Some of the lowest business costs in the country, coupled with strong finance, healthcare, and governmental sectors have allowed South Dakota to remain a big national player for business. From healthcare giants like Sanford Health in Sioux Falls and Monument Health in Rapid City to Ellsworth Air Force Base, the second largest employer in the state, South Dakota’s economy is diverse and robust, which translates into a strong legal services industry and an equally strong paralegal profession.
Paralegal Job Market Trends in South Dakota
As of May 2020, the average paralegal salary in South Dakota was $50,410, or $24.23 per hour. With extensive experience, particularly in an area like consumer law, family law, litigation, or bankruptcy law, you can expect a salary that reflects the profession’s top 10%, which was about $64,570, or $31.04 per hour, during this time.
The industries that offer the highest average paralegal salaries are:
- Pharmaceuticals, especially agriculture and livestock pharmaceuticals in South Dakota
- Aerospace – In South Dakota, these companies are primarily concentrated in the Sioux Falls and Rapid City areas
- Computer and electronic component manufacturing – These companies are primarily located in the state’s largest cities, including Yankton
- Law firms and the government are the largest employers of paralegals throughout the state, including recognizable names like:
- Law firms – Janklow Abdallah Law Firm, Cutler Law Firm, and Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith in Sioux Falls
- Government – Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office, South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, Pennington County State’s Attorney General’s Office
Average Paralegal Salary in South Dakota by City
Both Rapid City and Sioux Falls reported similar salaries for paralegals as of May 2020, both at the average level and at the top 10%.
Average – $47,130 ($22.66 hourly)
Top 10% – $61,280 ($29.46 hourly)
Average – $49,800 ($23.94 hourly)
Top 10% – $63,790 ($30.67 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.