Paralegals and Legal Assistant Salary Information in California

The average annual and hourly salaries for paralegals and legal assistants in the state of California are shown in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively. The comparison of the salary statistics of paralegals and legal assistants among California areas is shown in Table 3. The salary statistics are based on the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1 & 2. Annual & Hourly Salary of Paralegals and Legal Assistants in California

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$32,060
25th Percentile Wage
$40,820
50th Percentile Wage
$56,950
75th Percentile Wage
$74,210
90th Percentile Wage
$92,590

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants in California in 5 percentile scales. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is $92,590. The median (50th percentile) annual salary is $56,950. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $32,060.

Percentile BracketAverage Hourly Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$15.41
25th Percentile Wage
$19.63
50th Percentile Wage
$27.38
75th Percentile Wage
$35.68
90th Percentile Wage
$44.51

Table 2 shows the average hourly salary for paralegals and legal assistants in California in 5 percentile scales. The average hourly salary for the 90th percentile is $44.51. The median hourly salary is $27.38. The average hourly salary for the bottom 10 percent is $15.41.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of paralegals and legal assistants from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201656,9500.58%1.39%
201556,620-1.13%-
201457,2601.47%-
201356,4200.46%-
201256,160--

Table 3. Median Annual Salary of Paralegals and Legal Assistants in California Cities

Table 3 shows the median annual salary of paralegals and legal assistants in some California cities and metropolitan areas. We note that the median annual salary of paralegals and legal assistants in state of California ranges from $35,020 to $77,560. The highest paying area for paralegals and legal assistants in California is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara with a median annual salary of $77,560. The second highest paying city/area in California State is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City (mean annual salary $72,690). The lowest paying area is Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area with a median annual salary of $35,020.

Cities/Areas Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
$77,560
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
$72,690
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
$64,080
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
$64,050
Vallejo-Fairfield
$63,960
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
$62,690
Napa
$61,360
Santa Rosa-Petaluma
$60,540
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
$58,650
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
$56,830
Santa Cruz-Watsonville
$56,640
North Coast Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$55,330
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward
$54,830
Modesto
$54,640
Salinas
$54,050
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville
$53,950
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
$53,750
Bakersfield-Delano
$52,410
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine
$51,840
El Centro
$50,100
Fresno
$49,680
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta
$47,710
Chico
$42,790
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$42,610
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles
$41,960
Stockton
$40,820
Visalia-Porterville
$39,410
Yuba City
$38,430
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
$35,020


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Highest paying cities for paralegals and legal assistants

Highest paying industries for paralegals and legal assistants.