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Paralegal Programs in South Carolina – Salary and Certification

Introduction
In the recent past, the demand for paralegals in institutions has increased tremendously. Paralegals can work in any sector of the economy that needs their services. In South Carolina, areas such as healthcare, corporate law, and litigation have had a high demand for paralegals. However, law firms offer a majority of these job vacancies. In the years 2010, The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that over 4000 paralegals were gainfully employed in South Carolina. These findings were part of a survey conducted by This is according to a study that was carried out by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Paralegal certification
Pushed by tight competition in the occupation, a majority of an aspiring paralegal are opting to pursue education to have an edge over competitors. Apart from gaining solid educational foundation, the education makes them better candidates that do not need a lot of on job training. For those seeking to pursue a career as a paralegal, they have options of pursuing a degree, diploma or certificate course.
Different institutions may offer studies in paralegal studies, but the curriculum may vary slightly from one institution to another. After completion of the course, successful candidates are issued with certificates. Hence, they become certified paralegals.
Currently, in South Carolina, there are four examining bodies offering certification courses to students pursuing the course. They include;

-National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offering PACE
-National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) providing PCC
-National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offering CLA/CP
-Association of Legal Professionals (NALS) providing PP

Requirements
The requirements to become a paralegal in South Carolina are flexible. Those intending to join the profession should most importantly profess the desire and passion for the job. In South Carolina, paralegals are expected to work with an attorney. The desire specifically essential for training and ensures that paralegals only execute orders and instructions as provided. It reduces lawsuits against an institution from competitors. In the process, paralegals are guided by ethics and confidentiality. One can accede to the profession by either learning on the job or may be required to pursue a diploma or degree in paralegal studies.

Paralegal training
In South Carolina at large, there is no particular kind of training one is expected to undergo. However, it is advisable that people intending to join the profession pursue a degree, diploma or certification in the field. What they pursue in class prepares them for the work environment and challenges that may arise.

Paralegal Schools
Most recently, paralegal schools in South Carolina have experienced an increase in applications for admission. More people are expressing a desire to join the profession. The need for more qualified paralegals has surpassed the number currently trained. Therefore, it implies that there are more vacancies that human resource available. The need to bridge the gap has seen schools absorbing more applicants to fill the deficit.
Greenville, Columbia and Charleston-metro in South Carolina recorded increased employment of paralegals in 2014. At the same time, areas around South Carolina equally experienced an influx in paralegals getting employed. Therefore, South Carolina is a model state in training and placement paralegals. For those who genuinely want to pursue the studies in South Carolina, there are many resources online that can guide them on where to finds the best schools.

Paralegal job outlook
Paralegal jobs are becoming the most lucrative in South Carolina. The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a projection that determined that between the year 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of paralegals will increase by 17%. The high growth could not be matched by other sectors of the economy. As a consequence, a majority of the leading firms are finding it both economical and convenient to hire paralegals compared to attorneys.

Paralegal Salary
Excellent remuneration is one of the pulling factor enticing individuals to consider a career as a paralegal. This is a fundamental factor to job seekers. Presently, paralegals have enjoyed lucrative job offers than ever before. These proposals include improved wages and an array of benefits which motivate them to be better employees. Apart from the salaries, career growth and friendly working environment are factors that give them satisfaction. Different employers offer different remunerations depending on workload, company work scales, and other relevant factors.
In the year 2014, The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) conducted research to establish an average compensation rate of paralegals. They found out that on average, a paralegal earned about $125 per hour. This was a 5% increase from 2012. Regarding remuneration as per work experience, the research established that lowest paid paralegal (1 – 5 years) took home about $38,867 while the highest (over 25 years) took home $58140. Therefore, this is enough evidence that this is one of the areas of the economy that is promising and is absorbing more people.

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