Some people will move down to Costa Rica with plenty of savings and investments to maintain them the rest of their lives; others have businesses in the U.S. they can keep running, or other passive income sources.
However, most people will face the reality that, although the cost of living may be lower in Costa Rica, you still need to work and make money.
In the Special Report: Working, Earning Income, and Making a Living in Costa Rica, you'll get an incredible amount of information, advice, and even specific companies that are hiring in Costa Rica!
But, for now, let's cover some basics. The vast majority of expats that live in Costa Rica and work in-country find jobs in these fields:
• Teaching English
• Booking for tourism
• Social media, digital marketing, websites, and other online content
• Retreats and events
• Selling real estate
• Other jobs you can do
• Working for a U.S. or international company in Costa Rica
I’ll break down some information for the second half of this list here (but I cover them all thoroughly in the Special Report on working in Costa Rica.)
Social media, digital marketing, websites, and other online content
We’re straying a little bit from practical brick-and-mortar jobs you can do in Costa Rica here, but it’s worth mentioning because so many expats and foreigners work online, doing digital marketing, building websites, running Facebook and Instagram ads, selling products online, or just producing content like a book or guide (like this one)>
However, if you haven’t worked in this field for a while already and had some financial success, then I wouldn’t recommend starting this up fresh as your main source of income when you get to Costa Rica.
I've been in this field for about nine years living abroad, so I'm happy to coach you or act as your consultant to help you launch your career as a digital nomad. Just contact me if you want some assistance.
Retreats and events
Organizing and hosting various retreats, conferences and other events can be a lucrative business in Costa Rica. Everyone wants to come to Costa Rica, and if you have existing relationships back in your home country with companies, groups, or hobbyists, you can leverage those by setting up a retreat.
Alternative health, yoga, surfing, nature and ecological tours, bird watching, student groups, Christian or religious groups, volunteering, SCUBA divers, fisherman, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, corporate team building, leadership skill training, Spanish immersion schools, author and writing classes, detox, de-stressing and crystal healing are just a few of the examples of the retreats, workshops and classes you can offer in Costa Rica.
I also see a LOT of yoga retreats in Costa Rica and abroad, and one of the other most profitable businesses is offering yoga teacher training retreats in the land of pura vida. They make some serious cash and have a nonstop flow of people signing up.
Real estate agent:
A great way to make a living in Costa Rica is to work selling real estate. Licensing is present but not legally mandated, though you do need to be a permanent resident, although you’ll see a lot of people skirt this law.
You have a host of options in real estate, including:
• Independent sales
• Forming your own company
• Working for a local Tico real estate attorney or company
• Becoming a realtor for a big international company like RE/MAX or Century 21
• Inside sales for a new condominium or housing project
• Rental leasing agent or property management
There are some huge benefits to being a real estate agent in Costa Rica and solid earning potential, but there are also some inherent challenges.
You can make great money in real estate, or no money in real estate – as an agent, it’s all up to you –100% commission I’ve worked for a long time in real estate, mortgage, for real estate attorneys, and the last given years doing marketing for real estate agents, so feel free to contact me if you need more help getting set up.
Becoming a real estate agent in Costa Rica Virtually anyone can become a real estate agent in Costa Rica and there’s no exam, no license, and not a lot you can do legally if a real estate agent cheats or defrauds you.
Other jobs you can do:
There’s a short list of other jobs I see a lot of foreign visitors, expats, and Tico locals alike working to make a living. A lot of this is seasonal and based on tourism, so paychecks can be feast or famine as well. But if you need some sort of wage just to augment your savings or keep the lights on during the slow (rainy) season, take a look at these jobs:
teacher trainings, like I mentioned.
• Wedding planner
Foreigners coming down to get married in Costa Rica are big business and can be lucrative, but it takes a ton of organization, planning, hard work, and local contacts.
If you want to have stable work and make a salary that will leave you very comfortable by Costa Rican standards, you might want to research which firms are located in Costa Rica and start contacting them to apply. International firms in Costa Rica aren’t hard to find on the Internet, and there are various Tico chambers of commerce and professional business organizations that can help you. But do note that most of these jobs are located in and around San José.
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