Though much of Montana is devoted to farmland and wide, open spaces, there’s plenty of economic activity going on in its metro areas. Great Falls is supported by Malmstrom Air Force Base and has become a large healthcare hub for Northcentral Montana…Bozeman is home to Montana State University and a growing high-tech industry…Helena enjoys a thriving manufacturing sector, which includes the Boeing manufacturing plant, a large source of employment…Missoula’s economy has been strengthened in recent years by a growing construction industry… and Billings is the site of growth in oil refineries.
Not surprising, Montana’s strong economy has led to exciting opportunities for the legal services industry and the paralegals who provide the crucial support services.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in Montana
Perhaps the best way to identify future opportunities for paralegals in Montana is to turn to growth among the state’s active lawyers. In the last decade (2011-2021), the number of actively practicing lawyers in Montana has increased by 6.8%, revealing a legal services industry that’s on the rise.
As of May 2020, the average paralegal salary in Montana was $47,600, or $22.88 per hour. With plenty of experience, particularly in one or more legal specialties like family law, criminal litigation, corporate law, or bankruptcy law, paralegals here can earn significantly more. In fact, the top 10% of all paralegals here earn about $62,770, or $30.18 per hour.
Average Paralegal Salary in Montana by City
Most paralegals work in the legal services industry for law firms and other legal services companies, followed by corporate legal departments and government. Paralegals in Billings earned the highest average salaries, as well as the highest top salaries in Montana, as of May 2020. Much of the economic strength of this region can be attributed to major companies like the Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest healthcare system, and energy giant Talen Montana.
Average – $53,120 ($25.54 hourly)
Top 10% – $68,220 ($32.80 hourly)
Average – $48,540 ($23.34 hourly)
Top 10% – $62,450 ($30.03 hourly)
Average – $36,010 ($17.31 hourly)
Top 10% – $48,040 ($23.10 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.