Average Librarian Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Librarian’s salary in South Africa is R 33,500 per month. An entry-level Librarian earns a salary range of R15,800, a mid-career level earns a salary range of R22,900 and a senior/experienced level earns R25,700 per month.

Average Librarian Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Librarian 15,800
Mid-Career Librarian 22,900
Experienced Librarian 25,700


Types of Librarians and Salary in South Africa Per Month

Types of Librarian Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Academic Librarian 13,100
Public Librarian 33,500
Special Librarian 34,300
School Librarian 11,400
Archivist 12,900
Information Specialist 32,800

In South Africa, there are several types of librarians, each with different responsibilities and qualifications. The salary for librarians in South Africa can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of library or institution they work for. Here are some common types of librarians in South Africa and their approximate salary ranges.

Types of Librarian and Salary in South Africa

1. Academic Librarian

Academic librarians work in universities and colleges, assisting students and faculty with research, managing library resources, and providing information literacy instruction. Salaries can range from R241,812 to R288,000 per year, depending on experience and the institution.

2. Public Librarian

Public librarians work in community libraries, offering services to the general public, including access to books, digital resources, and various programs. Their salaries can range from R241,812 to R288,000 per year.

3. Special Librarian

Special librarians work in corporate, government, or specialized libraries, often serving the unique information needs of their organizations. Salaries can vary widely based on the industry and organization, ranging from R423,000 to R515,096 or more.

4. School Librarian

School librarians work in primary and secondary schools, supporting students and teachers with educational resources. Salaries typically range from R147,600 to R170,000 per year.

5. Archivist

Archivists are responsible for preserving and managing historical records and documents. Salaries for archivists can range from R166,000 to R418,000 or more.

6. Information Specialist

Information specialists may work in various settings, such as information centres or research institutions. Salaries can vary widely depending on the specific role and responsibilities.

Factors Affecting Librarian Salary in South Africa

The salary of a librarian in South Africa can be influenced by various factors. Some of the key factors affecting librarian salaries in South Africa include:

1. Education and Qualifications

Librarians with advanced degrees (such as a Master’s in Library and Information Science) tend to earn higher salaries than those with less formal education. Continuing education and professional development can also enhance earning potential.

2. Experience

The number of years of experience in the field can significantly impact a librarian’s salary. More experienced librarians are often compensated at a higher rate than those who are just starting their careers.

3. Location

The cost of living and demand for librarians can vary by location. Librarians working in major cities or regions with higher living costs may earn higher salaries to compensate for these expenses.

4. Type of Library

The type of library or institution where a librarian works can affect salary. Librarians in academic or specialized libraries may earn more than those in public or school libraries.

5. Size of the Library

The size of the library, including the collection size and the number of patrons served, can impact a librarian’s salary. Larger libraries may offer higher pay to attract experienced professionals.

6. Responsibilities and Job Role

Librarians with additional responsibilities, such as management roles or specialized tasks, may receive higher compensation.

7. Union Representation

In some cases, librarians who are members of labour unions or professional associations may have better bargaining power to negotiate for higher salaries.

8. Economic Conditions

The economic conditions of the country, including inflation and economic growth, can influence salary levels in all professions, including librarianship.

9. Sector

Librarians working in the public sector (government-funded libraries) may have different salary structures compared to those in the private sector (corporate or specialized libraries).

10. Budget Constraints

The budget of the library or organization can impact salary levels. In some cases, budget constraints may limit the ability to offer higher salaries.

11. Negotiation Skills

The ability to negotiate salary and benefits during the hiring process or performance reviews can also impact a librarian’s earnings.

How to Become a Librarian in South Africa

Becoming a librarian in South Africa typically involves a combination of education, training, and experience. Here are the general steps to become a librarian in South Africa:

1. Educational Requirements

– Bachelor’s Degree: Start by earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. While a specific bachelor’s degree is not always required, it can be advantageous to study subjects such as English, History, or a related field.

– Master’s Degree: Most professional librarian positions in South Africa require a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) or an equivalent qualification. It’s essential to obtain this degree from an accredited institution. The MLIS program covers topics like information organization, library management, and information technology.

2. Gain Relevant Experience

– To enhance your job prospects and develop practical skills, consider gaining experience through internships or part-time work in libraries or information centres. This experience will also help you become familiar with library operations and services.

3. Membership in Professional Organizations

– Join professional organizations like the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) to stay updated on industry trends, network with professionals, and access resources that can aid your career development.

4. Continuing Education

– Stay current in the field by pursuing additional training or workshops, attending conferences, and participating in continuing education opportunities.

5. Apply for Librarian Positions

– Once you have the necessary qualifications and experience, start applying for librarian positions that match your skills and interests. Job openings can be found in academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries, and other information management settings.

6. Prepare for Interviews

– When you are invited for interviews, be prepared to discuss your qualifications, experiences, and your passion for librarianship. Showcase your knowledge of library operations, customer service skills, and your ability to work with information resources.

7. Secure a Position

– After a successful interview, you may receive a job offer. Negotiate salary and benefits as necessary and ensure that the job aligns with your career goals.

8. Continuing Professional Development

– After securing a position as a librarian, it’s crucial to continue your professional development by staying current with evolving technologies and best practices in library and information science.



The average Librarian’s salary in South Africa is R 33,500 per month. Remember that becoming a librarian in South Africa may also require you to meet any additional qualifications and requirements set by specific employers, such as government institutions, universities, or corporations.

It’s important to check the job postings and requirements of the specific library or information centre where you intend to work. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult with professionals in the field and stay informed about developments in the library and information science profession in South Africa.