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Washington Paralegal Salaries

Question: in the last five years which state experienced a 19.3 percent increase in its average paralegal salary? Answer: Washington.

Today Washington offers the highest average paralegal salary in the continental US from all other states – $59,590 in 2016 according to the US Department of Labor. Those at the top of the ladder earning a 90th-percentile salary made $86,830 that year.

And with the best salary comes swelling job numbers. The Washington State Employment Security Department projects that over the decade between 2014 and 2024, there will be a yearly average of 190 paralegal job openings statewide. That’s a growth rate of 8.4 percent, higher than the national average for paralegals.

While prospects are good across the board, you’ll encounter regional differences throughout the state. Naturally the Seattle area offers a higher average salary for paralegals than the rest of the state. After all the Emerald City is bolstered by companies with large legal teams like Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Seattle is also home to the state’s four largest law firms – Perkins Coie, Davis Wright Tremaine, Lane Powell, and Foster Pepper – who collectively employ 3,126 attorneys (Internet Legal Research Group, 2015). It’s no wonder that 3,200 paralegals also work in the Seattle metro area (US Department of Labor, 2016).

Not to be outdone, Spokane’s 90th-percentile salary for paralegals is higher than Seattle’s. In fact it’s the highest in the state at $96,710. Home to technology companies like Itron and pharmaceutical product companies like Jubilant HollisterStier, it’s no coincidence that these sectors offer some of the highest average salaries for paralegals.

Because of its status as the headquarters of the state government, Olympia has a disproportionately high average paralegal salary for a city it’s size: $53,020 in 2016 (US Department of Labor).

In fact, the legal sector has a representation in all of Washington’s urban and rural areas through the state’s courts. In 2015 there were 266,991 civil cases heard in the state’s court systems, along with 245,080 criminal cases (National Center for State Courts, Conference of State Court Administrators).

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Paralegal Salaries in Washington

These numbers are taken from the US Department of Labor, 2016:

Bellingham:

  • Average annual – $48,260
  • Average hourly – $23.20
  • Top-10th annual – $64,730
  • Top-10th hourly – $31.12

Bremerton-Silverdale:

  • Average annual – $56,340
  • Average hourly – $27.09
  • Top-10th annual – $66,320
  • Top-10th hourly – $31.88

Kennewick-Richland:

  • Average annual – $43,730
  • Average hourly – $21.02
  • Top-10th annual – $65,150
  • Top-10th hourly – $31.32

Longview:

  • Average annual – $40,390
  • Average hourly – $19.42
  • Top-10th annual – $49,550
  • Top-10th hourly – $23.82

Mount Vernon-Anacortes:

  • Average annual – $47,100
  • Average hourly – $22.65
  • Top-10th annual – $61,250
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.45

Olympia-Tumwater:

  • Average annual – $53,020
  • Average hourly – $25.49
  • Top-10th annual – $67,420
  • Top-10th hourly – $32.41

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett:

  • Average annual – $64,810
  • Average hourly – $31.16
  • Top-10th annual – $94,580
  • Top-10th hourly – $45.47

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue:

  • Average annual – $64,150
  • Average hourly – $30.84
  • Top-10th annual – $92,960
  • Top-10th hourly – $44.69

Spokane-Spokane Valley:

  • Average annual – $52,960
  • Average hourly – $25.46
  • Top-10th annual – $96,710
  • Top-10th hourly – $49.46

Tacoma-Lakewood:

  • Average annual – $59,950
  • Average hourly – $28.82
  • Top-10th annual – $78,030
  • Top-10th hourly – $37.51

Wenatchee:

  • Average annual – $54,970
  • Average hourly – $26.43
  • Top-10th annual – $65,670
  • Top-10th hourly – $31.57

Yakima:

  • Average annual – $43,520
  • Average hourly – $20.92
  • Top-10th annual – $60,540
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.11

Rural Central Washington:

  • Average annual – $43,590
  • Average hourly – $20.96
  • Top-10th annual – $70,510
  • Top-10th hourly – $33.90

Rural Eastern Washington:

  • Average annual – $42,350
  • Average hourly – $20.36
  • Top-10th annual – $60,990
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.32

Rural Northwest Washington:

  • Average annual – $46,660
  • Average hourly – $22.43
  • Top-10th annual – $62,360
  • Top-10th hourly – $29.98

Rural Southwest Washington:

  • Average annual – $39,800
  • Average hourly – $19.14
  • Top-10th annual – $56,750
  • Top-10th hourly – $27.28

 

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bellingham WA
190
40210
Bremerton-Silverdale WA
140
42660
Kennewick-Pasco-Richland WA
50
44260
Mount Vernon-Anacortes WA
70
43260
Olympia WA
180
49550
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA
1640
54140
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett WA Metropolitan Division
3810
52770
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA
4430
52190
Spokane WA
420
42810
Tacoma WA Metropolitan Division
620
48600
Wenatchee WA
50
47650
Yakima WA
130
42180
Northwestern Washington nonmetropolitan area
60
46910
Southwestern Washington nonmetropolitan area
50
42610
Central Washington nonmetropolitan area
130
42200
Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area
60
41730

Salary and employment data has been compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2010.