How to Become a Teacher in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the Department of Education prides themselves for having schools led by effective teachers and principals. Here are the steps to help you become an educator in the Palmetto State.
Choose What You Want to Teach
Do you see yourself as an elementary school teacher? Perhaps you prefer working with older children in high school? You may even prefer working with students with special needs? Before you become a teacher in South Carolina, you must think about what type of students and subject(s) you would like to teach so that you could work towards the correct licensure. If you are having trouble deciding, visit the South Carolina State Department of Education for information on teachers, curriculum, schools, and students in the state.
Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in South Carolina
As with other states, South Carolina requires that certified teachers possess a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and complete a teacher preparation program from an accredited institution. If you do not have a Bachelor's Degree yet, you will most likely be able to complete the requirements for a Bachelor's Degree and teacher preparation program simultaneously through a joint program. Joint programs are designed for people who know from early on that they want to become a teacher.
Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
To teach in a public school, teachers are required to possess an Educator License. This license is traditionally obtained through the completion of a teacher preparation program.
Candidates can complete on-site or online teacher preparation programs. The teacher preparation program should be approved by the state and accredited. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is responsible for accrediting schools in South Carolina. It is important that candidates confirm that their school of choice is accredited by the official agencies.
These programs generally consist of college coursework and fieldwork. The coursework usually covers pedagogy, subject-based teaching methods, differentiated instructional strategies, technology integration, and more. The fieldwork portion of the program usually requires candidates to conduct field observations and complete student teaching or an internship. Usually, successful student teaching includes working with a mentor teacher in order to prepare and execute lessons based on the needs of the students in the host classroom. Most times, candidates will be required to put together a portfolio at the end of the student teaching period.
As mentioned earlier, this step is commonly as part of a Bachelor's Degree program. However, if you already have a Bachelor's Degree, you can complete this program through an alternative or post-baccalaureate program. Many online or traditional schools even offer joint Master's Degree programs.
Alternative Teacher Certification in South Carolina
South Carolina offers several alternative pathways to licensure. Some paths lead to full, professional certification while others offer a temporary opportunity to teach in public schools.
Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE)
PACE (Program of Alternative Certification for Educators) gives qualified individuals an opportunity to teach in a public school as they complete all the requirements for professional certification in South Carolina. While in this program, candidates receive support from a mentor teacher as they gain experience in the classroom. In addition, individuals participate in seminars and training sessions.
The Adjunct Teaching Certificate
The Adjunct Teaching Certificate allows for experts to share their knowledge in a specific field in the classroom. Those who qualify for this Adjunct Certificate can teach courses worth up to two credits in their content area over the course of an academic year. It is important to note that this certificate cannot be converted into a professional teacher certificate.
Teacher Certification Reciprocity in South Carolina
If you have an out of state license, you may be eligible for a South Carolina teaching certificate if you can present a valid out-of-state license. Part of the requirements for a reciprocal license is that the subject(s) documented on the license must be considered comparable to subjects normally issued in South Carolina. In addition, the out-of-state applicant will be required to submit the subject area examination score(s) as well as the general professional knowledge (pedagogy) score that was required for certification in the state in which the candidate was initially licensed.
Pass the Required Tests for South Carolina
Basic Skills Test
To become a licensed teacher in South Carolina, candidates must pass the CORE Academic Skills for Educators exam. This series assesses individuals in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.
In addition, individuals wanting to become certified to teach in SouthCarolina should pass the Praxis II: Subject Assessments/Specialty Area examinations. The subject area assessments should be taken in the desired area of licensure.
Apply for your South Carolina Teacher Certification
Next, applicants must send in the required documents to the Office of Certification. The following is required:
- Submit official application (can apply online)
- Non-refundable application fee
- Official score reports should be sent to the Office of Certification from ETS.
- Clear status of criminal records check by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and a national criminal records check supported by fingerprints conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
South Carolina Department of Education
1429 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Find a Teaching Job in South Carolina
Once your application is processed, you will be ready to begin your career as an effective educator in the state of South Carolina.
Public Schools in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Education has created the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) in order to effectively manage employee applications. CERRA also helps manages employer job listings with the goal to recruit and retain high-quality teachers to the state. CERRA's website grants users instant access to all the teacher job postings within the state.
Like most other areas of the country, CERRA places high priority on filling shortages in schools.
Professional Organizations for Teachers
Upon being hired, teachers may elect to join a non-union professional organization such as the SC Education Association (SCEA) or the Palmetto State Teachers Association. These associations focus on professional networking and development for teachers' practice.
Retirement Benefits for Teachers in SC
Teachers who have reached retirement age and who are no longer actively teaching are eligible to begin withdrawing funds from their pension plans managed through the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). While contributions to the fund are mandatory, employers contribute on average 3% more than individuals for pension funding.
Private Schools in South Carolina
Teachers who wish to work outside the public school system are encouraged to apply to South Carolina's 443 private schools. Often times, private schools have smaller class sizes. Many educators prefer smaller class sizes as it allows teachers to effectively differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students. Note that salary, benefits, and advancement opportunities may be significantly different than those of the public system.
Teacher Shortage in South Carolina by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)
The following list of teacher shortage areas in South Carolina has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year
- Business Education
- Computer Programming
- English as a Second Language
- Family/Consumer Science
- Foreign Language
- Industrial Technology Education
- Media Specialist
- Middle Level Education
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Secondary Education
- Special Education
Number of Public School Teachers By Grade
The table below lists the number of public school teachers in South Carolina by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers||975|
|Middle & High School Teachers||14,432|
Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013
Number of Private School Teachers By Grade
There are more than 340 private schools with an estimated 4,400 private school teachers in South Carolina. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Elementary School Teachers||1,216|
|Middle & High School Teachers||105|
|Combined K-12 School Teachers||3,097|
Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012
Continue Your Education and Professional Development
Throughout the United States, teachers, support staff, and administrators have contributed to a strong culture of professional excellence. In addition to ethics and accountability principles, teachers are committed to engaging in ongoing professional development throughout their career. Most often offered by colleagues at the local, state, or national level, professional development helps teachers support student academic achievement in the classroom as well as helping teachers accomplish their career and salary goals. The most sought-after professional development offerings are those that are strongly data and research-based and delivered by experienced educators.
Professional Development in South Carolina
The state of South Carolina assists teachers by providing the Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) system of professional growth and development. This system supports teachers' professional growth throughout the duration of their career. The system has three foundational documents for teachers, including the professional growth and development plan guidance document, competence-building professional growth planning, and research and development professional growth planning. Teachers with further inquiries are encouraged to meet with their principal in order to begin their professional growth planning.
Employment and Teacher Salary in South Carolina
New public school teachers in the state of South Carolina make an average of $32,306 per year. Salary steadily increases as years of experience and professional certifications accrue. Regardless of this competitive wage, South Carolina is still experiencing teaching shortages in the elementary and secondary panels - there is always room for dedicated and dynamic teachers to teach the state's 727,186 students. Teachers seeking employment are encouraged to apply first to districts with high student enrolment like Greenville County School District, Charleston County School District, and Horry County Schools.
Salary Range$38,940 - $66,700
Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $38,940 to $66,700 a year in South Carolina. There are around twenty thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||3,260||$51,430|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||2,530||$45,230|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)
Salary Range$44,240 - $86,610
English teachers have a salary range between $44,240 to $86,610 a year in South Carolina, with over 1,260 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.
English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||450||$58,080|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||90||$57,830|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)
Salary Range$40,850 - $70,050
As a high school teacher in South Carolina you can expect to make between $40,850 - $70,050. There are around fourteen thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.
High School Teachers
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||2,430||$49,600|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||1,910||$52,720|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)
Salary Range$49,730 - $97,600
In South Carolina, a history teacher's salary may range from $49,730 to $97,600. There are around 310 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.
History Teachers (College Professor)
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||80||$76,690|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||60||$69,690|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)
Salary Range$38,010 - $68,450
Kindergarten teachers in South Carolina, can earn between $38,010 to $68,450 a year. There are around two thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||330||$54,410|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||300||$42,890|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)
Salary Range$38,010 - $95,780
As a math teacher in South Carolina you can expect to make between $38,010 - $95,780. South Carolina is home to about forty thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.
Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||220||$68,630|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||60||$72,220|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)
Salary Range$20,610 - $73,820
P.e. teachers have a salary range between $20,610 to $73,820 a year in South Carolina. South Carolina is home to about three thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.
Coaches and Scouts
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||560||$35,000|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||510||$59,570|
|Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway||130||$37,170|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)
Salary Range$18,120 - $49,730
In South Carolina, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $18,120 to $49,730, with over 4,320 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||1,050||$27,620|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||710||$20,910|
|Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway||240||$23,810|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)
Salary Range$29,580 - $107,330
As a school administrator in South Carolina you can expect to make between $29,580 - $107,330. South Carolina is home to about four thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||140||$42,780|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||130||$56,560|
|Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway||40||$39,940|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)
Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||500||$82,860|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||450||$74,910|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)
Salary Range$36,890 - $71,990
School counselors in South Carolina, can earn between $36,890 to $71,990 a year, with over 4,510 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||580||$49,780|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||550||$55,600|
|Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway||120||$57,830|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)
Salary Range$43,470 - $72,770
School librarians have a salary range between $43,470 to $72,770 a year in South Carolina. South Carolina is home to about two thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||380||$50,000|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||300||$57,750|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)
Salary Range$41,610 - $70,590
In South Carolina, a special education teacher's salary may range from $41,610 to $70,590. South Carolina is home to about five thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?
Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||430||$46,890|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||380||$54,990|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)
Special Education Teachers (Middle School)
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||160||$56,550|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||-||$47,360|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Middle School) (SOC Code: 25-2053)
Special Education Teachers (High School)
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||350||$47,130|
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||310||$57,010|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)
Salary Range$17,150 - $34,020
In South Carolina, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $17,150 to $34,020. South Carolina is home to about nine thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||1,460||$19,210|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||1,170||-|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)
Salary Range$17,590 - $32,260
In South Carolina, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $17,590 to $32,260. There are around thirteen thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?
|Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville||1,610||$23,940|
|Greenville, Mauldin, Easley||1,430||$19,930|
|Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway||1,020||$31,950|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)
Top School Districts Supporting Teachers in South Carolina
Teachers work hard every day and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in South Carolina that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 69 school districts in South Carolina were analyzed with the top 20 school districts being featured below. The school districts were scored on several factors which represent how well a school district supports their teachers.
For more information on school district rankings, see our methodology page: http://www.teacher.org/school-district-ranking-methodology.
Continued List of School Districts in South Carolina
Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey