What is the average salary in South Carolina?

1 min readLast updated December 19, 2023by Kate Morgan

Discover the average salary in South Carolina. Find out which cities and counties pay more and how education level, gender, and other factors influence earnings.


  • The average salary in South Carolina per hour is $30.03.

  • The median income in South Carolina is $54,097 per year.

  • Factors such as location, job type, and age influence salaries.

  • South Carolina is the 11th most affordable US state.

How much money do I need to live in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina offers a range of earning potential for its residents. Like many other states, the cost of living in South Carolina can vary depending on where you live in the Palmetto State.

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, South Carolina ranks as the 11th most affordable state in the US, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordable living with decent earning opportunities.

But which cities and counties offer the highest average salaries in South Carolina?

What is the average salary in South Carolina by city?

Average earnings by city — or any other geographical metric — is just one way of calculating wealth and certainly shouldn’t be the only way you look at your own earning potential in a particular location.

However, it’s a good way to start figuring out which locations offer the best earning opportunities. 

The US Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey has calculated the average earnings for the largest cities in South Carolina, which you can find ranked below. 

CityAverage earnings
Charleston $60,471
Columbia $46,055
Mount Pleasant $44,980
Rock Hill $43,982
Greenville $41,461

What is the average salary in South Carolina by county?

You can also weigh these figures up against the average salary in South Carolina by county, as this will take areas outside the main cities into account and offer a broader idea of salary ranges. 

The same survey from the US Census Bureau gives further insight this way, with the average household income calculated for each county. 

Here are some of the highest-paying counties in South Carolina, according to the US Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey:

County Average household income
Beaufort County $73,529
Charleston County $68,139
Dorchester County $65,851
Lexington County $63,303
Horry County $60,530

What are the highest-paying jobs in South Carolina?

There’s another weighty factor that will influence the size of your salary in South Carolina: your job type. Average salaries for various sectors and job roles can vary massively across the state, so it’s absolutely something to consider when looking at salaries by location. 

Zippia has calculated a comprehensive list of annual salaries by job title. You can also find the top 10 highest-paying titles in South Carolina below. 

Occupation Average salary
Medical consultant $188,937
Medical Staff Physician $173,789
Clinic Physician Director $173,242
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist $164,008
Hospitalist Medical Director $160,613
Senior Director, Product $160,613
Family Practitioner $146,166
Emergency Medicine Specialist $145,481
Senior Director of Information & Technology $144,230
Director, Global Business Development $140,625

What is the average salary in South Carolina by age?

Alongside location and occupation, average salaries in South Carolina are also dependent on age since more senior workers will be paid more. Those workers’ income will dip again after they retire, as they will rely on pensions and other forms of set income such as IRA distributions. 

The Census Bureau data finds that householders under 25 have a median household income of $31,063; householders aged 25 to 44 years old have a median income of $53,399; those aged 45 to 64 years old have a median income of $58,518; and those 65 and older have a median income of $39,306.

What is the average salary in South Carolina by hour?

Assuming Americans work an average of 1,801 hours per year at 37.5 hours per week, the average salary in South Carolina is $30.03 per hour.

What is a ‘good’ salary in South Carolina?

The median income in South Carolina is $54,097. However, the definition of what a 'good' salary is in South Carolina depends on various factors, such as job industry, location, and lifestyle. For example, $90,000 may be considered a high salary in some parts of the state, whereas it may be closer to the average in others.

What is the upper-class salary in South Carolina?

An upper-class salary in South Carolina that would place you among the top 20% of income is $116,032 per year. You would need a yearly salary of $374,427 to be among the top 5% of income.

What is the average salary in South Carolina by education level?

The average salary in South Carolina by education level is $27,141 for those with less than a high school graduation and $34,785 for those with high school graduation or equivalent. It’s $40,386 for those with some college or associate degree, $57,407 for those with a bachelor's degree, and $67,170 for those with a graduate or professional degree.

What is the average salary in South Carolina by gender?

The average salary in South Carolina by gender reveals a pay gap of approximately 19.9%, which is in keeping with the 20% national average. Men in the Palmetto State earn a $50,599 average annual salary, while women earn a $40,515 average annual salary.

What is a good starting salary in South Carolina?

Like the answer to the question, “What is a good salary in South Carolina,” the answer to what can be considered a good starting salary depends on factors such as job type and location. The average starting salary (entry-level position) in the Palmetto State is $29,250.

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Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.