Earlier this month, I wrote an article discussing the demand for paralegals in the U.S. as well as their growing salaries. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones to notice the steady trend in paralegal and legal assistant jobs across the United States.
Amazon, the largest Internet-based retailer in the world, lists paralegal and legal assistants as a “high-demand field” and has included it in their eligible areas of study under their tuition reimbursement program. Known as Career Choice, the retail giant’s tuition assistance program has run for about four year, during which time more than 6,000 Amazon employees have participated.1
By looking at data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Amazon deemed paralegals and legal assistants to be professions on the rise in the U.S. job market based on the projected growth in number of jobs as well as salary. This echoes the growth we outlined in our previous article, where we highlighted the increased salary and job demand for paralegals across Texas and the United States.
As you may recall, the BLS reported salaries for paralegals were on the rise, with the average annual salary for paralegals at $52,390 per year. Texas paralegals earn slightly more than that, at $53,190 per year, and paralegals in the Houston area can expect to earn even more than that, with the average median salary for the Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land area coming in at $56,690 per year.2
The need for paralegals is growing as well. According to 2015 data, the paralegal field is expected to see an 8% increase in number of jobs across the U.S. by 2022.3 This growth may be attributed to law firms hiring more paralegals and legal assistants to cut costs and increase efficiency. And, many large companies are now augmenting their in-house legal services with paralegals and delegating tasks that were previously completed by an attorney.
With this kind of steady growth projected, it comes as no surprise that U.S. News and World Report ranked paralegal in the top 20 social service careers and in the top 100 of all careers.4 Paralegal is an ideal career choice for those who are interested in law, but are unable or unwilling to take on the large student loans and shaky job prospects of law school. As a bonus, many paralegals report having a great deal of autonomy and a low level of job stress and unemployment. Win, win!
While we’ve recognized the paralegal career field as rewarding and growing since 1987, it’s nice to see mega corporations like Amazon taking notice. And with expected job and salary growth among the leading categories, I expect more and more companies to follow suit.
For details on our paralegal education programs and class start dates, visit paralegal.edu. And for more details on the paralegal profession and choosing a paralegal program that fits your needs, check out these resources:
- 6 Questions That Help Define Your Vision of Becoming Paralegal
- Five Reasons to Become a Paralegal
- Duties You Can Expect to Perform as a Paralegal
1Focusing on high-demand fields is key to tuition assistance programs Amazon says, June 17, 2016, InsideHigherEd.com
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited August 02, 2016).
4Best Jobs - U.S. and World Report News: Paralegal Overview, Money.USNews.com