Aviation lawyers represent individuals who have been injured or families of those who have lost loved ones in an airplane crash. They also represent airlines and airports in these types of cases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 561,350 individuals employed as lawyers in the United States in 2010. However, aviation law is a highly specialized field that only a small handful of lawyers practice. Salaries for these lawyers are similar to the salaries earned by other attorneys.
The average salary of an aviation lawyer was $96,000 per year as of July 2011, according to Simply Hired. This is less than the average salary for most lawyers in other fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for other attorneys nationwide was $129,440 per year as of May 2010.
Placing the average salary of an aviation lawyer within the pay scale for all other lawyers nationwide provides some additional context for understanding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for lawyers nationwide was $112,760 per year in 2010. This places aviation lawyers in the lower 50 percent for all attorneys in terms of annual salary. The bureau also indicates that the middle 50 percent of all lawyers made salaries ranging from $75,200 to $165,470 per year. Although in the lower 50 percent, aviation lawyers still fell within the middle of the attorney pay scale.
Location also provides an indication of what an attorney can expect to make. According to Simply Hired, aviation lawyers made an average salary of $88,000 per year in Florida, as of July 2011. In contrast, aviation attorneys in New York made an average annual salary of $113,000 per year. Similarly, those working in the state of California made an average salary of $109,000 per year. Aviation attorneys in Illinois made an average salary of $101,000 per year and those in Texas averaged $90,000 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the rate of job growth for lawyers will continue at an average rate of 13 percent from 2008 to 2018. The bureau indicates that the need for legal representation will increase with the continued growth of the population. The bureau indicates more rapid growth for fields like health care law and other specialties, but provides no specific indication of the job market for aviation attorneys.