In early 2005, MLA conducted its eighth triennial Salary Survey to determine economic trends in health sciences librarianship. This information is collected to:
The data collected from the survey was processed and analyzed by Hay Group, a global human resource consulting firm, specializing in compensation. For the second time, the survey was entirely Web-based.
If you have questions about the results, please contact Kate Corcoran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312.419.9094 x12 at MLA headquarters.
In 1983, the Status and Economic Interests of Health Sciences library Personnel Committee (SEIC–disbanded in June 1998) conducted the Association's first salary survey.
The survey was repeated every three years (in 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995 and 1998) to track economic trends in the field. Based on these survey results and members' suggestions, the 2001 survey instrument was developed to update national and regional trends in compensation paid to the profession. The 2005 survey was based largely on the 2001 survey instrument.
This information has been abbreviated from summary material in the Hay Group/MLA 2005 Compensation and Benefits Survey.
Many demographic characteristics of respondents remained at similar percentages in the 2005 survey as in previous surveys.
Respondents by City Population were largely consistent with past surveys. As was the case in the 2001 survey, a slightly greater proportion of respondents are in larger metropolitan areas than in past years:
Educational institutions are once again the most prevalent type of institution in the survey, making up 64% of all participants (a 12% increase over 2001). Academic Medical Centers and teaching hospitals once again dominated participation (58%).
Of those reporting gender, the majority of respondents were female (85%), continuing the gender demographics trend from past surveys. The pay gap trend between men and women retreated from 2001, however. In 2001, women earned an average of 91% of men, while in 2005, this number dropped to 87%, as indicated in the graph below.
In addition, when using number of FTEs Supervised as a proxy for job size, the wage gap between men and women remains relatively consistent beyond 5 to 9 FTEs supervised. As indicated in Graph 4, the pay gap between genders is all but nonexistent for entry-level supervisors. Although it appears that the gap also narrows at senior levels, this must be tempered with the relatively small sample size at the upper end of the jobs size scale.
Diversity among respondents remains relatively unchanged from the 2001 survey.
As in the 1998 and 2001 studies, the aging of the profession is reaffirmed by Graph 6. Long service of current employees, along with no growth in the percentage of employees in their 20s and 30s reinforces the criticality of succession planning of medical libraries within the next five years. The majority of respondents are currently in their 50s, while little or no growth has occurred in the 20 to 29 year and 2 to 39 year categories.
Closely related to age is respondent experience. An analysis of median salaries by years of experience over time indicates a similar pattern as has been seen in previous years, although in general, salaries have increased by a greater percentage than in the last several years. In 2001, entry-level salaries were slightly higher than salaries of those incumbents with 2 to 3 years of experience. It was postulated in 2001 that the slightly higher number of new hires in that study year may have been due to higher starting salaries paid due to a tight labor market. In 2005, entry-level salaries are once again lower than all other salaries, with a sharp up-tick in the 2 to 3 year category. This is likely due to entry-level incumbents from 2001 moving into the 2 to 3 year experience category.
Additionally, in 2005 the number of new hires dropped by 33% from 2001. Despite the easing of the economy, tight payroll budgets and relatively unchanged starting salaries may have played a part in this decline.
The ongoing tight labor market continues to drive pay increases at a rate faster than the consumer price index. As in the 2001 survey, actual wage rates outpaced inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (an indicator used in past surveys). Length of service and corresponding higher salaries are likely contributors to the escalation of median and average salaries, as indicated in Table 2 below.
Using the Consumer Price Index as a base, the actual 2001 salaries were adjusted in the same manner in previous survey years to compare what salaries would be if they kept up with inflation. The calculated inflation rate from January 1, 2002 to January 1, 2005 (effective date of salaries in the 2005 survey) was 7.7%.
Actual 2001 Reported Salary
Projected 2005 Salary Based on Inflation
Actual 2005 Reported Salary
Note: Inflation rate is based on Consumer Price index for Urban Consumers and is the indicator that has been used in past surveys.
As in 2001, respondents with management responsibilities were generally paid higher than individual contributors. The relationship of salaries among job type remains virtually identical to the 2001 study.
As compared to 2001, the number of 2005 respondents who agree or strongly agree that better performers receive higher pay than average performers increased slightly from 34% to 39%. However, this still means that over 60% of respondents continue to experience sub-optimized pay-for-performance systems.
Recent Hay Group research indicates that many of America's most admired companies (per Hay Group's collaboration with Fortune Magazine) and those companies that view their pay-for-performance programs as being effective differentiate pay increases for top performers by as much as one-and-a-half to two times that of average performers. These results indicated that this issue continues to be an important opportunity to improve the link between pay and performance for 60% of organizations surveyed.
While the reasons for leaving a position are many and varied, the single biggest reason for turnover for medical librarians continues to be for better pay elsewhere. Beyond pay, the next five reasons for leaving a position included areas within management’s ability to change (poor leadership, lack of career development and organizational climate).
The table of contents for the Hay Group/MLA 2001 Compensation and Benefits Survey is noted below.
General Information, 4
Analysis Conventions, 4
History of the MLA Survey, 5
Response Rate, 5
Table 1: Rates of Response, 1992-2005, 5
Executive Summary, 5
Library Function, 5
Table 1a: How well Has the library demonstrated the value-dded function of the medical library?, 6
Demographic Data, 6
Gender and Pay, 7
Age and Experience, 9
Salary Trends and Inflation, 10
Table 2a: 2005 Hay Hospital Compensation Report: Salary Increases as Percentage of Base Salary, 11
Table 2b: 2005 Hay General Market Compensation Planning Guide: Base Salary Increases, 11
Pay Satisfaction, 12
Organization Size, 13
Determining Salary Increases, 14
Pay for Performance, 15
Dissatisfaction Leading to Turnover, 16
Data Tables, 18
Table 3: Salary by MLA Membership Type, 18
Table 4: Salary by Academy Membership, 18
Table 5: Salary by Academy Level, 18
Table 6: Salary by Ethnic Group, 19
Table 7: Salary by Library Science Degree Level, 19
Table 8: Salary by Gender, 19
Table 9: Salary by Job Type: Academic Institutions, 20
Table 10: Salary by Job Type: Hospital/Specialty Organization, 20
Table 11: Salary by Primary Area of Responsibility, 21
Table 11a: Salary for One Person Libraries, 21
Table 12: Salary by Age Group, 22
Table 13: Salary by Experience, 22
Table 14: Salary by US Census Region, 23
Map 1: Average Salaries in US Census Regions and Canada, 24
Table 14a: Salary by US Census Region and Functional Area, 25
Table 14b: Salary by US Census Region and Institution Type, 27
Table 15: Salary by US State, 29
Table 16: Salary by Institution Type, 31
Table 17: Salary by Number of Beds, 32
Table 17a: Salary by Number of Beds - Hospitals Only, 32
Table 18: Salary by Pay Satisfaction (relative to Position), 33
Table 19: Salary by Pay Satisfaction (relative to Cost of Living), 33
Table 20: Average Salary by Position Type and Functional Area, 34
Table 21: Mean Salary by Institutional Funding Source, 36
Table 22: Mean Salary by Employment Status, 36
Table 23: Prevalence of Management Duties, 36
Table 23a: Mean Salary by Number FTEs Supervised, 36
Table 24: Level of Education, 37
Table 25: Eligibility for Incentives, 37
Table 25a: Eligibility for Incentives for Selected Types of Institutions, 37
Table 26: Determination of Salary Increases, 38
Table 27: Perception that Better Performers Receive Better Pay, 38
Table 28: Reasons for Turnover, 38
Table 29: Prevalence of Membership in Other Organizations, 39
Table 30: Mean Salary by City Size, 39
Table 31: Comparison—Hay Group Healthcare Survey Base Salary, 40
Table 32: Comparison—Hay Group Healthcare Survey Annual Incentive, 41
Table 40: Benefits Prevalence, 43
APPENDIX: MEDICAL LIBRARY JOB DESCRIPTIONS, 44
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Last Updated: 2010 May 14