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Teaching English in Costa Rica

Many college students and others needing a break from the daily grind of the USA seek refuge in Costa Rica while trying to find themselves.  The first job that comes to mind for many is teaching English in Costa Rica.

teaching-english-in-costa-ricaIn some countries you will find that simply speaking (some) English will get you a teaching job immediately; this is not so in Costa Rica! The first thing you should know about teaching English in Costa Rica is that you won’t get a job until you get here. Come here being prepared to take any job you can find if a teaching job proves hard to solidify. Below you can find some facts about teaching here.

What requirements are there to get hired to teach English? Most jobs require a TEFL certification, so much so that they would prefer to hire a trained teacher with bad English than a native speaker without a certification! You can consider coming here to take a certification class. Many of these schools will provide you a host family and help trying to find a job (without guarantee).

Aside from that certification the qualities looked favorably upon include o professional look and personality, bachelors degree in any field, and a clear speaking voice. You will want to say that you are a native speaker if you are not from North America. Mention any significant amount of time spent in North America as well. If you have fluency in other languages that will give you an extra edge. German, French, and Chinese are popular languages for Costa Rican’s to learn. Schools may want to hire you to teach multiple languages.

Where will you teach? Most teaching jobs are in and around the central valley. A few schools have classrooms but most will expect you to go to office buildings to teach business English in conference rooms.  Most locations take a few buses to get to and this time is not usually paid. Bring rain gear to protect your professional attire! Select schools are found in beach communities. The competition for these jobs is higher and the pay lower.

How much will you work and be paid? A typical teaching schedule includes nights and weekends as well as early mornings. The most common schedule is a split-shift teaching for example from 7-9 a.m. and then again from 5-9 p.m. The expected salary is between $500-900. Teachers with a lot of experience can ask for $1,000.

By Kerry La

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