Legal - Microblog
The Legal occupation profiles compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in May 2016 and modified in March 2017) include specific information about nine distinct occupational job types.
Explore the qualifications and nature of each job type through links on this page and throughout the site.
Of these nine job types, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has designated the following as having a “Bright Outlook” status, meaning they are projected to display “Rapid Growth” and/or “Numerous Job Openings” during the period between 2016-2026. “Rapid Growth” means the category is projected to grow faster than average (employment increase of 10% or more), and “Numerous Job Openings” is defined as projected to have 100,000 or more job openings during this time period.
Fast Facts: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) estimates that 1,075,520 are employed in this occupational group earning the “mean annual wage” (as defined below) of $105,980.
If you are interested in assessing long-term trends and comparing the Bureau’s annual surveys beginning in 1988 see here.
In general, the “mean” is the sum of the total values (e.g., wages) in the data set or survey divided by number of values (while the “median” is the middle value in same the sequence. The term “mean annual wage” (or “MAW”) is calculated by multiplying the mean hourly wage as determined by the BLS by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours. So, for example, the Legal group’s mean hourly wage of $50.95, multiplied by 2,080, results in the mean annual wage of $105,980.
Did you know? Three of the Top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation are in Florida: #2 Tallahassee, FL (20.31 per 1,000 jobs), #5 Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division (15.04 per 1,000) and #8 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL Metropolitan Division (14.10 per 1,000).
Highest Paid (mean annual wage)
Lowest Paid (from the lowest)
For the entire list of mean annual wages for this occupation (from highest to lowest), see here.
Sources: In addition to specific citations noted, supplementary source materials include the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Highest to Lowest Paid Salary (Full List)
By the Numbers: The complete list from the Highest to the Lowest paid:
|Job Title (# of members)
||Annual Mean Wage
|1. Lawyers (619,530)
|2. Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates (27,210)
|3. Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, & Hearing Officers (14,540)
|4. Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators (6,300)
|5. Legal Support Workers, All Other (44,960)
|6. Judicial Law Clerks (13,410)
|7. Court Reporters (17,700)
|8. Paralegals and Legal Assistants (277,310)
|9. Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers (54,560)
What’s Hot: First, Lawyers at $139,880 and then Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates at $115,460 take the top spots on the Best Paid List in the Legal group. Perry Mason would also be amazed that Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers average $95,240.
What’s Not: In 2008, Judicial Law Clerks, headed up the Least Paid list at $40,580 as they awaited their recruitment to the top-paying law firms. That’s dramatically changed as at a MAW of $59,840, Clerks have relinquished the lowest paid spot to Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers, who are at $51,490.
Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here.
GPS Your Career
GPS Your Career: According to the BLS, the States with the highest employment level in the Legal occupational group are:
California (124,150 workers)
New York (108,300)
States with the highest concentration of jobs are:
District of Columbia (55.46 per 1,000 jobs)
New York (11.90)
The top paying States for this occupation are below. In a word, the District of Columbia dominates in terms of job concentration and top paying jobs in this occupation.
District of Columbia ($162,710 annual mean wage)
New York ($131,770)
New Jersey ($114,100)