• Education: 
    Preferably a BA/BS though for teaching English in Costa Rica it’s not required
  • TEFL Certification: 
    Necessary TEFL/TESOL certification obtainable by the 4-week in-person course in San Jose – Heredia, one of ITA’s 4-week TEFL courses in 25 worldwide locations or 170-hour online TEFL class.
  • Peak hiring months: 
    All through the year
  • Types of Jobs: 
    Private students and teaching in English schools
  • Typical Hiring Process: 
    Most schools have in-person interviews while some take it in advance over phone
  • Average teaching hours per week: 
    20-30 hours in the classroom plus preparation hours
  • Types of Students: 
    Business professionals, school children and private students
  • Cost of Living per month: 
    $700-$900 USD (430,000-550,000 CRC)
  • Visas: 
    Tourist visa and independent contractor licenses. Visa renewal mostly through a “Border Hop” which is common and legal
  • Average Monthly Pay: 
    $700-$900 USD (430,000-550,000 CRC)
  • Start –up cost: 
    $1,200-$1,800 USD (729,000-1,100,000 CRC)
  • Potential to save or break-even: 
  • Accommodation Benefits: 
    Usually not provided
  • Fight Reimbursements: 


Costa Rica is a country that is particularly well-known for the warm hospitality of its people (known affectionately as “Ticos”), the world-class beaches, and a stunning a tropical beauty. All of these together make the country a hot job market for those interested in teaching English in the Latin American continent.

Teachers are offered solid hourly wages which allows them to lead a more than comfortable lifestyle not only while they are in the country but also while traveling around the region. The low cost of living ensures start-up costs are also low, making it extremely affordable for those who transition into the country. This is especially true for the Americans who have to pay a cheap airfare in order to get here.

Work weeks in English language schools located in Costa Rica are no more than 20 to 25 hours long which leaves aside plenty of time for exploring and traveling the region.

It is not necessary to have a Bachelor’s degree for securing a job in the country, but employers often tend to show a strong preference for candidates possessing one. Those without a degree can expect to deal with a highly competitive job search process.

Employers typically look for a TEFL certification. Bulk of the teaching positions is concentrated in Costa Rica’s largest city of San Jose though many more opportunities are typically available scattered all over the country.