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What Can You Do With a Masters Degree in Library Science?

A master's degree in library science prepares graduates to work as librarians in academic, public, or special libraries, such as corporate or law libraries. Explore information about these careers and additional requirements.

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Learn about the various career options for individuals with a master's degree in library science. Get employment outlook, salary and certification information.

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  • Library Assistant
  • Library Science and Librarianship

Career Options for Library Science Master's Degree Graduates

Students prepare for librarian positions within a master's program in library science. These positions help patrons conduct research, organize and maintain materials and databases, plan various programs for the public and more. Common post-graduation job paths include working as a school, law, reference or music librarian, in addition to such job titles as:

  • Media specialist
  • Archivist
  • Library director
  • Information broker

Graduates who work as information brokers in nontraditional library settings, such as consulting companies, nonprofit organizations and private corporations are responsible for researching, organizing, evaluating and analyzing information for clients. Some librarians work online as well, managing databases and other information systems for businesses. Their job titles range from web project manager to database administrator.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for librarians were predicted to grow by two percent from 2014 to 2024. This rate of growth was expected to be limited by government budget restrictions and an increased availability and use of electronic resources. However, librarians with technology experience and training were thought to have the best prospects.

Archivists could expect a slightly better job growth of 7% over this decade, thanks in part to the increasing number of organizations needing archivists to manage their extensive collection of records.

Salary and Employer Information

Per 2016 data from the BLS, popular employers of librarians included schools, local governments and other information service providers. Salaries vary by employer, though the median salary for librarians overall was $57,860 as of May 2016. Archivists, on the other hand, earned a median salary of $50,500.

In March 2017, PayScale.com reported that reference librarians earned a median income of $48,709 per year. Meanwhile, library directors had a median salary of $61,805.

Certification Requirements

Librarians who work in public schools may have to meet the teacher certification requirements set forth by the state. Certification could also be required to work in a public library, but this depends on the state as well. A master's degree is also among typical employer requirements.

A master's degree in library science prepares graduates for an array of jobs in the field, including school librarians, library directors and archivists. Employment growth in the field is expected to be positive, but slow.

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