Salary is something that anyone would look at right off the bat when considering a professional field to enter. It is a fairly well-known fact that the income of a paralegal is relatively secure and is the reason many are flocking to this field of study. However, the legal assistant salary law firms offer is sure to vary depending on a number of factors, so after getting certified, prospective hires should consider a few things about where they apply.
Education, certification, and training are one way to achieve a higher pay rate. Though some firms do not even require a degree, obtaining at least an associate’s will definitely make a person more marketable. In addition, there are many certification programs for paralegals that, when completed, will look very attractive to potential employers. Not only will these increase a person’s chances of being hired, it could also be incentive for an employer to offer a higher salary.
Experience is also a factor that causes a paralegal’s salary to vary. Many firms will likely start a person off at a higher pay rate if they have worked in the field prior to being hired. In addition to this, paralegals will see an increase in their salaries with more years working for a particular firm. It is also a field in which there is room to move up–the median salary for those who work in the Federal Executive Branch is $58 thousand per year as opposed to the $44k median for standard legal services.
Size and geographical location of a firm will affect how much they can pay their employees as well. Believe it or not, firms that are located in large metropolitan areas are more likely to offer salaries on the lower end of the spectrum. In addition to this, the larger the firm, the less they are likely to pay. It is best to look for jobs in more remote areas at smaller firms in order to procure the highest potential salary.
In addition to income that already looks quite attractive, many firms feel as though they need to compensate their employees for the long, fast-paced hours they are sometimes expected to work. For this reason, in most cases, paralegals can expect to get bonuses during intense times of the year. On top of the paycheck, these bonuses are a great boost to the income and can make the job look very attractive.
The legal assistant salary law firms will provide can vary greatly. The bottom 10 percent, for example, earned about $29,000 per year while the top 10 percent earned upwards of $73,000 yearly. It also varies depending upon the branch. Aside from this, factors like qualifications, experience, location and size of a business, and bonuses can also cause these numbers to fluctuate. In any case, the field is much more promising than most others are at this time and is expected to continue to grow significantly in upcoming years.