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What Salary Can a New Paralegal Make?

ParalegalWhat’s the yearly salary of a paralegal just out of college? That’s an important question for anyone considering studying for a paralegal career. Although the median salary for a paralegal nationally is $47,000 in 2009 according to O*NET Online,* the online occupational resource sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, entry-level wages for any profession are usually considerably less — and can also vary from market to market.

Following is a table containing a list of representative states and the lowest annual wage reported by the respective state’s labor reporting department and available on O*NET Online. These represent the bottom 10 percent of wage-earning paralegals, generally those just out of school and with minimal of experience. These numbers therefore represent what recent graduates may expect to make in the first year or two after school before they have enough real-world knowledge and experience to increase their market value:**
State                               Entry-Level Annual Wages

Arizona                            $31,900
California                         $34,000
Colorado                          $31,800
Florida                             $28,800
Georgia                            $32,600
Hawaii                              $26,400
Illinois                              $34,500
Louisiana                          $27,700
Massachusetts                  $30,400
Michigan                          $31,300
Minnesota                        $29,400
Missouri                           $26,800
Nevada                             $36,800
New Jersey                      $32,400
New York                         $38,400
Ohio                               $28,100
Pennsylvania                    $31,400
Tennessee                       $26,000
Texas                              $28,800
Utah                                $27,800
Virginia                            $29,200
Washington                      $30,400
Wisconsin                         $27,400

For comparison, the average annual wage for American men and women with some college (associate degree) is currently just over $37,000, according to the most recent statistics provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.*** As this number represents salaries for all wage-earners, not just entry-level workers. The entry-level salaries for paralegals may appeal to many people looking to better their lives.

Earn Your Paralegal Degree Online

Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, offers an associate degree program in Paralegal. When completed, this two-year program can qualify you to compete for most paralegal positions under a licensed attorney in both the public and private sectors.

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Paralegal
  • Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
  • Legal Research and Writing (I & II)
  • Torts
  • Contract Law
  • Wills, Trusts and Probate
  • Family Law
  • Law Office Management
  • Civil Procedure

For More Information

For more information on the associate degree in Paralegal program and other online career education programs, contact Everest University Online today!

* Source: O*NET Online,, accessed 7/6/2011.

** Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors will impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.

***Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections,, accessed 7/6/2011.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at

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