Librarians have had a hard time lately, what with the MLS being called the worst master’s degree for jobs and all that. For those despondent about such claims, take a look at this article and the infographic it points to. You’ll probably feel better, at least if you don’t think about it much.
The infographic seems to work from the same sort of data as that Forbes article that called the MLS the worst master’s degree for jobs, but both the article and the infographic paint a rosier picture.
For example, it points out that the average librarian salary in the US is $56,547 a year. Forbes probably compares that to what even its journalists make and finds amusement in the fact. How could one even live on that, they would chuckle.
The infographic takes a “glass is half full” approach and points out that average is “certainly more than what librarians make in the rest of the world — $14,624 in Brazil, $23,135 in the UK and $33,487 in Australia.”
However, the infographic gives the source of the UK figure, which is also conveniently at payscale.com. That site doesn’t list an “average” salary, but gives the median UK librarian salary as £24,729, which comes to about $38,000 in current exchange rates.
The equivalent page for US librarians lists the median pay as $42,885, which isn’t that much higher than the UK average.
It also lists the reported range of librarian pay from $25,133 to $66,423 to get that median. It’s not clear where that range comes from, since there are definitely librarians making more than $66,000, but don’t worry about that.
Anyway, back to the rosy view. The average hourly earnings are supposedly higher by age group for “all occupations.” For example, the 25-54 year old group of librarians averages $23.22 per hour, while “all occupations” average $19.76 per hour.
Wow, that’s almost $4 more per hour! If you want to make it sound even better, that’s 17.5% higher!
That sounds good, right? Pretty positive? Something’s nagging at me, though, something that just seems a little off.
Oh, yeah, it’s the comparison to “all occupations.” I’m pretty sure most of “all occupations” don’t require a bachelor’s degree, much less a master’s degree.
About 31% of Americans over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree, and about 8% a master’s degree. The percentages probably differ some if we just include those who are employed or looking for work, but probably not that much.
But I guess it’s good to know that librarians on average make over $3 more per hour than a population where the vast majority doesn’t even have a college degree.
Wait, I’m getting away from the rosy view again.
So back to the rosy view. Guess what? “Workers in this occupation tend to be older than workers in the rest of the economy.” Pay attention to the boldface. You know what that means? You do, don’t you. If not, you can probably guess.
That’s right! “A large number of librarians are likely to retire in the coming decade.”
And you know what that means? According to payscale.com, “This seems to be the right time to enter the profession” because of so many impending retirees!
Wait, haven’t we heard that before? Oh yeah, we’ve been hearing that for the last decade at least. It’s the “librarian shortage” all over again. Did the ALA put them up to this? This is a prank, right?
Or a conspiracy by the library schools desperate for tuition dollars?
That’s the only way it makes sense.