Someplace job search site has created yet another job rankings list based on the sort of rigorous methodology you’d expect from people trying to hustle money out of you.
Librarian ranks 61, just below nuclear engineer and aerospace engineer and just above judge and heating/refrigeration mechanic. But why would the job of judge, which supposedly has similar environmental, stress, and physical demands of a heating/refrigeration mechanic while earning almost 3 times the annual pay be only one rank higher than the mechanic?
They answer that question. “Both jobs have lower stress levels, but a Judge has a better work environment while a Heating/Refrigeration Mechanic has a better job outlook.”
That’s where lists by places trying to make money from people looking for jobs get things wrong. Once you have a job, the “job outlook” means very little, especially if the “”mega factor” for outlook as defined here is expected employment growth through the year 2020.”
That’s why judges making $120,000 a year aren’t considering looking for work in the position just above them, Librarian. A true job ranking would rank how good or bad jobs were once you got into them, not based on how likely there are to be more of them.
Let’s say, hypothetically, that heating/refrigeration mechanic is a tedious, unpleasant job. The fact that lots more of them will be hired in the next few years doesn’t make it a better job. It just means more people will get to work in tedious, unpleasant jobs.
If increasing availability is an important factor to a job being good, then fast food worker is possibly one of the best jobs around. It’s like the joke about the two clueless people discussing the food in a bad restaurant. “The food here is terrible.” “Yes, and such small portions!”
It’s hard to say why being a librarian is better than being a judge. Definitely not the average pay. Supposedly, librarians have less stress and fewer physical demands.
I can understand the stress part, but fewer physical demands? If you’ve ever wondered what job would be even less physically demanding than sitting in a chair and occasionally banging a table with a small wooden hammer, now you have your answer: librarian.
Librarian is a good job because of the low stress, the decent work environment, and the low physical demands. If only it had a good “job outlook,” it might be the best job in America! That, and it paid better, but money isn’t everything, as many librarians tell themselves every month while trying to pay their bills.
Oh, sure, there are probably some stressed out librarians, but I bet most of that stress has nothing to do with their work as librarians. Librarian workplace stress is mostly caused by bad bosses and annoying coworkers, and most professions have those.
Take bad bosses and annoying coworkers out of the equation, and things start to look pretty good. Consider the job of a typical reference librarian. Reference librarians sit around waiting for people to ask them questions, even if nobody wants to ask questions.
The great thing is, they’re working even if they’re just sitting at a desk doing nothing. In fact, you could argue that sitting at a reference desk doing nothing but smiling expectantly makes someone a better reference librarian than someone who distracts themselves with other work or another sudoku puzzle.
For that matter, sitting at a desk surfing the Internet for news could be considered library work. Reference librarians should be well informed people, after all.
Is there a nonadministrative professional job in a library that’s actually difficult or unpleasant? Again, leaving out the factors of bad bosses or colleagues.
Cataloging? Are there even any catalogers left? The few real catalogers I’ve known tend to like their work when they’re allowed to do it.
Collection development? I’ve yet to meet a librarian who complains about being able to buy books with someone else’s money. For avid readers, it’s the best job around. You can always make sure your library is well stocked with whatever it is you like to read.
The broad category of librarians who do things in the background with computers? Systems librarians, web designers, etc. Does this count as professional library work, or just professional work done in a library?
Nevertheless, the only complaint I ever hear from those people is that they’re overworked, and yet in my library all the systems people sit in a locked room playing poker all day. I know because I had a webcam installed and have the video streaming on the library website. That no one has noticed yet says something about my library.
I think it’s high time librarians pointed out how great it is being a librarian, and certainly better than being a social worker (#51).
Okay, at this point, I know some of you will complain about how being a librarian is sometimes like being a social worker. Or a babysitter. Or a custodian. Or a printer jam repair person. Basically, any of those tasks you end up doing at your library where the phrase “I went to library school for this?!” creeps into your brain.
What can I say? You got took. Go find a job where they hire librarians to do librarian things like sit at desks surfing the Internet and they hire other people to do other specialized jobs like babysit and clean up messes.
In a real library, librarians do librarian stuff, which means the small portion of library work that is remotely interesting or challenging or shows any hope for breaking up the monotony of the day. Everything else should be left to the oppressed library worker. That’s what they’re there for.
If those job website people knew all this, librarian would probably shoot straight to the top of the list.