Paralegals & legal assistants

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2019 Workforce
428k
Average Age
43.3
Estimated Job Growth
10.4%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$51,982
Average Male Salary
$54,865
Average Female Salary
$51,514

About

Paralegals & legal assistants are most often employed by the Legal services industry. The average yearly wage for Paralegals & legal assistants was $51,982 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Paralegals & legal assistants by wage are Architectural and civil drafters, Postal service mail carriers, and Heating, air conditioning, & refrigeration mechanics & installers.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Paralegals & legal assistants are Fulton County (Central)Atlanta City (North) PUMA, GA, Plantation & Sunrise Cities PUMA, FL, and DeKalb County (North)Dunwoody City PUMA, GA. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Paralegals & legal assistants are Oyster Bay Town (South) PUMA, NY, Kendale Lakes (Southwest) & Kendall West (South) PUMA, FL, and District of Columbia (East) PUMA, DC.

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 Internet publishing, broadcasting & web search portals. Paralegals & legal assistants are paid most in Bayview & Hunters Point PUMA, CA but are relatively concentrated in Oyster Bay Town (South) PUMA, NY.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$51,982
AVERAGE SALARY
± $1,355

In 2019, Paralegals & legal assistants earned an average of $51,982, $3,542 less than than the average national salary of $55,524.

Architectural and civil drafters make somewhat more than Paralegals & legal assistants while Postal service mail carriers 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

0.335
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Paralegals & legal assistants had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.335, 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

Most Common

The most common industries employing Paralegals & legal assistants, by number of employees, are Legal services, Justice, public order, & safety activities , and Insurance carriers.

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Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Paralegals & legal assistants, by average wage, are Internet publishing, broadcasting & web search portals, Computer Systems Design, and Nondepository credit & related activities.

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Industries by Share

428k
2019 Workforce
± 16,040
5.93%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 5.08%

The number of people employed as Paralegals & legal assistants has been growing at a rate of 5.93%, from 404,082 people in 2018 to 428,032 people in 2019.

This graphic shows the share of Paralegals & legal assistants employed by various industries. Legal services employs the largest share of Paralegals & legal assistants at  78.2%, followed by Justice, public order, & safety activities  with 5.4% and Insurance carriers with 1.6%.

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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 37.4 and of female Paralegals & legal assistants is 44.3, and the most common race/ethnicity for Paralegals & legal assistants is White (Non-Hispanic).

Gender Composition

59.8k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 6,003
368k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 14,880

86% of Paralegals & legal assistants are Female, making them the more common gender in the occupation. This chart shows the gender 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)

68.2% of Paralegals & legal assistants are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 11% 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 Gender

37.4
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 1.27
44.3
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.548

The median age of Paralegals & legal assistants is 43.3, and Male employees are generally 6.86 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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