Become a teacher in South Carolina







180 days Length of School Year

Types of Teachers Needed:

Agriculture, Art, Business Education, Family Consumer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Media Specialist, Middle Level Education, Social Studies, Secondary Education, Special Education, Theatre

South Carolina Student Spotlight:

From Greenville, South Carolina, Tawio Barksdale is working on his Master of Arts in Teaching. He has been a teacher for over a decade. With a three-year stint as a financial adviser and having worked in Title 1 and inner-city schools, he wanted to further his education to more effectively teach urban youth. Currently a parent and a math coach at the Greenville County school district, he hopes to build his toolbox of effective teaching strategies. You can read his story at USC Rossier.

Become a teacher in South Carolina

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, South Carolina has 1,228 public elementary and secondary schools. There is diversity among the student population, with African American students accounting for about a third of the student population, as well as a significant number of Hispanic students. Almost half of the students qualify for free lunches, and about a seventh have Individualized Education Plans. School expenditures are lower than the national average, and pupil-to-teacher ratios are slightly higher, with the average class size around 16 students. Fourth and eighth grade reading, writing, science and math scores are slightly lower than the national average. Starting teachers make about $37,150, and the average salary is $47,050. Teachers have about 15 weeks of vacation a year and are eligible for tenure after two years of service. South Carolina does not have a high need for new teachers, except in critical content and geographical areas. The state offers loan forgiveness incentives for teachers in high-need schools and subject areas. Teacher shortage areas identified by the U.S. Department of Education include agriculture, art, business education, family/consumer science, foreign language, health, media specialist, middle level education (language arts, math, science, social studies), secondary education (English, math, science), special education and theater.



Student to Teacher Ratio


State Expenditure per Student


Obtaining a Teacher Certificate in South Carolina

There are several pathway options to becoming a teacher in South Carolina. The South Carolina State Board of Education describes the various routes. There are traditional routes in which candidates complete state-approved teacher education programs and take the appropriate Principles of Learning and Teaching, and Praxis II Content Area exams. There is an alternative pathway program in which students with bachelor's degrees that are not in education can enroll in an American Board of Certification of Teacher Excellence program that is approved by the state’s department of education. There is another program for career changers, called Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE), a competitive program that allows candidates with bachelor's degrees outside of education to get hands-on experience teaching while completing certification requirements. South Carolina also offers reciprocity to teachers who have standard licenses from other states.

Competency Exam

PPST, Praxis II

Special Certifications




Higher Education for South Carolina Teachers

South Carolina, like most states, offers higher salaries for teachers with master's degrees. A master’s degree can also offer better job opportunities for teachers; in a market that is not in high need of teachers, a graduate degree can set a candidate apart from the others. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 52.1 percent of South Carolina teachers have a master's degree, which is higher than the national average of 44.5 percent. South Carolina teachers have the option of attending traditional graduate schools full time, getting their master's degrees by taking classes on a part-time basis while working or opting for an online program like USC Rossier Online, which offers the greatest flexibility without compromising quality.

Salary bump for teachers with Masters


Percent of Masters Degrees or Better


Percent of Education Specialists


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