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Finding Employment

Dominican Republic - Finding Employment

The Dominican Republic has a growing economy that attracts many expats to come and work in this country. In the past, this country played a significant role in exporting sugar, coffee and tobacco, but during recent periods, tourism has become the biggest source of employment. Even though it's not so easy to find a job in the Caribbean, it is possible to find good jobs in this country, because Dominicans are quite flexible when it comes to hiring foreigners with particular skills.

The best opportunities can be found in various newspapers and websites or by contacting local employment agencies. As in any other Caribbean country, teaching English is always a good source of income for expats.

Expat job market

It is advisable that expats check out the Dominican job market before arriving in this country. That can help them see the current status of the market, what's on offer, and potential salary expectations. It's good to contact companies in the Dominican Republic, sending them job applications and updated personal information, letting them know of the exact date of relocation if possible.

The only problem is that most of the companies prefer expats who have already relocated and many of them would rather consider the applications of those who are already in the country. However, recruiters may pay more when applying from abroad. If the employer offers a lower salary, it still doesn't mean that it is a standard salary in the country. It depends on various factors, and language abilities are sometimes the major deciding factor.

There are several employment agencies in Dominican Republic. The majority of agencies require a resume and a 2x2 photo. Expats usually don't have to pay for these services as employment agencies charge companies for referrals.

Local newspapers

A good way to see the variety of job offers is to check out the local newspapers. The major local newspaper is Listin Diario which offers a wide variety of job posts. On their web page, there's even a "classifieds" section, where expats can look for jobs before arriving to Dominican Republic. Most of the job ads can be found in that section, under "Empleos".

Although most of the job ads are in Spanish, there are also a number of ads in English, German and French for those who are looking for non-Spanish speaking jobs. It is possible to find jobs in the Dominican Republic without speaking Spanish, but the search can be quite limited. The easiest way for expats to find jobs here is to look in the tourism industry and international businesses.


For those who speak Spanish, networking is definitely the best option to find a job. Sometimes it's as simple as letting your friends and acquaintances know that you're looking for employment. Dominicans are known for being very helpful, giving all the leads they can.

Teaching English

The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination, so there's a growing demand for English-speaking staff in the tourism industry. English teachers are needed too, especially in some poorer areas of the country. There are several types of English teaching jobs in this country.

International schools

The majority of international schools are located in larger cities in Dominican Republic, such as Santiago and Santo Domingo. In general, they follow the American curriculum, so American teachers are usually preferred. There's a need for primary teachers for elementary-aged children who are supposed to learn English at a basic level.

Volunteer jobs

In poorer areas, there's a need for English teachers for young students who are learning the language at a beginner level. Expats who choose this option have to possess a basic level of Spanish in order to help students in the classroom. In these schools, English is not the only subject they learn, but also other languages, art, sports, and music.

Government sponsored jobs

The Ministry of Higher Education usually hires English teachers for university students. The majority of students already have some knowledge of the English language at this stage.

Working conditions

In rural areas, working conditions may be fairly unpleasant. The conditions are better in the manufacturing industry, especially when making and processing goods for export. In general, workers are expected to work hard for low wages in an environment that is often dangerous.

Working conditions are more acceptable in the tourism industry, especially in modern resorts. However, wages in this sector still tend to be low. Expats who work in this country usually have better working conditions than the local people. Universities, language schools and tourism usually offer safe and clean environments. Wages in these sectors are high compared to other sectors and to local people's salaries.

Working hours

The normal working week in the Dominican Republic is 40 hours long, consisting of five 8-hour workdays. This runs from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, there are some businesses that close for a siesta, which happens in the middle of the day and lasts for two hours. In some companies, people work an additional 4 hours on Saturdays. Part-time employees in this country work at least 29 hours a week.


The Dominican Republic has 12 national holidays per year for its workers. After one year of service, employees have the right to 14 working days of paid vacation as well. After five years of service, employees should receive 18 working days of paid vacation per year.

Working culture

The working culture in this country can be seen as quite informal. Networking plays an important role in Dominican business. Dominicans usually shake hands with their business partners, make eye contact and smile. It's not uncommon for casual conversation and small talk to take place at the end of business meetings.

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