California Librarian Salary Guide - 2024

by Staff

Updated: November 2nd, 2023

According to the Annual Report issued by The California State Library in 2020, California is home to over a thousand public Libraries. These libraries are visited over 138 Million times a year. Public Libraries bring a lot of value to the state of California, so it is important to invest more budget and funding towards them.

Why are libraries important?

An article published on the California State Library website states that Libraries play a hugely positive role in society. It brings communities together and adds social value to vulnerable populations who might be suffering due to linguistic or cultural barriers. It enables people in their individual, personal and economic growth. 

What role do libraries play in the growth of society?

Given the crucial role libraries play, the government needs to invest in Libraries, especially the people who make it happen. There are over a hundred thousand employees that are tirelessly working in California’s many libraries. They contribute to society’s growth and development, and for that, they are compensated well. 

How much money do librarians earn?

Statistically, the average yearly salary of a Librarian in California is estimated to be $80,740 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021). The 10th percentile salary cutoff is $47,410 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021), and the highest 90th percentile cutoff is $122,700 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021). This salary is non-inclusive of transport, medical insurance, and accommodation. 

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in urban areas of California

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Bakersfield, CA110$65,300
Chico, CA60$75,790
Fresno, CA200$73,730
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA2,540$84,790
Merced, CA40$69,510
Modesto, CA80$75,050
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA150$67,940
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA770$74,330
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA620$74,670
Salinas, CA100$75,650
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA830$76,640
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA1,580$89,990
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA630$88,540
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA80$66,760
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA50$78,180
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA110$78,960
Santa Rosa, CA160$71,270
Stockton-Lodi, CA70$73,100
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA80$74,690
Visalia-Porterville, CA60$56,570
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in rural areas of California

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area50$65,340
Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area40$56,670
North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area80$59,890
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Why are librarians so handsomely compensated in California?

Even though the handsome salary that comes with being a librarian in California is not what motivates people to become Librarians, it is high in comparison to other jobs. Librarians can pursue jobs only after completing their Masters in Library Sciences or Library and Information Sciences. They are responsible for issuing, cataloging, and organizing resources of a Library. 

What role do archivists play in libraries?

Apart from Librarians, archivists also help in the functioning of Libraries and Archives. According to the Council on Library & Information Resources, archivists play a crucial role in ensuring the availability of documentary materials that will be of value in the long run. They provide unbiased records of institutions ensuring accountability of state-held positions. 

Archivist Salaries

Archivist mean salary in California is $60,970 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021). However, archivists continue to increase their salary the longer they work within the industry. It is a career that rewards lifelong learners. Their wages are dependent on factors such as qualifications, experience, and expertise. Archivists often hold a master’s degree in History, Library or Archival Science, Political Science, or Public Administration.

Library Science Teacher Salaries

Typically, a Library Science teacher in the state of California is compensated with a mean salary of  $147,390 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021). This wage is higher than the average pay of a high school teacher in California, which is around 20% lower. Pursuing careers in Library Sciences is important for the growth and development of society and professionals in the industry are compensated accordingly.

Why Are Teachers of Library and Information Sciences Important?

To keep libraries up and running, institutions offering degrees or courses in Library and Information Sciences play a big role. Teachers in these institutions keep the flow going and have the tiresome responsibility of educating an entire generation of Librarians. The welfare and well-being of Libraries depend greatly upon new, passionate, and talented Librarians.

Why is teaching library sciences important?

Library Sciences Teachers help students with effective organization of data, archives, resources of libraries. The progress and growth of society are dependent upon the timely and efficient retrieval of these information sources. Research and retrieval of archival files is the responsibility of individuals working in Libraries.

Some of the highest paid professions in California are those of Medicine, Law, and Science. Students pursuing these degrees have made more than one visit to digital or physical libraries a month. They ensure the safety of society and provide care. With the absence of Libraries and librarians, none of this would have been possible.