A person who is considering a degree in library science or a related subject may wonder if librarians are in high demand. To answer this question, it is important to note that there are different types of librarians, and they work in a range of places. Knowing the job outlook for people with a degree in library science could help a person decide if this is the right career path for their future.
General Job Outlook for Librarians
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that jobs for librarians will increase by about 6 percent between 2018 and 2028. As of May 2018, there were about 134,800 jobs as librarians in the United States. By May 2028, statisticians estimate that there will be about 143,400 jobs for librarians. This rate of growth is about the same as for all jobs tracked by the BLS. The BLS explains that the job outlook could change if economic conditions deteriorate. This is because a lot of librarian jobs are publicly funded, and cuts to city, local or state budgets could mean less money to hire librarians.
Where Most of the Librarian Jobs Are Located
Large cities tend to have more librarian jobs because they have more libraries, schools and universities. A large city such as Columbus, Ohio has more than 22 neighborhood library branches as well as the main library. Small towns with a library may only have one or two librarians and a few helpers or assistants. Some cities levy a specific tax for their libraries.
Where Do Librarians Work?
Librarians do not only work in local libraries. Colleges, universities and professional or vocational schools may hire specialized librarians to assist students looking for particular types of reference materials. State libraries may hire librarians with a specialty in archiving or historical documents. Federal agencies may hire librarians who are experienced with a range of media materials and unusual topics. Schools often hire one librarian per school, and that person helps students with their book selections. Museums and research centers may also have librarians.
States and Cities With the Most Librarian Jobs
According to the BLS, the five states with the greatest number of jobs and highest growth potential for future librarian jobs are New York, Texas, California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. However, the highest location quotient, or the number of librarian jobs per 1,000 total jobs, put the states of Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia in the top five places where librarians are in high demand. The top cities for employing librarians are the New York City metropolitan statistical area, Chicago, Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle and Detroit. These ten cities have the highest employment by total numbers and are expected to continue to have a high demand for librarians.
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Knowing the level of demand for librarians could help a person determine if it is worth entering this type of bachelor’s or master’s degree program or taking on loans to earn their education. Being familiar with the projected job outlook for librarians could also help a person plan where to live or which type of library science to study. Understanding the answer to, “Are librarians in high demand?” makes it easier for a person to plan for their career and personal goals.