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Career and Education Opportunities for Librarians in Seattle, Washington

Librarian career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. There are currently 3,650 jobs for librarians in Washington and this is projected to grow by 14% to about 4,180 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for librarians, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.8% over the next eight years. In general, librarians administer libraries and perform related library services.

Librarians earn about $29 per hour or $60,790 yearly on average in Washington and about $25 per hour or $52,530 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Libraries and Museums, people working as librarians in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Libraries and Museums nationally. Librarians work in a variety of jobs, including: audio-visual librarian, college librarian, and branch or department chief librarian.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a librarian. Given that the most common education level for librarians is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become a librarian if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.


Librarian video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, librarians administer libraries and perform related library services. They also work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers.

Librarians engage in professional development efforts, such as taking continuing education classes and attending or participating in conferences and associations. They also locate unusual or unique data in response to specific requests. Equally important, librarians have to search standard reference materials, including online sources and the Internet, to respond to patrons' reference questions. They are often called upon to analyze patrons' requests to establish needed data, and help in furnishing or locating that data. They are expected to respond to customer complaints, taking action as needed. Finally, librarians evaluate vendor products and performance and place orders.

Every day, librarians are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for librarians to talk with colleagues and community members and organizations to conduct informational programs, make collection decisions, and decide on library services to offer. They are often called upon to furnish input into the architectural planning of library facilities. They also teach library patrons basic computer skills. They are sometimes expected to inspect and evaluate materials, using book reviews and current holdings, to decide on and order print, audiovisual, and electronic resources. Somewhat less frequently, librarians are also expected to formulate and participate in fundraising drives.

Librarians sometimes are asked to design library policies and procedures. They also have to be able to compile records of books and audiovisual materials on particular subjects and perform public relations work for the library. And finally, they sometimes have to manage interlibrary loans of materials not available in a particular library.

Like many other jobs, librarians must believe in cooperation and coordination and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Curator. Administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.
  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • Library Information Technian. Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books; remove or repair damaged books; register patrons; check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who operate bookmobiles or light trucks that pull trailers to specific locations on a predetermined schedule and assist with providing services in mobile libraries.
  • Museum Technician. Prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. May restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.


University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 2 areas of study related to Librarian. They are:

  • Library Science/Librarianship, master's degree which graduated 117 students in 2008.
  • Library Science, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.