Help People Research and Impact Your Community

If you love to help people and enjoy conducting research and finding information, a career as a librarian could be fulfilling and a good balance of quiet work and serving others. As a librarian, you'll help people gather resources and show them how to find information they need. Librarians work in public libraries, schools, universities, medical facilities and many other settings that normally have regular business hours and benefits, making it a stable career for raising a family.

Job Description

Librarians are research experts who help people find information and conduct successful research. This often means gathering and using books, files, documents and electronic resources. Librarians conduct classes to help the public learn how to find information and resources. They organize library materials, keep them in good working condition and help to plan programs and events. Some librarians are responsible for budgeting, purchasing library equipment and resources and supervising library technicians, assistants and other employees.

Education Requirements

Librarians must earn a four-year bachelor's degree, followed by a master's degree in library science, which takes one to two years to complete. Public school librarians must also obtain a teaching certificate from the state, which usually involves an education degree and student teaching internships in a public school setting. During graduate school, you'll have opportunities to gain experience through library internships, which also give you professional contacts and references for finding employment following graduation.

Industry

Roughly 34 percent of librarians work in the public school system, followed by 30 percent in local government and another 19 percent in colleges, universities and professional schools. Most librarians work on the floor, serving patrons, students and others who need help finding materials. They sometimes work behind the circulation desk, in offices or at various job-sites, which can require travel. Hours can involve evenings and weekends, especially for public and academic librarians. School librarians typically work normal school hours and enjoy regular breaks during school vacation periods, making it an ideal position for those raising children.

Years of Experience and Salary

Librarians earn a stable income that increases with experience and seniority. Those who work for public schools and schools of higher education are on the higher end of the pay scale. One projection of income looks like this:

  • Entry-Level:

    $29,960 - $58,735
    * Mid-Career:

    $35,246 - $66,208
    * Experienced:

    $36,853 - $76,197
    * Late-Career: 

    $39,278 - $94,021

The median salary for librarians is $57,680 per year, which means that half of all librarians earn more than this, while the other half earn less. The top 10 percent earns more than $90,140, while the lowest 10 percent earns less than $34,100. Most librarians also work for employers who offer full benefits and retirement options, making this career a stable one when you're raising a young family.

Job Growth Trend

Demand for librarians is expected to increase by 9 percent over the next decade, which is about as fast as in other industries. Increasing population and the growing need for help in finding electronic resources is predominantly driving this increase. Parents appreciate not only the educational opportunities librarians offer to children, but also the help they provide with school projects and educational success.

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