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 14 percent over the next several years.[En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in South Carolina
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 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.
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 7,590 electricians working there in 2014, there are expected to be 8,660 employed by 2024. If you are training now to be an electrician 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 2017 in South Carolina, the average annual salary for electricians was $43,890. The top 10 percent of earners that year were making over $62,000. You can also earn while you learn, as apprenticeship positions are paid.
Salaries in South Carolina by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||1,310||$23.58||$13.31||$16.01||$29.08||$34.07||$49,040||$27,690||$33,290||$60,480||$70,870|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||170||$34.24||$24.75||$30.36||$38.70||$44.74||$71,220||$51,470||$63,160||$80,500||$93,070|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||4,110||$26.62||$16.54||$19.69||$33.16||$37.66||$55,360||$34,400||$40,950||$68,970||$78,330|
Electrician Salaries in South Carolina by Region
|Area||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||1,120||$21.95||$15.05||$17.21||$26.01||$31.05||$45,650||$31,300||$35,800||$54,110||$64,580|
|Charleston-North Charleston, SC||1,660||$20.66||$14.07||$17.02||$23.87||$28.12||$42,970||$29,270||$35,400||$49,650||$58,480|
|Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC||380||$18.28||$12.14||$15.20||$21.34||$26.24||$38,030||$25,250||$31,610||$44,390||$54,570|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||590||$17.60||$12.79||$14.72||$19.54||$23.37||$36,620||$26,600||$30,620||$40,640||$48,600|
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.
- Columbia, SC
- Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC
- Lower Savannah South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area
- Pee Dee South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area
- Upper Savannah South Carolina Nonmetropolitan Area
1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, South Carolina 29170-2176
Basic Electrical Wiring – Certificate Program
The Basic Electrical Wiring Certificate program in Basic Electrical Wiring at Midlands Technical College can be taken at their campus in West Columbia in Lexington County. Most of the school’s 10,946 students are 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 generally about $4,214 and are $5,222 and $12,182 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost around $1,590, depending on the program.
506 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, South Carolina 29606
Electrical – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical at Greenville Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of Greenville, SC. This public college has approximately 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. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $4,422 and are $4,806 and $8,766 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost about $1,159, although this will vary with the program.
3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, South Carolina 29118-8299
Basic & Industrial Electrician – Certificate Program
Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College’s Certificate program is based at their campus in Orangeburg in Orangeburg County. The college has round 2,774 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 roughly around $4,250 and are $5,234 and $7,010 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,400, although this will depend on the program.
1201 Chesterfield Hwy., Cheraw, South Carolina 29520
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. Fees for tuition for in-district students are likely to be about $4,080 and are $4,296 and $6,840 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,625, although this will depend on the program.
620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, South Carolina 29646
Electronic Engineering Technology – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electronic Engineering Technology at Piedmont Technical College can be taken at their campus in the town of Greenwood. This public college has round 5,216 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $4,265 and are $4,985 and $6,185 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,000, although this will vary with 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.