Work Settings and Skills | Placements & Salaries 2019

LJ's 2019 Placements & Salaries survey showed that the top job skill cited was again reference and information services (10 percent), but in second place for the first time was user experience/usability analysis (9 percent). This is the first year that LJ asked graduates about soft skills training in conflict resolution, cultural competency, customer service, design thinking, ethics, and leadership.

LJ's 2019 Placements & Salaries survey showed that the top job skill cited was again reference and information services (10 percent), but in second place for the first time was user experience/usability analysis (9 percent). This is the first year that LJ asked graduates about soft skills training in conflict resolution, cultural competency, customer service, design thinking, ethics, and leadership.

 

WORK SETTINGS VS. SKILLSETS

Working graduates were asked to categorize their current position setting. These results are a close match to the 2017 study, when this question was first posed. More than two-thirds called themselves librarians working in a library (67 percent), versus 4 percent who said they are librarians not working in a library. Graduates who termed themselves “non-librarians” were equally likely to say they were working in a library (15 percent) or outside of one (14 percent).

Librarians not working in a library apply their LIS skills by managing data or digital assets, developing and managing a collection, managing technology or web resources (including user experience), working in records management, or doing research. Non-librarians working in a library tend to work as paraprofessionals while seeking a professional position, although some work in technology or management capacities. Non-librarians not working in a library cited activities such as metadata and vocabulary design, digital curation, building information systems, knowledge management, and user behavior and training.

Against this broad array of responsibilities carried out by LIS graduates, respondents were asked to name their primary job duty. The 2018 responses mirrored the 2017 answers for four classic items, but also introduced one hot newcomer. The notable change for 2018 is the appearance of user experience/usability analysis (9 percent), in second place on the list. The most typical answer to this question was again reference and information services (10 percent). Three other responses in the top five positions were school librarian/school library media specialist (9 percent), children’s services (8 percent), and administration (6 percent). Archives and preservation (5 percent) also appeared high on the 2017 list.

Respondents provided their full job titles, creating a varied list testifying to the broad applicability of LIS degrees. Some of the most unique titles were: GIS and Data Visualization Librarian, UX and Assessment Librarian, User Engagement Librarian, Director of Data Analytics, Open Data Literacy Consultant, Electronic Health Records Manager, Moving Image and Sound Digital Archivist, Epic Programmer Analyst, Data Librarian Ontologist, STEM Librarian, Market Research Visual Storyteller, and Crisis Management and Information Fusion Lead.

Only 16 percent of 2018 graduates think their job is in an emerging area of LIS practice. Areas mentioned include: assessment, assisting patrons with digital arts software and virtual reality devices, training users in business analysis skills, managing companies’ or school districts’ digital assets, data curation, embedded librarian in online course systems to create electronic learning objects, human-centered system design, GIS and data visualization instruction for users, strategic projects for internal management, and ontology for modeling semantic data. For a more detailed look, see Next Gen Librarians | LIS and Careers.

 

TABLE 6: FULL-TIME SALARIES OF REPORTING PROFESSIONALS BY PRIMARY JOB ASSIGNMENT
Primary Job Assignment No. Rec'd % of Total Low Salary High Salary Average Salary Median Salary
Reference/Information Services 83 10.4% 27,300 80,000 50,869 50,000
User experience/Usability analysis 78 9.7% 38,000 147,500 94,654 92,500
School librarian/School Library Media Specialist 74 9.2% 22,000 105,000 53,383 51,575
Children's services 63 7.9% 25,000 65,000 45,150 46,777
Administration 49 6.1% 31,836 165,000 58,507 51,000
Archival and preservation 42 5.2% 26,000 67,500 47,116 47,500
Metadata, Cataloging & Taxonomy 37 4.6% 25,550 75,000 47,436 50,000
Training, Teaching & Instruction 33 4.1% 30,000 80,000 53,317 52,500
Data analytics 30 3.7% 40,000 160,000 79,720 72,500
YA/Teen services 29 3.6% 24,103 80,000 48,141 48,119
Teacher librarian 26 3.2% 26,000 105,000 53,494 48,750
Adult services 24 3.0% 35,000 56,000 44,998 45,000
Circulation 21 2.6% 20,000 63,000 36,289 32,000
Digital content management 16 2.0% 38,500 61,350 46,116 44,000
Public services 16 2.0% 16,000 73,000 41,471 38,782
Technical services 14 1.7% 25,000 81,000 45,913 43,500
Access Services 13 1.6% 28,000 68,000 43,729 42,000
Information technology 12 1.5% 36,000 78,000 58,344 60,500
Data curation & management 11 1.4% 32,000 87,000 52,871 50,000
Collection development/Acquisitions 11 1.4% 30,000 60,000 44,396 45,000
Records management 10 1.2% 33,722 92,000 54,972 51,000
Outreach 10 1.2% 30,000 65,000 51,256 52,500
Solo librarian 10 1.2% 23,000 90,500 43,990 42,000
Emerging technologies 7 0.9% 37,461 73,000 54,689 53,000
Systems Technology 7 0.9% 38,000 62,000 53,278 52,000
Market intelligence/Business research 6 0.7% 28,000 110,000 61,500 57,500
Patron programming 5 0.6% 37,000 50,000 43,506 44,529
Knowledge management 4 0.5% 32,000 67,000 52,250 55,000
Website design 3 0.4% 45,500 57,000 52,500 55,000
Assessment 3 0.4% 25,000 60,000 46,667 55,000
Government documents 3 0.4% 35,400 49,000 40,250 36,350
Communications, PR, and social media 2 0.2% 45,000 48,000 46,500 46,500
Rights & Permissions 2 0.2% 44,000 44,000 44,000 44,000
Grant writing 1 0.1% 51,400 51,400 51,400 51,400
Other 45 5.6% 25,000 116,000 54,350 51,500
Total Answering 801 100.0% 16,000 165,000 55,435 50,000
This table represents full-time placements reported by primary job assignment.
Some individuals omitted placement information,therefore comparison with other tables may show different numbers of placements and average and median salaries.

 

 

LIS LESSONS

Online graduate programs are increasingly popular. Fully online instruction programs were utilized by 59 percent of 2018 graduates, a substantial uptick from 2017 levels (49 percent). About 32 percent used programs that combined online and on-site courses; the popularity of solely on-site instruction continues to dwindle (to less than 10 percent). The latter two options were both down from the prior year.

Graduates were asked to identify which experiences were the most helpful for landing their first professional position. The most frequently chosen was work-related experience via an internship/practicum/field experience (52 percent). Technology skills (e.g., database searching, HTML coding or other Internet oriented skills) were also mentioned by nearly half of graduates (49 percent). Subject specialization knowledge (such as cataloging or reference skills) was cited by 43 percent of respondents. A similar proportion of graduates also valued opportunities to network with professionals working in their area of interest (41 percent).

For the first time this year, graduates were asked about six different types of soft skills training in their LIS master’s programs: conflict resolution, cultural competency, customer service, design thinking, ethics, and leadership.

Most respondents said their LIS programs provided opportunities to learn about five of these: ethics (92 percent), cultural competency (80 percent), leadership (80 percent), customer service (68 percent), and design thinking (65 percent). Only 49 percent said their program taught conflict resolution. Among the graduates who had access to learning about each soft skill, almost all found them useful: ethics (87 percent), cultural competency (73 percent), leadership (72 percent), customer service (69 percent). Respondents were less enthusiastic about design thinking (56 percent) and conflict resolution (43 percent).

 

TABLE 3: 2018 TOTAL GRADUATES AND PLACEMENTS BY SCHOOL*
Schools Women Men Nonbinary** All Women Men Nonbinary** All # Rec'd Rate
Alabama 83 19   102 17 7   24 30 29.4%
Albany 21 9   30 1 3   4 5 16.7%
Arizona 38 9   47 3 3 1 7 9 19.1%
Buffalo 57 20   77 12 4   16 18 23.4%
Catholic* 18 4   22 3 1   4 6 27.3%
Clarion 123 18   141 12 2 2 16 21 14.9%
Emporia State 111 33   144 16 6 4 26 31 21.5%
Florida State 67 19   86 10 5 2 17 18 20.9%
Hawaii Manoa 17 4   21 6 2   8 10 47.6%
Illinois Urbana-Champaign 187 44 1 232 27 6 2 35 46 19.8%
Indiana Bloomington 68 17   85 10 3   13 15 17.6%
Indiana Purdue 52 14   66 14 4   18 21 31.8%
Iowa 22 8   30 10 6   16 17 56.7%
Kent State* 180 38   218 15 3   18 27 12.4%
Kentucky 69 13   82 16 2   18 22 26.8%
Long Island 101 19   120 4 3   7 13 10.8%
Louisiana State 56 8   64 24 6   30 31 48.4%
Maryland 52 17   69 17 2 2 21 24 34.8%
Michigan* 103 57   160 77 39   116 125 78.1%
Missouri 23 9 1 33 6 2 1 9 9 27.3%
NC Chapel Hill* 59 13   72         72 100.0%
NC Greensboro 100 19 5 124 50 8 2 60 71 57.3%
North Texas 311 99   410 26 7   33 35 8.5%
Oklahoma 49 9   58 9 2   11 17 29.3%
Pratt 60 9   69 16 3 1 20 23 33.3%
Queens 65 25   90 33 7   40 59 65.6%
Rutgers 69 31 4 104 12 4   16 22 21.2%
San Jose* 476 81   557 85 14 5 104 155 27.8%
Simmons     283 283 40 9 3 53 64 22.6%
South Carolina 88 18   106 23 1   24 26 24.5%
Southern Mississippi 50 6   56 20 4   24 24 42.9%
St. Catherine 28 4   32 14 2   16 20 62.5%
St. John's 21 1   22 10 1   11 16 72.7%
Syracuse 127 29   156 6 4   10 15 9.6%
Tennessee 48 11   59 16 6 1 23 26 44.1%
Texas Women's 190 2   192 24 1   25 26 13.5%
Valdosta State 88 14   102 36 3 2 41 44 43.1%
Washington 99 32 1 132 16 8 1 25 33 25.0%
Wayne State 127 27   154 42 10 2 54 75 48.7%
Wisconsin Madison* 46 13   59 26 7 1 34 39 66.1%
Wisconsin Milwaukee 73 24   97 10 7   17 20 20.6%
TOTAL 3,622 846 295 4,763 814 217 32 1,064 1,380 29.0%
Tables do not always add up, individually or collectively, due to omitted data from schools and/or individuals.    
*Some schools conducted their own survey and provided raw data. Comparison with other tables may show different numbers of placements.
**Includes nonbinary, other and declined to answer gender.

 

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