Librarians run public and private libraries, managing access to books, multi-media resources and computers.

Annual Salary

£18,500 to £42,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • managing staff, budgets and statistical returns
  • using IT systems to catalogue, classify and index stock
  • dealing with counter, phone and email enquiries
  • organising IT access and solving user problems
  • keeping up to date with new publications and selecting stock
  • making sure staff follow Freedom of Information, Data Protection and Copyright laws
  • promoting library services through displays, talks and community events like reading clubs
  • attending meetings and conferences


You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in librarianship or information management accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

You'll need some practical experience, which you can get through an internship during your first degree or by volunteering at a library.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

£18,500 to £42,000

Starter salary: £18,500 to £24,000

Experienced salary: £24,000 to £31,000

Salaries depend on the type of library.

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

In public, college and university libraries, you'll usually work shifts including weekends and evenings. In commercial libraries, you're likely to work regular office hours.

You'll either work in a library building or in a mobile library.

You may need a driving licence to travel to different branches.

You could start as a library assistant or data officer with an information service. With experience, you could apply for certification through the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and study for further qualifications while you work.

You could join an employer's graduate training scheme and apply for chartership through the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

You could move into a senior job as a manager. Another option is to take responsibility for a specialist service or collection.

If you hold a senior position in your organisation, you could apply for Fellowship of CILIP.

You can find out more about becoming a librarian from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • administration skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

You'll need to:

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