Teach English in the Dominican Republic

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
August 23, 2023

Contents

Why teach in Dominica
Best places to teach
How to qualify
Types of jobs
Average salary
Cost of living
Life and culture

If you like pina colada and dancing in the rain, teaching English in the Dominican Republic is calling your name!

This Caribbean island nation is known for its gorgeous beaches, lush green forests and colourful colonial cities. It’s a great destination for adventure lovers, with swamps, mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, sugar plantations and even deserts to explore. It’s even the top golf destination in the Caribbean. 

From above-ground adventures to underwater activities or safari trips, the Dominican Republic has a lot to offer.

Why teach English in the Dominican Republic?

Teaching English in the Dominican Republic is a fun way to expand your career and experience new cultures

Tourism is a growing industry and there is a growing national investment in foreign English-speaking teachers.

Teaching jobs are available year-round

Coffee is the national drink of the Dominican Republic! Need we say more?

Best places for English teaching jobs in the Dominican Republic

Wondering where are the best places to teach in the Dominican Republic? Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana are the most popular among TEFL teachers.

Santo Domingo

For the more culturally-minded

Colonial architecture can be found in the capital of Santo Domingo, while there are numerous small villages to walk around. The city has a thriving arts scene, with museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing local and international talent.

As for teaching English, there is a high demand for English language teaching jobs in Santo Domingo, particularly among business professionals and students. There are many language schools and private tutoring opportunities available, and the cost of living in Santo Domingo is generally lower than in many other major cities in the region.

Santiago

Best for outdoor adventurers

Moving on to the second largest city, Santiago is known for its friendly locals, lively nightlife, and beautiful natural surroundings. Santiago is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping.

Punta Cana

For the beach bum

Punta Cana is a resort town located on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. Known for its stunning beaches, and crystal-clear waters, it’s a great place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a relaxed lifestyle.

Punta Cana jobs to look out for are in private language schools, in hotels, resorts, and other tourist-related industries and teaching private lessons.

How to qualify to teach English in the Dominican Republic?

To teach in the Dominican Republic, you need to have a degree and be able to speak and understand basic Spanish. Teaching experience is not essential but is preferred for the best teaching jobs.

Let’s get down to business! 

Visa requirements

To work in the Dominican Republic, you need a work visa. This is known as a Visa de Negocios con Fines Laborales. You can apply for a visa through the Dominican Republic consulate in your home country. However, many teachers work on a tourist visa, though this is not strictly legal. Many nationalities qualify for a tourist visa on arrival.

TEFL certification

Most schools in the Dominican Republic require teachers to have a basic Level 3 TEFL certification

Don’t have teaching experience? We recommend the Level 5 Combined TEFL course as this includes 10 hours of in-class teaching practice.

Bachelor’s degree

Many schools in the Dominican Republic require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree in any field.

Experience

Some schools require teachers to have prior teaching experience. However, there are also opportunities for new teachers to gain experience. Yay!

Start-up capital

You will need some start-up capital to cover your first month’s expenses, which will include your flight, housing, transport, and food:

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. A tourist visa costs around $95, while a work visa costs around $150.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about ฿30,000 ($850) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in the Dominican Republic

Private language schools

Private schools in the Dominican Republic are a popular option for English teachers. Class sizes are smaller, salaries are higher and benefits are much better than in public schools.

Public schools

In public schools, class sizes are larger, the average income is lower and hiring standards are lower too – which is perfect for new TEFL teachers who are looking to gain teaching experience. 

International schools

Many international school education systems either follow an American or combined American and Dominican curriculum. You will most likely teach children in Elementary school.

Government-sponsored jobs 

The Ministry of Higher Education (MOE) hires certified teachers to teach university-aged students at English immersion institutions.

Online teaching

Teaching English online is a great way to supplement your income. There are a multitude of online teaching companies to choose from, with students ranging from young children to corporate professionals.

Private tutoring

Private tutoring is another lucrative way for English teachers in the Dominican Republic to earn extra cash. Private tutoring is a great option for teachers who want to work independently and set their own schedules.

What is the average teaching salary in the Dominican Republic?

Salaries are not that high, but good enough to live comfortably. Some schools provide accommodation or reimburse you for your flights, so while salaries may not be much more than the cost of living, it is much more manageable if you don’t have to pay for accommodation.

Average wages for an English teacher in the Dominican Republic is around $700-$2000 a month. However, your average income varies depending on your qualifications, experience, and the type of school you work for.

What is the cost of living in the Dominican Republic?

Housing

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre:
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre:
  • Rent: 1 bedroom flat $260 -$498

Utilities

  • Gas, water, electricity: $59

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop:
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $7.30

Transport

  • Monthly pass: $44
  • One-way trip (local transport): $0.64

What's it like to live and work in the Dominican Republic?

The amount of English-speaking locals is pretty low in the Dominican Republic – so it’s best to brush up on your Spanish before heading abroad. 

The tropical island offers a really easy-going lifestyle. Your presence as an educator will have an impact on students, so you’ll have a great sense of career fulfilment. 

In terms of affordability, living in the Dominican Republic allows you to live comfortably. Having said that, it’s not a place you go to get a high-paying job and to save money- but rather to enjoy the interesting culture and great location. 

Start your teaching journey with an accredited TEFL course provider.

Contents

If you like pina colada and dancing in the rain, teaching English in the Dominican Republic is calling your name!

This Caribbean island nation is known for its gorgeous beaches, lush green forests and colourful colonial cities. It’s a great destination for adventure lovers, with swamps, mountain ranges, tropical rainforests, sugar plantations and even deserts to explore. It’s even the top golf destination in the Caribbean. 

From above-ground adventures to underwater activities or safari trips, the Dominican Republic has a lot to offer.

Why teach English in the Dominican Republic?

Teaching English in the Dominican Republic is a fun way to expand your career and experience new cultures

Tourism is a growing industry and there is a growing national investment in foreign English-speaking teachers.

Teaching jobs are available year-round

Coffee is the national drink of the Dominican Republic! Need we say more?

Best places for English teaching jobs in the Dominican Republic

Wondering where are the best places to teach in the Dominican Republic? Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana are the most popular among TEFL teachers.

Santo Domingo

For the more culturally-minded

Colonial architecture can be found in the capital of Santo Domingo, while there are numerous small villages to walk around. The city has a thriving arts scene, with museums, galleries, and theatres showcasing local and international talent.

As for teaching English, there is a high demand for English language teaching jobs in Santo Domingo, particularly among business professionals and students. There are many language schools and private tutoring opportunities available, and the cost of living in Santo Domingo is generally lower than in many other major cities in the region.

Santiago

Best for outdoor adventurers

Moving on to the second largest city, Santiago is known for its friendly locals, lively nightlife, and beautiful natural surroundings. Santiago is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping.

Punta Cana

For the beach bum

Punta Cana is a resort town located on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. Known for its stunning beaches, and crystal-clear waters, it’s a great place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a relaxed lifestyle.

Punta Cana jobs to look out for are in private language schools, in hotels, resorts, and other tourist-related industries and teaching private lessons.

How to qualify to teach English in the Dominican Republic?

To teach in the Dominican Republic, you need to have a degree and be able to speak and understand basic Spanish. Teaching experience is not essential but is preferred for the best teaching jobs.

Let’s get down to business! 

Visa requirements

To work in the Dominican Republic, you need a work visa. This is known as a Visa de Negocios con Fines Laborales. You can apply for a visa through the Dominican Republic consulate in your home country. However, many teachers work on a tourist visa, though this is not strictly legal. Many nationalities qualify for a tourist visa on arrival.

TEFL certification

Most schools in the Dominican Republic require teachers to have a basic Level 3 TEFL certification

Don’t have teaching experience? We recommend the Level 5 Combined TEFL course as this includes 10 hours of in-class teaching practice.

Bachelor’s degree

Many schools in the Dominican Republic require teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree in any field.

Experience

Some schools require teachers to have prior teaching experience. However, there are also opportunities for new teachers to gain experience. Yay!

Start-up capital

You will need some start-up capital to cover your first month’s expenses, which will include your flight, housing, transport, and food:

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  • TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  • Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  • Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. A tourist visa costs around $95, while a work visa costs around $150.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about ฿30,000 ($850) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in the Dominican Republic

Private language schools

Private schools in the Dominican Republic are a popular option for English teachers. Class sizes are smaller, salaries are higher and benefits are much better than in public schools.

Public schools

In public schools, class sizes are larger, the average income is lower and hiring standards are lower too – which is perfect for new TEFL teachers who are looking to gain teaching experience. 

International schools

Many international school education systems either follow an American or combined American and Dominican curriculum. You will most likely teach children in Elementary school.

Government-sponsored jobs 

The Ministry of Higher Education (MOE) hires certified teachers to teach university-aged students at English immersion institutions.

Online teaching

Teaching English online is a great way to supplement your income. There are a multitude of online teaching companies to choose from, with students ranging from young children to corporate professionals.

Private tutoring

Private tutoring is another lucrative way for English teachers in the Dominican Republic to earn extra cash. Private tutoring is a great option for teachers who want to work independently and set their own schedules.

What is the average teaching salary in the Dominican Republic?

Salaries are not that high, but good enough to live comfortably. Some schools provide accommodation or reimburse you for your flights, so while salaries may not be much more than the cost of living, it is much more manageable if you don’t have to pay for accommodation.

Average wages for an English teacher in the Dominican Republic is around $700-$2000 a month. However, your average income varies depending on your qualifications, experience, and the type of school you work for.

What is the cost of living in the Dominican Republic?

Housing

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre:
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre:
  • Rent: 1 bedroom flat $260 -$498

Utilities

  • Gas, water, electricity: $59

Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop:
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $7.30

Transport

  • Monthly pass: $44
  • One-way trip (local transport): $0.64

What's it like to live and work in the Dominican Republic?

The amount of English-speaking locals is pretty low in the Dominican Republic – so it’s best to brush up on your Spanish before heading abroad. 

The tropical island offers a really easy-going lifestyle. Your presence as an educator will have an impact on students, so you’ll have a great sense of career fulfilment. 

In terms of affordability, living in the Dominican Republic allows you to live comfortably. Having said that, it’s not a place you go to get a high-paying job and to save money- but rather to enjoy the interesting culture and great location. 

Start your teaching journey with an accredited TEFL course provider.

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