Best Esthetician Schools In South Carolina 2022

Finding the best Esthetician schools in South Carolina for the right training program is an important part of getting your SC esthetician license. 

You want a school that fits your learning style and fully trains you in the services that are most popular in your area. 

At licensed schools in South Carolina, you can plan to cover certain core topics during your studies.

How Much Does Esthetician Schools In South Carolina Cost?

The average tuition for cosmetology schools on our top 10 list is about half that at $15,743. For 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that cosmetologists in South Carolina earned an average of $24,610.

That doesn’t include stipends, or most cosmetologists, who continue to operate as independent contractors.  The programs on our list stand out above the rest. 

They are distinguished by the fact that they offer scholarships to their students and help their graduates find employment.

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How Long Is Esthetician School In SC?

In South Carolina, cosmetology programs are most commonly found in 2-year technical schools.  You can earn a certificate in cosmetology or esthetics (skin care) in about 2-4 semesters, or a diploma in cosmetology in about 2-3 years. 

Programs can give you hands-on practice in a wide range of services, such as hairdressing, manicuring, and hairdressing, and prepare you for the state licensing exam. 

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How To Become A Licensed Esthetician In South Carolina

The South Carolina State Board has selected Professional Credential Services (PCS) as the state licensing exam provider. 

You will need to register to take the licensing exams directly with South Carolina PCS.  It is expected that you pass these exams within twenty-four (24) months of completing your cosmetologist training program.

You will need to apply first.  To apply, you must be at least sixteen (16) years old, have completed at least the tenth (10th) grade, and then you can complete the following steps:

  You will need to submit the following materials with your online application:

  • Current passport photo 2×2
  • Copy of photo ID (driver’s license, state ID card, passport)
  • A copy of the social insurance card
  • A copy of the certificate of secondary education (proving completion of the tenth (10) grade)
  • Notarized confirmation of compliance with the requirements
  • Notarized confirmation of training in aesthetics (including dates of enrollment and graduation, as well as a breakdown of hours by subject)
  • Certificate of completion of training

Once you have applied for the exams, you will receive two letters from PCS letting you know that you have been approved for the test: a theory test clearance letter and a notice of admission to the practical test.  Using these documents, you plan your theory and practical exams separately.

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South Carolina Esthetician Requirements

Those who want to work as a cosmetologist in the state of South Carolina must be at least 16 years old and have a 10th grade education. 

Licensees must also complete 1,500 hours of training in an approved program.  Applicants must then take the South Carolina State Board of Cosmetology exam and pay a fee.

All programs prepare students to take the state licensing exam; however, not every program requires all 1,500 hours of instruction as a prerequisite for licensure.

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What Are The Esthetician Jobs In South Carolina?

With experience in skin care, you will be able to work in different areas of beauty.  Spas are one of the main employment options for beauticians, ranging from fast-paced spas that focus on efficiency to resort spas that treat clients to a full day of relaxation. 

You can also work in local hair salons as more and more are offering separate aesthetic services to attract clients.  Overall, cosmetology jobs in South Carolina is expected to grow 15% through 2026 (2020).

What Are The Best Esthetician Schools In South Carolina 2022?

#1 Academy of Nail Technology and Esthetics 

The Academy of Nail Technology and Aesthetics is a stronghold of health, beauty and elegance in society.  Although esthetics is a secondary subject in most beauty schools, here it is the main focus! 

For over two decades, the Academy has been a leading name in nail technology training and since 2001 has also offered its esthetician training program.

Academy students benefit from an inclusive curriculum that goes beyond the surface level to include important business principles for estheticians. 

This South Carolina esthetician school also earned a spot as one of the most affordable esthetician schools in SC on our top list.


#2 Aiken School of Cosmetology – Aiken

The faculty at this school have decades of teaching experience and are passing on their industry expertise to the next generation of skin care professionals.

This school wants to remove any funding hurdles, so it offers scholarships and also accepts veterans’ education benefits. 

In terms of value, this school has the distinction of offering the most affordable tuition plus enrolment compared to the other top esthetician schools in South Carolina.


#3 Aveda Institute – Charlotte, North Carolina

Using only products made with pure flower and plant essences, Aveda students learn to become skin care professionals under one of the most recognized and respected names in the industry. 

The Aveda name includes 8,000 facilities worldwide that have advanced skin care services and education on a macro level.

As an esthetics student, you’ll learn everything you need to succeed, from products to business acumen.  You will have access to employment opportunities resources at any Aveda location around the world. 

As a school based on pure natural substances, you can expect your education to inspire and motivate in this South Carolina esthetician school.


#4 Charleston Cosmetology Institute – Charleston

People, people welcome… The Cosmetology Institute of Charleston wants to help you develop your skills in a career that allows you to express yourself artistically. 

Students from this school have been finding successful careers in the beauty industry since 1984.  As a graduate of Charleston Cosmetology Institute, you’ll enjoy lifetime employment assistance and a Pivot Point curriculum taught in a low student-to-faculty environment.   

The school is equipped with 50 workplaces, 4 classrooms, a student hall.  Eight instructors call this school home.

This school impressed us by having the highest percentage of students who graduate on time, as well as the highest percentage of graduates who find employment shortly after graduation – 100 percent for both; no small feat!


#5 International Spa Institute – Bluffton

What began as a massage school in 1998 has expanded into an esthetician hot spot with three departments and an esthetics program that has more than 15 years of history. 

International Spa Institute students have an exciting curriculum and passionate teachers. Graduates of this program have access to employment assistance.

After traveling to Bali and learning about its culturally rooted natural healing culture, the owner of International decided to combine traditional aesthetics with a unique individual approach. 


#6 Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology – Greenville

The Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology describes a career in health and beauty as offering virtually unlimited income, flexible work hours and the opportunity to be your own boss. 

Students here can invest in their education with scholarships at this location, which incorporates business development skills into the curriculum and graduate placement services.

Local events and philanthropic activities give students many opportunities to get involved in the local community.  With four locations across the state, this school has its pulse on the beauty industry in South Carolina and the nation.


#7 Miller-Motte Technical College – Charleston

Celebrating its centennial in 2016, Miller-Motte stands on a long tradition of academic excellence.  Since its inception, it has expanded to 17 campuses in six states. 

The curriculum includes the foundational topics required to pass the state esthetician licensing exam and also covers important business topics that will help ensure your success in the health and beauty industry.  

84 percent of Miller-Motte students graduate on time, and 92 percent of graduates find employment soon after graduation!


#8 Southeastern Esthetics Institute – Columbia

The owner of Southeast Aesthetic Institute promises to go “to teach you what you need to take your career to the next level.”  While most schools major in cosmetology, with esthetics as a subcategory, esthetics is Southeastern’s major.

One way the Institute goes above and beyond is through its commitment to students.  100 percent of students graduate on time, and 90 percent find jobs in their specialty shortly after graduation. 

While specializing in aesthetics, students also receive an education that includes important business principles.  Graduates have access to employment assistance and veterans can take advantage of the GI Bill here. 

As a student, you can also enjoy the inspiration that comes with studying in a modern, stylish and chic facility with shelves stocked with the latest designer beauty products.


#9 Strand College of Hair Design – Myrtle Beach

Strand College was founded in 1993 to raise the standards of the beauty industry.  This goal is still being achieved today with each graduating class of estheticians. 

The teachers here prepare each student to achieve his personal and professional goals.  Strand College faculty combine industry expertise, expert pedagogy, and a strong commitment to their students – achieving a 90 percent on-time graduation rate! 

The curriculum here covers all important topics in aesthetics, including business know-how.  Students also have the opportunity to interact with the local community through charity fundraisers and social events.



To meet the education requirements to become an esthetician, you must be at least 16 years old and have a 10th grade education.  The South Carolina board requires you to complete at least 450 hours of esthetician training. 

This training includes courses in dermatology and human skin science, as well as theoretical practice in waxing, body wraps and makeup application.  There is also a ten hour study of South Carolina rules and laws for skin care technicians.

Esthetician Schools In South Carolina FAQs

How Much Does A Beautician Make In South Carolina?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists earn a median income of $31,540 per year (2020).

Where Can Estheticians Work In South Carolina?

Those looking for a job in this industry have flexibility in their work environment.  Some of the options may include working in a doctor’s office, salon, or spa.  Employment rates for careers in this field are projected to increase significantly throughout the state.

How Do I Get Esthetician License in SC?

Once you have completed the required study hours, you will need to apply for the exams.  Your institution will provide an affidavit that you have successfully completed your studies. 


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