The Salary of a Trainee Patent Attorney

Written by calla hummel
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The field of intellectual property law is growing, and many individuals with science backgrounds are flocking to high-paying patent attorney jobs. However, before bringing in a six-digit salary, most patent attorneys go through a trainee period of a few years in which they push papers and bring in salaries of around £39,000.


To become a patent attorney, a candidate must first have at least a bachelors in an approved scientific field, a law degree from an accredited school and a passing score on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s patent bar exam. After gaining these three credentials, aspiring patent attorneys can send out resumes, go to interviews and begin their careers.


Experience is an important factor in a patent attorney’s salary, hence trainee patent attorneys (those just out of school or with one or two years in the field and hence little professional experience) earn the lowest salaries. According to PayScale, trainee patent attorneys can expect a starting salary of around £39,000 a year.


Once through the first two years of employment, competent patent attorneys can expect to see their salaries grow. According to Pay Scale, many see raises and promotions within five years, after which the average salary jumps to £52,000. The average patent attorney salary is in the £65,000 range, suggesting plenty of opportunities for promotions throughout an attorney’s career.

Location and Education

Location and education influence how much an attorney makes in a year. Top firms in major cities routinely recruit top graduates and offer starting salaries above £97,500, considerably higher than the average £39,000. Furthermore, firms of any prestige in cities with high costs of living, such as New York and Los Angeles, generally pay salaries that are £3,250 to £6,500 above the national average. Trainee attorneys with graduate degrees in their scientific field can generally expect to be offered several thousand more a year than their counterparts with bachelors.

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