Esthetician Schools in South Carolina

If you’re interested in becoming an esthetician in South Carolina, now may be a great time, with the field growing faster than average in the state. South Carolina also requires fewer training hours than many other states do for newly minted estheticians.

Browse our directory of esthetician schools in South Carolina, or skip ahead to learn about the state's esthetician licensing requirements and job outlook.

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Advanced Aesthetics Academy – Accredited

40 Okatie Center Boulevard South Suites 200 & 300
Okatie, SC 29909

Aiken School of Cosmetology and Barbering

225 Richland Avenue East
Aiken, SC 29801

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

2050 Highway 501 East
Conway, SC 29526

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

2375 Cherry Road Suite 102
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Accredited

1515 John B White Sr. Boulevard
Spartanburg, SC 29301

SHB International Hair Academy

1403 Third Avenue
Conway, SC 29526

South Eastern Esthetics Institute – Accredited

1644 Main Street Suite 1
Columbia, SC 29201

Strand College of Hair Design – Accredited

423 79th Avenue North
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

VSKI Cosmetology School – Accredited

2070 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29407
Accredited School

You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.

Esthetician Schools Near Me

Check out the Esthetics/Skin Care schools these cities in South Carolina have to offer.

How to Become a Esthetician in South Carolina

South Carolina Esthetician Careers At a Glance
  • 450 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 estheticians in South Carolina is $36,720.
  • There is a predicted 31% job increase between 2020 and 2030 for estheticians.

Estheticians in South Carolina perform services to help their clients using treatments such as facials, skin peels, and body wraps. In addition to cleansing and beautifying the skin, estheticians may offer other skin care services such as hair removal and arching, tinting, or threading eyebrows.

To become an esthetician in South Carolina, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age and possess at least a 10th-grade education or equivalency (determined by public school tests or board-approved tests)
  • Complete training hour requirements
  • Apply to take your licensure exam and pay a $45 fee to the state
  • Pass written and practical exams

Esthetician Salary and Projected Job Growth in South Carolina

$36,720

Average yearly salary for esthetics in South Carolina

The projected job growth for skin care specialists in South Carolina is promising. Esthetician jobs in the state are projected to grow 31% through 2030, which is higher than the national average expectation.

As of 2021, the average (mean) yearly salary for skin care specialists in South Carolina was $36,720 or $17.66 per hour. This is lower than the national average (mean) of $41,700 or $20.05 per hour nationally. However, South Carolina's cost of living is less than the national average. Between wise spending and the lower cost of living, you may find that you’re able to do your dream job and still afford your expenses in South Carolina.

Salaries vary based on factors like experience and workplace, with physicians' offices offering the highest salaries. However, doctors’ offices or medspas may want to hire experienced estheticians or estheticians with a medical background in addition.

The highest-paying metro areas for estheticians overall in South Carolina are:

Metro Area 2021 Median Salary
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC $41,170
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $38,900
Columbia, SC $35,610
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC $36,330
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC $36,260

Table information sourced from O*Net (2022)

State License Requirements

450 Education Hours

Required to earn a esthetics license

In South Carolina, the state board of cosmetology requires estheticians complete 450 training hours. Programs generally follow a curriculum including:

  • Body wraps (40 hours)
  • Facial treatments, including facial massage, electrical current, and other kinds of facial treatments (125 hours)
  • Hair removal (50 hours)
  • Makeup (50 hours)
  • Professional practices, including bacteriology, sanitation, and business practices (50 hours)
  • Sciences, including histology of the skin and dermatology (120 hours)
  • State law, rules, regulations, and codes (15 hours)

Can I Apprentice as an Esthetician in South Carolina?

No, South Carolina doesn't offer apprenticeships for estheticians.

South Carolina Esthetician Licensing Requirements

To earn an esthetician license in South Carolina, you must complete your training and pass a written and practical exam. Both tests are available online through PSI Exams Online.

First, you need to submit a test application and fee to the state board's office and wait for an exam approval email. This comes with a $45 fee.

The state board can't promise a processing time, but you can track the status of your application through the state board's website.

Once you receive the approval email from the state board, you must contact the testing service provider, PSI, to register.

When registering for the exams through PSI, you must include a recent passport-style photo and verification of your 450 required training hours with your application. You must also submit a copy of your social security card (or legal immigrant equivalent), state-issued ID or other similar legal identification, and proof of 10th-grade education.

You must also pay test fees. The written exam is $66, while the practical is $56. Once you've applied and paid, your application and payment are valid for up to one year or until you take the test. You must pay new fees if you fail, miss your test (without reasonable notice), or go past the one-year mark after payment.

What to Expect on the South Carolina Esthetician Exams

The PSI Candidate Information Booklet may be your best friend while you prepare for your written and practical exams. It has detailed information about what to bring and study tips.

Both tests cover all topics you learned in school, though the theory test does this via computer, and the practical exam is hands-on.

For each test, you need to arrive at least a half-hour early to check in and fill out any required paperwork. In addition, you must bring two forms of identification matching your legal first and last name, one with a photo and signature, the other with at least a signature.

You may not bring the following into a testing center, so find a safe place to store them before going in:

  • Electronic devices
  • Clothing that could conceal any notes or other such materials
  • Hats or other head coverings unless for religious purposes
  • Most other personal items, including purses, writing implements, or food and drink

Exceptions may be made for religious or medical purposes. But, you must get pre-approved for accommodations. It may not hurt to call ahead about religious headwear to avoid potential awkwardness.

All items must be available for inspection, including eyeglasses. You may be asked to empty pockets or roll up your sleeves as well. No one who arrives with you can stay inside the testing center, even in the lobby.

South Carolina Written Esthetician Exams

Your written esthetician test occurs on a computer and covers the concepts learned in school. It includes 110 questions, 100 of which are weighted and scored. You have a maximum of 90 minutes to complete your test.

Topics break down into scientific concepts (55%) and skincare and services (45%). The Candidate Information Booklet provides detailed information and sample questions.

Testing sites are generally only located in:

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

In most cases, you receive your written score report from PSI immediately following your exam. However, the score is pass/fail; you may need to ask PSI for more details if you want them.

South Carolina Practical Esthetician Exams

You may generally only take the practical esthetician test for South Carolina licensure in person in Columbia, so plan accordingly.

The practical exam has the same rules about what you can bring, though you must bring certain supplies, including:

  • Bowl or another water container
  • Closeable dry storage kit
  • Containers labeled "to be disinfected," "soiled linens," and "trash"
  • EPA-registered disinfectant wipes (NO sprays!)
  • First aid kit
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mannequin hand (if required)
  • Mannequin head (if needed)
  • Paper towels
  • Professional, salon-appropriate clothing not bearing your name or that of your school
  • Relevant makeup and skincare supplies

Everything must be labeled in English and, unless otherwise specified, not have handwritten labels.

The test breaks down into six sections:

  • Work area and supply set up: 10 minutes
  • Client prep and facial: 25 minutes
  • Work area and supply set up for new client: 10 minutes
  • Client prep and eyebrow hair removal (simulated soft wax and tweezing): 5-minute setup, untimed work
  • Makeup: 20 minutes
  • Blood exposure procedure: 10 minutes
  • Forehead particle dermabrasion: 10 minutes
  • Eyelash enhancement: 10 minutes
  • Upper lip hard wax hair removal: 10 minutes

After you pass your tests, you should be able to get your license once your application has been processed.

South Carolina Esthetician Test Accommodations

All PSI examination centers provide accommodations per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But, you can't walk in and ask for them—you need to apply after registering but before taking the test. Give yourself plenty of time in case you need to re-apply or appeal any decisions.

This application requires information from a medical professional or specialist written on that person's letterhead. The documentation includes the following:

  • What your disability is, and how it affects testing
  • Accommodation or modification recommendations
  • The professional's contact information
  • The professional's signature

South Carolina Esthetician School Requirements

Be sure your esthetician school meets all the board standards before enrolling.

The state board also licenses and regulates cosmetology schools and programs. To stay licensed, an esthetician school in South Carolina must not enroll more than 35 students at a time. Plus, they need facilities, equipment, and supplies, including a minimum of:

  • 1,500 square feet of space
  • One teacher's desk and chair
  • Three Wood's lamps
  • Three magnifying lamps
  • 10 facial beds or chairs
  • Six facial steamers
  • 15 work areas
  • One chalk or dry-erase board
  • Method for students to clock in and out

Existing cosmetology schools hoping to add esthetics programs or dual nail tech and esthetics schools have different rules.

The schools must offer at least the 450-hour state-required curriculum.

South Carolina Esthetician Licensure Reciprocity

If you're an esthetician coming from another state, you may be able to transfer your esthetician license to South Carolina via endorsement. Steps to transfer your esthetician license to South Carolina:

  • Download instructions and forms for endorsement.
  • Fill out the online application and pay the $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Upload the required documents, such as a copy of a valid state-issued ID and your social security card.

License Renewal

2 Years

License renewal period

4 Hours

Continuing education required

To renew your South Carolina esthetician license, you must take a minimum of four approved continuing education hours and pay a $52 renewal fee. The board has approved in-person and online continuing ed courses.

Your license has the same expiration date for that licensing period as all others who obtained the license. Estheticians renew every odd year. The state board mails out renewal notices each January.

Contact the South Carolina State Board of Esthetics

Labor License Regulation

Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation—State Board of Cosmetology
Detailed cosmetology laws for South Carolina

South Carolina Estheticians Facebook Page
Offers information and news about esthetics in the state

Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) – South Carolina
State chapter of national membership organization for education, support, networking, and liability insurance

PSI Candidate Information Booklet
Everything you need to know about the exams, including study tips and detailed instructions

National Coalition of Esthetics Association (NCEA) – South Carolina
Allows estheticians to get their NCEA certification, which is equal to a 1,200-hour master esthetician license

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Esthetics/Skin Care
South Carolina

How to Become a Esthetician in Your State