South Carolina Teaching Certification


South Carolina Ed. Statistics

Avg. Elem. Teacher Salary*$53,450
Avg. Sec. Teacher Salary*$56,730
Avg. Admin. Salary*$89,620
Teacher Retention (?)94%
Vacation Wks/Yr15

Learn how to become a teacher in South Carolina (or administrator). Choose the description of certification you are most interested in or situation that best describes you:

Getting Involved…

Investing in our future is vitally important and strangely difficult. In order to fight oppression from the greedy and power-hungry elite, to better our ways of life with advancing technology, and to increase our country’s overall views toward the concept of acceptance, we need education to be a priority. Learn how you can be a spoke in this terribly important wheel. See how South Carolina measures up to the rest of the country by viewing the percentage of state revenue going toward education in each state. (see State Education Spending vs. Overall State Revenue).

Step 1
Learn About Your Governor’s Track Record

Learn about your Governor’s views and voting record with regard to education. (see South Carolina Governor’s website).

Step 2
Give Your Knowledge Power By Voting

Hold your public servants accountable. It is our duty as residents of Alabama.

Help Make Education A Priority

Initial South Carolina Teaching Certification

The South Carolina State Department of Education is currently in the midst of developing a State Technology Plan for all its public schools in an effort to improve digital information and technology literacy among both teachers and students. Under what has come to be known as the South Carolina Educational Technology Plan, Digital Resources Enabling Achievement, the South Carolina Department of Education hopes to revise and develop an integrated technology plan as a foundation for preparing all students and staff in the state to use technology as an integrated tool. Find schools offering teaching certification programs in South Carolina.

Education Requirements

The South Carolina State Department of Education Office of Educator Certification, Recruitment and Preparation (803-734-8466) states that in order to become certified, applicants must first graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a state-approved teacher education program or a regionally accredited college or university.

If you attended a teacher education program at an out-of-state college or university, the South Carolina State Department of Education should approve your credits providing: 1) the college/university is regionally accredited, and 2) the program leads to initial teacher certification in that state.

If you graduated from a teacher education program outside of the United States, you must consult certification officials at one of the state-approved teacher education programs. They will evaluate your credentials and let you know if you are lacking in any area necessary for South Carolina teacher certification.

Certification Options

Types of teaching credentials issued in South Carolina include:

  • Initial Certificate – Valid for three years and issued when you meet initial certification requirements of education, examination and experience
  • Professional Certificate – Valid for five years and issued when you meet educational requirements in levels as follows:
    • Bachelor’s degree plus 18 hours of graduate credit
    • Master’s degree
    • Master’s degree plus 30 hours of graduate credit
    • Doctorate
  • Alternative Route Certificate – Valid for one year to graduates of a Program for Alternative Certification (PACE)
  • International Certificate – Valid for three years to international graduates with a bachelor’s degree and a major in a certifiable teaching area.
  • Internship Certificate – Valid for one year and issued to students enrolled in state-approved teacher education programs that have completed all bachelor’s degree requirements. This certification will allow you to complete the required teaching internship.
  • Temporary Certificate – Valid for one year and issued if you do not meet full certification requirements.


Click here for a brief summary of examination requirements for teacher certification in South Carolina.

Basic skills testing:

Before you can gain entrance into a South Carolina teacher education program, you must pass the Praxis I Basic Skills Exam in Reading (score of 715), Writing (173), and Math (172). Additionally, prior to certification you must pass the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching Exam for your area/grade level of certification.

Content area assessment testing:

Certification in a specific content area requires passing the corresponding Praxis II exam:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education (Grades K-6)
  • Middle School Education (Grades 5-9):
    • Middle Level Language Arts
    • Middle Level Science
    • Middle Level Mathematics
    • Middle Level Social Studies
  • Secondary Education (Grades 7-12):
    • Advanced Fine Arts – Music
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • English
    • Geography
    • Government
    • Health
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Sociology
    • Theatre
  • All Grades (K-12):
    • Advanced Fine Arts – Art
    • Art
    • Music
    • Physical Education
  • World Languages:
    • English to Speakers of Other Languages
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
  • Special Education:
    • Deafness and Hearing Impairment
    • Emotional Disabilities
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Mental Disabilities
    • Multi-Categorical
    • Severe Disabilities
    • Visually Impaired
  • Career & Technical Education:
    • Business and Marketing Technology
    • Family & Consumer Science
    • Industrial Technology

Certifications are also available in the following areas, although no exam is required (you must still meet educational and experience requirements to gain certification in these areas):

  • Agriculture
  • Dance
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Russian

Experience Requirements

All teacher education programs in South Carolina require students to participate in practical field experiences. This includes a practicum, which you will enroll in as part of your courses in education. This will involve observing a classroom teacher in action, and may involve some opportunity to present lessons.

During your student teaching internship, which follows the completion of the academic portion of your teacher preparation program, you will become fully immersed in classroom teaching, as you are placed into a classroom corresponding with the grade level/subject area in which you seek certification. You will lead the class, prepare and carry out lesson plans, and use classroom management strategies and techniques learned from observing teachers during your practicum.

Document and Application Requirements

After you have completed all education, examination, and experience requirements, you are ready to apply for South Carolina teacher certification. This may be done online or by downloading the Application for Educator Certificate and mailing it in. Along with your completed application, you will need to mail the following documents to the South Carolina State Department of Education:

  • Official, sealed college transcripts
  • Application fee
  • Electronic fingerprinting (see below)
  • Copies of Praxis score reports
  • Recommendation for teaching certificate verifying completion of a South Carolina teacher education program

Send all of the above to:

Office of Educator Services
South Carolina Department of Education
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223

Criminal History Background Check

You must submit your fingerprints electronically for the required criminal history background check prior to being issued teacher certification in South Carolina.

Schedule an appointment with L-1, the agency performing the electronic live scan, by visiting or by calling 866-254-2366. You are responsible for the $54.25 processing fee. The State Law Enforcement Division will process your fingerprints and run a criminal history background check, returning the results to the Office of Educator Certification in about two weeks time.

Contact Information

If you would like further information on South Carolina approved teacher education programs, search this database of state-approved college and university programs.

For more information on initial teacher certification in South Carolina, contact the South Carolina State Department of Education Office of Educator Certification, Recruitment and Preparation at 803-896-0325.

*2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data – Conditions in your area may vary.

**Teacher Retention Sources – U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education, Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000 (“Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” “Private School Teacher Questionnaire,” and “Public Charter School Teacher Questionnaire”),
and 2000–01 Teacher Follow-up Survey (“Questionnaire for Current Teachers” and “Questionnaire for Former Teachers,” Table 1.01). Washington, DC.

State estimations based on analysis by Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, from the National Center for Education Statistics Student and Staffing Survey, and therefore include a slight margin of error.