Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

When Can I Start Making Money? A Look at the 2013 Salary Survey

Recently in one of my classes, we did an exercise that was probably the most memorable of all my classes’ exercises: we went through the annual salary survey for librarians. In the October 15th edition of the “Library Journal,” the salary survey highlights many different statistics from all areas of the field of libraries.  It includes important information about the “status of 2012 graduates,” where the annual salary for women in the northeast in this profession is $44,083.  It also breaks down average salaries by school – Simmons is $43,285; starting salaries, salaries by job type, and salaries by gender and race.  

This information was incredibly relevant and interesting to me as an upcoming graduate (May 2014).  Despite the fact that most people have mentioned that “you didn’t get into this career to make money,” a small part of me is screaming, “but I DID!  I would love to make money!  I have student loans to pay!” and then I look around at my classmates and wonder to myself, “am I the only person who had to take out student loans to pay for my education?! Why is everyone else so calm?!?” I am not expecting to be a millionaire at all in my lifetime, but I would certainly like to keep out of bankruptcy.  Luckily for me, the Salary Survey breaks the average salary down by type of job, and for a Records Manager, the salary was a bit more optimistic – with the average being $47,208; I can definitely work with that.

Another huge positive that came out of this exercise is getting general job advice.  Despite occurring in my Database Management class, the Professor – Professor Leach, who is amazing, I highly recommend taking his classes – gave some excellent advice.  The average student in the northeast with a Simmons GSLIS degree spends four months looking for a job before becoming employed; therefore, it makes sense to start applying for jobs 3 months before graduation (or so).  Additionally, it is always helpful (when applying for full time jobs) to say you have a degree if given a choice between “have degree” and “don’t have degree,” then, make sure to add on the application that you will be finishing up the degree in [insert date].  

Another helpful piece of advice learned from this exercise is to remain calm and broaden, not narrow, your search when the going gets rough.  I have time and time again, when searching for jobs, become frustrated or given up completely when sending out resume after resume with no response.  It’s helpful to know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, or at the very least, that I won’t be struggling alone (misery loves company, right?).  So to all the people who are graduating this semester, or in the near future – good luck, and definitely take a peek at the salary survey…it’s well worth your time.