With the leisure and hospitality industry leading the charge and projecting a 10.4% growth rate between 2021 and 2022, according to the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado continues to enjoy a strong economy that translates into an equally strong legal services industry and paralegal profession and salaries to match. In fact, Colorado ranks fourth in the nation for its pay of paralegals, behind only Washington D.C., California, and Washington State.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Colorado
Salaries in both its metro and non-metro areas continue to place Colorado among the top-paying states for paralegals. As of May 2020, paralegals in Colorado earned an average salary of $62,950, or $30.26, which is about $6,000 more than the national average for this profession. In addition to a fourth-place national ranking, paralegals in the nonmetropolitan area of Northwest Colorado reported the highest average salary in the nation during this time, at $63,830.
For those with significant experience and a legal specialization on their resume, salaries here can go much higher. Colorado paralegals in the top 10% earn about $95,520, or $45.92 per hour.
Colorado’s paralegal workforce totaled about 5,520 as of 2020. They lend their talents to the law departments of big corporate players in the leisure and hospitality, natural resources and mining, construction, manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, and aerospace industries; in nonprofit organizations like Hunger Free Colorado or the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital; and in law firms specializing in everything from litigation to bankruptcy to estate law.
Average Paralegal Salary in Colorado by City
Denver’s experienced paralegals earned by far the highest salary in the state, topping out at nearly $100,000 for the top 10%. The city offers a variety of options for experienced legal professionals in corporate law since the regional economy has four super sectors that rely on in-house legal staff. They range from finance and natural resources/construction to education/health services and leisure/hospitality. Such a variety of industries increase the likelihood that paralegals will be able to practice in their specialty.
Average – $66,160 ($31.81 hourly)
Top 10% – $94,670 ($45.51 hourly)
Average – $48,660 ($23.39 hourly)
Top 10% – $69,540 ($33.43 hourly)
Average – $66,100 ($31.78 hourly)
Top 10% – $99,320 ($47.75 hourly)
Average – $58,510 ($28.13 hourly)
Top 10% – $79,860 ($38.84 hourly)
Average – $48,250 ($23.20 hourly)
Top 10% – $62,650 ($30.12 hourly)
Average – $62,750 ($30.17 hourly)
Top 10% – $81,830 ($39.34 hourly)
Average – $42,250 ($20.31 hourly)
Top 10% – $60,460 ($29.07 hourly)
May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics salary, growth, and job market trends for paralegals and legal assistants. Figures represent state data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed December 2021.