05 May 2014

What is the Average Salary of a Paralegal?

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    Paralegals play an important role in the legal industry. Without them, lawyers would have to spend more time searching for documents, researching laws, and drafting legal documents. That would force law firms to hire more lawyers, which would cost a lot of money.

    By hiring paralegals, who need associate’s degrees instead of graduate degrees, law firms can meet the needs of clients while keeping costs lower.

    Average Salary for a Paralegal

    Paralegals can expect to get paid about $46,000 a year. That’s about $50,000 per year in Canadian dollars. In 2010, the median pay for a paralegal in the United States was $22.44 per hour.

    That’s a great salary for a professional who doesn’t have to complete an undergraduate education. Considering the small investment, this is an excellent career path for men and women who want to earn high salaries as soon as possible.

    How Paralegals Can Earn More Money

    Even though paralegals already earn a good wage, they can always work harder to make more.

    Law firms that pay paralegals by the hour, instead of an annual salary, might offer more money for those who choose to work late hours. Firms often need paralegals to work odd hours as court dates and deadlines draw near. By working later than the typical office hours, paralegals could earn extra money.

    Paralegals can also earn more money by freelancing. Freelancing with another firm or lawyer creates more opportunities to make money. It could also improve job stability by giving the professional more than one source of income.

    What Do Paralegals Really Make?

    Not every paralegal makes over $45,000 a year. The lowest paid paralegals make just under $30,000 per year.

    Other paralegals can earn nearly $75,000 USD (about $83,000 Canadian). That’s a substantial figure for workers who only need to earn an associate’s degree to start their careers.

    Even those who make low salaries have it pretty good. It isn’t easy to find a steady job that pays over $30,000 and doesn’t require at least a bachelor’s degree. (Although many programs require paralegals to take internships that give them on-the-job training.)

    If you’re looking for a way to jumpstart your career, consider getting a paralegal associate’s degree. Just a couple years of classes will prepare you for an exciting profession that pays well. If you have any interest in the law, then this is a good career for you to explore.

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