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How to Find Jobs and Work in Costa Rica | Costa Rica Work Visa

How to Find Jobs and Work in Costa Rica | Costa Rica Work Visa

Costa Rica’s labor market is robust, with a relatively stable 8% unemployment rate. This tariff, however, primarily applies to citizens of the country.

If you’re wondering how to find a job in Costa Rica, you should realize that it’s challenging. Costa Rican legislation strongly favors hiring residents over temporary expats, and foreigners may only work once they have obtained permanent residency. However, this should not deter you from following your Costa Rican ambition. Working for oneself is a popular choice in the country, and entrepreneurial expats might consider starting their own firm.

If you are fortunate enough to find work in this tropical country, you will enjoy casual working hours and a pleasant company atmosphere. The average monthly pay is low, around 283,000-565,900 CRC (500-1,000 USD), but so is the cost of living. Expats looking for jobs in Costa Rica could look into the tourist, hospitality, conservation, and technology industries.

Interested? Learn more about how to apply for a job in this country, whether foreigners pay into social security, and how long maternity leave lasts in our Working section.

How to Find Work as a Foreigner in Costa Rica

How can a foreigner find work in Costa Rica? While the procedure is simple, actually obtaining a job is difficult. This is because Costa Rican legislation requires locals to be considered for jobs before foreigners. If a corporation makes an offer to an expat, the company must demonstrate that the foreigner is better qualified than any local candidate.

If you are offered a job in Costa Rica but do not have a work permit, you should decline the employment. While illicit work does occur in Costa Rica, if detected, you risk significant fines, deportation, and blacklisting. Although the path to finding work in this country is challenging, it is worthwhile.

Work Requirements and Eligibility in Costa Rica

Being a permanent resident is the primary criterion for working in Costa Rica. It is possible to work with temporary permission, but only on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the Department of Immigration.

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Being a highly competent worker is one approach to securing a job and a work permit in Costa Rica. A bachelor’s degree is required, but a master’s degree or above is desirable. You should also have several years of expertise in your field. This is due to the fact that you and your business will need to demonstrate that you are better qualified than a local candidate. Costa Rica’s populace is highly educated, so this will be a difficult undertaking.

How to Find Work in Costa Rica

What is the best approach for a foreigner to get work in Costa Rica? Expats might pursue a variety of job search options. To begin, you can hunt for work from overseas or come to the nation on a tourist visa and look in person. Keep in mind that converting a tourist visa to a resident visa and work permit costs an additional 113,200 CRC (200 USD). More information can be found in our Visa and Work Permits section.

Speculative Applications

You might be surprised to learn that speculative applications are popular in Costa Rica, particularly among foreigners. Unsolicited resumes and cover letters are submitted to potential employers. Rather than discussing a specific position, your cover letter should showcase the type of employment you are seeking.

Speculative applications can be sent to any sort of company in Costa Rica, however the following are some of the best:

Schools (both traditional and language schools); tourism enterprises such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants; adventure and theme parks.
It is also worthwhile to call the local Chamber of Commerce and get a list of companies in the region where you want to live.


There are numerous online employment boards where expats can look for available positions. Aside from global sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed, job searchers could also consider the following:;; Fiverr; ESL Café;
Expats should also look through the classifieds section of The Tico Times, an online publication.

Employment Agencies

Local and international recruitment companies are both excellent places to begin your Costa Rica employment search. A qualified agent may check into your skills and employment requirements and help you locate the right position for you.

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Foreign Job Opportunities in Costa Rica

Inter-company transfers are one of the most common routes for foreigners to work in Costa Rica. Many foreign corporations have operations here, and this form of transfer makes it simple to obtain a work permit and a resident visa.

If an inter-company move is not an option for you, here are some other occupations in Costa Rica where foreigners will have the most opportunities:

English teacher; contact center representative; IT specialist; seasonal employee at a hotel or adventure park. Tourism, hospitality, conservation work, and real estate are all popular sectors.

Average Salary and Minimum Wage in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s average monthly pay is around 283,000 CRC (500 USD). The cost of living in this country is inexpensive as well, however, due to housing expenditures, foreigners will discover that anything less than 565,900 CRC (1,000 USD) per month will necessitate living paycheck to paycheck.

What is the Costa Rican Minimum Wage?

Costa Rica has minimum salaries for professions rather than a minimum hourly salary. This cost is based on an 8-hour workday and varies depending on whether the job is for a skilled or unskilled worker.

In general, the lowest minimum salary in Costa Rica for any profession is around 9,600 CRC (17 USD) every 8-hour workday.

The USD CRC each hour 1200 2.10 per day for 8 hours Weekly wage of $9,600 17.00 (40 hours) 48,000 85.00 dollars per month 192,000 340.00 dollars per year 2,304,000 4,070 dollars

Visit the Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social (the Ministry of Labor and Social Security) website for more information on Costa Rica’s minimum salary by profession.

What is the annual average salary in Costa Rica?

In Costa Rica, the average yearly salary is between 2,304,000 and 8,601,600 CRC (4,070-15,210 USD).

What Does a Good Salary in Costa Rica Look Like?

The salary you require in Costa Rica is determined on your specific living situation. Are you a single foreigner who is content with a room in a shared house? Do you have a family that is relocating for work? The style of house and luxuries you desire will have a significant impact on what is considered suitable pay for you.

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Most expats can live well in Costa Rica on a monthly income of 566,000-848,900 CRC (1,000-1,500 USD) per adult. This indicates that an expat pair should expect to earn 1,131,900-1,697,800 CRC (2,000-3,000 USD) each month together. A family with children should strive for a higher income.

The Highest-Paying Jobs and How Much They Pay (Monthly)

Profession The USD CRC 300-1,000 169,800-566,000 300-1,000 Accountant 2,300,000 4,000 Nurse 24,800,000 43,800 1,131,900 Software Engineer 2,000 2,020,000 3,600 Architect Manager of Marketing 2,790,000 4,900 1,006,080 1,800 1,006,080 1,006,080 1,006,080 1,00 7,500 Web Developer 4,240,000 Designer of User Experience 1,202,600 2,100



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