How to Become a Cosmetologist in South Carolina

How to Become a Cosmetologist in South Carolina

Visiting a cosmetologist is like going on a therapy where people can relax and enjoy.

The time spent there is considered valuable as those moments are like little holidays during the busy working days.

Indeed, the cosmetologist profession is not easy and the education is not cheap, but to be able to offer this kind of sensation in his/her clients, a cosmetologist must be skilled and well-educated, to know what to do.

Job Description

Nowadays, women are not the only ones concerned about their looks, but men are equally worried and this gave a big boost to the profession of cosmetology.

Popular Programs

People visit cosmetologists, because once coming out of the salon, they feel like new people.

They feel great after massaging or getting a new haircut and the change of the style.

The daily duties of a cosmetologist include:

  • Keeping the work setting clean
  • Cutting and shaping of the hair
  • Recommending beauty treatment or hairstyles to the clients
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Selling cosmetic products, etc.

Besides salons, they can work in spas, hotels and beauty centers.

Cosmetology Programs in South Carolina

To become a legal cosmetologist in South Carolina you will have to finish cosmetology programs in vocational schools and colleges where you will not only gain education and experience to pass the state licensing exam but will also achieve lifelong skills in hair and nail styling.

The most prominent schools in South Carolina are:

  • Academy of Hair Technology – Greenville
  • Aiken School of Cosmetology – Aiken
  • Charleston Cosmetology Institute – Charleston
  • Charzanne Beauty College-Greenwood
  • Columbia Academy of Cosmetology – West Columbia.

Cosmetology Exams in South Carolina

Upon graduation, you must pass the Cosmetology Theory and Practical Exam within 24 months.

Professional Credential Services (PCS) administer the examination and you can take it once a month in Columbia.

The exam registration and application process begins with the creation of an account with PCS and it is also your application for licensure.

PCS will send all the necessary information about your eligibility to take the exams to the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology.

Additional documentation that you should provide together with online cosmetology testing application to PCS is:

PSI will proctor your Cosmetology Theory Exam.

If you are eligible to take the test, you will get the Authorization to Test which is used to create an account with PSI and register for the theory exam.

The theory exam can be done in:

  • Greenville
  • Columbia
  • North Charleston
  • Beaufort
  • Myrtle Beach

You will be tested on:

  • Scientific concepts – 30 percent
  • Haircare and services – 40 percent
  • Skincare and services – 15 percent
  • Nail care and services – 15 percent

Cosmetology Practical Exam is done on your mannequin head and hand and aerosol are not allowed to be used.

Cosmetology skills that will be tested on the practical exam are:

  • Client protection and set-up
  • Manicure
  • Basic facial
  • Thermal curling
  • Virgin hair lightening application and hair color retouch
  • Chemical waiving
  • Haircutting
  • Virgin relaxer application and relaxer retouch


PCS will report the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology that you have passed the required examination and the Board will issue you a license.

After you get it, you can start applying for jobs in South Carolina.

For licensed cosmetologists in another state, there is an endorsement license and they can apply for it either online or with a paper application.

However, you must have previously taken the NIC theory and practical exams.

Your education must be equivalent to South Carolina’s requirements and it is evaluated by:

Master Hair Care specialists in South Carolina can earn a cosmetology license if they possess a master license for five years or if you combine this license with an adequate amount of approved education in the field of cosmetology.

Keeping Your License Current 

Almost all of the US states require the renewal of your cosmetology license, but the periods differ.

According to the South Carolina law, a license has to be renewed every two years and you will have to pass 12 hours of continuing education every year.

Sanitation or the client’s health and safety should be included in three hours of additional education.

The resources from which you can gain information about continuing education are:

Average Annual Cosmetologist Salary and Job Prospects in South Carolina

The cosmetology job prospects are great and the future for this vocation is bright.

Once licensed, cosmetologists should not worry about getting the desired job.

Entry-level cosmetologists should consider working for an already experienced cosmetologist and learn the job, as well as gain experience.

Their salary will indeed be lower, but the benefits of future work will be valuable.

The successful and experienced cosmetologists often decide to open their premises and their salaries are much higher.

To know who to manage it, they need to possess good administrative skills and govern the business.

Depending on the level of education and experience, a salary of a cosmetologist in South Carolina can range from $ 23 334 in Sumpter to $ 25 686 in Rock Hill per year.

Tipping is normal in this occupation, and that is not included in the official data about the salary.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Aiken,SC $24,060
Anderson,SC $24,993
Charleston,SC $24,630
Columbia,SC $24,509
Florence,SC $23,387
Goose Creek,SC $24,593
Greenville,SC $25,260
Hilton Head Island,SC $24,235
Mount Pleasant,SC $24,630
Myrtle Beach,SC $23,411
Rock Hill,SC $25,686
Spartanburg,SC $24,206
Summerville,SC $24,520
Sumter,SC $23,334

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC730$34,570$16.62$56,410$19,920
Columbia, SC510$31,870$15.32$45,720$18,200
Florence, SC60$29,870$14.36$44,240$17,610
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC660$30,270$14.55$47,840$18,320
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC250$33,440$16.08$49,100$18,820
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC320$30,660$14.74$46,260$17,150
Sumter, SC40$31,760$15.27$46,850$17,980
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists, OCC Code 39-5012, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


Taking care of one’s looks, having their face or hair in your hands and achieving the desired appearance is a very complex job.

Experienced cosmetologists will begin the treatment by discussing with the client and trying to understand his/her wishes.

It is up to the client to either accept the advice of a cosmetologist or reject it, but the most frequent cause is that the cosmetologist’s suggestions are accepted.

To reach that phase, the cosmetologist needs to build a trustworthy relationship with the client.

USA Cosmetology by State

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