Massachusetts Librarian Salary Guide - 2024

by Staff

Updated: November 3rd, 2023

School Librarians

How are school librarian salaries determined in Massachusetts?


Massachusetts school librarians’ salaries are determined by the state and the funding that they allocate to each school based on area, size, and the number of students present in the school. For a librarian’s salary that could mean that having a position in a larger school could mean a pay rise for them. The years of experience and level of education of each librarian are also determining factors in determining the salary that they will earn. 

How can one increase their salary?

Increasing your salary as a librarian in Massachusetts could mean pursuing a higher degree or new certifications. This could allow you to access higher-paying jobs that are either more specialized or require a higher level of education and experience in the field. Depending on your school district you could also consider changing schools and opting for a bigger school that offers higher pay. 

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in urban areas of Massachusetts

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Barnstable Town, MA150$70,190
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH3,370$76,240
Leominster-Gardner, MA60$67,960
New Bedford, MA50$66,340
Pittsfield, MA50$56,620
Springfield, MA-CT550$58,720
Worcester, MA-CT340$68,550
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in rural areas of Massachusetts

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area160$68,320
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Resources within Massachusetts providing assistance for better school librarian pay.

For individuals who wish to lobby for better school librarian pay, the best organization that they can join is the Massachusetts School Library Association. This association has dedicated tools and resources available on its website that can assist librarians who wish to lobby for better pay. 

Public Librarians

How are public librarian salaries determined in Massachusetts? 

Public salaries in Massachusetts are determined by the state department and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. They determine a public librarian’s salary using rubrics and guidelines that help them define the needs of each library in the state. Larger libraries tend to have higher budgets and more specialized positions. Therefore, they tend to also offer higher-paid positions for librarians.  

How can one increase their salary?

Public librarians can get an increase in their salary by either moving to a more specialized position in a larger library or by amassing more years of experience as a public librarian. Librarians’ pay tends to view a large increase as you move from entry-level positions to more senior positions, therefore your years of experience are one of the best ways of increasing your salary as a librarian. Depending on the organization that you are employed in it might be worth considering gaining a higher education degree or further certifications so as to be eligible for a pay increase. 

Resources within Massachusetts providing assistance for better public librarian pay.

The biggest advocate for pay equity for public librarians in the state of Massachusetts is the Massachusetts Library Association. MLA does not only advocate for better salaries for teachers but they have also recommended to state their salary recommendations and have developed a toolkit for librarians who wish to join in their lobbying for better public librarian pay. 

Academic Librarians

How are academic librarian salaries determined in Massachusetts? 

Academic librarians are the only ones who do not seem to have their salaries determined by the state. This is most likely because academic institutions tend to also gain higher state and private funding and are in a position of determining the pay for their academic librarians. Academic librarians are usually working within a rank system which means that the higher their rank, and the more years of experience that they have the higher their salary will be. 

How can one increase their salary?

Academic libraries, alongside large public libraries, are the library settings in which one has the most opportunities for growth. Academic libraries tend to have many different specialized positions, from subject librarian to archivist, to head of the special collections and conservationists. All of these positions can increase the salary that is available to a librarian. In academic libraries education and research is also highly valued and so a way of increasing your salary could be to pursue higher certifications and further education. 

How can an academic librarian get tenured and how does this affect their lifetime earning potential?

As you move up the ranks of your academic institutions, you will find that there is possibly the opportunity to get tenured available to you. While the qualifications for tenure differ in every institution, usually they include working in the institution for a number of years, completing research, and being recommended by other faculty members. While tenure does not necessarily mean a higher salary, it can mean having job stability as tenured librarians are unlikely to lose their jobs. In cases of job loss, they are also offered higher compensation than their non-tenured counterparts. 

Resources within Massachusetts providing assistance for better academic librarian pay.

There are many different associations in Massachusetts that are available to assist you in your lobbying efforts for better pay. A list of associations and programs available to librarians can be found on the Massachusetts Libraries, Board of Library Commissioners web page. Through their website, you can find support for your lobbying efforts and organizations that specialize in assisting academic librarians. There is also the Massachusetts Library Association which can provide you with great advocacy tools for lobbying for better pay.