Iowa Paralegal Salary Guide

Idaho’s diverse economy, which includes everything from advanced manufacturing to financial services to biotechnology, makes it a hot spot for paralegals in a variety of fields.

Whether you earn a solid reputation in corporate law, working for a major player like Wells Fargo, which is part of Des Moines’ financial services industry, or you specialize your career in an area like family law, commercial litigation, or environmental law with a regional firm like Bradley & Riley PC (Cedar Rapids, Iowa City) or Nyemaster Goode (Des Moines, Ames, Cedar Rapids), you’re sure to find plenty of professional opportunities awaiting you in Iowa.

Paralegal Job Market Trends in Iowa

As of May 2020, paralegals in Iowa earned an average salary of $50,520, or $24.29 per hour. However, those with extensive experience, including leadership experience and a background in one or more legal specialties, enjoy salaries that surge past the state average by nearly $25,000. In fact, the top 10% here earn about $74,910, or $36.02 per hour.

During this time, Iowa reported about 2,070 paralegal jobs, and this number should climb in the coming years, given that the number of active lawyers in the state has increased by 3.5% in the last decade (2011-2021), according to the American Bar Association.

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Average Paralegal Salary in Iowa by City

The Des Moines metro area came out on top in terms of paralegal salaries in Iowa, as of May 2020, which makes sense given the major corporations that call this city home, including Principal Financial, the biggest company in the state and a Fortune 500 company.

Iowa City’s Area Development Group has received national accolades for its innovative approach to encouraging businesses to locate to this area. This approach resulted in a diverse array of companies setting up shop in the area, providing opportunities for paralegals with expertise in biotech, finance, engineering, and manufacturing.


Cedar Rapids:

Average – $48,290 ($23.22 hourly)

Top 10% – $63,820 ($3.068 hourly)


Davenport-Moline-Rock Island:

Average – $49,650 ($23.87 hourly)

Top 10% – $76,390 ($36.73 hourly)


Des Moines-West Des Moines:

Average – $56,470 ($38.14 hourly)

Top 10% – $79,330 ($38.14 hourly)



Average – $51,530 ($24.78 hourly)

Top 10% – $64,610 ($31.06 hourly)


Iowa City:

Average – $47,020 ($22.61 hourly)

Top 10% – $75,070 ($36.09 hourly)


Sioux City:

Average – $45,590 ($21.92 hourly)

Top 10% – $60,800 ($29.23 hourly)


Waterloo-Cedar Falls:

Average – $43,890 ($21.10 hourly)

Top 10% – $59,610 ($28.66 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.