South Carolina, one of the original 13 colonies, was the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. It’s the 23rd most populous state in the U.S. and was named for King Charles I of England. The state’s GDP in 2019 was $249.9 billion, which makes it the 26thlargest GDP in the U.S., attracting businesses with no state property tax and a 5% corporate income tax rate.
South Carolinians who want to pursue a career in finance and financial planning will be happy to know that state’s population increased 11.3% from 2010 to 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the median household income in the state in 2019 was $53,199 in South Carolina, which was lower than the $62,843 national median household income, but the median gross rents are lower in the state: $894 in South Carolina vs. $1,062 nationwide in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The unemployment rate in South Carolina was 4.6% in December 2020, which is 2.1 percentage points lower than the national unemployment rate or 6.7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The December 2020 figure is higher than the December 2019 unemployment rate of 2.4%, but still is a third lower than the national average.
There are 1,084 Certified Financial Planners working in South Carolina, according to the CFP Board, which tracks such data. The figure represents 1.2% of the total number of CFPs in the U.S. CFPs are fiduciaries, which means they must act in the best interest of their clients even if that doesn’t align with their business interests.
Those who want to work in finance or financial planning in South Carolina will need to decide whether they want to work as fee-based advisors, charging clients fees to manage their assets or on a commission basis around the commission for sales of products and services.
The BLS publishes salary data for financial advisors, stockbrokers and annuity/insurance agents in South Carolina for Charleston-North Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, Northeast South Carolina nonmetropolitan area, Spartanburg, Sumter and the Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area.
Financial Advisor Salary in South Carolina
Financial advisors in South Carolina make a wide salary range depending on their location. For example, in Sumter, advisors make $50,930 per year, which is lower than the median household income in the state, whereas advisors in the Myrtle Beach metro area make more than double that salary at $137,870 per year, and agents in Columbia make $95,360. Salaries for experienced advisors aren’t as high in South Carolina as you’d expect with Hilton Head advisors making $133,660 and Sumter advisors making $64,950 in the 90th percentile.
Stockbroker Salary in South Carolina
Annual mean salaries for stockbrokers are more consistent across the state, with brokers in the Northeast nonmetropolitan area earning the lowest salary at $47,220 and brokers in Hilton Head making the highest compensation at $84,490. For experienced brokers in the 75th percentile of salaries, Hilton Head agent compensation jumps to $116,310 and $55,270 in the Northeast nonmetro area.
Life/Annuity Producer Salary in South Carolina
Insurance agents in South Carolina make annual mean salaries ranging from $40K in Sumter to more than $70K in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort region. Interestingly, experienced agents in the Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area make the highest salaries in the state at the 90th percentile at $192,830 per year.
(Salary and job growth data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019 for personal financial advisors; securities, commodities and financial services sales agents; and insurance sales agents. Figures represent national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Information accessed February 2021.)