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Paralegals and Legal Assistant Salary Information

The salary statistics of paralegals and legal assistants are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of paralegals and legal assistants within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The paralegals and legal assistants annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Paralegals and Legal Assistant Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$31,130
25th Percentile Wage
$38,630
50th Percentile Wage
$50,410
75th Percentile Wage
$64,680
90th Percentile Wage
$81,180

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) paralegals and legal assistants is $81,180. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $50,410. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $31,130. It is noted that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 160% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of paralegals and legal assistants from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$50,410
1.81% 6.78%
2016
$49,500
1.39% -
2015
$48,810
0.94% -
2014
$48,350
1.61% -
2013
$47,570
1.22% -
2012
$46,990
- -

Table 2. Paralegals and Legal Assistant Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of paralegals and legal assistants in 19 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for paralegals and legal assistants occupations is the utilities sector with an annual salary $71,830. The lowest paying sector is the professional, scientific, and technical services sector (annual salary $48,540).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Utilities
$71,830
Manufacturing
$69,510
Information
$69,150
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$65,110
Transportation and Warehousing
$63,910
Mining
$63,390
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$63,080
Construction
$62,960
Wholesale Trade
$61,870
Finance and Insurance
$60,730
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$60,370
Retail Trade
$57,430
Educational Services
$55,810
Accommodation and Food Services
$55,750
Federal, State, and Local Government
$55,100
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$53,750
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$53,310
Health Care and Social Assistance
$52,430
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$48,540

Table 3. Median Annual Wage of Paralegals and Legal Assistants by States

From the above tables we note that not only paralegals and legal assistants salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of paralegals and legal assistants in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $32,650 to $76,570. The highest paying state for paralegals and legal assistants is District of Columbia with a median annual salary of $76,570. The lowest paying state is Puerto Rico with a median annual salary of $32,650. For more salary information of paralegals and legal assistants profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.

State Name Median Annual Salary
District of Columbia
$76,570
Alaska
$61,570
New Jersey
$59,080
Washington
$58,090
Connecticut
$57,530
California
$57,300
Colorado
$55,850
Nevada
$55,420
Illinois
$54,680
Minnesota
$54,380
Virgin Islands
$53,320
New York
$53,260
Maryland
$53,030
Massachusetts
$52,800
Missouri
$52,230
Pennsylvania
$51,990
Rhode Island
$51,460
Texas
$51,380
New Hampshire
$51,120
Oregon
$51,070
Delaware
$50,250
Georgia
$49,930
Virginia
$49,700
Vermont
$49,210
Hawaii
$49,100
Wyoming
$49,070
Michigan
$48,530
Arizona
$47,800
Wisconsin
$47,570
Maine
$47,410
Iowa
$47,380
Louisiana
$46,800
Florida
$46,730
Tennessee
$46,730
Oklahoma
$46,270
South Dakota
$45,420
Indiana
$44,870
North Dakota
$44,580
Ohio
$44,180
Alabama
$43,840
Kentucky
$43,810
Mississippi
$43,740
Nebraska
$43,400
North Carolina
$43,000
Utah
$42,690
Montana
$42,070
West Virginia
$41,450
Guam
$41,290
Idaho
$41,140
New Mexico
$41,110
South Carolina
$41,050
Kansas
$40,030
Arkansas
$37,050
Puerto Rico
$32,650



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