higher salaries compared to public libraries. The average salary range for academic librarians is typically between $55,000 and $75,000 per year. However, salaries can vary based on factors like experience, qualifications, and the size of the institution. Find more information about academic libraries: Association of College & Research Libraries

Special Libraries

Special libraries are typically associated with organizations such as corporations, government agencies, law firms, museums, and hospitals. Librarians in this sector often have specialized knowledge in specific subject areas and cater to the specific needs of their organization. Salary Range: The salary range for librarians working in special libraries can vary widely depending on the industry and organization. On average, salaries for special librarians range from $50,000 to $80,000 per year. However, some industries or organizations may offer higher salaries based on the level of expertise required. Learn more about special libraries: Special Libraries Association

School Libraries

School librarians play a vital role in supporting student learning and promoting information literacy within educational settings. They assist students and teachers with research, manage library resources, and promote a love for reading. Salary Range: Salaries for school librarians can vary depending on the educational level and location. The average salary range for school librarians is typically between $45,000 and $65,000 per year. Factors such as experience, school district budget, and location can impact salary levels. Explore more about school libraries: American Association of School Librarians

Government Libraries

Government libraries serve as valuable information resources for government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. Librarians working in government libraries assist with research, manage information databases, and support government employees in accessing relevant resources. Salary Range: The salary range for librarians working in government libraries can vary based on factors such as the level of government and geographic location. On average, salaries for government librarians range from $50,000 to $70,000 per year. Discover more about government libraries: Federal Depository Library Program Remember that while these salary ranges provide a general idea of what librarians can expect to earn in different sectors or industries, individual salaries may vary based on factors such as experience, qualifications, geographic location, and the size of the institution or organization.

Comparison to Similar Careers

While being a librarian is a fulfilling career choice, it's essential to understand how librarian salaries compare to similar professions in the field. Below are some comparisons to give you a comprehensive understanding:


Archivists are responsible for appraising, organizing, and maintaining historical records and documents. They work in various institutions like museums, libraries, and government agencies. In comparison to librarians, archivists tend to have a more specialized focus on historical preservation.


Curators are responsible for managing and overseeing collections of artifacts and artwork. They work primarily in museums, galleries, and cultural institutions. While librarians focus on providing access to information, curators focus on the preservation and exhibition of art and historical objects.

School Librarian

School librarians work in elementary, middle, and high schools, providing resources and assisting students in finding information. While they have similar responsibilities as librarians in other settings, their focus is primarily on supporting the educational needs of students and collaborating with teachers.

Information Scientist

Information scientists, also known as information specialists or knowledge managers, focus on organizing and retrieving information from various sources. They work in industries such as research institutions, healthcare organizations, and technology companies, assisting with data analysis and information management.

These comparisons highlight the varying salary ranges and job prospects within related fields. While librarian salaries may vary depending on factors such as experience, education, and location, it's essential to consider these factors when exploring career opportunities.

Understanding Job Benefits and Compensation Packages

As a librarian, understanding the various job benefits and compensation packages available is crucial when considering a career in this field. Here, we will delve into the different aspects of librarian salary and explore the additional perks that often come with the profession.

Salary Overview

Librarians are generally well-compensated for their expertise and educational qualifications. The average annual salary for librarians in the United States is around $59,050, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it's important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and education level.

Factors Influencing Librarian Salary

Several factors can impact a librarian's salary. These include: - Education: Librarians with higher levels of education, such as a master's degree in library science (MLS) or a related field, often have better earning potential. -


Years of experience in the field can lead to higher salaries as librarians gain valuable knowledge and expertise. -


Salaries can vary significantly based on geographic location. Urban areas and regions with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher salaries. - Type of Library: Librarians working in academic or research libraries may earn higher salaries compared to those employed in public or school libraries.

Additional Compensation Benefits

In addition to base salaries, librarians often receive various compensation benefits, which can enhance their overall job satisfaction and financial well-being. These benefits may include: - Health Insurance: Many libraries provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for their librarians, including medical, dental, and vision plans. - Retirement Plans: Librarians frequently have access to retirement plans such as 401(k) or pension schemes, ensuring long-term financial stability. - Paid Time Off: Libraries typically offer generous paid time off, including vacation days, sick leave, and holidays, allowing librarians to maintain a healthy work-life balance. - Professional Development Opportunities: Libraries often support ongoing professional development for librarians, providing funding for attending conferences, workshops, and continuing education programs. - Flexible Work Arrangements: Some libraries offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flextime options, enabling librarians to maintain a better work-life integration. - Tuition Reimbursement: Many libraries offer tuition reimbursement programs, which encourage librarians to pursue advanced degrees or certifications and further enhance their skills.

Advancement Opportunities

Librarians may have opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to higher salaries and increased responsibilities. Advancement paths may include: - Supervisory Roles: Librarians who demonstrate strong leadership skills and management abilities may move into supervisory or administrative positions within their library. - Specialization: Librarians can specialize in specific areas such as information technology, research, or digital services. By acquiring expertise in these niche fields, they may qualify for higher-paying positions. - Advanced Degrees: Pursuing advanced degrees or certifications in specialized areas of library science can open doors to higher-level positions with better salary packages. Remember that librarian salary and compensation packages can vary greatly based on the factors mentioned above. It's important to research the specific job market and understand the local trends when considering a career in librarianship. For more information about librarian salary and career prospects, you can visit the following authoritative websites: - American Library Association (ALA) - Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - Library Journal By having a comprehensive understanding of librarian salary and the additional benefits available, you can make informed decisions about your career path and enjoy a fulfilling and financially rewarding profession in librarianship.

Salary Negotiation Strategies for Librarians

When it comes to negotiating your librarian salary, it's important to be prepared and armed with the right strategies. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of securing a fair and competitive compensation package.

Research Salary Data

Before entering into salary negotiations, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the average salary range for librarians in your area. Several online resources provide reliable salary data, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook. By arming yourself with this information, you can negotiate from an informed position.

Highlight Your Skills and Experience

During the negotiation process, emphasize the unique skills and experience that make you a valuable asset to the library. Showcase any additional certifications, specializations, or advanced degrees that set you apart from other candidates. By demonstrating your expertise, you can strengthen your negotiation position and justify a higher salary.

Showcase Your Achievements

When discussing salary, be sure to highlight any notable accomplishments or contributions you have made in your previous librarian roles. Whether it's implementing new library programs or improving efficiency in operations, showcasing your achievements can demonstrate your value and justify a higher salary.

Emphasize Your Professional Development

Continuing education and professional development are highly valued in the field of librarianship. If you have attended conferences, completed workshops, or obtained any relevant certifications, mention them during the negotiation process. This shows your commitment to staying up-to-date with industry trends and enhances your negotiation position.

Consider Non-Salary Benefits

In addition to salary, consider other benefits that may be negotiable, such as health insurance, retirement plans, professional development opportunities, or flexible work schedules. These non-salary benefits can contribute to your overall compensation package and improve your work-life balance.

Be Flexible

While it's important to have a clear understanding of your worth and desired salary range, it's also crucial to be flexible during negotiations. Understand that the library's budget and other factors may influence the final offer. By being open to compromises, you can increase the likelihood of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Practice Effective Communication

During salary negotiations, effective communication is key. Clearly articulate your expectations and rationale behind your desired salary. Listen attentively to the employer's perspective and be open to constructive feedback. Maintain a professional and positive attitude throughout the negotiation process.

Consider Seeking Professional Guidance

If you find salary negotiations challenging or intimidating, consider seeking guidance from a professional career counselor or an industry-specific association. They can provide valuable insights, strategies, and negotiation techniques specific to librarianship.

Remember, salary negotiation is a normal part of the job search process, and it's essential to advocate for fair compensation. By utilizing these strategies, you can increase your chances of securing a competitive librarian salary that reflects your skills, experience, and contributions.

Future Librarian Salary Trends

The future of librarian salaries is influenced by various factors, including market demand, educational qualifications, and technological advancements. Understanding the emerging trends can help aspiring librarians and those already in the field make informed decisions regarding their careers. Here are some noteworthy trends to consider:

Increasing Demand for Digital Skills

As libraries continue to embrace technology and digital resources, librarians with expertise in managing digital collections, data analysis, and information technology are in high demand. Acquiring skills in areas such as coding, data management, and digital preservation can significantly enhance a librarian's marketability and earning potential.

Emphasis on Specialized Knowledge

Libraries are becoming more specialized in response to the diverse needs of their communities. As a result, librarians with expertise in niche subjects such as health sciences, business research, or legal resources are highly sought after. Specialized knowledge can lead to higher salaries and greater job prospects, especially in academic or specialized libraries.

Continued Importance of Soft Skills

While technological skills are crucial, librarians must also possess excellent communication, customer service, and problem-solving abilities. These soft skills are essential for building relationships with library patrons and providing personalized assistance. Librarians who excel in these areas are likely to be valued more by their institutions, which may translate into higher salaries or promotions.

Impact of Funding and Budget Constraints

Libraries often face budget constraints due to economic fluctuations and changing priorities. Consequently, librarian salaries may be affected, with some libraries freezing hiring or reducing staff compensation. Staying updated on funding trends and exploring opportunities in well-funded institutions or organizations can mitigate the impact of budget constraints on salary prospects.

Opportunities in Non-Traditional Library Settings

Librarians are not limited to traditional library roles. Many organizations, including corporations, government agencies, and research institutions, recognize the value of information professionals. Librarians working in non-traditional settings often enjoy competitive salaries, additional benefits, and opportunities for career advancement.

Professional Development and Continuing Education

Continuous learning and professional development are essential for librarians to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving information landscape. Acquiring additional certifications or advanced degrees can open doors to higher-paying positions or specialized roles. Librarians who invest in their professional growth are more likely to command higher salaries and have a competitive edge in the job market.

Unionization and Collective Bargaining

In some regions, librarian unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements that outline salary structures and other benefits. Joining a union can provide librarians with a platform to advocate for fair compensation and improved working conditions. Additionally, collective bargaining can result in better salary prospects and job security for librarians. It is important to note that salary trends may vary based on geographical location, industry, and individual circumstances. Conducting thorough research, networking within the profession, and leveraging professional associations can provide valuable insights into salary expectations and opportunities for career growth. For more information about librarian salaries and career prospects, you can refer to the following authoritative websites: - American Library Association (ALA): - Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): - Library Journal: Remember, staying informed about industry trends and continuously enhancing your skills can help you navigate the evolving librarian job market successfully.


As a librarian, it is important to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the field. Here are some valuable resources that can provide you with insightful information about librarian salaries: American Library Association (ALA): The ALA is the largest and most influential library association in the United States. They offer various resources and publications, including reports on library salaries and compensation. The ALA's website provides access to these reports, which can help you understand the salary landscape for librarians in different regions. Link: American Library Association Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS is a reliable source of information when it comes to occupational data. Their Occupational Outlook Handbook provides detailed information on librarian salaries, including median pay, job prospects, and factors that may affect earning potential. The BLS website is an excellent resource for understanding the salary range for librarians nationwide. Link: Bureau of Labor Statistics Library Journal: Library Journal is a well-known publication that covers news, trends, and issues in the library world. They often publish articles related to librarian salaries, providing insights into current compensation levels and industry trends. Keeping an eye on their website or subscribing to their newsletter can help you stay up-to-date on salary-related information. Link: Library Journal Professional Associations: Apart from the ALA, there are other professional associations that cater to specific types of librarians or focus on particular library sectors. These associations often provide resources related to salary surveys and benchmarks for their members. Some examples include the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and the Medical Library Association (MLA). Exploring these associations' websites can provide valuable salary information specific to your area of expertise. Links: - Special Libraries Association (SLA) - Medical Library Association (MLA) Salary Comparison Websites: Several websites offer salary comparison tools that can give you an idea of how your librarian salary compares to others in similar positions and locations. Websites like Glassdoor, Payscale, and Indeed allow you to search for librarian salaries by location, years of experience, and educational qualifications. While these websites may not provide comprehensive data, they can give you a general sense of the average salary range in your area. Links: - Glassdoor - Payscale - Indeed Remember, salaries can vary depending on factors such as geographical location, level of experience, educational qualifications, and type of library. It is always advisable to use multiple sources to get a more accurate understanding of librarian salary trends and benchmarks.


Librarian salary is a topic of great interest for individuals pursuing a career in the field of librarianship. Through our comprehensive analysis, we have explored various aspects related to librarian salaries, including factors affecting the pay scale, average salary ranges, and potential growth opportunities. Here are some key takeaways from our discussion: Factors Influencing Librarian Salaries: Librarian salaries can vary depending on several factors, such as education level, experience, geographic location, and the type of library (public, academic, or special). These factors play a crucial role in determining the earning potential of librarians. Average

Salary Range:

According to data from reputable sources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for librarians is around $61,920. However, it is important to note that this figure can vary significantly based on the aforementioned factors.



Librarian salaries can differ based on the location of employment. Metropolitan areas generally offer higher salaries compared to rural or less populated regions. Factors such as cost of living and demand for library services in a particular area can influence salary levels. Growth Opportunities: The field of librarianship offers various growth opportunities for professionals. With additional certifications, advanced degrees, or specialization in a particular area such as information technology or data management, librarians can enhance their skills and increase their earning potential. Professional Development: Continuous professional development is essential for librarians to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the industry. By actively participating in workshops, conferences, and training programs, librarians can improve their knowledge base and open doors to better-paying positions. It is important to remember that while salary is an important consideration, the passion for knowledge sharing and the satisfaction derived from serving the community should also be taken into account when pursuing a career as a librarian. To gather further information about librarian salaries, you can refer to resources such as the American Library Association (ALA) website or consult with local library associations in your region. Disclaimer: The salary figures provided are based on available data and research at the time of writing. Actual salaries may vary depending on factors beyond our control. Remember, embarking on a career as a librarian is not solely driven by financial gains but also by the love for books, learning, and making a positive impact on society. Feel free to explore other sections of our article to gain a comprehensive understanding of librarian salaries and related aspects.
Average Librarian Salary in AlaskaAlaska$32.01$66,580
Average Librarian Salary in ArizonaArizona$24.5$50,950
Average Librarian Salary in ArkansasArkansas$25.3$52,620
Average Librarian Salary in CaliforniaCalifornia$37.89$78,820
Average Librarian Salary in ColoradoColorado$29.5$61,360
Average Librarian Salary in ConnecticutConnecticut$35.37$73,570
Average Librarian Salary in DelawareDelaware$32.3$67,190
Average Librarian Salary in FloridaFlorida$27.57$57,350
Average Librarian Salary in GeorgiaGeorgia$30.15$62,720
Average Librarian Salary in HawaiiHawaii$28.32$58,910
Average Librarian Salary in IdahoIdaho$21.36$44,440
Average Librarian Salary in IllinoisIllinois$29.26$60,860
Average Librarian Salary in IndianaIndiana$22.65$47,110
Average Librarian Salary in IowaIowa$23.95$49,820
Average Librarian Salary in KansasKansas$28.1$58,440
Average Librarian Salary in KentuckyKentucky$29.79$61,970
Average Librarian Salary in LouisianaLouisiana$27.89$58,020
Average Librarian Salary in MaineMaine$26.44$55,000
Average Librarian Salary in MarylandMaryland$36.94$76,830
Average Librarian Salary in MassachusettsMassachusetts$36.42$75,750
Average Librarian Salary in MichiganMichigan$25.18$52,370
Average Librarian Salary in MinnesotaMinnesota$31.85$66,260
Average Librarian Salary in MississippiMississippi$22.91$47,650
Average Librarian Salary in MissouriMissouri$26.85$55,840
Average Librarian Salary in MontanaMontana$28.09$58,420
Average Librarian Salary in NebraskaNebraska$28.28$58,820
Average Librarian Salary in NevadaNevada$37.46$77,910
Average Librarian Salary in New HampshireNew Hampshire$29.14$60,610
Average Librarian Salary in New JerseyNew Jersey$35.51$73,860
Average Librarian Salary in New MexicoNew Mexico$27.07$56,300
Average Librarian Salary in New YorkNew York$35.69$74,240
Average Librarian Salary in North CarolinaNorth Carolina$28.08$58,400
Average Librarian Salary in North DakotaNorth Dakota$25.78$53,630
Average Librarian Salary in OhioOhio$22.74$47,300
Average Librarian Salary in OklahomaOklahoma$24.02$49,970
Average Librarian Salary in OregonOregon$32.69$68,000
Average Librarian Salary in PennsylvaniaPennsylvania$27.83$57,890
Average Librarian Salary in Rhode IslandRhode Island$34.12$70,970
Average Librarian Salary in South CarolinaSouth Carolina$28.76$59,830
Average Librarian Salary in South DakotaSouth Dakota$20.51$42,650
Average Librarian Salary in TennesseeTennessee$27.36$56,910
Average Librarian Salary in TexasTexas$30.07$62,540
Average Librarian Salary in UtahUtah$21.26$44,210
Average Librarian Salary in VermontVermont$26.24$54,580
Average Librarian Salary in VirginiaVirginia$30.53$63,510
Average Librarian Salary in West VirginiaWest Virginia$19.32$40,190
Average Librarian Salary in WisconsinWisconsin$29.22$60,780
Average Librarian Salary in WyomingWyoming$24.93$51,860

Projected Job Employment for Librarian:

Estimated YearProjected YearEstimated EmploymentProjected Employment% ChangeProjected Annual Job Opening