If you’re someone who wants to work in the law field, yet doesn’t want to become a full-blown lawyer, consider becoming a paralegal. Not only is the job as a paralegal very fulfilling for those who love law, the income is also nothing to laugh at, especially for those with seniority.
What is a Paralegal?
Chances are, you’ve heard the term paraprofessional being thrown around when discussing fields like law, business, education, and healthcare. A paraprofessional is someone who have been especially trained to help and assist professionals, yet they do not actually have the professional license.
A paralegal is a type of paraprofessional who has the needed training and knowledge to help licensed lawyers. As a paraprofessional, you may even have the opportunity to work without any direct supervision by a professional, however, nothing you do will have official authority. Go to the following page to learn more about what paraprofessionals do: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Legal/Paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm.
How much do Paralegals Earn?
As a new and inexperienced paralegal, you will be making a very average income. The lowest you can except to make is about $30,000 while the highest you can reasonably expect to make is about $40,000. If you’re a greenhorn paralegal, the state you’ll have the best chance of making the most money is California, while you can expect to make substantially less in states like Georgia.
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can reasonably expect to make around $50,000 per year. Usually, for paralegals, the ceiling for salaries is $90,000. However, when applying for jobs, remember that larger firms tend to pay higher salaries than smaller firms, simply because they can afford to do so.
How to Advance as a Paralegal?
The best way you can move up and earn more as a paralegal is by gaining experience. As you can experience, you will be offered more responsibilities and you won’t require as much supervision, making a pay raise much more viable.
The best way to substantially increase your earning potential as a paralegal is by moving on to larger firms. In larger firms, experienced paralegals many end up supervising a whole team of paralegals, so work hard to gain seniority.
Some paralegals choose to increase their earning potential by going back to school and attaining more graduate education. Depending on their grades, some paralegals move on to become licensed lawyers. The average licensed lawyer earns about $115,000 per year and they can earn up to $200,000 per year.
What Benefits and Perks do Paralegals Get?
Paralegals typically receive all the basic benefits and perks offered at most jobs, such as paid time off, health care, sick days, pension, bonuses, and insurance. Many firms also offer education reimbursement to their paralegals. Typically, benefits and perks boost total compensation by about 31%. Therefore, benefits and perks will usually bring the median $50,000 per year as compensation for paralegals to about $80,000 per year.
Although paralegals don’t make a substantial amount of money at first, there is definitely plenty of potential for a nice salary if you’re willing to gain plenty of experience, stick to one job to gain seniority benefits, try your luck at larger firms, and gain more education.