EKU Online > Online Paralegal Degrees & Certificates > Paralegal Career Opportunities

Start a Rewarding Career in the Legal Field

Paralegal careers are fast-paced and challenging. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed as paralegals and legal assistants will rise 14 percent through 2031, much faster than average for all occupations.

The Eastern Kentucky University paralegal program is one of approximately 260 ABA-approved paralegal programs (out of over 1,000 paralegal programs overall) in the United States. The ABA requires ABA-approved programs to go through a rigorous review process, ensuring that the programs meet the ABA’s stringent requirements for program quality.

This occupation attracts many applicants and competition for paralegal jobs is strong. Those with a degree or post-baccalaureate certificate from ABA-approved institutions, like Eastern Kentucky University, will have the best job prospects. According to BLS the median paralegal salary in 2021 was $56,230 per year or $27.03 per hour.

Industries Hiring Paralegal Graduates

EKU’s paralegal programs not only provide you with critical skills to help you excel, but also provide excellent job placement assistance. More than 90% of EKU paralegal graduates are employed or attending graduate or law school within six months of graduation. Paralegals find employment in:
  • Law offices and firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Corporate in-house counsel offices
  • State and local government/courthouses
  • Banks
  • Insurance agencies
  • Social and human services assistants
  • Local bar associations

Learn More

Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Career Success Starts with a College Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.

Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.

*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce

People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average

more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma

Paralegal Career Information


Median Annual Salary
14% growth increase thru 2031
Associate degree typically required for entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree is often preferred


Median Annual Salary
Updated April 2023
Highest paying cities for Paralegals in Kentucky:
Louisville, KY
Paducah, KY
Lexington, KY
Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

EKU Paralegal Program in the Workforce

Improve Salary Negotiation and Advancement Opportunities with a Paralegal Degree

In the paralegal field having a degree in paralegal studies can help set you apart from other job candidates. A degree in paralegal studies shows prospective employers that you are knowledgeable about the field and indicates that you already understand how law office’s function. These skillsets tell employers that you will be ready to start making meaningful contributions to the workplace right away and with less of a learning curve, making you a standout candidate.

This ability to stand out might make the difference when it comes to landing a great a job. However, the skills you learn as part of a paralegal studies program may also allow you to get a better salary. Paralegal degree programs provide you with many beneficial qualifications. One of those qualifications is a thorough understanding of contracts and negotiation tactics. This understanding, along with your degree and the qualifications it provides, can help you negotiate a better salary while also showcasing your skillsets.

Earning a degree shows dedication and perseverance. It also displays a solid work ethic. These qualities are very important in any workplace, but particularly so in the fast-paced and challenging legal field.

Earning a paralegal degree not only positions you to be a more confident and qualified paralegal, but also sets you apart from the competition and increases your opportunities for a rewarding find these days.

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “The EKU faculty were great and were able to answer all my questions.” – EKU Online Homeland Security student Dane Haukedahl
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
EKU Online Power E Logo

Apply To EKU Online