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Not certified but want to teach?

Earn your teaching certificate and a salary at the same time.

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South Carolina teachers are in demand more than ever. In fact, South Carolina has over 1,400 open teaching positions across the state. (1) Those are job opportunities, just waiting for someone to pursue them!

Alternative certification lets you start teaching — and get paid — while you work toward your standard teaching certificate.

Alternative vs. Standard Teacher Certification

In South Carolina, you can get certified to teach through either a standard teaching program or an alternative certification program.

Have experience in the content area you plan to teach? Alternative certification lets you quickly apply your knowledge and expertise in the classroom.

Steps to Alternative Certification in South Carolina

Some teaching programs will have you complete these steps in a different order — but in general, here’s what you’ll need to do:
  1. 1

    Have at least a bachelor’s degree

    Most teaching programs require a minimum GPA, as well as a certain number of college credits in your future teaching subject. Check with programs that interest you about their specific requirements. (3)

    You may also need to take the Praxis test in your teaching subject area, to show you know your stuff. Not to worry! TeachSC offers free test prep, group study sessions and vouchers to pay for your Praxis. Learn more.

  2. 2

    Apply to alternative certification programs and enroll

    You can research programs with the TeachSC Program Explorer! Look for “certification only” programs, then filter by cost, grade level, subject area and more.

    TeachSC will reimburse up to $100 of application-related costs! That includes required test fees, ordering transcripts and more. Get the details about reimbursement

  3. 3

    Complete a background check

    You'll need to complete a background check before you can teach in a classroom. To do this, create an account in the SC Educator Portal. Then, follow the background check instructions.

  4. 4

    Apply for a statement of eligibility

    A statement of eligibility is a document that says you've been approved to teach with an alternative route certificate. Your program staff can help you complete the steps to get this document.

  5. 5

    Find a teaching job in a South Carolina school district

    Your teaching program may also be able to help you with this step! The teaching positions you apply for should match the subject and grade level you want to get certified to teach.

    The CERRA (Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement) job board is a great place to start looking for job openings. Check out our resume and cover letter guides for application tips and downloadable templates!

    Some alternative teaching programs require you to teach in a specific partner school district. Check with your program to see if you're required to work in a particular district.

    It's also worth checking out district salary schedules before you accept a teaching position. Learn more about South Carolina teacher salaries.

  6. 6

    Get your alternative route certificate

    To get your certificate, your school district must submit a confirmation of employment to the Department of Education on your behalf. The Department of Ed will then issue your alternative route certificate.

    For some teaching programs, you’ll complete other steps or training to get your alternative route certificate. Check with your program to find out about their process.

  7. 7

    Start teaching!


Talk to a Coach

An aspiring SC teacher talks to a TeachSC career coach over Zoom

Have more questions? A TeachSC career coach can help you decide if alternative certification is right for you. Set up a 1:1 coaching session for free!

Schedule Your Free Session

What’s next

Start Teaching While You Get Certified

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to start teaching right away through an alternative certification program.

Read More

Praxis Subject Test: Everything You Need to Know

More than 40 states require a Praxis test to measure the academic skills and content knowledge needed for teaching. Learn what you need to know from TEACH.org

Read More


  1. February 2023: Supply & Demand Update. Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, & Advancement. https://www.cerra.org/uploads/1/7/6/8/17684955/february2023_supply_demand_update.pdf 
  2. Certificate Types. South Carolina Department of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/certification/certificatetypes/
  3. Guidance for Prospective Alternative Route Certification Participants. South Carolina Department of Education. https://ed.sc.gov/educators/alternative-certification/programs/