Hay Group/MLA 2008 Salary Survey
From September 26, 2008, through October 24, 2008, Hay Group conducted the ninth Compensation and Benefits Survey for the Medical Library Association and members. This information is collected to:
The data collected from the survey was collected, processed, and analyzed by Hay Group, a global human resource consulting firm, specializing in compensation. For the third 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. The 2008 survey was updated to include questions related to work-life balance. A total of 734 usable responses were received.
This information has been abbreviated from summary material in the Hay Group/MLA 2008 Compensation and Benefits Survey.
Participation by Country
The majority of survey respondents were from the United States (96%), however 3% of respondents were from Canada and 1% were from outside North America.
Participation by State or Province
The table below shows the percentage of survey respondents in each state or province. California, Texas, and New York had the highest rates of participation
Participation by Population in Workplace Metropolitan Area
As was the case in past years of this survey, results show that the majority of respondents are working in larger metropolitan areas in 2008. The below graph shows the percentage of respondents by size of their metropolitan area of work. The largest proportion of respondents, 30%, work in a metropolitan area with a population between 100,000 and 499,999 people, with another 24% of respondents working in a metropolitan area of more than one million people.
This is consistent with the last four editions of this survey.
Participation by Organization/Institution Type
Educational institutions remain the most prevalent type of organization where respondents are employed. Those working at academic medical centers and teaching hospitals make up 58% of respondents; these findings are consistent with prior years of the survey. .
Participation by Race or Ethnicity
The diversity of the sample is very similar to the results in 2005. Caucasian or white participants make up the majority of the sample, at 89%. African American and Latino participants each make up 2% of the total sample, while Asian participants make up another 3%. One percent (1%) of participants are multiracial and 3% did not wish to provide their ethnicity.
Participation by GenderThe majority of survey respondents were female (85%), while 15% were male. These numbers represent little change from the 2005 survey.
The pay gap between men and women for the profession is continuing to close. Based on an analysis of the median annual base salary, women earned about 92 cents to every dollar men earned in 2005. In 2008, however, women are earning about 95 cents to every dollar men earn. It is also important to note that 25% of men compared with 20% of women are receiving a bonus in this sample. In assessing these results, it is important to note that the size and complexity of the job often plays the most substantive role in wage differences between individuals.
Participation by Age Group
The chart below shows the progressive aging of the profession. The percentage of respondents that are age 60 and over has increased by 10% since 2005. While the age 50 to 59 group has seen a slight decrease in the last three years, this is still the largest age group of participants. The number of participants that are 40 to 49 has been progressively decreasing since 1995 and now represents 19%. It is also notable that the percentage of the profession in the 20 to 29 age group is decreasing, while those in the 30 to 39 age group has increased only slightly. This trend indicates that as the workforce is getting older there are relatively fewer people entering the profession. Recruitment and retention programs will become even more important within medical library organizations in the future.
Participation by Years of Experience
The chart below compares the survey participants’ years of overall library information experience with that of their experience within their current position. This shows that while most participants have less than 5 years of experience within their current position they still have significant overall experience within the profession.
Annual base salary often correlates with years of experience. The table below tracks the median annual base salary based on years of experience dating back to 1983.
2008 Actual Compensation Figures
The table below compares the median and average annual base salaries from the 2005 survey to projected figures for 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as actual salary data for 2008. The projected annual base salary data was calculated using the annual Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers. Actual 2008 data is only slightly higher than the projected figures for 2008.
Table: Salary Trends and Inflation between 2005 and 2008
The chart below shows the full percentiles for annual base salary from the 2008 survey.
Determination of Salary Increases and Budgets
A variety of methods can be used when organizations are determining salary increases. Fifty-two percent (52%) of survey respondents stated that their organizations’ use incumbent-based performance to decide annual salary increases while 19% stated that there was a flat salary increase percentage applied each year. Fourteen percent (14%) stated that they were not sure how their organization conducted salary increases.
Annual Incentive Plans
Many organizations offer annual incentive or variable pay plans to their employees. These plans are usually based on organizational, unit, or individual performance. Annual incentive plans can be a utilized as a good motivational tool for employees while still providing additional compensation. However as shown in the table below, annual incentive plans are not very prevalent for medical librarians. Only 21% of respondents stated that they were eligible for such a plan.
Pay for Performance
When participants were asked about pay for performance within their organizations, 40% of respondents stated that they did agree or strongly agreed that better performers were receiving higher pay. Another 30% disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement.
Where available, we have compared this year’s data to the results within the 2005 survey. Not all survey participants responded to each question, so results are calculated based on the actual number of responses for that particular salary bucket.
Total compensation is calculated by adding the annual incentive received to the respondent’s annual base salary. If the respondent is not eligible for a bonus or was eligible and did not receive a bonus, then total compensation is equal to annual base salary for that respondent.
Annual Base Salary and Total Compensation by MLA Membership Type
The table below provides the annual base salary and total compensation figures broken out by MLA membership type. In 2008, median base salary for individual members has increased from $53,253 in 2005 to $59,400 while the median base salary for institutional members has increased from $54,766 in 2005 to $57,500. Median base salary for both individual and institutional members has increased by $2,367 from $85,945 to $88,300 in 2008.
The table of contents for the Hay Group/MLA 2008 Compensation and Benefits Survey is noted below.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2010 May 14