In 1847 when Brigham Young first arrived in Utah, chances are he would never have guessed what a great state it would be for paralegals.
Over just the last five years average paralegal salaries in Utah are up $3,550 – 8.5 percent – to $45,500. That is according to the US Department of Labor in 2016, which also reports those earning a 90th-percentile salary made $66,290 that year.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services reports that paralegals throughout the state have one of the highest projected job growth rates in the nation over the decade leading up to 2024. That means 110 paralegal job openings on average each year – a 19.7 percent growth rate – which is the seventh-highest in the nation.
So why such robust salary increases and job projections? Because the main employers of paralegals in the state – the legal sector and government – have also been growing.
Between 2010 and 2015 the size of Utah’s state and local governments have grown by eight percent, adding more than 14,000 employees (US Bureau of Economic Analysis).
Utah’s courts also continue to experience growing caseloads. 2015 saw the following court statistics throughout the state (National Center for State Courts, Conference of State Court Administrators):
- 122,154 incoming criminal cases
- 115,214 incoming civil cases
- 29,760 incoming juvenile cases
- 23,784 incoming domestic relations cases
Sectors that offer the highest salaries for paralegals – pharmaceuticals, computer software, and aerospace – also have an important presence in Utah. The presence and concentration of these types of companies help to explain the differences between paralegal salaries from city to city:
- Pharmaceutical companies like Navingen, Actavis, and Recursion in Salt Lake City
- Companies like ACT Aerospace in Gunnison and Barnes Aerospace in Ogden
- Computer software companies like Micro Focus, Start Studio, and Imagine Learning in Provo
Paralegal Salary Stats in Utah
The following numbers are sourced from the US Department of Labor in 2016:
- Average annual – $36,410
- Average hourly – $17.51
- Top-10th annual – $52,930
- Top-10th hourly – $25.45
- Average annual – $46,070
- Average hourly – $22.15
- Top-10th annual – $73,910
- Top-10th hourly – $35.53
Salt Lake City:
- Average annual – $47,220
- Average hourly – $22.70
- Top-10th annual – $65,670
- Top-10th hourly – $31.57
- Average annual – $38,270
- Average hourly – $18.40
- Top-10th annual – $57,590
- Top-10th hourly – $27.69
- Average annual – $36,880
- Average hourly – $17.73
- Top-10th annual – $58,880
- Top-10th hourly – $28.31
Salary and employment data from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2016.