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Become a Teacher in South Carolina

South Carolina Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $50,510
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $53,960
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15


Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics, and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/11/2018

This page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in South Carolina.

To become a certified teacher in South Carolina, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor's degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a South Carolina teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationMap.com with new information on a regular basis.


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Step One: Prerequisite Coursework

The first step in becoming a certified teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level preference and earning your bachelor's degree.

Here are some examples:

  • Early childhood education major
  • Elementary education major
  • Secondary education major (requires a specific subject major)

All states require that certified teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. South Carolina, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.

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Step Two: Teacher Preparation

Next, you'll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Visit South Carolina's Department of Education's Approved Educator Preparation Programs page to find a state-approved teacher preparation program in South Carolina. After, make sure to fill out an approved program verification form to verify the completion of an approved program.

Typically accredited teacher preparation programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork.The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning techniques in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include onsite observations, student teaching, and internships.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Click here to learn about obtaining your alternative teacher certification in South Carolina.

South Carolina officially recognizes ABCTE certification as a route to earning your state teacher certification. To learn more about scholarships for South Carolina teachers, visit our South Carolina Teacher Scholarships page.

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Step Three: Required Tests

The next step in earning your South Carolina teaching license is completing three Praxis assessments: Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE), Principles of Learning & Teaching (PLT) and Content Area assessment(s) in their area of licensure.

Visit the South Carolina State Department of Education for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.


Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
156 CORE: Reading All areas of licensure are required to successfully pass all three (3) CORE subtests in order to gain entrance into an SC Teacher Preparation Program
158 CORE: Writing All areas of licensure are required to successfully pass all three (3) CORE subtests in order to gain entrance into an SC Teacher Preparation Program
142 CORE: Mathematics All areas of licensure are required to successfully pass all three (3) CORE subtests in order to gain entrance into an SC Teacher Preparation ProgramPreparation Program



Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
157 PLT: Early Childhood Early Childhood
160 PLT: Grades K-5 Elementary
160 PLT: Grades 5-9 Middle Grades
157 PLT: Grades 7-12 Secondary

Content Area Assessment(s)

Content Area Assessment(s)
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
160 Education of Young Children Early Childhood Education
161 Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications Elementary Education
164 Middle School English Language Arts Language Arts
165 Middle School Mathematics Mathematics
150 Middle School Science Science
155 Middle School Social Studies Social Studies


Content Area Assessment(s) - Secondary Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Secondary Certification
162 Music: Content & Instruction Adv. Fine Arts: Music
148 Biology & General Science Biology
152 Chemistry, Physics, and General Science Chemistry
153 Social Studies: Content & Integration Economics, Geography, Government, History, Social Studies, Sociology
168 English Language Arts: Content & Analysis English
164 Health Education Health
150 Mathematics: Content Knowledge Mathematics
137 Mathematics: Proofs, Models, & Problems Pt. 1 Mathematics
154 Psychology Psychology
157 Theatre Theatre


Content Area Assessment(s) - Special Education Certification
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Special Education Certification
160 Special Education: Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Deafness & Hearing Impaired
159 Special Education: Preschool/Early Childhood Early Childhood Special Education
151 Special Education: Core Knowledge & Applications Emotional Disabilities
154 Special Education: Teaching Students with Behavior Disorders/Emotional Disturbances Emotional Disabilities
151 Special Education: Core Knowledge & Applications Learning Disabilities
151 Special Education: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Learning Disabilities
151 Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications Mental Disabilities
143 Special Education: Teaching Students with Mental Retardation Mental Disabilities
158 Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications Multi-Categorical Special Education
158 Special Education: Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications Severe Disabilities
163 Special Education: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments Visually Impaired


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Step Four: Application Requirements

It’s necessary to submit an application to continue with the licensure process in South Carolina. Go to the South Carolina State Department of Education’s Aspiring Educators page for more information. Please make sure you have all your supporting documents. Here's a complete checklist of items first-time applicants will need to submit with their license application.

Non-Refundable Fee

  • You have the option to submit an online credit card fee payment, check, or money order for $105.00 to cover the processing of your application materials. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the "South Carolina Department of Education".
  • The $105.00 fee is Non-Refundable and does not include an FBI fingerprint processing fee. The application fee for PACE applicants is due when eligibility is confirmed.


  • All certification processes require official college transcripts from each college you attended.
  • Official transcripts can be accepted through two methods: mail or email. Transcripts sent by mail must arrive in an official sealed envelope. Transcripts sent by email must come from the college or university's registrar's office and be supported by Parchment, Scrip-Safe, or Credential Solutions.
  • You can send in electronic transcripts to transcripts@ed.sc.gov.

If you choose to mail your transcript(s), please use the following address:

South Carolina Department of Education
Division of Federal, State and Community Resources
Office of Educator Services
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29223

Score Reports

  • Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey, to request that an official copy of your teacher examination scores be submitted directly to the Office of Educator Certification. ETS can provide scores that are within 10 years old. ETS no longer provides sealed score reports directly to examinees.
  • You may contact ETS by calling 800-772-9476 or accessing their website at www.ets.org.
  • South Carolina test requirements can be found here.

Electronic Fingerprint Process

  • All certification applicants must also complete an FBI Electronic Fingerprint process In-state applicants can schedule an appointment for fingerprinting by contacting L-1 Enrollment Services.

College Recommendation Form

  • This form verifies completion of an approved teacher education program. If applicable, complete the personal data portion of the recommendation form and send it to the college where you completed your teacher preparation, including student teaching. The college will return it to you for inclusion in your submission package.

Copy of Social Security Card (US)

  • Can be a photocopy and should be faxed or submitted via US Mail. Copies of the social security card are NOT to be submitted by email.

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South Carolina Certification Reciprocity

South Carolina will accept certain teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa and Minnesota. If you would like to teach in another state with your pre-existing license, check the South Carolina State Department of Education’s Out of State Teachers page to find out more about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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South Carolina Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: South Carolina provides loan forgiveness support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools and teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: South Carolina has strong induction policies in place including its Adept System.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $50,510
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $53,960
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Additional Resources

Educator Certification Office
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29223
803-734-8500 – Contact the South Carolina Department of Education

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