Employment & Salary Outlook for Paralegals in Massachusetts
Nationally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected 17% employment growth for paralegals and legal assistants from 2012-2022. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, paralegals in Massachusetts have a slightly more positive job outlook with a projected job growth rate of 18% from 2012 to 2022. Paralegal positional are strongly concentrated in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metro area, which ranks in the top 10 metros in the US for highest employment levels of paralegals. Formal paralegal education, national certification, and paralegal internship experience will benefit paralegal candidates in the competition for desirable positions.
Large, urban-based law firms generally require the greatest degree of paralegal assistance, and the competition for qualified applicants means that these firms typically offer higher average paralegal salaries. In May 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 6,700 paralegals and legal assistants employed across Massachusetts. The average Massachusetts paralegal salary was reported at $54,540, considerably higher than the May 2012 average of $52,020. These averages are also higher than the national average paralegal salary of $51,840.
Prospective Massachusetts paralegals should note that the concentration of law firms and other firms relying on paralegal labor in Boston also can lead to more competitive salaries. The average paralegal salary in the Boston metro area is $55,590, slightly higher than the state average. As urban areas are expected to continue to follow the greater nationwide trend of paralegal job growth, this contributes to a positive salary outlook for Massachusetts paralegals throughout the next several years.