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Paralegal Programs in Nebraska – Salary and Certification

A Bright Outlook for Paralegals

People will always get sick, and people will always have legal disputes with one another. For this reason, health care and law tend to be hot job markets regardless of how the rest of the economy is faring. By becoming a paralegal, you can take advantage of this trend and work in a growing and rewarding career field.
Becoming a paralegal in Nebraska is fairly simple and will differ depending on an applicant’s prospective employer’s requirements. While some may require an Associate’s or even a Bachelor’s Degree, many employers require only a high school diploma followed by some basic on-the-job training and administrative computer skills.

Paralegal certification
Currently there is no specific certification required in Nebraska for paralegals. However, getting a degree, diploma, or certificate will help secure employment in this competitive job market.

Requirements
Each employer sets his or her own requirements, but an applicant can expect to need excellent computer skills, organizational skills, the ability to conduct research, and good written communication skills as he/she likely will be drafting legal documents and correspondence.

Paralegal training
Paralegal Training can take place on a college campus or in an office setting with on-the-job training. Even with a degree, individual employers will want to train their paralegals to their specifications and standards. But having a solid educational background may help set up an applicant for success and make his or her resume more attractive.
The Nebraska Department of Labor reports that just over a third of job openings for paralegals require a Bachelor’s Degree at minimum. 25% want an Associate’s Degree, 25% require only a high school diploma or equivalent. And the remainder are looking for applicants with at least one year of college or vocational or technical training.

Paralegal schools
The following Nebraska schools offer degrees in Paralegal Studies:
-College of St. Mary (Omaha), Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Postbaccalaureate Certificate
-Kaplan University (Lincoln and Omaha Campuses), Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Postbaccalaureate Certificate
– Metropolitan Community College (Omaha), Postsecondary Awards/Certificates/Diplomas, and Associate’s Degree
-ITT Technical Institute (Omaha), Associate’s Degree
-Doane College, Lincoln Grand Island and Master (Lincoln), Bachelor’s Degree

It is important that applicants investigate each program thoroughly in order to make sure that the program meets the requirements of the prospective employer.

Paralegal job outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for paralegals between 2014-2024 is slightly above the national average for job growth. It is expected that the job outlook for paralegals and legal assistants from 2012-2022 will increase by a whopping 17%. Understandably, most openings will occur in more urban areas such as Lincoln and Omaha. Still, there is room for growth in this field state-wide.

Paralegal salary
Paralegals in Nebraska make a median salary of $41,463, with wages being highest in the Lincoln and Omaha job markets. An entry level paralegal can expect to make just under $32,000 a year whereas an experienced worker may clear north of $51,000.

Becoming a paralegal in Nebraska is a viable career decision in today’s economy. As the legal system becomes more complex nationwide, lawyers are constantly in need of solid support from well-trained staff. As stated on the Department of Labor website, the paralegal field has a bright outlook for the future.