Location is, perhaps, the biggest factor in determining what you can expect to earn as a paralegal in North Carolina. The contrast is sharp; with the average paralegal salary in the northeast coastal region being $30,440 compared to $64,140 in Raleigh. Things tend to get more equitable among top earners, with Greensboro-High Point paralegals earning an average of $99,490 compared to Raleigh where they earned $102,700. Raleigh’s top earners were among the highest paid paralegals in the nation.

The US Department of Labor has identified several important factors that go into shaping the earning potential and job outlook for paralegals in North Carolina:

  • Industries – The top paying industries for paralegals are pharmaceuticals, computer manufacturing, electronic parts manufacturers, software developers, and aerospace.
  • Employers – The largest industry employers of paralegals are legal services (by far), government, and company/corporate management.

Over the past five years the average paralegal salary statewide has gone up by $3,220. That brings the average salary in 2016 to $53,180, ranking North Carolina within the top-half of states in terms of salaries. Paralegals earning within the 90th-percentile made $71,900 that year.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce projects that the number of paralegal jobs statewide will grow by 12.7 percent over the decade leading up to 2024. This is more than five percentage points higher than the national average, and translates to an average of 340 new job openings each year.

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Salaries for Paralegals In North Carolina’s Major Metro Areas

The US Department of Labor also reports these notable statistics about North Carolina (2016):

  • Of all rural areas in the nation, the Piedmont region has the highest number of paralegals – 380
  • The rural northeast coastal area of the state has the fourth-highest concentration of paralegals of all rural areas in the nation – 2.24 for every 1,000 jobs
  • New Bern has the fifth-highest concentration of paralegal jobs of all metro areas in the nation – 4.59 for every 1,000 jobs

Data provided by the US Department of Labor as reported for May 2016:

Asheville:

  • Average annual – $39,130
  • Average hourly – $18.81
  • Top-10th annual – $50,540
  • Top-10th hourly – $24.30

Burlington:

  • Average annual – $38,830
  • Average hourly – $18.67
  • Top-10th annual – $49,270
  • Top-10th hourly – $23.69

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia:

  • Average annual – $48,460
  • Average hourly – $23.30
  • Top-10th annual – $74,310
  • Top-10th hourly – $35.72

Durham-Chapel Hill:

  • Average annual – $50,680
  • Average hourly – $24.36
  • Top-10th annual – $73,420
  • Top-10th hourly – $35.30

Fayetteville:

  • Average annual – $46,650
  • Average hourly – $22.43
  • Top-10th annual – $72,650
  • Top-10th hourly – $34.93

Goldsboro:

  • Average annual – $35,730
  • Average hourly – $17.18
  • Top-10th annual – $55,010
  • Top-10th hourly – $26.45

Greensboro-High Point:

  • Average annual – $49,290
  • Average hourly – $23.70
  • Top-10th annual – $99,490
  • Top-10th hourly – $47.83

Greenville:

  • Average annual – $41,920
  • Average hourly – $20.16
  • Top-10th annual – $59,960
  • Top-10th hourly – $28.83

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton:

  • Average annual – $41,530
  • Average hourly – $19.97
  • Top-10th annual – $58,030
  • Top-10th hourly – $27.90

Jacksonville:

  • Average annual – $39,680
  • Average hourly – $19.08
  • Top-10th annual – $58,750
  • Top-10th hourly – $28.25

New Bern:

  • Average annual – $47,030
  • Average hourly – $22.61
  • Top-10th annual – $74,990
  • Top-10th hourly – $36.06

Raleigh:

  • Average annual – $64,140
  • Average hourly – $30.84
  • Top-10th annual – $102,700
  • Top-10th hourly – $49.37

Rocky Mount:

  • Average annual – $35,480
  • Average hourly – $17.06
  • Top-10th annual – $52,770
  • Top-10th hourly – $25.37

Wilmington:

  • Average annual – $47,170
  • Average hourly – $22.68
  • Top-10th annual – $64,290
  • Top-10th hourly – $30.91

Winston-Salem:

  • Average annual – $42,230
  • Average hourly – $20.30
  • Top-10th annual – $63,220
  • Top-10th hourly – $30.40

Rural Northeast Coastal:

  • Average annual – $30,440
  • Average hourly – $14.63
  • Top-10th annual – $46,900
  • Top-10th hourly – $22.55

Rural Southeast Coastal:

  • Average annual – $40,640
  • Average hourly – $19.54
  • Top-10th annual – $56,090
  • Top-10th hourly – $26.97

Rural Piedmont Region:

  • Average annual – $36,400
  • Average hourly – $17.50
  • Top-10th annual – $52,310
  • Top-10th hourly – $25.15

Rural Mountain North:

  • Average annual – $32,870
  • Average hourly – $15.81
  • Top-10th annual – $48,060
  • Top-10th hourly – $23.11

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