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Questions Regarding A Librarianship Career

How much does a Librarian earn right out of college? What majors are required to become one, and what non-essential majors would give me an advantage in the field? What types of Librarians receive the highest wages? Also, is it possible to become hired as a Librarian without going to college? Should I consider an internship at a library, as well? What would be the best way to become a Librarian in a new country outside of the United States of America (Tanzania, East Africa)? As of writing these questions, I have experience in Retail (as a Sales Associate and Section Manager): what would be the best way to translate the skills from that field and those positions in relation to Librarianship on a resume?

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Suzanne’s Answer

There is an excellent occupational website available at o*net (just type that into your browser) or for info on librarian and media collection specialist careers go directly to:
https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-4022.00

According to this website, median wages in 2021 were $29.42 hourly or $61,190 annually. I would assume that a librarian fresh out of college would start at a wage lower than this. My understanding is that most professional librarians have a masters degree in library and information sciences. Many are probably English majors as undergraduates (what they major in in college before going on for their masters) but of course, there are specialist librarians who work in science or law libraries, for example, who have degrees in those fields (and probably can earn more money, on average, due to their specialized skill sets). It seems unlikely in the US that you would be hired as a professional librarian without a college degree although you might be able to work in a library in a lower level position (such as a page or programming assistant without a degree).

If you are considering a career in this interesting field, by all means seek out an internship or shadowing experience. You can also volunteer at your local public library or perhaps a college library near you. Here is the volunteer application for the Astoria Public Library:
https://www.astorialibrary.org/Assets/dept_6/pm/pdf/volunteer%20application.pdf
While you are there, try to talk to as many librarians and library employees as possible about their careers.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for the information that you've provided for me, Suzanne. I will also look into the links that you've posted. Jonathan
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Dr Nadeem’s Answer

Actually Librarian CAREER is deemed to be hot career now a days because of huge new colleges and universities entry worldover.So Librarians are high in demand moreover this career is also lessly chosen by students worldover so this career in high demand globally so if you want shape your career as a Librarian then it can be white collar job you get in an university or in a reputed college.
Goodluck for your Career Endeavors.


Dr Nadeem Mian
Mentor
Intercell and Mentorkart
India

Thank you comment icon Thank you for your reply and the information you provided! I will take your offer into consideration when I have the time available to do so. Jonathan
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Jonathan:

Great advice so far received. Librarians typically need a master’s degree in library science (MLS). School librarians and library media specialists typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field, along with a teaching certificate; requirements vary by state.

■ EDUCATION ■

Librarians typically need a master's degree in library science. Some colleges and universities have other names for their library science programs, such as Master of Information Studies or Master of Library and Information Studies. Students need a bachelor’s degree in any major to enter MLS or similar programs.

MLS programs usually take 1 to 2 years to complete. Coursework typically covers information such as learning different research methods and strategies, online reference systems, and Internet search techniques. The American Library Association accredits master’s degree programs in library and information studies.

Requirements for public school librarians and library media specialists vary by state. Most states require an MLS or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education, often with a specialization related to library media.

■ LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS & CERTIFICATIONS ■

Public school librarians and library media specialists typically need a teacher’s certification. Some states require school librarians to pass a standardized test, such as the PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist test. Contact your state department of education for details about requirements in your state.

Some states also require certification for librarians in public libraries. Contact your state’s licensing board for specific requirements.

■ PAY ■

The median annual wage for librarians and library media specialists was $61,190 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,300, and the highest 10% earned more than $97,870.

Best of luck to you on your journey!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

How to Become a Librarian • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm#tab-4
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Edith’s Answer

There are actually specific school programs designed for becoming a librarian. The University of Michigan School of Information has a track designed to train future librarians. Librarians essential work in data management, so similar information sciences programs would be a good thing to look into if you're interested in pursuing a job as a librarian :)
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my question. I will consider applying to The University of Michigan, or possibly attempt to join and partake in other similar Information Science programs, as you have mentioned. Thank you. Jonathan
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Courtney’s Answer

This is university based close to me vs. your location, but I think it offers some great information about exploring librarianship/information science, both as a career and academic programs that can get you there: https://sis.utk.edu/whatcando.

As far as working abroad, I'm not familiar with any resources; however, if you are able to connect with professional librarians, they may be able to assist. I'm even thinking if universities have professors who are from outside the U.S. or who have worked abroad, they may be able to give you detailed insight into requirements.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. I will look into the website you provided when I have the time, and I will also keep your suggestion to talk to professors who are from outside the U.S. or have worked abroad in mind. Jonathan
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