Teaching English in Costa Rica
Teaching English in Costa Rica offers a decent salary for you to live on, anywhere in the range of $500-1,200 USD per month for 20-24 hours per week.
If you’re thinking about teaching English in Costa Rica, you can expect warm hospitality, sandy beaches, and a relatively safe environment. Costa Rica offers a decent salary for you to live on, anywhere in the range of $500-1,200 USD per month for 20-24 hours per week.
Compared to the rest of Latin America, Costa Rica is a bit more expensive. Although food and healthcare are cheap, electronics can be on the expensive side. Costa Rica is fairly safe. Petty theft is pretty much unavoidable. Drug trafficking also happens in some parts of the country.
When teaching English in Costa Rica, a lot of teachers picture themselves working next to the beach. But most jobs are in San Jose which is about 3-4 hours away from beaches. Keep your expectations in check because you probably won’t be teaching next to a beach and volcano or surrounded by monkeys. That’s usually not the case at all.
No degree is required for teaching English in Costa Rica. But a Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification can really help you work anywhere you want in the country. Most jobs are in San Jose, but there are other schools around the country if you keep an eye out.
You can apply directly by sending your CV/resume to schools. We always recommend finding a school that will help you with your visa/health insurance. Because the salary is just enough to live in, we also suggest teaching English online through platforms like Cambly or VIPKid.
Some schools to consider working for are:
In Costa Rica, you can earn anywhere from $500-1,200 USD (₡400,000 colones) per month teaching English for 20-24 hours per week. It’s a salary that’s enough to live from but doesn’t leave a lot for savings.
An apartment rental costs about $600 per month. If you can, try to find teaching jobs in Costa Rica with subsidized rent to save you a bit of money. Although food and healthcare are cheap, electronics can be on the expensive side.
It is more expensive than the rest of Latin America, so bear that in mind when looking at salaries. This is why you might find other teachers in Costa Rica teaching English online as a complementary salary.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Costa Rica does not require applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree to work there. But a university degree and a TEFL certificate can open more doors for job opportunities.
Costa Rica is reasonably safe. It’s common to be a victim of petty theft, as it’s pretty much unavoidable. Drug trafficking also happens in some parts of the country.
Consult with your nearest embassy for the latest information on visa eligibility and requirements for Costa Rica. But the short answer is yes, you need a work visa/working holiday visa to teach English in Costa Rica. We always recommend finding a school that will help you with your visa/health insurance.
Many people already live and teach English in Costa Rica without knowing Spanish. Though it is better to know Spanish, Costa Rica is used to having foreigners around.
In general, you can’t save very much money in Costa Rica compared to other locations in the world. Alternatively, teachers turn to teach English online for additional savings.