Hawaii and its $97 billion economy have long been driven by a booming tourism industry and a strong U.S. military presence. These same industries are also the major employers of the state’s paralegals, which totaled 1,070 as of May 2020.
According to the American Bar Association, the number of actively practicing lawyers in Hawaii has increased by 3.2% in the last decade (2011-2021). This sort of positive growth in the legal services industry almost always translates into more opportunities for paralegals, whether they’re new to the profession or working their way up through the ranks.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Hawaii
Though Hawaii has long been plagued with a high cost of living, the swaying palm trees, white sand beaches, and blue skies make it well worth it for the paralegals who call these islands home.
As of May 2020, the average salary for paralegals in Hawaii was $55,520, or $26.69 per hour, which is just shy of the national average of $56,610 for the profession.
There are plenty of reasons to climb the paralegal career ladder in Hawaii. Paralegals with extensive experience, industry credentials, and experience in one or more law specialties like litigation, family law, or bankruptcy law are rewarded with salaries that come in nearly $25,000 above the state average. The top 10% of paralegals in the state earned about $79,290 during this time.
Average Paralegal Salary in Hawaii by City
It’s no surprise that salaries for Urban Honolulu inched past those in the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metro area, given that it’s home to major corporations like Hawaii Pacific Health and Hawaiian Airlines. However, the winner in terms of paralegal salaries was the nonmetropolitan area of Hawaii/Kauai, where the tourism and recreation industries are the strongest.
Average – $53,320 ($25.63 hourly)
Top 10% – $70,550 ($33.92 hourly)
Average – $55,420 ($26.64 hourly)
Top 10% – $79,00 ($38.03 hourly)
Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area:
Average – $57,790 ($27.78)
Top 10% – $94,760 ($45.56)
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.