Alternative Careers for Librarians

Jan 19, 2020

A career as a librarian may appeal to those interested in continual learning and working with the public, but there are other positions that allow librarians to capitalize on these interests. Alternative careers include positions in technology and education.

Alternative Careers for Librarians

Librarians who are interested in a career change can take their experience and utilize it in other information-centered positions. A few options are presented below that involve either working with the public or managing an organization's records.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Archivist $52,240 9%
Records Manager $90,270 (for document management specialist)** 7-10% (for document management specialist)**
Database Administrator $90,070 9%
Health Educator $54,220 10%
Library Technician $16.37 per hour -3% (decline)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **O*Net

Options for Librarians Interested in Alternative Careers


Those working as librarians may also be interested in a career as an archivist because they have similar duties. As an archivist, your primary focus will be ensuring that important materials are properly preserved. You will do so by examining the authenticity of materials, appropriately filing and electronically copying them, and assisting the public with accessing these materials. Archivists typically work in museums or historical organizations and need a master's degree.

Records Manager

Librarians might also enjoy a career as a records manager since it is also an information-centered position. Records managers are responsible for overseeing and maintaining all of an organization's internal files. This involves creating and implementing document retention and security policies, ensuring employees are trained on these procedures, and coordinating the storage of old records at an off-site location. Records managers work in a variety of industries, including educational services and healthcare, with most positions requiring a bachelor's degree.

Database Administrator

Librarians may be well-suited for a career as a database administrator because of the shared focus on organizing information. As a database administrator, you will utilize computer software to establish an electronic filing system for an organization's records. Your job duties will include maintaining the integrity and security of records, ensuring employees can access them as needed, and performing updates on the system. Database administrators primarily work in the computer systems design industry and will need a bachelor's degree.

Health Educator

Individuals working as librarians may also want to consider a career as a health educator since both positions involve working with the public. Health educators' primary focus is working within a community to promote healthier lifestyles. They do so by determining the needs of the community, creating and implementing educational programs, and assisting residents with obtaining the services they need. Health educators may work for government or healthcare organizations and must have a bachelor's degree.

Library Technician

Those librarians who want to remain working in library science, but wish to have more part time opportunities, might consider a job as a library technician. As a library technician, your role will be to support the librarian with various tasks, such as interacting with patrons to find and check out materials, organizing materials, and assisting with special events, such as children's programs or adult education classes. Library technicians can work in public or school libraries with a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree.

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