hourly pay for Paralegals and Legal Assistants
do Paralegals and Legal Assistants make a lot of money

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Other names for this job might include Assistant Paralegal, Attorney Law Clerk, Bankruptcy Assistant, Certified Paralegal, Child Support Specialist, Closing Agent, Complex Commercial Litigation Paralegal, Contract Preparer, Contracts Specialist, Corporate Law Assistant

  • $53180
  • 69%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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How Much Do Paralegals and Legal Asst Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Paralegals and Legal Assistants make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Paralegal and Legal Assistant will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$53180 per year
Hourly wage
$25.570 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Paralegals and Legal Asst make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Paralegals and Legal Asst is $53180. Their salary can also be as low as $31070 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $80260 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $25.570 and can range from $14.940 to $38.590 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Paralegal and Legal Asst will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Paralegal and Legal Asst to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Paralegals and Legal Asst make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$38.590$80260
Senior (Top 25%)$30.600$63650
Middle (Mid 50%)$23.800$49500
Junior (Bottom 25%)$18.380$38230
No experience (Bottom 10%)$14.940$31070

Entry-level Paralegals and Legal Asst who starts out at $38230 can expect to make $49500 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $14.940 per hour while the top 10% makes over $38.590 per hour.

While the median wage is $49500 per annum or $23.800 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing39.8182810
Software Publishers37.0377030
Publishing Industries (except Internet)36.3375560
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing35.0972990
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers3572810
Other Information Services34.972580
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing34.8772530
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing34.4171580
Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage34.371340
Wired Telecommunications Carriers34.2571240
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing33.9670640
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods33.8770460
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers33.8170320
Postal Service (federal government)33.4969670
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries33.1969030
Cable and Other Subscription Programming33.1168870
Wholesale Trade32.5767750
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing32.3767330
Federal government, including the US Postal Service32.3667300
Federal Executive Branch32.3567290
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities32.2267020
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers32.1866940
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences32.1566870
Scientific Research and Development Services32.1266800
Chemical Manufacturing31.9266400
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing31.6465810
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods31.3965290
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)31.3765260
Land Subdivision31.2464990
Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services31.2364950
Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers31.2164920
Broadcasting (except Internet)31.1264730
Natural Gas Distribution31.0964660
Computer Systems Design and Related Services30.9964450
Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant Wholesalers30.9464350
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)30.9364340
Other Financial Investment Activities30.9264320
Management of Companies and Enterprises30.7463930
Machinery Manufacturing30.6863800
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned30.463240
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services30.262820
Oil and Gas Extraction30.162610
Grantmaking and Giving Services30.0562510
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution29.8562080
Labor Unions and Similar Labor Organizations29.8362040
Hospitals, State government owned29.7461850
Transportation and Warehousing29.6761710
Offices of Physicians29.5661490
Ambulatory Health Care Services29.3861100
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing29.2960920
Rail Transportation29.1760680
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing29.1560620
Radio and Television Broadcasting29.1260560
Miscellaneous Manufacturing29.0960510
Nonresidential Building Construction2960320
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned28.9160130
Scheduled Air Transportation28.8960090
Educational Services, Privately owned28.8359960
Air Transportation28.8259940
Depository Credit Intermediation28.7959890
Finance and Insurance28.7759830
Lessors of Real Estate28.7359750
Insurance Carriers28.5759420
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation28.5659400
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing28.559270
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services28.559270
Construction of Buildings28.3158870
Activities Related to Real Estate28.2858820
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities28.1358510
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing28.158460
Real Estate27.9958220
Residential Building Construction27.8657960
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction27.8557920
Engineering Services27.7957800
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities27.7657730
Direct Insurance (except Life, Health, and Medical) Carriers27.7257650
Office Administrative Services27.6757550
Activities Related to Credit Intermediation27.5257230
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing27.4457080
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services27.356790
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)27.256570
Federal, State, and Local Government27.1156390
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service27.1156390
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service27.156380
Accommodation and Food Services27.0756300
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)27.0256190
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations26.9856110
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages26.9255990
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services26.7455620
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)26.7455610
Junior colleges, Local government owned26.7355600
Nondepository Credit Intermediation26.7255590
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)26.5555230
Retail Trade26.555110
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities26.4955100
Hospitals, Privately owned26.4755060
Employment Services26.4555020
Traveler Accommodation26.3754850
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)26.3654830
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations26.3254750
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries26.2454590
Other Insurance Related Activities26.2454580
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)26.2254540
Hospitals, Local government owned26.1854460
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned26.1854460
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)26.1854450
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses26.1754440
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned26.1254330
Educational Services, Local government owned25.9754020
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned25.9553970
Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works)25.9153890
Other Nondepository Credit Intermediation25.953870
Administrative and Support Services25.853660
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services25.7953650
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services25.7953640
Local government, including schools and hospitals25.7753600
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals25.7753590
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)25.6953440
Social Advocacy Organizations25.6753400
Nonstore Retailers25.452830
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned25.3252660
Educational Services, State government owned25.352630
All industries24.9251840
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers24.9251840
All industries, private ownership only24.5651080
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services24.5351020
Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers2449920
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services23.9449800
Legal Services23.8949680
Direct Selling Establishments23.3348530
Social Assistance22.6247050
State government, including schools and hospitals22.3946570
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals22.2746310
Individual and Family Services22.0945940
Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities19.9341460
Business Support Services19.7241010
Civic and Social Organizations17.2235810

Not all industries pay the same for Paralegals and Legal Assistants.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Paralegal and Legal Asst is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at DC may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Paralegals and Legal Asst are in the states of DC, AK, CA, NY and WA. The average salary in DC is $77230.

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Rank: C+
Salary: $45670

They perform secretarial duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
Rank: C
Salary: $50120

They perform duties related to the purchase, sale or holding of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases or sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
Rank: B
Salary: $35560

They compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
Rank: B
Salary: $53590

They provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
Rank: C+
Salary: $38070

They compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.

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