A Paralegal acts in a supportive capacity to an attorney, assisting them in a variety of tasks such as documentation, client interviews, investigation, research, etc.

The demand for paralegals has been on a consistent rise recently, and job growth is expected to only rise further.

The minimum qualification required to become a Paralegal is a high school diploma or a GED.

According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the average annual salary was recorded to be $56,230 for paralegals.

Entry-Level Paralegal Salary

If you’re just starting out as a Paralegal, you can expect your salary to be lower than the median salary, which is around $53,230. Entry-level paralegals can expect to earn between $36,410 to $46,000.

However, these numbers can vary depending on the demand for paralegals in different locations.

Highest Employing Industries for Paralegals

Here are the top industries that hire paralegals with their salary figures:-

  • Legal Services-
    The highest-paying industry is legal services, with an employment rate of 258,310 jobs.
  • Federal Executive Branch-
    The second highest-paying industry is the Federal Executive Branch which has 15,480 jobs with an annual mean wage of $73,580. If you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a Paralegal, you can find great opportunities in the Federal Executive Branch
  • Local Government (Excluding schools and hospitals)-
    In terms of employment, Local Government has 14,890 jobs and an annual mean wage of $57,770.
  • State Government (Excluding schools and Hospitals)-
    There has been a great deal of opportunities for paralegals, with 9240 jobs in State Government Departments as well.
  • Management of companies and enterprises-
    They have an employment rate of 0.23% and 7250 jobs.

Highest paying industries for Paralegals

As mentioned earlier, if you’re just starting out for this role, you can expect a lower salary. However, there are some industries that pay you well, even as a beginner.

Top paying industries for Paralegals and Legal Assistants:

Paralegal Salary by State

Although the average salaries offered by law firms or organizations are usually similar, at the same time, there are variations based on ‘Job Location’. Let’s take a look at some figures:-

Top paying states for Paralegals and Legal Assistants:

State Annual mean wage
California $72,290
Washington $71,900
Massachusetts $66,820
New Jersey $65,950
Oregon $64,680
Colorado $63,850
New York $63,270
Alaska $62,970
Connecticut $62,080
Minnesota $61,790
Illinois $60,920
Pennsylvania $60,440
Maryland $60,130
Road Island $59,700
Delaware $59,450
New Hampshire $59,320
Hawaii $57,920
Michigan $56,960
Nevada $56,220
Texas $56,030
Arizona $55,560
Virginia $54,840
Utah $54,650
Vermont $54,470
Missouri $53,940
Florida $53,940
Georgia $53,300
South Dakota $52,590
Nebraska $52,150
Iowa $52,000
Wisconsin $51,100
Ohio $50,500
Montana $50,410
Main $50,350
Tennessee $50,260
North Dakota $49,550
North Carolina $49,470
Idaho $49,270
Alabama $49,160
Indiana $48,470
Louisiana $48,240
Oklahoma $48,070
New Mexico $47,810
West Virginia $47,780
Kentucky $47,180
Kansas $46,590
Wyoming $46,230
South Carolina $46,080
Mississippi $42,730

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas for Paralegals

There are some top-paying metropolitan areas for paralegals as well; let’s have a look at them below:-

  • New Orleans- Metairie- The highest-paying metropolitan area is New Orleans which has an annual wage of $51,690.
  • Charleston- The second highest paying area is Charleston which has an annual wage of $53,210.
  • Miami Fort Lauderdale-West Palm- In terms of salary, Miami also got a great track record, such as $58,180.
  • Columbia- Fourth one is Columbia which also got a great record of $47,790 annual salary.
  • Tallahassee- Tallahassee has got some deal in terms of salary, which is $47,390

Related Resources:

  1. Paralegal Schools
  2. Paralegal Certification
  3. How Long Does it Take to Become a Paralegal
  4. Paralegal Requirements
  5. Paralegal Degree
  6. Paralegal Certificate Online
  7. Paralegal studies

About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.