Library Technicians: Salary Overview
Library technicians help librarians with a variety of aspects of running a library.
Their job description typically includes assisting patrons, organizing materials and information, and completing clerical and administrative tasks.
Library technicians are also responsible for loaning books and other library materials and collecting returned materials, sorting returned books and other materials, cataloging and maintaining library materials, registering new patrons and issuing library cards, teaching patrons how to use library resources, answering phones, and performing other routine tasks.
Library technicians may work for college libraries, school libraries, public libraries, or libraries that are located at museums, government agencies, law firms, or medical centers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly rate for library technicians was $16.78 as of May 2019, which translates into an annual wage of $34,900.
The median wage is the value that splits the salary distribution in half, meaning that half of all library technicians earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries however vary depending on a wide range of factors, from experience to the region of employment and wages typically range between $22,000 and $55,000 a year.
In May of 2019, the top 10 percent of all library technicians earned more than $56,170 a year, while the lowest 10 percent reported salaries that were below $22,010.
Many library technicians work part-time and those who work in public libraries may work weekends, evenings, or during holidays.
Library Technician Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, library technicians held approximately 94,700 jobs in the United States in 2018, most of them working for local governments.
On average, library technicians employed by local governments made $19.81 an hour or $34,780 a year, according to a report published by BLS in 2019.
Library technicians who worked for elementary and secondary schools earned, on average, $36,880 per year as of May 2019 while those employed by colleges, universities, and professional schools reportedly earned $42,480 a year.
The average annual wage was $36,510 for library technicians in the field of other information services and $40,860 for those who worked for junior colleges.
The highest-paying field for this profession was, according to BLS, the field of management of companies and enterprises, a sector where the average annual wage for library technicians was $57,270.
A higher-than-average salary was also reported by library technicians who worked for social advocacy organizations a field that remunerated them, on average, with $57,060 per year.
However, library technicians hold only a few jobs in these high paying fields so we are safe to say job openings may not occur very often.
There are many other factors that determine a library technician’s salary, including the level of education, skills, and certification.
Holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may improve your earning prospects.
After earning a few years of experience as a library technician you may advance to a supervisory position which will mean additional responsibilities and higher pay.
Salaries reported by library technicians also vary depending on the region and the state of employment.
Library technicians in top-paying states, such as the District of Columbia or Connecticut earned more than $50,000 on average while those who were employed in Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, or Wisconsin reportedly earned less than $30,000 a year on average.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for library technicians is projected to decline 3 percent from 2018 to 2028.
This decline is caused, in part, by the fact that fewer people use the library and by budget constraints.
However, job openings will continue to result, mostly from the need to replace workers who retire or transfer to other occupations.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Library Technicians. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.