How Much Do Paralegals and Legal Asst Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Paralegals and Legal Assistants assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$56610 per year
Hourly wage
$27 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$32,900 to $40,640 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$16 to $20 per hour

Entry-level Paralegals and Legal Assistants with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $32,900 to $40,640 per year or $16 to $20 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Paralegals and Legal Assistants to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $41 $85,160
Senior (Top 25%) $32 $67,080
Middle (Mid 50%) $25 $52,920
Junior (Bottom 25%) $20 $40,640
No experience (Bottom 10%) $16 $32,900

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
DC $40 $83,330
CA $32 $66,250
WA $30 $63,050
CO $30 $62,950
NY $30 $62,530
MA $30 $62,160
NJ $29 $61,150
CT $29 $61,070
IL $29 $60,390
NV $29 $60,140

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Paralegal and Legal Assistant is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at DC might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Paralegals and Legal Asst are in the states of DC, CA, WA, CO and NY.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $134210 $64.52
Land Subdivision $90360 $43.44
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing $85440 $41.08
Grantmaking and Giving Services $85350 $41.03
Natural Gas Distribution $84300 $40.53
Scientific Research and Development Services $83880 $40.33
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $82620 $39.72
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $82420 $39.63
Other Information Services $82410 $39.62
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers $80140 $38.53
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories $80020 $38.47
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $79690 $38.31
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $79460 $38.20
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $79380 $38.16
Software Publishers $78310 $37.65
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing $77920 $37.46
Cable and Other Subscription Programming $77800 $37.41
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing $77660 $37.33
Other Investment Pools and Funds $76560 $36.81
Telecommunications $76220 $36.64
Oil and Gas Extraction $75630 $36.36
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $75570 $36.33
Freight Transportation Arrangement $74700 $35.91
Management of Companies and Enterprises $74390 $35.76
Chemical Manufacturing $74250 $35.70
Couriers and Express Delivery Services $74140 $35.64
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $73710 $35.44
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $73040 $35.12
Federal Executive Branch $72930 $35.06
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $72540 $34.87

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