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 2016 and published in April 2017 .
|Percentile Bracket||Average Annual Salary|
|10th Percentile Wage|| |
|25th Percentile Wage|| |
|50th Percentile Wage|| |
|75th Percentile Wage|| |
|90th Percentile Wage|| |
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 $80,260. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $49,500. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $31,070. Note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 158% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.
The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of paralegals and legal assistants from 2012 to 2016.
|Year||Median Salary||Yearly Growth||4-Year Growth|
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 $69,890. The lowest paying sector is the professional, scientific, and technical services sector (annual salary $47,590).
|Industry Sector||Median Annual Salary|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises|| |
|Transportation and Warehousing|| |
|Real Estate and Rental and Leasing|| |
|Finance and Insurance|| |
|Wholesale Trade|| |
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation|| |
|Federal, State, and Local Government|| |
|Educational Services|| |
|Retail Trade|| |
|Accommodation and Food Services|| |
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services|| |
|Health Care and Social Assistance|| |
|Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)|| |
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services|| |
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 $31,920 to $73,490. The highest paying state for paralegals and legal assistants is District of Columbia with a median annual salary of $73,490. The lowest paying state is Puerto Rico with a median annual salary of $31,920. 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|| |
|New Jersey|| |
|New York|| |
|Rhode Island|| |
|Virgin Islands|| |
|New Hampshire|| |
|North Dakota|| |
|North Carolina|| |
|New Mexico|| |
|West Virginia|| |
|South Carolina|| |
|South Dakota|| |
|Puerto Rico|| |