Work in Costa Rica
Interested in the idea of going to work in Costa Rica? Good decision. View our guide for foreigners with information about visas, positions and international recruiters.
Work & Travel Programs & Jobs for English Speakers in Costa Rica
Search paid positions in Costa Rica for internationals.
Top Reasons to Work in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica is very a developed country
- Salaries are generally higher than other countries in the region
- You can choose from modern bustling towns and cities to more relaxed coastal destination
- Costa Rica is a very safe destination with millions of tourists visiting annually
These are the biggest industries in Costa Rica which hire most staff:
- Au Pair
- Customer Service
- Education & Teaching
- Travel & Tourism:
Jobs for Foreigners & English Speakers in Costa Rica
Looking to work abroad in a beautiful destination with friendly people, beautiful beaches and incredible nature? Consider Costa Rica as your destination. Our website features recruiters who offer jobs to Americans and other worldwide nationalities in Costa Rica. Various international companies have offices and hire international staff from all around the world. Some positions can be applied for in advance whilst others can be applied for in country. Most employers will also help you get the correct visa.
One of the best ways to live and work in Costa Rica as an English speaker is in the tourism industry. Although this industry employs a large number of locals there are still opportunities for internationals. You could work as a tour guide as they need English speakers to lead trips and excursions. There are also surf schools, dive resorts and activity centers which need English speakers.
Jobs for Students & Graduates in Costa Rica
We get a lot of enquiries from students and graduates asking about help to get work in Costa Rica. If you are looking for seasonal or summer jobs in Costa Rica then we highly recommend teaching. You could take a TEFL certification program in Costa Rica which give you a worldwide recognised qualification. Teaching jobs in Costa Rica are one of the best ways to get employment in the country as local people are very keen to learn and improve their English - this is partly because they can then get better job prospects especially as tourism is so huge to the economy.
Jobs for Backpackers in Costa Rica
Quite a lot of hotels and hostels throughout the country offer casual work to travellers, some offer free accommodation and food in exchange for helping out. If you are lucky some might even offer cash in hand or a stipend salary. Another option you might not have thought about is volunteer work in Costa Rica - although generally unpaid you will get accommodation covered and enjoy a really rewarding experience.
There is an average yearly salary of around $12,000 USD in Costa Rica but what you get paid really varies depending on the job and company. You also need to remember wages might be low but the cost of living is also low compared to the USA for example.
Best Places to Seek Employment
San José is the capital of Costa Rica and where a lot of companies are based - this is where a lot of jobs can be found. Other places in the country you could seek positions include Jaco and Guanacaste. For alternative options view jobs in Nicaragua or our guide how to work in Panama.
Top Tips for Getting Hired
- Try to gain as much experience as possible
- Network and make connections with forigners already living and working here
- If you don't already know the basics, pick up the local lingo. You could book Spanish classes in Costa Rica with a local language school or start practising before arriving. This will stand you at a huge advantage over non-Spanish speaking applicants.
If you offer jobs in Costa Rica and would like to advertise them here please contact us.
Top Reasons to Intern in Costa Rica
This country is appealing for so many reasons, there is spectacular nature, a booming tourism industry, exotic wildlife and a range of internship programs available in areas like media, journalism, conservation and tourism in places like San Jose.
- A developing country
- Gain experience for your CV/resume
- Choice of placements
- Make new business contacts and friends from all over the world
- Beautiful country which you can see more of in your spare time
Popular Places to Intern in Costa Rica
- San Jose
Types of Placements Available
You can intern in a wide range of industries and fields of work including:
- Sustainable Development Internships in Costa Rica
- Tourism Internships in Costa Rica
- Restaurant Management Internships in Costa Rica
- Media & Journalism Internships in Costa Rica
- Medical, Healthcare & Social Work Internships in Costa Rica
- Marketing Internships in Costa Rica
- Biology, Conservation & Marine Internships in Costa Rica
- Education Internships in Costa Rica
- Vetinerary & Animal Care Internships in Costa Rica
Paid Internships in Costa Rica
Most internships in Costa Rica are unpaid due to visa restrictions allthough some companies do offer a montly stipend depending on the position. Most internships in Costa Rica require itnernational interns to pay a fee to participate. This forms part of a structured and safe placement which usually includes:
- Internship placement and supervision
- Airport pick-up
- Housing – homestay
- Spanish language training
- Social and cultural activities
- Travel Insurance
- 24/7 emergency support
- Support during your stay
UK and U.S. citizens + a selection of other nationalities do not need a visa if you plan to stay for 3 months of less. If you are planning to join a longerm internship program in Costa Rica then you might need to apply for a temporary residency but this depends on the position and company.
Cost of Living
Cost Rica is quite an expensive intern destination compared to other countries in Cental America. But it is a lot cheaper than other countries interning in the USA and Canada. Some internships include accommodation in the price, or if you are organising a position independently you can expect to have around US$500 outgoings per month (rent, food, transport).
How to Apply
You can search our featured internships and apply above.
Reviews & Testimonials
Have you ever been to intern in Costa Rica? Would you like to share your experience or review a company/placement? Contact us today.
“This program is not only a wonderful way to get more involved in ecological research, but also an awesome cultural opportunity,” Jennifer Cheatham, Costa Rica Intern with The Science Exchange
"I interned in Costa Rica with GVI at the age of 21 in Costa Rica and have been working with the company ever since! It has been a fantastic opportunity and I know will pay off as I continue to build and develop as a person and in my career!" - Alyssia, USA