Occupational Outlook For Librarians

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Occupational Outlook Handbook.

As a librarian, I was specifically interested in the occupational outlook for librarians.

Here's a quick snapshot of the information:

What Librarians Do
Librarians help people find information and conduct research for personal and professional use. Their job duties may change based on the type of library they work in, such as public, school, and medical libraries.

Work Environment
Librarians work for local government, colleges and universities, companies and elementary and secondary schools. Most work full time, but opportunities for part-time work exist.

How to Become a Librarian
Most librarians need a master’s degree in library science. Some positions have additional requirements, such as a teaching certificate or a degree in another field.

The median annual wage for librarians was $55,370 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of librarians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Librarians are needed to assist library patrons in locating information and resources, but growth will be limited as people become more comfortable using electronic resources to conduct their own research.

Of course this information is a tad different for law librarians, where you would generally need a J.D. in additional to a master's degree in library science (as noted that some positions require additional degrees). But I think that the median salary is just about the same.

The BLS says "that growth will be limited as people become more comfortable using electronic resources to conduct their own research." As digital natives begin to enter college and law school, there may be less instruction regarding how to maneuver around electronic databases, but I still think that research strategy and organized searching will still be a major teaching point. Also vetting reliable information.


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