Career Development

What Does an Information Specialist Do?

Find out what an information specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an information specialist.

Information specialists are responsible for managing the flow of information within an organization. They work with a variety of sources—including books, journals, databases, and other materials—to ensure that their organization has access to the information it needs to function effectively.

Information specialists commonly work in libraries or other research institutions, but they may also be employed by private companies or organizations. In either case, they’re tasked with identifying and organizing relevant information so that it can be easily accessed by others. This might include creating indexes, catalogs, or databases; maintaining physical or digital archives of past information; or even providing one-on-one assistance to patrons who need help finding specific resources.

Information Specialist Job Duties

Information specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining an awareness of new technologies and techniques in the field, such as computer programs for data analysis or mobile applications for data collection
  • Providing research support to faculty members, librarians, or other campus staff members as needed
  • Organizing and managing databases to ensure that they are current, accurate, and accessible
  • Writing, editing, and publishing articles about topics related to their field of study
  • Identifying, locating, and providing access to materials such as books, articles, digital media, and other information sources
  • Conducting surveys and analyses of data to identify trends or patterns in usage of resources
  • Providing reference services to library patrons by helping them locate materials, answering questions about content, and suggesting additional resources
  • Recruiting and hiring staff members based on qualifications and experience
  • Developing outreach programs that promote library services and encourage community participation in them

Information Specialist Salary & Outlook

Information specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of information they are researching. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of information specialists is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for information specialists is expected to increase as organizations seek to gain efficiencies through data analysis and collection. Information specialists will be needed to organize and analyze large amounts of data, such as social media posts or customer purchase histories, in order to make informed business decisions.

Related: Information Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Information Specialist Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for obtaining a position as an information specialist, which may include:

Education: Information specialists are typically required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common majors for information specialists are computer science, library science, information technology and information management.

Training & Experience: Information specialists typically receive on-the-job training after they are hired. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, computer programs and the information they are expected to provide.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications provide information specialists with a baseline of qualifications and make them more competitive when applying for jobs. Information specialists can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Information Specialist Skills

Information specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research skills: Information specialists need to be able to conduct research to find the information their clients need. This means you need to be able to navigate through various databases and search engines to find the information you need. You also need to be able to read and interpret the information you find.

Communication skills: Information specialists often communicate with clients and colleagues, so it’s important to have strong communication skills. You may need to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way, so it’s important to be able to explain technical details in a way that everyone can understand. You may also need to communicate with clients over the phone or through email, so it’s important to have good communication skills in all forms of communication.

Technology skills: Information specialists may need to know how to use technology to find information, organize information or present information to others. Knowing how to use technology can help you do your job well. You can learn about technology by taking classes, reading manuals or observing others.

Critical thinking skills: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. As an information specialist, critical thinking is an important skill to have because you may be asked to make recommendations based on the information you have. For example, if a client asks you to recommend a good book on a certain topic, you may need to use critical thinking skills to find the best book based on the information you have.

Organization skills: Information specialists often have to keep track of large amounts of information, including both digital and physical records. Organization skills can help you keep your information organized and easy to find. Organization skills can also help you keep track of your time and stay on task.

Information Specialist Work Environment

Information specialists work in a variety of settings, including libraries, schools, businesses, hospitals, and government agencies. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may work evenings or weekends to accommodate the needs of their patrons. They may also work overtime to meet deadlines or to complete special projects. Information specialists typically have sedentary jobs and spend much of their time sitting at a desk or computer terminal. However, they may also be required to do some light lifting of books and other materials.

Information Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how information specialists work. Information specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Data Science

The growth of data science is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses operate. As more and more data becomes available, businesses are starting to realize the value of having a data scientist on staff who can help them make sense of all this information.

Information specialists can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in data science. This will allow them to help businesses understand the value of data and how to use it to their advantage. In addition, information specialists can also become experts in data security, which is an increasingly important topic for businesses.

AI Will Be Used to Automate Tasks

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop, it will be used to automate tasks that are traditionally done by humans. This includes tasks such as customer service, data entry, and research.

Information specialists will need to learn how to work with AI in order to stay competitive. They will need to be able to utilize AI tools to automate tasks and free up time for other projects. Additionally, they will need to be able to work with AI-powered products, such as chatbots, to provide better customer service.

Data Security Becomes More Important

As data security becomes more important, information specialists will need to learn how to protect sensitive information.

This means that information specialists will need to be familiar with the latest data security techniques and technologies. They will also need to be able to identify potential threats and come up with solutions to keep data safe.

How to Become an Information Specialist

A information specialist career can be a great way to use your skills and knowledge in a practical way. As an information specialist, you’ll work with people who need help finding the right information for their needs. This could include students, researchers, business professionals, or members of the general public.

To become an information specialist, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of how information is organized and accessed. You’ll also need to be able to find the best sources of information for different purposes. This may involve using online tools such as search engines, databases, and reference materials.

Advancement Prospects

Information specialists who work in libraries may eventually move up to management positions, such as library director. Those who work in corporate settings may advance to become information managers, responsible for a team of specialists. Some information specialists may also choose to start their own information consulting business.

Information Specialist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that the success of our business depends on the quality of the information we provide to our clients. We are looking for an experienced information specialist to join our team and help us maintain the high standards of accuracy and timeliness that our clients have come to expect. The ideal candidate will have experience working with databases and information systems, as well as strong research and writing skills. They will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of our information, as well as developing and implementing new information management procedures.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for all information requests, providing accurate and timely responses to inquiries
  • Conduct in-depth research on a variety of topics, utilizing both online and offline resources
  • Compile data and prepare reports based on findings
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current events, trends, and developments in assigned subject areas
  • Stay abreast of changes in library procedures, services, and resources
  • Assist patrons with the use of library resources and equipment
  • Train new users on basic research techniques and the use of library resources
  • Develop and deliver presentations on a variety of topics
  • Create and maintain web content, including social media accounts
  • Catalog and classify new materials according to established procedures
  • Process interlibrary loan requests in a timely manner
  • Supervise and train support staff and volunteers

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in information science, library science, or related field
  • 2+ years professional experience working with information
  • Excellent research skills
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in information science, library science, or related field
  • 4+ years professional experience working with information
  • Experience developing and managing databases
  • Experience developing information products, such as reports, infographics, presentations, etc.
  • Familiarity with HTML, CSS, and other web development languages


What Does a Personal Injury Case Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Bobcat Operator Do?