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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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

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

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$31,070
25th Percentile Wage
$38,230
50th Percentile Wage
$49,500
75th Percentile Wage
$63,650
90th Percentile Wage
$80,260

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.

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
201649,5001.39%5.07%
201548,8100.94%-
201448,3501.61%-
201347,5701.22%-
201246,990--

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 $69,890. The lowest paying sector is the professional, scientific, and technical services sector (annual salary $47,590).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Utilities
$69,890
Manufacturing
$68,440
Information
$67,630
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$64,710
Transportation and Warehousing
$63,350
Construction
$63,090
Mining
$61,010
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$60,860
Finance and Insurance
$59,570
Wholesale Trade
$59,200
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$57,160
Federal, State, and Local Government
$54,910
Educational Services
$54,900
Retail Trade
$54,230
Accommodation and Food Services
$53,840
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$53,160
Health Care and Social Assistance
$52,440
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$52,430
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$47,590

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 $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
$73,490
Alaska
$62,090
Washington
$58,050
California
$56,950
New Jersey
$55,260
Minnesota
$54,820
Connecticut
$54,440
Nevada
$54,340
New York
$53,740
Rhode Island
$53,320
Illinois
$52,510
Maryland
$52,410
Massachusetts
$52,050
Texas
$50,550
Virginia
$50,410
Pennsylvania
$50,290
Delaware
$50,280
Virgin Islands
$50,020
Oregon
$49,900
Colorado
$49,360
Missouri
$49,050
Wyoming
$48,970
Michigan
$48,890
Georgia
$48,820
New Hampshire
$48,440
Vermont
$47,810
Arizona
$47,770
Iowa
$46,740
Tennessee
$46,550
Wisconsin
$46,230
Florida
$46,200
Mississippi
$45,950
Maine
$45,510
Ohio
$44,810
Kentucky
$44,780
Alabama
$44,180
Louisiana
$43,620
Utah
$43,570
North Dakota
$43,380
Hawaii
$43,120
Nebraska
$42,980
North Carolina
$42,530
Montana
$42,460
Idaho
$41,930
New Mexico
$41,360
West Virginia
$41,360
Kansas
$41,340
Indiana
$41,110
Oklahoma
$40,640
South Carolina
$40,580
Guam
$40,440
South Dakota
$40,160
Arkansas
$36,530
Puerto Rico
$31,920


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Highest paying industries for paralegals and legal assistants.