Updated 5 months ago

If you are looking for a job in the Dominican Republic, here are some hints and tips to help you.

If you want to do any kind of work in the Dominican Republic, remember that you should have residency or a work visa. While it is true that many people are still working without residency or a work visa, it is illegal and the government is getting more strict about it.

Work options

You have six different options when it comes to working in the Dominican Republic:

Work online

Many expats work online for companies around the world. The work ranges from writing, translating, website management and web design, or data entry. Working online is not one of the categories for obtaining residency, nor a work visa, so to obtain the former you will need to qualify under another category (such as the spouse of a Dominican citizen, or be in receipt of a pension for example). Full details are available in this article about general visa requirements for the Dominican Republic.

Work in a Free Zone or Call Centre

Most of the free Zones are owned by expats, and they are manufacturers of tools, shoes, clothing, and jewellery. In addition, there are several call centres that hire native English speakers. These jobs are quite straightforward to find and are all over the country as there are Free Zones in most large towns. The salaries are not that high, usually not reaching USD $1,000 a month.

Expatriate Contract

Financially this is the best type of job to have, as the expatriate packages pay significantly more, including paid return trips to the home country, and usually, offer a generous accommodation allowance. There are several multinational companies in the Dominican Republic, especially in telecoms, NGOs, the United Nations, the World Bank, and Canadian mining companies.

Own Business

Many expats set up their own businesses in the Dominican Republic. These are usually, but not always, either serving the expat market such as restaurants, bars, and real estate in expat areas or serving the tourists. The latter includes bars and restaurants in non-all-inclusive hotel areas, plus tour companies, car hire, or travel agencies.

International schools

Several expats hold teaching positions in International Schools throughout the country. They are located in the capital, Santo Domingo, as well as in Santiago, the second largest city. International schools can also be found in other expat areas such as Las Terrenas, Sosúa, and Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana/Bávaro. While a teaching qualification is preferred, it is not essential, and the pay is better than the Free Zones and often, although not always, accommodation is provided.

Other work

Other work is also available, specifically in hotels, in management or guest services, property management, diving, or other expat-focused or tourist-related businesses.

Finding a job in the Dominican Republic

As usual, networking is one of the easiest ways to find a job, but failing that there are several online publications with jobs advertised in the Dominican Republic. In addition, you can apply directly to the international companies based in the country or the NGOs. Foreign embassies, especially the US embassy, also employ expats from that country. There are also lists of the international schools and the Free Zone companies on the DR1 forum has an employment board.

 Important:

  • It is essential that you should have at least some working knowledge of Spanish before trying to find a job in the Dominican Republic. Your résumé should be written in English and Spanish.
  • Dominican wages are normally paid every 15 days and it is usual for 10% tax to be deducted. If you earn less than the limit for personal taxation, currently around USD $800 a month, you can claim this back from the taxation office.
  • Under Dominican labour law, you are to receive 2 weeks paid holiday a year and an extra month’s salary just before Christmas.
  • Under Dominican labour law, should your employer dismiss you, they have to pay what is known as liquidation, which is one month’s salary for each year you have worked plus a percentage of your holiday pay and Christmas pay.

 Useful links:

Ley Laboral (in Spanish)

Jobsites
DR1
Aldaba 
Glassdoor
List of Free Zones (In Spanish)

Job providers
NGO: Plan International
Charity: Oxfam
Mining: Barrick Pueblo Viejo
U.S. Embassy

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.