Updated 3 years ago

Finding a job in Costa Rica is not as easy as it seems. What about San Jose? Find out in this article.

Divided into 20 cantons, San Jose is a Costa Rican province whose capital city is also San Jose. According to the last census carried out in 2012, its population amounts to a total of 1,633,282 inhabitants. But estimates tend to show an increase in the number of inhabitants in the whole region.

Since 1823, San Jose hosts the seat of the Costa Rican government. Located on the heights of the Central Valley, between volcanic mountains, it is surrounded by suburbs clinging to the hillside. Escazú, another major city which is found in the same province, is where many North American expatriates have settled. Accordingly, this area is known to be an upscale region, even more than the city center.

San Jose is also considered to be the country's cultural center as it hosts many theater groups, museums, parks, a national symphony, as well as universities. Thus, you can access to various leisure activities if you intend to settle there.


San Jose is definitely one of the country's most dynamic regions despite these features. Indeed, many airports, namely the Tobías Bolaños and Juan Santamaria airports, among others, as well as roads, railways, ports, Virilla, Pirrís, Grande de Candelaria, Naranjo División Chirripó, General and Pejibaye waterways, etc, cross the province.

Note that agriculture is deemed to be its main economic pillar, thanks to the production of coffee, fresh vegetables, sugar cane, snuff, beans, maize, fruits and ornamental plants. Industry, as evidenced by the number of businesses that have been set up there and involved in food production, textile, packaging, containers, glass and medicines, etc., also makes a significant contribution to the local economy.

Labor market

Before starting your job search in San Jose, it is best to go through the article Work in Costa Rica so that you have an idea about related conditions and procedures, for instance, obtaining a work permit or a resident permit to be considered as a legal worker. You must also have a good command of English, and why not Spanish which is the country's official language.

 Good to know:

Note that local employers cannot hire foreigners unless they have qualifications and skills that are required and not available locally.

Finally, as an expatriate in San Jose, you are more likely to be hired in the engineering, infrastructure and high technology fields.

Find a job

If you are not yet in the country, you can start your job search on the Internet thanks to several general and specialized job websites. We are also providing you with a few useful links at the end of this article. You can as well register with professional social networks such as Viadeo, Linked In, Facebook, etc.

In case you are already on the spot and you have already obtained your resident permit, feel free to send spontaneous job applications to companies operating across the city, and why not go there in person. In most cases, you have more chances of landing a job by being on the spot. Indeed, most employers prefer hiring locals rather than foreigners due to the numerous inconveniences that occur.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Job offers in San Jose 
Expat.com – Work in San Jose Forum 
Busco Empleo –Public Employment Service www.buscoempleocr.com
El Empleo www.elempleo.com
Glassdoor www.glassdoor.com
List of American companies in Costa Rica costarica.com
Linked In www.linkedin.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.