By Susan Maphis, AccountingEdu contributing writer
Updated August 2015
Accounting is listed by the South Carolina Department of Commerce as one of the ‘Hot Jobs’ in the state. Between the years 2012 and 2022, the number of jobs available to accountants in South Carolina is expected to grow by 12 percent, translating to more than 3,000 new accounting positions during that period.
In 2014, the top industries to employ accountants in South Carolina were leisure, technology, security, and investment and banking, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
The South Carolina Board of Accountancy licenses qualified candidates interested in becoming certified public accountants. Qualifications include completing 150 semester hours of formal education resulting in a bachelor’s degree at minimum, gaining a year of public accounting experience, and passing the Uniform CPA Exam.
With most bachelor’s programs consisting of just 120 semester hours of college credit, earning a master’s in accounting provides the additional credit hours in advanced accounting coursework required for CPA licensure in South Carolina.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the reporting arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, the mean salary for accountants working in South Carolina was $59,240 as of 2014. Salary averages are considerably higher in select parts of the state. For example, accountants in the Augusta-Richmond County GA/SC area earn about $65,760 annually, and those employed in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC/SC area make an average of $76,390 per year.
The Pee Dee nonmetropolitan area of the state is another area where accountants make more than the state average, earning $61,500 on average each year. This area, in the northeastern corner of South Carolina, includes the cities of Florence and Myrtle Beach. At $66,490, accountants working in Sumter also make a higher than average salary.
South Carolina’s House of Representatives is hoping to attract online retailer, Amazon.com, to the state to open a distribution center in hopes that it will create 2,000 new jobs locally. To that end, they are proposing that Amazon.com receive a five-year exemption from collecting state sales tax on purchases made by residents of South Carolina. It is estimated by state legislators that the planned distribution center could bring $1.7 billion to the state over the next decade. The bill that allows the exemption has gone to Governor Nikki Haley’s office for her approval.
Another bill currently awaiting approval by the governor concerns a reduction of unemployment taxes that employers are obligated to pay, which contribute to unemployment benefits paid to laid off workers. The bill proposes an 18 percent tax cut for employers. It would reduce unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks and would render seasonal employees ineligible for unemployment benefits.