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Library Science Major

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Library Science

$61,530 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Library Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many library science graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 5,082
Graduate Certificate 363
Basic Certificate 216
Associate’s Degree 156
Bachelor’s Degree 81
Doctor’s Degree 54
Undergraduate Certificate 44

What Library Science Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, library science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Library Science Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in library science should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Library Science Majors

A major in library science prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Library Science Majors

As you progress with your library science degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Can You Do With a Library Science Major?

People with a library science degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Archivists 14.7% $52,240
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Librarians 9.0% $59,050
Library Science Professors 8.3% $71,560
Library Technicians 9.1% $34,040
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science?

81 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
91% Percent Women
20% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 91% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of library science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Library Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 0
Black or African American 5
Hispanic or Latino 8
White 61
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 7

How Much Do Library Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of library science students with a bachelor’s degree is $30,500 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,950 (25th percentile) and $34,050 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to library science.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $56,400 to $75,450 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to library science. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Library Science Major  ( 56400 to 75450 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with library science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to library science have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 4.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.4%
Some College Courses 3.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.9%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.9%
Master’s Degree 32.3%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 6.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.8%

Online Library Science Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 140 schools offered some type of library science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 35 10
Certificate (1-2 years) 14 5
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 44 15
Bachelor’s Degree 32 10
Post-Baccalaureate 35 10
Master’s Degree 79 45
Post-Master’s 40 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 14 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Library Science Worth It?

The median salary for a library science grad is $61,530 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 54% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $432,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to library science.

Major Number of Grads
Education 306,214
Social Sciences 199,576
Psychology 175,257
Communication & Journalism 120,570
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 60,305
History 32,644
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 14,883

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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