The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions projects the number of paralegal jobs in the state will continue to have positive growth through at least 2024, it’s most distant projection year. And that’s not the only good news.
Over the past five years the average wage for paralegals in the state has risen by more than $1,000 to it’s 2016 level at $43,230 annually. That’s according to the US Department of Labor, which also reports in that year wages at the 90th-percentile level were $62,370.
The US Department of Labor details the following job numbers of paralegals throughout the state (2016). They are listed here with the distribution of lawyers for comparison.
- Albuquerque – 1,130 paralegals and 1,780 lawyers (1:1.58 ratio)
- Las Cruces – 100 paralegals and 130 lawyers (1:1.3 ratio)
- Santa Fe – 200 paralegals and 470 lawyers (1:2.35 ratio)
- Rural eastern portion of the state – 100 paralegals and 230 lawyers (1:2.3 ratio)
- Rural north and west central portion of the state – 50 paralegals and 130 lawyers (1:2.6 ratio)
Paralegal salaries relate to local demand and employers. These are some relevant facts, reported by the US Department of Labor:
- The vast majority of paralegals work in the legal industry
- The next-largest employer of paralegals is government – federal, local, and state in that order
- The top-paying industries for paralegals are electronics manufacturers, software publishers, pharma, computer equipment, and aerospace
- The online Master of Legal Studies from American University equips students with fundamental legal training and industry-specific knowledge. Students attend online classes and an in-person immersion in Washington, D.C. Complete in as few as 15 months. No GRE or LSAT required.
- Fordham Law’s online master’s in corporate compliance. Bachelor’s degree required. Complete in as few as 20 months. GRE, GMAT, and LSAT scores not required to apply.
- The online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree from Washington University School of Law offers current and future paralegals an in-depth perspective of the U.S. legal system. GRE an LSAT scores are not required.
- The online Master of Legal Studies program from Pepperdine Law teaches professionals from a variety of fields the fundamental legal skills they need to better execute their law-related responsibilities. No GRE or LSAT scores are required to apply.
When you consider regions of our state where the ratio of paralegals to lawyers is lower, as well as factors like regional employers including the government, you can have a better understanding of where demand is and why some places offer a higher salary than others:
- The Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world, is located near Santa Fe and ultimately overseen by the federal government
- Las Cruces is a state leader in the pharmaceutical industry, home to companies like Kemtek Pharmaceuticals, Elixer International, Pecos Valley Pharmaceuticals, and the Mc Kesson Corporation
- Albuquerque is a state leader in the aerospace industry, home to companies like UTC Aerospace Systems, Eclipse Aerospace, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation
Salary Figures for Paralegals in New Mexico
These statistics are sourced from the US Department of Labor in 2016:
- Average annual – $43,060
- Average hourly – $20.70
- Top-10th annual – $63,440
- Top-10th hourly – $30.50
- Average annual – $45,560
- Average hourly – $21.85
- Top-10th annual – $62,040
- Top-10th hourly – $29.83
- Average annual – $44,400
- Average hourly – $21.35
- Top-10th annual – $53,790
- Top-10th hourly – $25.86
Rural Eastern New Mexico:
- Average annual – $42,680
- Average hourly – $20.52
- Top-10th annual – $63,780
- Top-10th hourly – $30.66
Rural North and West Central New Mexico:
- Average annual – $37,070
- Average hourly – $17.82
- Top-10th annual – $48,820
- Top-10th hourly – $23.47
Salary and employment data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.