Updated August 18, 2021
Average General Counsel Salary
$112,000 yearly
$54.16 hourly

Entry level Salary
$65,000 yearly
$65,000
10 %
$112,000
Median
$194,000
90 %
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PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$194,000$16,167$93
75th Percentile$150,000$12,500$72
Average$112,651$9,388$54
25th Percentile$84,000$7,000$40
10th Percentile$65,000$5,417$31

Average General Counsel Salary By State

The darker areas on the map show where general counsels earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

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Average Salary:

General Counsel average salary by State

StateAvg. salaryHourly rateJob Count
Alabama$88,432$42.5216
Alaska$125,343$60.262
Arizona$102,319$49.1969
Arkansas$76,887$36.9628
California$142,986$68.744,595
Colorado$134,219$64.5399
Connecticut$119,991$57.69381
Delaware$100,450$48.29171
District of Columbia$122,202$58.75278
Florida$84,209$40.49235
Georgia$91,007$43.75121
Hawaii$78,644$37.814
Idaho$102,436$49.25204
Illinois$109,778$52.78165
Indiana$86,277$41.4853
Iowa$94,060$45.228
Kansas$81,546$39.2016
Kentucky$86,177$41.4318
Louisiana$79,739$38.3421
Maine$118,837$57.13152
Maryland$94,366$45.3753
Massachusetts$113,913$54.771,008
Michigan$90,548$43.5370
Minnesota$104,488$50.2382
Mississippi$81,737$39.303
Missouri$96,166$46.2360
Montana$85,032$40.889
Nebraska$94,620$45.49227
Nevada$110,325$53.0413
New Hampshire$105,736$50.83186
New Jersey$103,867$49.94797
New Mexico$117,264$56.388
New York$132,627$63.761,625
North Carolina$91,030$43.76121
North Dakota$104,350$50.17105
Ohio$90,607$43.5682
Oklahoma$85,939$41.3212
Oregon$115,548$55.55478
Pennsylvania$104,673$50.321,572
Rhode Island$100,128$48.14138
South Carolina$69,811$33.5636
South Dakota$94,981$45.6680
Tennessee$87,390$42.0132
Texas$118,344$56.90255
Utah$98,849$47.5238
Vermont$114,873$55.2348
Virginia$114,744$55.17114
Washington$142,861$68.68854
West Virginia$90,057$43.301
Wisconsin$101,368$48.7340
Wyoming$87,558$42.1022

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Highest Paying Cities For General Counsel

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CityAvg. salaryHourly rate
San Francisco, CA$175,468$84.36
Vancouver, WA$163,812$78.76
Lakewood, CO$144,383$69.41
New York, NY$142,244$68.39
Washington, DC$126,775$60.95
Austin, TX$126,188$60.67

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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How much does a General Counsel make?

  • The average General Counsel makes $112,651 in the United States.
  • The average hourly pay for a General Counsel is $54.16.
  • The average entry-level General Counsel salary is $65,000.
  • Highest paying states for General Counsel are California ($142,986), Washington ($142,861), Colorado ($142,986) and New York ($142,986).
  • Highest paying cities for General Counsel are San Francisco, CA ($175,468), Vancouver, WA, Lakewood, CO, New York, NY and Washington, DC.
  • General Counsels on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $65,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $194,000.
  • The best-paid 25% made $150,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25$ made $84,000
  • Industries with the highest General Counsel salaries are Technology, Manufacturing and Telecommunication.

Average General Counsel Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location
    YearAvg. salaryHourly rate% Change
    2022$113,000$54.16+1.4%
    2021$111,000$53.42+0.9%
    2020$110,000$52.93+2.0%
    2019$108,000$51.88+0.7%
    2018$107,000$51.50+0.6%

    How Much Do General Counsels Make In Different Industries?

    As we previously stated, General Counsel salaries can vary depending on the industry. In fact, our data shows that Technology, Manufacturing, and Telecommunication companies tend to offer much higher salaries for General Counsels. For example, General Counsels make a whopping average salary of $127,397 while working for Technology companies. Meanwhile, other people in this field are making $117,304 at Manufacturing companies and $108,632 at Telecommunication companies. But General Counsels may want to avoid working in the Government industry as it offers the lowest average salary at $74,423.
    RankIndustryAverage General Counsel SalaryGeneral Counsel Salary Range
    1Technology
    $127,397
    $54k
    $160k
    2Manufacturing
    $117,304
    $54k
    $160k
    3Telecommunication
    $108,632
    $54k
    $160k
    4Health Care
    $104,171
    $54k
    $160k
    5Finance
    $93,282
    $54k
    $160k
    6Government
    $74,423
    $54k
    $160k

    High Paying General Counsel Jobs

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Contract Attorney

    Avg. salary: $82,804

    A contract attorney is responsible for handling their clients' legal issues and settling cases by researching, analyzing, and collecting essential files that would support the clients' claims. Contract attorneys usually work for private clients without being permanently employed in a law firm or government agency. Contract attorneys represent clients at court, assist with law proceedings, and advise clients for the necessary legal procedures. A contract attorney must have excellent communication and critical-thinking skills to manage client legal matters and expertise in traditional disciplines and processes.
    10,693 Contract Attorney Jobs
    Staff Attorney

    Avg. salary: $96,402

    Staff Attorneys are legal employees who work for a variety of organizations, often as full-time employees. They use their legal expertise to help deal with day-to-day legal issues with which their organization needs regular assistance.
    73,909 Staff Attorney Jobs
    Attorney

    Avg. salary: $108,074

    Generally, an attorney's responsibility is to advise the client with an ongoing lawsuit on the legal procedures and provide strategies to resolve the case as early as possible. An attorney compiles necessary documents or any records for appeal and client's defense. Attorneys must acquire strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to mediate disputes and settle pending litigation for the client's best interest. In some cases, an attorney's procedure depends on any evidence and research presented during the trial period. An attorney is expected to present clients on legal proceedings, seeking justice and justifying the law.
    11,296 Attorney Jobs
    Lawyer

    Avg. salary: $121,346

    A lawyer is a legal practitioner who specializes in understanding and interpreting laws and other legal matters. Their responsibilities revolve around providing legal counseling and advice, representing clients in different kinds of court proceedings, conducting research, collecting evidence, and coordinating with various experts. A lawyer must also manage and oversee the performance of assistants, paralegals, and other team members. Furthermore, there are instances when a lawyer must draft or manage documents such as contracts, trusts, deeds, and wills, assisting clients as needed.
    4,544 Lawyer Jobs
    Attorney At Law

    Avg. salary: $97,859

    An Attorney at Law is responsible for preparing and examining contracts involving leases, licenses, purchases, sales, etc. They advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, or legal rights and obligations.
    7,939 Attorney At Law Jobs
    Legal Extern

    Avg. salary: $69,822

    Legal externs are law students who took the opportunity to do on-the-job training at a law firm. Instead of monetary compensation, they receive academic credits. Legal externs primarily engage in job shadowing. They are usually assigned mentors in the law firm, and they would shadow their mentors in their daily routines. Legal externs are exposed to the actual work done by lawyers. Legal externs are involved in cases, providing insights while building a solid case for their client, giving advice to clients, and representing clients under the supervision of the actual lawyers in the firm. They are usually not given administrative or clerical tasks since they are expected to do more tasks directly related to being a lawyer.
    10,129 Legal Extern Jobs
    Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
    Contract Attorney$82,804$6,900$39.8110,693
    Staff Attorney$96,402$8,034$46.3573,909
    Attorney$108,074$9,006$51.9611,296
    Lawyer$121,347$10,112$58.344,544
    Attorney At Law$97,859$8,155$47.057,939
    Legal Extern$69,822$5,819$33.5710,129
    Job Openings

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    Which Companies Pay General Counsels The Most?

    If you insist on knowing when your check is going to come and for how much, then you'd be better off working for companies like Citigroup and PricewaterhouseCoopers as they offer the highest salaries for General Counsels.
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    Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

    Recently Added General Counsel Salaries

    Location
    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    State of IndianaGeneral CounselPlainfield, IN12/31/2021$47,476
    JBS USAAssociate Corporate Counsel-Safety & HealthGreeley, CO12/30/2021$90,000
    Texas Department of Criminal JusticeAttorney I, II, III-Office of The General CounselAustin, TX12/30/2021$61,800
    Natural Resources Defense CouncilAssistant Corporate CounselWashington, DC12/30/2021$140,000
    University of TexasCmhc General Counselor (LPC, SW, Psychologist)Austin, TX12/28/2021$60,990
    Work for IndianaDeputy General CounselIndianapolis, IN12/28/2021$55,000
    Farm Credit ServicesDeputy General CounselSanta Rosa, CA12/28/2021$189,565
    The San Mateo County Bar AssociationAssistant Corporate Counsel, Labor & EmploymentNew York, NY12/28/2021$140,000
    Quality Manager In Dallas, TexasCorporate CounselBroomfield, CO12/28/2021$130,000
    Arrow ElectronicsCorporate Compliance CounselDenver, CO12/28/2021$135,000

    Average General Counsel Salary by Demographic

    General Counsel Gender Pay Gap

    male-income
    Male Income
    $117,235
    female-income
    Female Income
    $110,375
    GenderIncome
    Male$117,235
    Female$110,375
    Median General Counsel Income by Race
    Asian General Counsels have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Black or African American General Counsels have the lowest average salary at $108,234.
    $125,000
    $100,000
    $75,000
    $50,000
    $25,000
    $0
    White
    Black or African American
    Asian
    Hispanic or Latino
    EthnicitySalary
    White$115,584
    Black or African American$108,234
    Asian$121,085
    Hispanic or Latino$109,589
    Average General Counsel Salary by Education Level
    $120,000
    $96,000
    $72,000
    $48,000
    $24,000
    $0
    Master's Degree
    Doctorate Degree
    EducationSalary
    Master's Degree$117,235
    Doctorate Degree$111,134