Medical Library Technician Career Guide

Overview and Job Duties

Professionals in every field must follow established facts and information essential to their work to successfully perform their workplace tasks. Whether in academic or professional life, they need to pore over data to aid in their learning and help them succeed in life. To find pertinent information, of course, they need access to well-stocked and well-organized libraries. In the medical field, professionals rely on having easy access to both historical and up-to-date material in a medical library. A smoothly-run library depends upon an organized, detail-oriented medical library technician; if you’ve already studied health and medicine in high school and the idea of working in a library interests you, keep reading to find more information about this promising career.

Medical library technicians’ most vital task is to administer medical documents. Among other responsibilities, they must catalog, classify, and maintain important materials in different kinds of media formats. They take care of customers’ needs by engaging in professional activities, made possibly through attending various and related workshops, meetings, and professional conferences. Technicians also assist people in getting the most relevant information needed, be it from online sources or through the need to locate unique information as requested. If customers have questions or need help, technicians explain the proper use of certain library equipment and facilities or operate audiovisual equipment for customers who need such assistance.

Medical library technicians also perform a number of administrative tasks outside of customer interaction. Their most crucial tasks include cataloging, shelving, and occasionally repairing library equipment, and routinely updating the history of the medicine collection’s directory. Technicians place orders for new supplies and discuss renegotiating or creating new supplier contracts. They have great input in new beneficial policy development, and are often responsible for developing those policies themselves. Finally, they also handle or help others in budgeting and planning for the library and its holdings.

Job Outlook

Because of their constant demand, medical library technicians hold great job prospects. These experts work in different areas such as educational institutions, public libraries, corporations and corporate libraries, nonprofit organizations, law firms, and healthcare institutions. While working in schools, they may have regular work hours;in public libraries and universities, however, they typically hold more varied hours depending on the specific business, which often includes overtime. In May 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were around 231,500 jobs in this area.


According to a 2012 study, medical library technicians and health science librarians earn an average annual salary of about $46,000 (

Education Requirements

There is no mandatory degree or program required to become a medical library technician, but higher degrees generally mean better opportunities and better prospects as a candidate for employment. At the most basic level, professionals hold a high school diploma with a specialty in information management and/or library technology. Some professionals choose to complete degrees at post-secondary educational institutes, most frequently an associate’s degree or certification which trains them in circulation, acquisitions, automated systems, and cataloging. The bottom line is that necessary educational requirements vary from one employer to the next; some are only comfortable hiring individuals with associate or bachelor degrees, while others might be satisfied with candidates who’ve completed some training and acquired relevant experience.

One thing to keep in mind is that advanced training leads to increased responsibilities. This could eventually lead to a position as a supervisor of daily operations. Professionals who work in public schools might also be required for the same tasks and responsibilities as teacher assistants.

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