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Costa Rica Job Listings

As the demand for English-speaking employees increases in Costa Rica, so does the demand for ESL and EFL teachers. But do not expect to get rich teaching in Costa Rica – you can live comfortably on what you earn, but savings will be minimal and you will definitely not be able to pay off student loans.

That said, Costa Rica does offer a lush tropical setting among some of the warmest, kindest people you will ever meet.

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Most ESL and EFL jobs can be found in the larger metro areas such as San Jose, but fear not should you find large, crowded cities claustrophobic; the relatively small size of the country affords you ample opportunity to travel regularly during your free time.

There is no real requirement for a TEFL, ESL or EFL certificate in order to teach in Costa Rica, but the chances of finding a higher-paying job are exponentially greater should you have one. That said, there does not appear to be any real distinction made between an online certificate versus one obtained through hours of study and observed teaching in a formal classroom setting. It seems that a certificate is a certificate. However, there is a requirement for a degree – in any discipline.

Employers are reluctant to go to the considerable expense of getting working visas for their ESL or EFL teachers until they have actually met the prospects face to face – meaning it will probably be more fruitful for a teacher to travel to Costa Rica and apply from within the country while travelling on a tourist visa. Not many schools hire from overseas. The peak hiring season begins at the start of the school term at the beginning of January. Employers will often wait until just before classes start before making their hiring decisions, once they have a feel for what the school enrolment is going to be. However, should you be in the country earlier it would be advisable to make the rounds of prospective schools to meet the boss and get a feel for the school. A caveat here – do not go job searching just after you have been to the beach. Dress as you would back home when applying for a job – first impressions count and Costa Ricans expect a certain level of professionalism from their teachers – whether you will be teaching at a public school for children, or a private academy for business professionals looking to hone their English skills in order to further their careers.

The tourism industry is big in Costa Rica and many ESL and EFL teachers supplement their income by taking on private students looking to get a foot-up in the tourist industry. This may be something to consider if you find that you have the time and inclination to earn a bit more than your school salary – which will be in the range of $600 to $1000 per month. The recent boom in private language academies has not really changed the salary in any significant way

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