Cosmetology Schools in South Carolina

With a thriving beauty community and a low cost of living compared to much of the U.S., South Carolina may be a the perfect place to start your career in cosmetology. Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in South Carolina, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.

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Academy of Hair Technology – Accredited

3715 East North Street
Greenville, SC 29615

Aiken School of Cosmetology and Barbering

225 Richland Avenue East
Aiken, SC 29801

Bob Jones University

1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29614

Carolina College of Cosmetology

1600 Elizabeth Street
Conway, SC 29526

Charleston Cosmetology Institute – Accredited

8484 Dorchester Road
Charleston, SC 29420

Charzanne Beauty College – Accredited

1549 Highway 72 East
Greenwood, SC 29649

Cosmetic Arts Institute

1789 Hampton Street
Walterboro, SC 20488

Denmark Technical College

1126 Solomon Blatt Boulevard
Denmark, SC 29042

Florence-Darlington Technical College

2715 West Lucas Street
Florence, SC 29501

Greenville Technical College

506 South Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC 29606

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

2050 Highway 501 East
Conway, SC 29526

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

449 Saint Andrews Road
Columbia, SC 29210

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

1113 Knox Avenue North
Augusta, SC 29841

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

7474 Garners Ferry Road
Columbia, SC 29209

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

2443 West Lucas Street
Florence, SC 29501

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

98 Davenport Street
Goose Creek, SC 29445

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

3528-A Earl E. Morris Jr. Highway
Greenville, SC 29611

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

2375 Cherry Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

1515 John B White Sr. Boulevard
Spartanburg, SC 29301

LeGrand Institute of Cosmetology Inc – Accredited

2418 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020

Miller-Motte College – Accredited

2541 Highway 501
Conway, SC 29526

Palmetto Beauty School – Accredited

2601 East Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29307

Pampered Beatuy School of Nails

2340 Ebenezer Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

700 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

1215 A Woodruff Road
Greenville, SC 29607

Paul Mitchell – Accredited

4952 Centre Pointe Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

Regina Benton School of Cosmetology – Accredited

225 West Blackstock Road
Spartanburg, SC 29301

SHB International Hair Academy

1403 Third Avenue
Conway, SC 29526

Spartanburg Community College

107 Community College Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Strand College of Hair Design – Accredited

423 79th Avenue North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Sumter Beauty College – Accredited

921 Carolina Avenue
Sumter, SC 29150

Technical College of the Lowcountry

921 Ribaut Road
Beaufort, SC 29901

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406

Upstate College of Cosmetology

1727 East Main Street
Easley, SC 29640

VSKI Cosmetology School – Accredited

2070 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29407

Williamsburg Technical College

601 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Kingstree, SC 29556
Accredited School

You must attend school in the state you want to practice in. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited school. Learn more about the requirements in your state.

Cosmetology Schools Near Me

Check out the Cosmetology schools these cities in South Carolina have to offer.

Best Cosmetology Schools in South Carolina Metro Areas

We've ranked the top cosmetology schools in metro areas within or near South Carolina to help you find your perfect fit.

How to Become a Cosmetologist in South Carolina

South Carolina Cosmetology Careers At a Glance
  • 1,500 education hours are required to become licensed.
  • You must renew your license every 2 years.
  • 4 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
  • The average salary for cosmetologists in South Carolina is $29,930.
  • There is a predicted 10% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists.

The first step to beginning a career in cosmetology in South Carolina is to obtain the relevant license. There are several requirements you need to meet before you can apply for licensure, such as:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Possess at least a 10th-grade education (or equivalent)
  • Complete 1,500 hours in a board-approved cosmetology school (or be licensed as a master hair care specialist in the state for at least five years)
  • Pay for and pass written and practical exams
  • Submit a license application

Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in South Carolina

$29,930

Average yearly salary for cosmetology in South Carolina

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020, licensed cosmetologists in South Carolina earned an average salary of $29,930 annually or $14.39 per hour. This is below the national average of $32,740, but with the cost of living in South Carolina being 11.5% more affordable than other parts of the U.S., you may end up better off overall. The top ten percent of cosmetologists in South Carolina made $55,880 or more in 2020.

Job growth is also looking positive, with roles for cosmetologists expected to increase by 10% between 2018-2028.

Salaries vary depending on factors such as your level of experience, the services you offer, and the area you work in. For example, someone working from a small local beauty parlor in a rural community will likely earn less than a specialized stylist in a high-end city salon.

Median salaries for cosmetologists in some metropolitan areas in South Carolina are:

Metropolitan Area 2020 Median Salary
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $27,920
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC $26,200
Columbia, SC $25,090
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $24,990
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC $24,860
Florence, SC $22,280
Spartanburg, SC $22,080

Table information sourced from O*Net (2022)

What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in South Carolina

1,500 Education Hours

Required to earn a cosmetology license

Before you can earn a cosmetology license in South Carolina, you need to accrue at least 1,500 training hours as part of a cosmetology program approved by the South Carolina Board of Cosmetology.

The specific content of the programs will vary slightly from school to school, but there are certain subjects that all cosmetology programs in South Carolina must cover, such as:

Science of Cosmetology:

  • Sanitation and Disinfection: 45 hours
  • Personal Hygiene and Grooming: 30 hours
  • Professionalism and Ethics: 35 hours
  • Public Relations, Salesmanship, and Psychology: 50 hours
  • Anatomy: 45 hours
  • Dermatology: 25 hours
  • Trichology: 25 hours
  • Nail Structure: 15 hours
  • Chemistry: 100 hours
  • Safety Precautions (Public Safety): 30 hours

Practice of Cosmetology:

  • Shampoos and Rinses: 45 hours
  • Scalp and Hair Care Treatments: 30 hours
  • Hair Shaping: 150 hours
  • Hair Styling: 325 hours
    • Thermal Pressing
    • Thermal Curling
    • Wigs
    • Roller Placement
    • Molding
    • Pin Curling
  • Nail Technology: 25 hours
  • Chemical Waving, Relaxing, or Straightening: 225 hours
  • Hair Tinting and Lightening: 225 hours
  • Facial Skin Care, Make-up, and Hair Removal: 40 hours

State Law:

  • Rules, Regulations, and Code: 15 hours

Unassigned:

  • Specific Needs: 20 hours

Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in South Carolina?

It is not currently possible to earn your cosmetology license in South Carolina through an apprenticeship program.

South Carolina Cosmetology Licensing Requirements

Once you've completed the required 1,500 training hours, it's time to take (and pass) your examinations and apply for your license. You must complete two exams to be eligible for licensure—a written exam and a practical exam. PSI Services LLC administers both, and they cost $66 each. The passing score for each exam is 75%, and you'll get your results as soon as you finish. If you fail, you may retake the test unlimited times until you pass.

The written exam takes 90 minutes to complete on a computer. You can take the test at several locations, including Beaufort/Hilton Head, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Myrtle Beach. Test questions are split across the following subjects:

  1. Domain 1: Scientific Concepts (30%)
  2. Domain 2: Hair Care and Services (40%)
  3. Domain 3: Skin Care and Services (15%)
  4. Domain 4: Nail Care and Services (15%)

Applicants must take the practical exam in Columbia and arrive at the site at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam. The exam content breaks down as follows:

  1. Work Area and First Client Prep: 15 minutes
  2. Thermal Curling: 10 minutes
  3. Hair cutting: 30 minutes
  4. Work Area and New Client Prep: 15 minutes
  5. Chemical Waving: 20 minutes
  6. Predisposition Test and Strand Test: 10 minutes
  7. Highlighting with Foil, Virgin Application: 15 minutes
  8. Hair Color Retouch: 10 minutes
  9. Virgin Hair Relaxer Application: Untimed
  10. Blood Exposure Procedure: 10 minutes

In accordance with ADA requirements, applicants with disabilities or those who would otherwise have difficulty taking the examination may request alternative arrangements in advance.

South Carolina Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity

If you're already licensed as a cosmetologist in another state, you may be able to transfer your license to South Carolina via endorsement. To do so, you need to submit an online application and pay $60.

Military spouses with cosmetology licenses from other states are eligible for expedited reciprocal licenses via the Armed Services Members and Spouses Professional and Occupational Licensing Act.

License Renewal

2 Years

License renewal period

4 Hours

Continuing education required

In South Carolina, cosmetologists must renew their licenses every two years and pay a renewal fee of $52. Licensees need to complete at least four hours of continuing education to be eligible for renewal and can take classes in-person or online.

The continuing education hours must be specific to client safety, board laws and regulations, or infection control, and cosmetologists have to complete them via a board-approved class.

If your license has lapsed for less than three years, you will need to complete six hours of in-person or online reinstatement classes before you can get it reissued and pay a reinstatement fee of $152. If it's been longer than three years since your license expired, you'll need to retake your exams and start the licensing process again from the beginning.

Contact the South Carolina State Board of Cosmetology

Labor License Regulation

Cosmetology in South Carolina allows for many to have a definitive career path that is fruitful and empowering. Supported by a solid infrastructure of schools and salons, budding cosmetologists gain insight by consulting these organizations.

South Carolina Board of Cosmetology
The state board is responsible for issuing and renewing cosmetology licenses and education within the state. The website provides comprehensive information about testing and licenses.

PSI Candidate Information Bulletin
PSI administers cosmetology exams in South Carolina, and their candidate information bulletin provides extensive information on exam content and instructions.

Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals
This South Carolina-based organization nurtures, supports, and assists licensed cosmetologists in the area.

South Carolina Association of Cosmetology Schools
SCACS is a non-profit association dedicated to providing the best education possible to cosmetology, nail technology, and esthetics students.

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