As one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean, most TEFL positions in the Dominican Republic are voluntary rather than paid roles. While this isn’t good news for those looking for long-term teaching positions, it makes the Dominican Republic a great place for newbie TEFL teachers who want to get some experience under their belt before committing to a longer contract. Also, travellers who want to do a bit of teaching while on a gap year or backpacking trip will be drawn to this destination, which is a popular tourist spot. In fact, it’s the most visited destination in the Caribbean. The rising tourism industry in the Dominican Republic has led to increased demand for TEFL teachers, but wages remain modest. The low cost of living makes it easy to get by without earning much, and many voluntary positions will offer room and board in exchange for language skills. While many positions in the country are voluntary, it is possible to find paid positions, but bear in mind that many paying positions are at faith schools, where successful candidates will be chosen for their commitment to supporting students spiritually as well as academically.

Before  the formation of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the island was jointly named Hispaniola. The oldest cathedral in the Americas, which dates back to 1540, is located in the Dominican Republic and is called the Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor. In the Bay of Samana you can catch a glimpse of humpback whales during mating season, or visit the sanctuary for injured animals. There is much to see and do in this idyllic setting; read on to find out how to get a teaching job in the Dominican Republic.

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Key Facts

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Santo Domingo, San Juan de la Maguana and Santiago
  • Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 28,530 – 45,650 DOP (£350 – £570 / $500 – $800 USD) per month.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
  • Prerequisite university degree: Not always required but certainly beneficial
  • Term times: The school year begins in mid-August
  • Currency: DOP (Peso)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Teaching programmes: Public School, Private Language Schools, Business English, International Schools, Private Tutoring, Online Teaching, Volunteering
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Beneficial but not required for most jobs

Locals aren’t known for their punctuality, so don’t be surprised if your students are often late for class. While there is a need for teachers to instruct school aged children, there are also plenty of adults who want to learn English to prepare them for university studies or to help them succeed in business. People are quite relaxed about their studies and their skill level can be variable.

In a warm location like the Dominican Republic, teachers will need to think carefully about their wardrobe before travelling – you don’t need to be as modestly dressed as in other locations, but your teaching outfits should be cool to wear in warm weather but also look professional. Many teachers decide to use a scooter or motorbike to get around but be aware of what the roads are like. Motorbikes are popular because it makes it easy to get around, but accident rates are high. Something else to be aware of is that the Dominican Republic is one of the few countries in the world that has a complete ban on abortion. It’s illegal both for women to seek an abortion and also for health professionals to provide it, with punishment of up to ten years in prison.

Requirements for teaching English in Dominican Republic

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Argentina £500 - £950
($600 - $1,200)
No March Preferred No Yes None
Bolivia £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
No February Preferred No Yes None
Brazil £650 - £900
($800 - $1,100)
No February No No Yes None
Chile £550 - £800
($700 - $1,000)
No March No No Yes None
Colombia £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
No January/February No No Yes Under 62
Ecuador £400 - £650
($500 - $800)
Preferred May Preferred No Yes None
Guatemala £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
Preferred January No No Yes None
Mexico £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Preferred August No Sometimes Yes None
Peru £325 - £650
($400 - $800)
Yes March Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 70
Uruguay £325 - £800
($400 - $1000)
Preferred March Preferred No Yes None

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Living Costs

One of the cheapest countries in Latin America, the cost of living in the Dominican Republic is cheaper than in 80% of countries in the world. When it comes to spending your free time in this destination, hitting the beach is the obvious choice. Apart from a moderate stormy season, temperatures and weather don’t vary much throughout the year, and can be described as an ‘endless summer’ of warm, sunny weather. As well as beaches, there are swamps, tropical rainforests, and mountain ranges to explore. Golf is also highly popular in the Dominican Republic. Other popular activities include surfing, kayaking, swimming, kiteboarding, fishing, and horseback riding. If you’d rather spend your time visiting vibrant colonial cities and quaint villages, there will be plenty for you to do on your days off, not to mention the fascinating history and numerous museums there are to discover.

  • Accommodation: £606 – £813 / $775 – $1,040
  • Utilities: £47 / $60
  • Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £39 / $50
  • Monthly transport pass: £18 / $23
  • Basic dinner out for two: £21 / $27
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £3.61 / $4.62
  • A beer in a pub: £3.19 / $4.08
  • 1 litre of milk: £1.55 / $1.99
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £0.87 / $1.12

(living costs sourced from Expatistan)

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