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You might think that lawyers work only, or mostly, in the legal occupations industry. But that’s not true. Lawyers actually work in a wide variety of industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Using the latest occupational data from the BLS on lawyers, we’ve analyzed and compiled a round-up of the average lawyer salary by industry in the U.S. Read on for a full breakdown of in which industries (as categorized by the BLS) lawyers make the most money, and where they’re making the least, in 2022.

20 Industries Where Lawyers Earn the Most Money in 2022

The BLS categorizes occupations into broad industry sectors, such as “Sector 53 – Real Estate and Rental and Leasing”, and then further into more detailed industries, such as “Rental and Leasing Services (5322, 5323, and 5324 only)”, with the first two digits “53” denoting this falls under the Sector 53 – Real Estate and Rental and Leasing industry sector. Here, we’ll look at the more detailed level of industries within industry sectors.

Bear in mind, the national average annual wage for lawyers is $148,030. Here’s a look at the top-20 industries in which the average lawyer salary is the highest in 2022:

  1. Newspaper Publishers: $235,630
  2. Other Information Services: $235,280
  3. Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences: $234,780
  4. Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing: $227,290
  5. Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing: $220,720
  6. Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing: $220,270
  7. Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers: $216,290
  8. Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing: $214,330
  9. Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing: $209,530
  10. Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing: $208,690
  11. Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses: $207,200
  12. Oil and Gas Extraction: $206,470
  13. Monetary Authorities-Central Bank: $206,160
  14. Cable and Other Subscription Programming: $205,930
  15. Spectator Sports: $205,810
  16. Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing: $204,600
  17. Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods: $202,020
  18. Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services: $201,670
  19. Specialty hospitals – State government-owned: $201,620
  20. Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures: $201,180

Across all 20 of these industries, the average lawyer salary is well above the corresponding national annual average for lawyers of $148,030. Here are some notable insights:

  • The top-two best paying industries for lawyers are both in the Information sector — Newspaper Publishers and Other Information Services.
  • The third-highest paying industry for lawyers — Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences — falls under the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services industry sector.
  • Six of the top-paying industries for lawyers fall under the Manufacturing industry sector.
  • The Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses industry, in which the average lawyer salary is $207,200, is part of the Nonstore Retailers subsector of the larger Retail Trade industry sector.
  • The Oil and Gas Extraction industry is hardly home only to drillers and petroleum engineers as shown by the average lawyer salary in this industry of $206,470.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, the average lawyer salary for those in the industry of Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures, ranks among the top-10 highest-paying industry, with an annual mean wage of $201,180.
  • One of the more unique industries with high average lawyer salaries is the Specialty hospitals – State government-owned industry, with an average annual wage of $201,620.


10 Industries Where Lawyers Earn the Least Money in 2022

On the other end of the spectrum, the industries in which lawyers earn the least money include the following:

  1. Individual and Family Services: $79,420
  2. Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services: $82,390
  3. Other Amusement and Recreation Industries: $94,680
  4. State Government, excluding schools and hospitals: $101,110
  5. Business Support Services: $102,130
  6. State Government, including schools and hospitals: $102,570
  7. Social Advocacy Organizations: $102,600
  8. Other Specialty Trade Contractors: $104,440
  9. Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities: $104,540
  10. Temporary Help Services: $105,400

Table of the Average Lawyer Salary in All Industries in 2022

Source: Forbes

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