How to Become an Electrician in South Carolina

Growth in careers for electricians in South Carolina is strong, which makes it a great option for young people considering their futures. Training to become an electrician in the state takes just a few years, and the rewards are great job opportunities and salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for electricians in South Carolina is growing by 13 percent over the next several years. [En Español]

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South Carolina Electrical License Requirements

In South Carolina, licensing of journeymen and master electricians is regulated by the Municipal Association of South Carolina. The licenses include master and master residential, as well as journeyman and journeyman residential. The residential licenses limit work to residential buildings. Electricians who want to become licensed as independent contractors can do so through the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

To become licensed as a journeyman electrician in the state you must have either two years of work experience under a licensed electrician or a two-year degree in a related subject plus one year of work experience. To qualify for licensing as a master electrician, you must have four years of work experience as a journeyman. Each level also requires a passing score on an appropriate test. There are also specific exams for electricians seeking a contractor’s license.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in South Carolina

There are two ways to prepare to qualify for journeyman licensing in the state. The first is to complete an apprenticeship program, which may be union or non-union and which provides classroom learning as well as the required hours of on-the-job training. Union apprenticeship programs are affiliated with local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and are run through Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC). In South Carolina, there is the Charleston JATC.

There are also non-union apprenticeships available throughout the state. Some electrical contracting companies offer full apprenticeship programs with both coursework and on-the-job training. Typical requirements to enroll in an apprenticeship program include being 18 years of age, having a high school diploma with a year of algebra or a GED, having reliable transportation and earning a passing grade on an aptitude test.

South Carolina Schools for Electricians

There are not a lot of apprenticeship programs in the state, but another option for becoming an electrician is to earn a post-secondary degree and to apply that to the work experience requirement for journeyman licensing. Some of these programs also offer apprenticeship positions, but in some cases students are responsible for finding an electrician to work with for hands-on training hours.

  • Trident Technical College, Charleston. Trident Tech offers students a few options for two-year degree programs that can count as one year of the required hours for licensing. The associate degree programs are in industrial electrician, construction electrician, automated controls electrician, and automated and industrial electrician.
  • Piedmont Technical College, Greenwood. At the Greenwood campus of Piedmont, students can earn a two-year degree in electronic engineering technology to continue on with an apprenticeship or to seek entry-level work as a technician.
  • Midlands Technical College, Columbia. Midlands also offers students an associate degree in electronics engineering technology. Students get a combination of theoretical learning and practical, hands-on learning that prepares them to succeed in an electrician apprenticeship.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

Growth in jobs for electricians is strong in South Carolina and the outlook is positive. While the BLS reports that there were 9,870 electricians working there in 2018, there are expected to be 11,170 employed by 2028. If you are training now or learning in one of the electrician schools in the state, you could be one of the licensed professionals to fill those positions.

You can also expect to earn a good living doing this job. In 2019 in South Carolina, the average annual salary for electricians was $45,890. The top 10 percent of earners that year were making over $66,140. You can also earn while you learn at the schools in South Carolina, as apprenticeship positions are paid.

Salaries in South Carolina by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians10,510$22.56$46,920$29,280$36,530$56,420$66,140
Helpers--Electricians1,860$14.71$30,610$22,200$26,230$35,130$39,980
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment930$24.05$50,030$28,840$33,750$61,090$69,110
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay250$34.40$71,550$49,100$58,960$80,630$97,530
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers2,690$29.76$61,900$37,390$48,310$75,570$84,780

Electrician Salaries in South Carolina by Region

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC730$19.43$40,420$13.62$16.03$22.56$25.84
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC1,070$22.10$45,960$15.04$17.45$26.21$30.19
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC6,130$22.31$46,410$16.21$19.12$25.45$29.43
Charleston-North Charleston, SC2,140$20.87$43,420$14.50$16.68$24.46$29.38
Columbia, SC1,510$23.50$48,880$14.31$18.90$28.16$32.82
Florence, SC410$24.11$50,140$9.23$15.59$30.84$42.68
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC2,560$22.73$47,270$11.96$16.35$28.83$34.29
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC310$20.94$43,560$16.74$18.44$23.46$25.57
Spartanburg, SC760$25.09$52,190$18.34$21.41$28.86$31.14
Sumter, SC100$23.26$48,380$16.65$19.87$27.14$30.20

Working as an Electrician in South Carolina

The outlook is good for licensed electricians in South Carolina. If you can commit to a few years of learning and training, you can expect to have great job security and a choice of positions. Journeymen electricians may work for electrical contractors, builders, development companies, government agencies, or industrial or manufacturing companies. If you choose to go on to become a master electrician and a contractor you can start your own business and hire other professionals.

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College Programs – Electrician Schools in South Carolina

Columbia, SC Area

Midlands Technical College

1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, South Carolina 29170-2176
(803) 738-8324
Basic Electrical Wiring – Certificate Program

Midlands Technical College’s Certificate-level Basic Electrical Wiring program is taught at their campus in West Columbia in Lexington County, SC. This public college has in the order of 10,946 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,214 and are $5,222 and $12,182 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $1,590, depending on the program chosen.

Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC Area

Greenville Technical College

506 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, South Carolina 29606
(864) 250-8000
Electrical – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical at Greenville Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of Greenville, South Carolina. This public college has roughly 12,280 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,422 and are $4,806 and $8,766 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,159, although this will depend on the program.

Lower Savannah South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, South Carolina 29118-8299
(803) 536-0311
Basic & Industrial Electrician – Certificate Program

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College’s Certificate program in Basic & Industrial Electrician is offered at their campus in Orangeburg in Orangeburg County. The majority of of the school’s 2,774 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,250 and are $5,234 and $7,010 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,400, although this will depend on the program.

Pee Dee South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Northeastern Technical College

1201 Chesterfield Hwy., Cheraw, South Carolina 29520
(843) 921-6900
Electricity/Electronics – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electricity/Electronics at Northeastern Technical College is offered at their campus in Cheraw in Chesterfield County. The majority of of the school’s 1,054 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,080 and are $4,296 and $6,840 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,625, although this will depend on the program.

Upper Savannah South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Piedmont Technical College

620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
(864) 941-8324
Electronic Engineering Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electronic Engineering Technology at Piedmont Technical College is offered at their campus in the town of Greenwood, South Carolina. The college has roughly 5,216 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $4,265 and are $4,985 and $6,185 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $2,000, although this will depend on the program.

* College accredition status and tuition fees and are, to our best knowledge, correct at the time of writing, and sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Check all details directly with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of South Carolina may also wish to review their options in North Carolina and Georgia.

FAQs

How Do I Become a Licensed Electrician in South Carolina?

To work as an electrician in the state, you must be licensed through the Municipal Association of South Carolina. To become a licensed journeyman, you must have 4,000 hours of training under a licensed electrician. Alternatively, you can get 2,000 hours of training with a two-year technical degree.

How much do electricians earn in the state of South Carolina?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of South Carolina made an average of $46,920 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $29,280 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $66,140.