The last several years have really thrown a lot of people for a loop. Millions of people lost their jobs and saw their investment accounts dwindle to zero. Meanwhile, many more struggled with underemployment working for far less than they needed to support their families. Though the economy has recovered quite a bit, many still aren’t where they were before the recession hit, and many more have taken time to reconsider their careers to try to avoid being in such a position again.
If you are one of the many people considering a second career, you should look into becoming trained as a paralegal. These legal assistants support lawyers by performing research, preparing documents, and more. It is fast-paced, exciting, and intellectually stimulating work. Here are just a few of the many reasons why becoming a paralegal might be a great choice for you:
Job are in Demand
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding on a second career is knowing what jobs are in demand, and paralegals will be in demand more than many other jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs will grow by 17 percent by 2022, which is faster than average for other industries.
We can never know what will happen 50 years from now — look at how the newspaper industry has been gutted in the last 10 years or so — but we do know that jobs for paralegals will stay in demand for a good while.
There is Good Salary Potential
You won’t get rich working as a paralegal, but you will make a nice living. The BLS reports that the average salary for paralegals was $46,990 per year in 2012, or about $22.59 per hour. If demand continues to rise, salaries could also rise as companies try to compete for top talent.
One of the best ways to increase your salary potential is to get the best training and experience that you can.
Training is Fast
The best news about becoming a paralegal is that you don’t have to slog through four years of college to start work. A paralegal degree can take as little as a year to finish. Depending on the program you choose, you may be able to take classes at nights, on the weekends, or even exclusively online. That flexibility allows you to complete your education while continuing to work and support your family.
Stop languishing in a career that doesn’t excite you and that has no potential for growth. Consider starting a second career as a paralegal and enjoy plenty of job opportunities in this growing field. You can work in a variety of law offices or even with a judge. Meanwhile, you will enjoy a nice salary and intellectually challenging work. Who knows? You may decide that you love the law so much you want to continue your education to become a lawyer.