Paralegals form the backbone of the Legal Community. They often do valuable research and prep work for Lawyers and often perform administrative duties in the office as well. Paralegal Salary is based on qualifications, experience and job settings. The job itself can be both stressful and rewarding.
Average Paralegal Salary
According to Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median Paralegal Salary in 2010 was $46,680 per year. The average Paralegal Salary in 2011 was $53,00 per year. A new Paralegal will usually start with a Paralegal Salary of $32,000 per year.
Paralegal Salary by Sector
Paralegals working in the Corporate Sector tend to earn the highest Salary with an average of $62,000 per year. Paralegals working for the Government or Public Sector report an annual average income of $51,000 and Paralegals working within Law Firms report an average Paralegal Salary of $52,000.
In general, a Paralegal will need to have formal Paralegal education in order to be competitive in the job market. Some states do not require any education at all, while other states have very specific guidelines for Paralegals. A number of programs are offered in every State, ranging from Certificates to Bachelor Degrees. The programs are available full-time, part-time and often also online. These programs will range in quality of education and it is advised to do thorough research on the competitiveness of the school and the type of Certification it offers.
Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook
Paralegals are expected to have good opportunities in the future as employment in the field is expected to grow by about 18% in the period of 2010 to 2020. Paralegals are taking on more duties in the Legal field. An increase in divorces, bankruptcies and other Law Suits are driving demand for qualified Paralegals. Corporations and Government Agencies are also discovering that Paralegals can often fulfill the duties of a Lawyer in certain areas and are hiring more Paralegals as budgets have been tightened. Paralegal Salary is expect to increase along with higher demand and increased responsibilities.