Librarians develop, organise and manage library services such as collections of information, recreational resources and reader information services.
Specialisations: Acquisitions Librarian, Audiovisual Librarian, Bibliographer, Cataloguer, Children's Librarian, Corporate Librarian, Legal Librarian, Multicultural Services Librarian, Parliamentary Librarian, Reference Librarian, Special Librarian, Special Needs Librarian.
A bachelor degree in librarianship or information management is usually needed to work as a Librarian. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
developing and implementing library and information policies and services
examining publications and materials, interviewing publishers' representatives, and consulting with others to select library materials
reviewing, evaluating and modifying services in response to user needs
providing assistance to clients in accessing library resources
managing library systems for recording and organising library holdings, acquisitions and purchases, reader registrations and loan transactions, and supervising indexing, filing and retrieval activities
managing inter-library loan systems and information networks
undertaking information research activities on behalf of clients
selecting, ordering, classifying and cataloguing library and information resources
monitoring collection development and culling programs
supervising and training other library staff
may plan and direct library promotion and outreach activities
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow moderately
- is likely to reach 11,700 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 61% of people employed as Librarians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 39 hours per week in their main job. This is 5 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,732 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,662
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,932
Median hourly earnings are $47, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Librarians||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Librarians work in the Information media and telecommunications industry. They are also employed in industries like:
- Education and training
- Public administration and safety
- Professional, scientific and technical services.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Librarians||All Jobs Average|
Around 71% of Librarians live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Australian Capital Territory
- Melbourne - West
- Melbourne - Inner South
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Librarians is 51 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 84% of the workforce. This is 36 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Librarians||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||6.6||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in librarianship or information management is usually needed to work as a Librarian. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Librarians||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||46.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||1.9||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Librarians who can interact well with a variety of people, provide good customer service and can work independently.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Teaching people how to do something.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
46%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
73%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
68%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
66%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
53%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
50%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
49%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
48%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
45%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
43%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
42%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
40%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
36%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
30%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Read and understand written information.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
See details that are far away.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
71%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
70%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
67%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
66%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
66%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
66%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
64%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
63%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
60%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
59%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
57%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
54%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
53%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
52%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
51%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
50%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
48%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
47%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
46%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Use electronic mail.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk on the telephone.
94%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
93%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Work with people in a group or team.
84%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
76%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
75%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
74%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
71%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
70%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
69%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
65%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
64%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
63%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
63%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work to strict deadlines.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-4021.00 - Librarians.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.