The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Be vigilant about phishing scams. When visiting a website associated with our agency, use the links below on our official homepage.

Are you a young person looking for part-time or summer work? Explore the Youth Employment Site! 

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Data for 2023

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Data for 2023

By LMI Staff


The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual update to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS). This data set estimates the employment numbers and wages for around 830 occupations, covering the nation overall and each state, as well as metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The estimates are derived from a survey administered in partnership with S.C. DEW and other workforce agencies around the country.

South Carolina Highlights

  • For 2023, the average annual wage across all occupations in South Carolina was $54,250 (based on 2,080 hours of work in a year at an hourly rate of $26.08).
    • This was up $3,600 from the average salary of $50,650 in 2022, a 7.1 percent gain.
  • The most commonly held job in South Carolina in 2023 was retail salesperson. The survey found 69,050 of them, and they were being paid, on average, $15.24 an hour.
  • Other occupations with employment of 50,000 or more included (along with their average pay):
    • 60,800 fast food and counter workers, $12.50 per hour
    • 56,350 customer service representatives, $18.47 per hour
    • 55,560 cashiers, $12.60 per hour
    • 54,000 manual laborers/material movers, $17.69 per hour
  • The most common occupational grouping in 2023 was Office and Administrative Support, which accounted for nearly 286,000 jobs in the state. The average hour wage in this group was $20.31.
  • The highest paid individual occupation for the year was orthopedic surgeon, with an annual average of $398,350.
  • When ranking the list of occupations by pay, the Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations group, to which orthopedic surgeon belongs, dominates. The top job not specifically belonging to this group is chief executive, the 17th highest paid job. South Carolina chief executives averaged $220,650 annually in 2023.
  • Management Occupations as a group, however, did claim the top spot for average pay at $116,250 annually. Computer and Mathematical Occupations was second, at $93,300 annually. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, despite so many of the highest individual earners, come in third at $91,640 annually.

Another feature of the OEWS data is the location quotient (LQ), a measure of the relative prevalence of an occupation compared to the US average. An LQ of 1, for example, indicates the concentration of that job is exactly equal to the national average. An LQ of 2 indicates double the average concentration.  South Carolina had four jobs in 2023 with relative concentrations at least nine times greater than the national average.

  • Tire builders, LQ of 13.94
  • Refractory materials repairers (i.e., workers who build or repair equipment using heat resistant materials, like brick, ceramic, etc.), LQ of 9.90
  • Glass extruding and forming machine operators, LQ of 9.47
  • Textile knitting and weaving machine operators, LQ of 9.14

A table with the employment and average hourly wage for all major South Carolina occupations groups is below:

Occupation Group


     Hourly mean wage







Business and Financial Operations



Computer and Mathematical



Architecture and Engineering



Life, Physical, and Social Science



Community and Social Service






Educational Instruction and Library



Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media



Healthcare Practitioners and Technical



Healthcare Support



Protective Service



Food Preparation and Serving Related



Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance



Personal Care and Service



Sales and Related



Office and Administrative Support



Farming, Fishing, and Forestry



Construction and Extraction



Installation, Maintenance, and Repair






Transportation and Material Moving