Florida MLIS Degree

Librarians have come a long way since the Dewey decimal system was first devised in the late 19th century. Today’s librarians are a far cry from the old stereotype of a shushing, judgemental school marm.

Depending on the library and its purpose, a modern librarian could organize community events, teach people how to file their taxes or answer complex reference questions from local businesses.

Being a librarian is a demanding job, but it offers higher-than-median wages, and it’s expected to become more popular over the next decade. The first major step toward a career as a librarian is a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree.

Let’s look at programs offered in the state of Florida as well as the employment outlook for librarians in the state.

Librarian Jobs in Florida

Over the next half-decade or so, librarian jobs are expected to grow in Florida by more than 14%, which may not sound like much, but it’s the fifth-largest increase among all states. It’s also higher than the rate at which the job is projected to grow nationally, which is about 9%. And both rates are higher than the 7% projected growth rate for all occupations across the entire economy.

What can Florida librarians expect to earn, and where in the state are jobs most plentiful?

Librarian median annual wage by state

District of Columbia $81,770
California $78,620
Washington $72,690
Delaware $71,810
Alaska $70,560
Hawaii $70,060
Maryland $69,900
Nevada $69,350
Massachusetts $68,310
Rhode Island $68,290
Florida (27th) $55,060
Mississippi $46,580
Kansas $46,100
Utah $45,970
Indiana $45,150
Iowa $44,610
Oklahoma $43,610
Vermont $42,090
West Virginia $41,250
Idaho $39,130
South Dakota $38,650

Employment opportunities for librarians are expected to grow by 14.2% in Florida through 2026, the fifth-highest rate in the U.S. during that time period.

Percentage change in job openings (2016-2026) by state, top 25

Utah 27.3%
Nevada 20.0%
Texas 17.6%
Washington 16.9%
Florida 14.2%
Georgia 13.7%
Colorado 13.3%
Idaho 12.5%
Virginia 11.9%
North Dakota 11.1%
Delaware 4.1%
Ohio 3.7%
Illinois 3.5%
New Hampshire 3.0%
Pennsylvania 2.8%
Rhode Island 1.5%
New Jersey 1.2%
Alaska 0.0%
Maine 0.0%
Vermont -2.7%

In the state of Florida, librarian job openings are the most frequent in Tallahassee and least common in Port St. Lucie.

Librarian employment per 1,000 jobs by Florida metro area

Tallahassee 1.116
Gainesville 0.979
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent 0.928
Lakeland-Winter Haven 0.869
Panama City 0.868
Sebastian-Vero Beach 0.805
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island 0.644
Ocala 0.611
Cape Coral-Fort Myers 0.601
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville 0.6
Jacksonville 0.559
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 0.533
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach 0.522
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 0.514
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford 0.466
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton 0.414
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin 0.39
Port St. Lucie 0.38

The Naples metro area has the highest wages for librarians, while Ocala has the lowest among Florida metro areas.

Librarian median annual wage by Florida metro area

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island $75,300
Port St. Lucie $62,720
Sebastian-Vero Beach $62,480
Cape Coral-Fort Myers $61,280
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach $58,030
Lakeland-Winter Haven $57,970
Jacksonville $57,390
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater $54,390
Gainesville $54,340
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach $53,230
Tallahassee $52,540
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford $52,200
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent $52,120
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin $50,010
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton $47,770
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville $47,570
Panama City $46,540
Ocala $39,930

Master of Library Science Degree Programs in Florida

Most professional librarians have Master of Library Science (MLS) degrees from institutions accredited by the American Library Association, though MLS is not the only degree possible, and many institutions are adding new types of library master’s degrees. For instance, many colleges and universities offer degrees like Master of Science in Library Science (MS), Master of Information Science (MIS) or Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).

In the state of Florida, two programs have been accredited by the American Library Association. Here’s a look at some details of the two programs and their degree offerings.

Florida State University

FSU’s School of Information offers several degrees in information science, including undergraduate, master’s and doctoral-level programs. The Master of Science in Information can be completed online or through a traditional in-person program. Degree-seekers can choose to focus their coursework in one of a number of areas, including health informatics, youth services, reference services and health informatics.

A few information science certificates are also available:

  • Graduate Certificate, Reference Services
  • Graduate Certificate, School Librarian Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate, Youth Services

University of South Florida

USF offers an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree, which can be earned fully online or through a hybrid online/traditional approach. Students also have the option of choosing a school media/youth services specialty.

USF also offers several library and information science certificates:

  • Post-Master’s Certificate, Library and Information Science
  • Graduate Certificate, Health Information
  • Graduate Certificate, Library Information Technology
  • Certificate, School Library Media


As the sum total of human knowledge continues expanding exponentially every day, the complexities of librarian work will keep on growing, and individuals with a passion for helping others will need to seek the kind of advanced training offered by a Master of Library Science degree program.



Sarah J

Sarah J

Sarah J is Chief Editor and Founder at MastersinLibraryScience.net, formerly LibraryScienceList.com (LSL). Join us today and become a community curator. We can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Learn more about me on Google+