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How to Become an Employed Expat in Costa Rica

Article Summary:

Not so fast expat. Want to work in Costa Rica? Get yourself a work permit first and then check out one of these top jobs for English-speaking expats.

Photo Credit: Ddeubel

Original Article Text From Costa Rica Times:

Top Jobs for Expats in Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – As an expat looking for a job in Costa Rica, you have to get a work permit prior to getting employed. Other permits may also be required by the government, especially in bigger industries and multinational companies. Costa Rican government is more lenient to expats employed in small jobs like being a waitress or working at a sportsbook.

English Teacher
English is a widely used language and has become the country’s second language over the past decade. Most grade schools in CR mandate their students to speak the language in class, while college students and graduates have also enrolled in English courses and hired tutors to land better jobs. With the rise of the BPO industry in CR, call centers require native English speakers to train their representatives. Minimum requirement for this job is a TEFL or TESOL certificate. Depending on your level of expertise, the pay ranges from $5 to $20 an hour.

Call Center Agents
Offshore call centers are a part of an industry that puts millions of people on the phones to answer inquiries from local and English-speaking customers. This job pays you anywhere between $5 and $8 per hour depending on your skills. If you are fluent in Spanish, English, and a third language, there are multilingual positions that offer thrice the salary range of the bilingual call center agent.

Rich expats can start their own business in CR. Being a top tourist destination, you can hire ticos who are known to be highly skilled in bartending and waitressing, and know how to party. Expats have opened bars and restaurants that remain open until the early hours in the morning. You will surely need a business license and other permits, and may initially be stressful and costly. But soon as your business picks up, the cash comes in nonstop.

Writers are usually those that write content and articles for CR websites that require both English and Spanish content. They may also do proofreading and translation, and get paid anywhere from $5 to $12 per article (300 to 1000 words or more). Writers have one of the best lifestyles in the country, as they also get paid to write about their travel, dining, and social experiences. Although they become very busy at times, they obviously have more freedom to relax, compared to other jobs in CR.

Much like a customer service representative, being a concierge lets you personally interact with an infinite number of hotel guests, potentially widening your network. This job also pays well, ranging from $3 to $6 an hour, plus the tips from your well-pampered guests.

Tour Guide
If you’ve been living in CR for quite some time and know the country like the back of your hand, you may consider applying as a tour guide. Businesses that cater to travellers may need your help in touring their customers, especially those of foreign nationals or English speakers. But you won’t be able to survive in CR by just being a tour guide. Consider this as a part-time job opportunity or a way to kill your boredom.

Sales Agents
An expat in CR has that unique charm that attracts other people to them. Take advantage of your charisma by getting a job in sales or marketing. Develop that skill to engage people without being intimidating. Try the real estate or the retail industry for starters. A license is not required to be a real estate broker in CR. Marketing is also a good option. Be sociable during events and represent the company you are working for. Of course, some background in marketing is required.

Sportsbook Agents
Sportsbooks and gambling operations are found all throughout Costa Rica. There are various jobs in the industry ranging from sales, to line movers, to wager takers, to affiliate agents. These jobs are usually under the radar of the Costa Rican government and pay quite well. During football season good sales agents can make upwards of $2,000 a month, but after football season expect layoffs.

As a general rule, find a job in CR that best fits your existing skill set. If you previously worked as a finance broker then you should look for jobs in banks and financial institutions. Also, set your expectations that you may land an entry-level job in CR despite a very strong industry background.

Link to Original Article:

From Costa Rica Times

  • Clarice Wilson

    Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places in Central America to visit or stay. There are lot of job opportunities for English speaking Expats. Finding jobs in Costa Rica is easy if one is thorough with good English speaking skills along with other local languages of Costa Rica.

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