|This salary survey for the Society of American
Archivists was conducted by Lawrence-Leiter and Company in November and December of 1996.
It is based on a questionnaire contained as Exhibit I (Archivist responses) and II
("Other" responses) that was developed by the SAA Salary Survey Steering
Committee in conjunction with the consulting firm.
In early November, 1997, 3,753 questionnaires were distributed to the membership of the Society of American Archivists. By December 12th, 1996, 1,511 questionnaires had been returned, although 127 are unusable lacking salary information. This is a 40% response with a 37% usable.
For the purposes of this survey, seven categories of archivists were identified as follows:
A. Assistant Archivist
Works under close supervision on tasks of limited scope (generally by subject matter area) and complexity following established procedures. The position is entry level or in training. There is limited decision-making responsibility.
B. Associate Archivist
Has a working knowledge of policies and procedures, works with limited supervision on complex tasks of broad scope. Has some contact outside the work group. Exercises more decision-making responsibility than an Assistant Archivist.
C. Senior Archivist
Has extensive knowledge working independently with intermittent supervision and broad decision-making authority. May be responsible for training or assisting in the training of assistant and associate archivists. Has frequent outside contacts.
D. Associate Archivist -- Technical
Has extensive knowledge in a relevant technical area with a limited range of archival knowledge. Has a working knowledge of policies and procedures and works with limited supervision on complex tasks in the appropriate technical area. Examples would be a geographer, systems analyst, photographer, attorney, etc., working in the archives field.
E. Senior Archivist -- Technical
Has all of the responsibilities of a full archivist plus significant specialization. The position requires knowledge gained by education or experience in additional media (example, electronics records), formats (example, visual collections), function (example, reference), or subject area (example, genealogy).
A full archivist with extensive supervisory and training responsibility which may include hiring and firing.
A full archivist with additional responsibility for staffing (including hiring and firing), budgeting, planning, evaluation, policy making and outside contacts. Represents the unit to others.
In addition, there is an "other" category for SAA members who identified their primary responsibility as:
2. Retired archivist
3. Records manager
6. Non-teaching historian
7. Museum curator
9. Other (specify)
Non-archivists, i.e., "Other" responses
were kept completely separate from the Archivists. Exhibit II is a questionnaire showing
the responses of the "others." A total of 345 responded this way.
Exhibit III shows the entries that were made in Item 9 "Other (specify)" which represents a total of 101 responses. These descriptions are wide ranging, but many do contain the word "Archivist." Many, however, do not, but they feel a sufficient identity with SAA to be a member.
This information is tabulated in a number of different ways including the type of employer each has, the size of the metropolitan area in which they work and the region of the country in which they live as well as age, education and the like.
Information is also developed on some demographics of the respondent such as their training, experience and professional activities. Information is also provided on benefit programs and is shown in the tables.
"N" numbers are frequently noted to provide a feel for sample size and validity of the statistics. These vary somewhat within a specific job category because not the same number of respondents answered the cross-tabulation questions.