Paralegals & legal assistants

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
420k
Average Age
43
Estimated Job Growth
10.4%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$53,306
Average Male Salary
$57,779
Average Female Salary
$52,505

About

Paralegals & legal assistants are most often employed by the Legal services industry. The average yearly wage for Paralegals & legal assistants was $53,306 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Paralegals & legal assistants by wage are Firstline supervisors of retail sales workers, Surveying & mapping technicians, and Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Paralegals & legal assistants are District of Columbia (Central) PUMA, DC, Tampa City (South) PUMA, FL, and West Town, Near West Side & Lower West Side PUMA, IL. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Paralegals & legal assistants are South Miami City, Westchester & Coral Terrace PUMA, FL, District of Columbia (Central) PUMA, DC, and Miami City (East) & Key Biscayne Village PUMA, FL.

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Paralegals & legal assistants and on wages and locations for those in the field. Legal services is the industry that employs the most Paralegals & legal assistants, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Paralegals & legal assistants, by average wage, is Pharmacies & drug stores. Paralegals & legal assistants are paid most in Milwaukee County (West) PUMA, WI but are relatively concentrated in South Miami City, Westchester & Coral Terrace PUMA, FL.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$53,306
AVERAGE SALARY
± $1,521

In 2020, Paralegals & legal assistants earned an average of $53,306, $2,648 less than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Firstline supervisors of retail sales workers make somewhat more than Paralegals & legal assistants while Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Paralegals & legal assistants as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.33
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Paralegals & legal assistants had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.33, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Paralegals & legal assistants (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Paralegals & legal assistants.

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Spatial Concentration

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Paralegals & legal assistants.

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Industries

Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Paralegals & legal assistants, by average wage, are Pharmacies & drug stores, Bus service & urban transit, and Aircraft & parts manufacturing.

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Industries by Share

420k
2020 Workforce
± 15,880
3.92%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 5.2%

The number of people employed as Paralegals & legal assistants has been growing at a rate of 3.92%, from 403,729 people in 2019 to 419,564 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Paralegals & legal assistants employed by various industries. Legal services employs the largest share of Paralegals & legal assistants at  77.5%, followed by Justice, public order, & safety activities  with 4.99% and Insurance carriers with 1.37%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Paralegals & legal assistants in the US. The average age of male Paralegals & legal assistants in the workforce is 38.5 and of female Paralegals & legal assistants is 43.8, and the most common race/ethnicity for Paralegals & legal assistants is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

63.8k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 6,198
356k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 14,627

84.8% of Paralegals & legal assistants are Female, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex breakdown of Paralegals & legal assistants.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Paralegals & legal assistants
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. White (Hispanic)
  3. Black (Non-Hispanic)

67.3% of Paralegals & legal assistants are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 9.78% of Paralegals & legal assistants, White (Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Paralegals & legal assistants.

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Age by Sex

38.5
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 1.31
43.8
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.556

The median age of Paralegals & legal assistants is 43, and Male employees are generally 5.3 years younger than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Paralegals & legal assistants from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Paralegals & legal assistants is Social Sciences but a relatively high number of Paralegals & legal assistants hold a major in Legal.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Paralegals & legal assistants from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paralegals & legal assistants need many skills, but most especially Reading Comprehension, Active Listening, and Writing. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Paralegals & legal assistants need more than the average amount of Writing, Reading Comprehension, and Active Listening.

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Projections

Projections on job growth for Paralegals and Legal Assistants from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10-year national workforce is projected to grow 3.71%, but Paralegals and Legal Assistants are expected to see a growth of 10.4% over the same period. This occupation is expected to grow more than the national average.

Job Growth

For growth projections, the closest comparible industry reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is Paralegals and Legal Assistants.
10.4%
Estimated Job Growth
10-year Projection
3.71%
National Growth
10-year Projection

This line chart shows the projected 10-year growth in the number of jobs for Paralegals and Legal Assistants. This profession is expected to grow more than than 3.71%, the average rate of national job growth.

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