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South Carolina Vocational and Technical Schools

Few states were as negatively impacted by the recession as South Carolina. Yet, the state continues to recover economically, driven largely in part to three things, according to a 2013 report from Wells Fargo economic analyst Marc Vitner: the state's location between metro hubs Charlotte and Atlanta, an international industrial base and strong transportation infrastructure.

Data from an October 2014 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shows that -- In 2014 -- most industries in South Carolina are on the upswing, including leisure and hospitality, education and health services, construction, mining, trade and transportation, utilities and more.

The positive momentum in hiring trends should be welcome news to individuals considering a post-secondary vocational, certificate, diploma or career training program, as employers continue to seek trained, skillful employees.

Top industries and employers in South Carolina

South Carolina is well-represented in a spectrum of business sectors, from financial services to real estate, retail trade to manufacturing. As of August 2014, more than 1.5 million people in South Carolina were employed across the following areas:


Statewide Employed, August 2014

Trade, Transportation and Utilities


Business & Professional Services




Leisure & Hospitality


Education & Health Services


Financial Services






Source: Federal Bank of Richmond, South Carolina Economic Snapshot, 2014

The state's business climate has attracted hundreds of private business investments during the past decade, including Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, a company that typically produces in excess of $1 billion in revenue in each year. Grant Thornton LLP releases an annual report of the Top 100 privately-held companies in South Carolina. In 2013, two other companies joined Milliken & Company on the list as South Carolina businesses that earn over $1 billion per year in revenue, including The Intertech Group, Inc. and Affiliates (Charleston) and JM Smith Corporation (Spartanburg).

Other major employers that made the list include:

  • United Sporting Companies-distribution
  • Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc.-transportation
  • Hilex Poly Co, LLC.-manufacturing
  • EDENS-retail trade
  • G&P Trucking Company, Inc.-transportation
  • Medical Services of America, Inc.-health care

Vocational careers paths are available in essentially every growing or large industry in the state. For example, programs in construction trade or plumbing could prepare a student to enter the construction industry, while a diploma or certificate program in medical assisting or billing and coding could help pave the way for employment in South Carolina's health care system.

State of the local economy in South Carolina

The state's economic recovery can be seen in the relatively low unemployment rate of 6.4 percent as of August 2014. Yet, looking at the employment performance regionally throughout the state paints an even better picture. Multiple metropolitan areas in South Carolina have unemployment rates under 6 percent as of August 2014, led by Charleston at 5.3 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

  • Greenville: 5.3 percent
  • Anderson: 5.6 percent
  • Columbia: 5.6 percent
  • Spartanburg: 5.8 percent

In areas such as Greenville and Charleston, major employers can be found across a range of vocational-related career fields, such as health care and manufacturing. Below is a list of the five largest employers in Greenville, South Carolina as of July 2014, according to data from the Greenville Area Development Corporation:



Employees (As of July 2014)

Greenville Health System

Health Care


School District of Greenville County



Bon Secours St. Francis Health System

Health Care


Michelin North America, Inc.



GE Power & Water



Research from the Charleston Regional Development Alliance reveals Charleston to be not only one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country (7.2 percent between 2010 and 2013), but a metropolitan area that is experiencing remarkable business growth as well. Major companies, including Google, Boeing, Daimler and more have operations in Charleston. Manufacturing, a vital vocational career area, is a central reason for Charleston's economic success. Several companies employ more than 1,000 individuals in Charleston, including the following:



Boeing South Carolina


Robert Bosch LLC


Nucor Steel


KapStone Charleston Kraft LLC


Source: Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Vocational careers in South Carolina

South Carolina is committed to a trained and skilled workforce, evidenced by the formation of the Center for Accelerated Technology Training in 1961. Its program, readySC, partners with local businesses to equip prospective employees with the skills necessary for success in a diverse array of areas, such as aerospace, plastics, automotive, manufacturing, distribution and more.

Proper training from a program such as readySC or a vocational school in South Carolina is paramount to unlocking potential employment opportunities. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), those career opportunities are projected to continue well into the future. Below is a list of 15 jobs in the state that are projected by the BLS to have the largest number of job openings between 2012 and 2022:

CareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Median Wage
Occupational Therapy Aides17023180
Insulation Workers, Mechanical47036220
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians65020370
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters38023000
Occupational Therapy Assistants49056380
Brickmasons and Blockmasons65036530
Physical Therapist Aides46022110
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers83056850
Physical Therapist Assistants105052200
Home Health Aides1001019210
Dental Hygienists234055120
Personal Care Aides986019470
Medical Secretaries567030060
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Prospective students should investigates the benefit of vocational school training, diploma or certificate programs to discover how a post-secondary education can prepare them to join the workforce.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates -- South Carolina, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_sc.htm

Charleston Regional Development Alliance, A Solid Business Climate, http://www.crda.org/business/market_profile/leading_employers.html#manufacturing/

Federal Bank of Richmond, South Carolina Snapshot, 2014, https://www.richmondfed.org/research/regional_economy/reports/snapshot/pdf/snapshot_sc.pdf

Greenville Area Development Corporation, Major Employers, http://www.greenvilleeconomicdevelopment.com/major-employers.php

Projections Central, Long-Term Projections, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

readySC, http://www.readysc.org/industries.htm

Wells Fargo Economics Group, South Carolina 2013 Economic Outlook, https://www08.wellsfargomedia.com/downloads/pdf/com/insights/economics/regional-reports/South_Carolina_09252013.pdf

Vocational Schools in South Carolina
This list also contains online schools that accept students from South Carolina
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Everest University Online, a Division of Everest University, makes career training convenient and accessible. With courses tailored for working students and others who need a more flexible class schedule, Everest University Online allows students to learn from home and offers the same well-respected curriculum available at a traditional campus.

Programs : Computer Information Science (Bachelor's), Computer Information Science (Associate's), Applied Management (Associate's), and more..

Campus Locations :

Santa Ana: Santa Ana, CA

Career-focused education for real‐world results.

Programs : Bachelor's - Accounting, Bachelor's - Business Administration - Human Resource Management, Bachelor's - Business Administration, and more..

Campus Locations :

Chicago: Chicago, IL

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create. Please Call 855-816-4001 to speak to a customer representative.

Programs : Culinary Arts Management (BS), Interior Design (BFA), Web Design & Development (C), and more..

Campus Locations :

Charleston: 24 North Market Street Charleston, SC 29401

Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university that embodies its founding principles in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

Programs : Master of Science in Nursing Delivered Online, Specialization: Family Nurse Practitioner, Specialization: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and more..

Campus Locations :

Washington: 2121 I St NW, Washington, DC 20052

As an accredited university with online degree programs in five schools, Capella University is committed to helping you accomplish your goals through a high-caliber educational experience.

Programs : DBA - Leadership, PhD - Information Technology General, MS - Social and Community Services, and more..

Campus Locations :

Minneapolis: Capella Tower 225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55402

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

Programs : MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner, RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner, RN to BSN, and more..

Campus Locations :

Boston: 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Are you interested in pursuing a high-tech career? Getting an education from ITT Tech is a great place to start!

Programs : BS - Electrical Engineering and Communications Technology, AS - Criminology and Forensic Technology, BS - Project Management and Administration: IT Option, and more..

Campus Locations :

Columbia: 720 Gracern Road, Suite 120 Columbia, SC 29210

Greenville: Independence Corporate Park Six Independence Point Greenville, SC 29615

Charleston: 2431 W. Aviation Avenue Charleston, SC 29406

Myrtle Beach: 9654 N. Kings Highway, Ste 101 Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Claremont Lincoln University is a graduate university that provides innovative educational offerings with a global imperative.

Programs : Master of Arts in Social Impact, Master of Arts in Interfaith Action, Master of Arts in Ethical Leadership, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , CA

Get hands-on training with Remington College. Prefer to speak with a Customer Service Rep? Call 855-264-3155 toll-free now!

Programs : Diploma in Pharmacy Technician, Diploma in Cosmetology, Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding, and more..

Campus Locations :

Columbia: 607 Bush River Road Columbia, SC 29210

Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Electrician, Early Childhood Education, Funeral Service Education, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA 94404

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