Minimum Wage in Costa Rica

In comparison to the United States and Europe, the minimum wage in Costa Rica is significantly higher. The Labor Code covers the labor force extensively, including private firms and households, although it does not include self-employed people or unpaid family members. Public sector workers, on the other hand, cannot earn less than what is paid in the private sector. The minimum wage is also based on skill level, with the average market rate falling as the number of unskilled workers increases.

Average Salary

While the average salary in Costa Rica is high compared to other Latin American countries, the middle class can do well on a smaller amount. It is estimated that an average salary is around USD $700 per month for a middle-class worker, or around $450 per month if you’re married. However, the amount of money you make per month will depend on your housing situation and your lifestyle. If you’re looking to live comfortably in Costa Rica, the average salary range is between 566,000 and 848900 CRC. However, if you’re traveling with a partner, you should aim to earn between 1,131,900 and 1,697,800 CRC per month. A family with children would likely require more than a single adult.

The national salary council in Costa Rica includes representatives of labor and employers, as well as Costa Rican government officials. Its members assess the labor market, economic development, and inflation rates to determine the appropriate minimum salary. The council also determines the payment method and time for salary. Salary in Costa Rica is typically paid weekly or monthly, depending on the type of work performed and the skill level of the employee. Moreover, the wage in Costa Rica may vary depending on the profession.

Skill level

The minimum wage in Costa Rica varies depending on the job description, skill level, experience, and other factors. For example, workers with two to five years of experience will earn an average of 32% more than juniors. People with more than five years of experience and those with a college degree or diploma will earn an average of 17% more than those with only a high school education. However, it is important to note that the minimum wage is only one part of the compensation package. In some professions, workers will earn much higher wages.

The minimum wage in Costa Rica varies depending on the job description, region, and skill level. The lowest salary is about 9,600 CRC (or 17 USD) per eight-hour day. For other professions, the minimum wage is slightly higher – housekeepers and farm workers make less than two dollars an hour. Moreover, the cost of living in Costa Rica is high and an entry-level skilled worker would need to work all day just to match the minimum wage in Seattle. The following table gives an idea of the legal minimum wage for different levels of qualification and education.


The Costa Rican government has regulated the salary of workers by introducing an all-inclusive list of positions and qualifications. There are more than 250 jobs at minimum wage and Costa Rican employers are unlikely to pay more than the law. This discourages foreigners from working in the country. However, Costa Rican wages are constantly adjusted twice a year to account for inflation. For this reason, the salary of a professional can be up to 27% higher than that of a person with just a high school education.

If you’re a foreigner, it’s likely that you’ll need to take a temporary job while you adjust to Costa Rica’s culture and working hours. In addition, if you don’t speak Spanish, there are numerous opportunities to work as a semi-skilled worker. Speaking English can also help you get a job as an English tutor. Although there are few opportunities for people with artistic skills, Costa Rica is an excellent place for students to showcase their talent and earn more.

Social security

The Costa Rican government has implemented a national campaign to increase workers’ compliance with minimum wage laws. Known as the Campana Nacional de Salarios Minimos (National Campaign for Minimum Wages), this campaign was introduced in 2010. The Campaign is administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The campaign was successful in increasing the wages of workers by 10%. The greatest increase was seen among women and younger workers with lower educational levels. While the Campaign had no significant impact on full-time workers, it did have a modest effect on part-time private sector employees.

For employers who fail to register their employees, the government levies a penalty. During the first three months after an employee becomes ill, a registered employee pays half his or her monthly salary as a Social Security benefit. After three months of contributions, the Social Security Administration covers the remaining half. A pregnant employee can also apply for a leave of absence. Social security in Costa Rica covers 50 percent of the full salary for pregnant employees, and employers can deduct half the amount of unpaid leave for maternity.

Paternity leave

In Costa Rica, paid paternity leave is a right granted to all public sector workers, except for those who are self-employed. Despite its importance, Costa Rican law does not support a work-life balance, which is often the main reason parents choose to take time off. In Costa Rica, workers can take up to eight days off after the birth of their child. In addition, Costa Rica’s Social Security Fund covers the cost of prenatal care and postnatal care in Health Care Centres, and there are no unemployment benefits.

In Costa Rica, employees are entitled to twelve days of paid leave every year and two days of paid rest. Employers must pay 50% of the employee’s salary during the first three days of the leave. After the fourth day, employers cannot pay sick leave and must cover it with social security. If the mother is taking off for six weeks or longer, her employer must cover 60% of her salary. Moreover, Costa Rican law allows employers to share maternity leave payments with the Costa Rican Social Security fund.


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