Salary Information for Alternative LIS Career Paths

Although salary information for traditional library jobs is usually fairly findable through state and association resources, when it comes to alternative LIS jobs, salaries can be highly variable.

The best way to determine a price range for a specific job is to check with several of the online salary sites for the terms related to the job that interests you. However, keep in mind that, similar to traditional library positions, salaries may be strongly influenced by the geographic region and size/success of the employer you work for.

Additionally, in the nontraditional LIS work world, what you’re paid can be influenced by:

  • How in-demand your skills are in general
  • How important your skills are to a particular employer
  • What industry you’re working in
  • How willing to take risks you are
  • How hard you’re willing to work
  • How effectively you negotiate your starting salary

Other variables that may be part of your income include performance bonuses, team incentives, and other compensation elements such as tuition reimbursement, additional vacation time, stock options, stock, paid health insurance, a guaranteed severance package, and similar types of benefits not generally available with traditional library jobs.

Salary Calculators

The following online resources are good starting points to research salary ranges for the types of alternative LIS jobs that may interest you. (For potential search terms to use, see Finding Alternative LIS Jobs.)

CareerOneStop: Salary Info

Use this tool from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to find salary information for more than 800 different occupations. To start, either search for an occupation by keyword (such as information manager), or select an occupation from a list of categories provided, for example, Business and Financial Operations, Computer and Mathematical. Provides salary info by region, and then by the U.S. as a whole, which is a great way to see whether a given region will pay higher or lower than average for your skill set.

Cost of Living Calculator

Need to figure out how far your salary will go in Omaha, or Oahu or Oakland? This CNN-Money site enables you to put in your current salary, where you live, and your target location, and see how much you’d need to earn in your new location to have the same standard of living. Plus you can see how much more you’re likely to be spending on groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care.

Gateway to Associations

From the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), this is a searchable directory of associations, rather than the source of specific salary information. However, associations often track salary information for their constituencies, so this is a great place to start identifying associations that might be relevant to your search for salary info.

GlassDoor’s salary information is posted anonymously by readers. In order to view information, you have to post information. In addition to salaries, the site provides company satisfaction ratings and approval ratings for top executives. Searchable by company or occupation.


Sad but true: there’s usually a substantial difference between your salary and the paycheck you take home. To find out how much of a difference you’ll be facing, check out the Salary Paycheck Calculator or Hourly Paycheck Calculator to see what that offered salary will translate into in terms of useable income. The site lets you compute the numbers according to the state you’re in and includes state withholding, exemptions, deductions, etc.

Payscale Salary Calculator

A leading web-based salary tracker, enables you to compare your current salary to others’ in the same role. It also provides a type of salary scenario simulator based on your answers to questions such as how many people you’ll be managing, how many years of experience you have, what type of organization your employer is/will be, etc. The service is free; more detailed info available for a fee.

A combination of free salary comps, career development information and tons of ads, offers more detailed salary information for a fee.