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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 5,173
Graduate Certificate 432
Doctor’s Degree 39

What Library Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to library science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being 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

library science majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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 Master’s Degree in Library Science?

5,173 Master's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
21% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 82% of the recent graduates in this field are 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 151
Black or African American 273
Hispanic or Latino 473
White 3,688
International Students 65
Other Races/Ethnicities 523

Geographic Diversity

Library Science appeals to people across the globe. About 1.3% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Library Science Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that library science students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $41,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $38,800 (25th percentile) and $44,400 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in library science, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Library Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,400 to $75,450 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 careers associated with library science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 2018-2019 academic year, 136 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) 33 11
Certificate (1-2 years) 12 4
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 44 14
Bachelor’s Degree 29 14
Post-Baccalaureate 33 11
Master’s Degree 76 45
Post-Master’s 40 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 15 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 187,512
Psychology 38,863
Social Sciences 22,817
Communication & Journalism 11,707
History 4,418
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 3,917
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 2,550

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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