What is the Salary Potential in Library Science?

When a person chooses a degree or career path in library science, understanding the salary potential is an important consideration. While the salary might not be the only factor in choosing a career, it is an important consideration. There are several ways to examine the salary potential in library science, including location, industry, experience and education.

Library Science Salary Potential By Industry

The median wage for library scientists was $59,050 in May 2018. The wage paid to library scientists varies by the industry where they work. Private colleges and public local and state colleges and universities offer the highest annual average salaries for library scientists. Those who work in colleges or universities earn a median annual wage of $64,130 per year. Schools, including public and private elementary and high schools, pay librarians an annual median wage of $60,780. Information and research industries and local governments are also some of the top industries in which library scientists, work, and they pay a median annual wage of $56,970 and $53,060.

Salary Potential for Library Science By Education and Experience

It is also important to consider the annual wage for library scientists by the level of education and experience in the field. Those with a doctorate may earn more per year than those with a master’s degree. Librarians with an area of specialty, such as law or medicine, may also earn more. Library scientists with 10 or more years of experience earn more than those who are new to the field.

Salary Potential in Library Science By State

There are geographic differences in the salary potential in library science, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By state or territory, Washington, D.C., California, Maryland, Alaska and Washington are the highest-paying locations. Each of these places has an average annual salary exceeding $71,000 for library scientists. Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles areas also have a high concentration of employment opportunities for librarians, so people willing to work in these areas may find more job opportunities that offer a higher than average annual salary.

Salary Potential for Library Scientists By City or Metropolitan Area

Another way to look at the salary potential for librarians is by city or metropolitan area. Keep in mind that some large cities have a higher cost of living than smaller cities or rural areas in the same state. Library scientists may want to compare the salary offerings to the cost of living in these areas to determine whether the wages paid will be enough to live on comfortably. The five cities or metropolitan areas with the highest average annual wages for library scientists are San Fransisco and Oakland, Bakersfield, San Jose and Riverside. These are all in the state of California, and they all pay an average annual salary of at least $81,000. Rounding out the top 10 paying cities are Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Fresno, Anchorage and Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.

Related Resource: 10 Great Deals: Master of Library Science Online

Most librarians hold a master’s degree, which is the typical entry-level educational requirement. Those with an additional specialty or training in an area such as medicine, research or foreign languages may be able to negotiate a higher salary. Being familiar with the salary potential in library science allows a person to make an informed decision about their career path.