Paralegal in a suit looking too cool for school

Paralegal Salaries

Although there are several career paths that an individual could pursue in order to attain a sense of self-actualization and professional success, opting to become a paralegal can be particularly beneficial. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that pay is competitive and there are opportunities for promotion and other forms of professional advancement. If you have given serious consideration to pursuing this vocational path, you may be wondering what type of annual salary you can expect to earn. By reading the outline that is found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the paralegal world.


A paralegal is an individual who attains the education, training, or work-related experience necessary to complete substantive work within the legal sector. The work performed requires that the paralegal possess knowledge of various legal concepts. In many cases, the work that paralegals perform is the type of activity normally completed by the lawyer. Paralegals can work for a plethora of entities, including governmental agencies, law offices, or court authorities.

The Basics

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a paralegal is $46,990 per year (or $22.59 per hour). The Bureau also reports that employment for paralegals and legal assistants is expected to increase at a rate of 17% between the years of 2012 and 2022. This is faster than the national average for every occupation. Because this job field attracts many people, competition for positions will be substantive. Paralegals who already have experience, coupled with formal training and database management skills, are expected to be the most marketable job candidates.

Maximizing Your Income

If you are serious about pursuing a career as a paralegal, it's a good idea to learn about strategies you can employ in order to garner the greatest salary possible. One of the most practical and effective strategies is to invest in your education. Typically, paralegals obtain a certificate in paralegal studies or an associate degree. Often, an employer will hire an individual who has attained a bachelor's degree that is not necessarily related to the paralegal field. The employer will then provide the new employee with on-the-job training. Attaining an education plays an integral role in helping individuals attain jobs in this sector. Additionally, individuals who want to earn raises or promotions that incorporate greater pay should note that attaining ongoing education can be the key to accomplishing this objective.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015