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South Carolina State Licensing Requirements

greetings from south carolina

Nestled between North Carolina and Georgia, South Carolina captures the vibrant spirit and charm of the South.

While this state has plenty of top tourist destinations, its excellent schools and friendly atmosphere make it the ideal place to get started on your new psychology career.

How to Pursue a Psychology Degree in South Carolina

South University in Columbia is an excellent choice for earning a psychology degree in South Carolina. Established in 1899, this school offers an undergraduate program in Psychology and a graduate program in Professional Counseling. The Professional Counseling program is split between time in the classroom and supervised field experiences that include counseling settings within the community.

Clinical psychologist salary in South Carolina

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
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Median Hourly Wage$38

Job growth9.9%

Total Employment240

Metro area Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Columbia, SC $92,040 $30,990 $126,190
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC $78,930 $36,220 $196,480

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Where to Find Online Psychology Classes

Perhaps you are busy working full time or taking care of your family. If so, consider working towards your psychology degree online. With classes that work around your schedule, online schools put your goals within reach.

If you are serious about studying psychology, look for a school like Capella University, which develops its degree programs based on employer recommendations. This ensures that you will be prepared for the professional standards in your field. The school offers the following psychology degrees online, among others:

  • Addiction Studies
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Educational Psychology

Using Your Psychology Degree in South Carolina

While salaries can vary widely between rural areas and larger towns, here are the average earnings for professions that require a psychology degree:

Psychology CareerAverage Annual Salary
Mental Health Counselor$48,520
Marriage and Family Therapist$49,880
Social Workers$61,190

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics

How to Get Licensed in South Carolina

After obtaining your psychology degree in South Carolina, you’ll need to apply for a license to practice in the state. The state does not require that you take a state law exam, but it does require a passing score on the national exam in your field of study. Here are the additional requirements for each psychology-related license:


  • A doctoral degree in psychology
  • Submission and approval of the Preliminary Application for Licensure
  • Practical experience for the duration of two years under supervision, one year of which may be completed during the doctoral program, including 1,500 hours of work per year
  • Passing score on the oral examination administered by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology

Professional Counselor

  • A master’s degree in counseling
  • Submission and approval of the Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Application
  • A minimum of 1,500 hours of post-master’s clinical experience, which must include at least 150 hours under direct supervision of a Licensed Professional Counselor

Marriage and Family Therapist

  • A master’s degree in marriage and family therapy
  • Submission and approval of the Marriage and Family Therapist Intern Application
  • A minimum of 1,500 hours of practical work experience, which must include at least 150 hours under direct supervision of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Social Worker

The state of South Carolina offers four different types of licenses for social workers: licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW), licensed independent social worker – clinical practice (LISW – CP) and licensed independent social worker – advance practice (LISW – AP).

  • A bachelor’s degree (for LBSW) or master’s degree (for LMSW, LISW – CP, LISW – AP) in social work
  • Completion of supervised work experience for the duration of 3,000 hours, which must be fulfilled in no less than two years and no more than four years (for LISW – CP or LISW – AP)

Beyond Your Psychology Degree: What Makes South Carolina Different

When you’re not busy pursuing your psychology degree, you’ll want to take some time to explore the beauty and history of the state. Be sure to put these unique spots at the top of your destination list:

This charming coastal town, nicknamed the Queen of the Carolina Islands, has beautiful weather, a bustling downtown district and a rich history. Each year the residents celebrate film, food and art through a spring festival called Beaufort Kaleidoscope.

As the oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston features vivid reminders of our nation’s past. To capture the essence of Charleston and learn a bit of history, navigate your way through the cobbled streets with a carriage ride, complete with a tour guide.

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to Lake Keowee, Seneca is known for its picturesque views and outdoor activities. Downtown, the Ram Cat Alley Historic District features commercial buildings that have been renovated to reflect the late 1800s, making Seneca a hot spot for shopping as well.

Sources: www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_sc.htm, carolinaliving.com, cce-global.org,
www.llr.state.sc.us, www.southuniversity.edu