If your goal is to stay in the Dominican Republic on a permanent basis you will likely be looking for some sort of work. Finding a job in the DR isn’t that easy to do. I’m not going to get into whether you need a work or business visa or not. The rules vary depending on which country you are coming from. The purpose of this post is just to help you think of ways to earn a little extra money to extend your stay.
There are several problems with trying to get employment here in the DR. First, employers are required to hire Dominicans first, if there is a Dominican qualified for the job it will likely go to him (her). Second, Dominicans will work for very little money $2.00 – $3.00 USD per hour is considered good money here.
If you are a native English speaker you can likely find some work with one of the schools, in particular one of the private schools. I know several people that have also been able to make some extra money doing private tutoring. Frequently the “English” teachers in the schools know very little English, so often people wanting to learn the language are willing to pay to have a native speaker help them. Other than very high end jobs, this is about the only local work I have seen had much success.
Competing with the locals by trying to sell other services is pretty tough. In the more rural areas, $10.00 – $15.00 is a normal daily wage. Few foreigner are going to be able to compete with that, so thoughts of making things to sell, or providing services that can also be offered by locals probably won’t work. Even if you are more qualified than your competitors, cheap will usually win out over quality here.
Teach English over the Internet
One fairly popular way to make money here is to get a job teaching and tutoring English over the internet. The going wage for this is $8.00 to $10.00 USD per hour. While that may not seem like much if you are used to the wages in the US. $10.00 goes pretty far here so this is worth checking into.
There are two directions to go with this one. Work for yourself (host your own website to write articles for), or work for other websites. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Once you find the work, working for someone else gives you instant cash. You do the article, send it in and get paid. Working on your own sites works out better in the long run but it could take weeks, months or years to make your going wage once you have uploaded an article. Let’s talk a little more about both.
Writing for someone else – Website owners are constantly looking to add fresh content for their sites. If you are able to write well and you know a subject well, you can likely find people willing to pay you to write articles. Some subjects pay better than others but you can expect between 1-4 cents (USD) per word you write. This works out well if you know a subject well and will not need to research too much. If you are going to have to research everything you write in the article, this is going to take you far more time and the competition is much rougher because there are thousands of other people that are trying to make money the same way. If you know a subject well enough to write unique, authoritative articles without having to do too much research you will likely be able to charge far more for the article than a researcher could.
Writing for yourself – This means hosting your own website, writing articles and promoting your site. Once you start getting some traffic you can start selling advertisements. Finding ways to make money from your site is a full topic on its own. You can find most of the information you need to get started on this site Top Website Tips .
This one should be considered a long term plan. It can take a couple years to start making much money with your own websites. However, you can be sitting on the beach or anywhere else while you are writing. You set your own schedule (this can be a problem for some), and the work you do will continue to pay over many years. This is more of a building project; it starts slow and continues to build over the years. This is also a good way to showcase your writing so that you are able to find paid writing jobs easier.
Internet work is pretty much ideal for foreigners looking to make some money in the DR. While the competition is still pretty high, the payout is also much higher. This is also a good option if you just want to make some side income to supplement some other income source. When you have time, you write, no time, your site continues to bring in some income while you are doing other things.
If you speak multiple languages you can search the internet for translation jobs. Usually with these jobs you are “on call” for certain times of the day to provide the service when called upon. You will usually perform the translation via telephone, Skype or one of the other conference call systems. This site give some ideas on what is required for Skype Conference Calling.
High End Skilled Labor
There are many high end jobs available here with the larger companies. If you have skills that are not common in the Dominican Republic you can conduct a job search here in the same manner as you would in the States. Likely you will find these jobs in the larger cities like Santiago and Santo Domingo, but the tourist cities may also be an option.
So, as a recap. If you are looking for some side income, don’t try to compete with the locals. Dominicans and Haitians will work for far less than what you are used to being paid. Look for income sources where you can provide something unique that can’t easily be duplicated here. If you are going to be trying to get hired by a company, check into the laws for Dominican Republic work visas and other requirements. And unfortunately, for the most part don’t expect to get paid anywhere near what you were paid where ever you came from. The good part is living (and working) in the Dominican Republic, you likely need far less money and you get to live out your Caribbean Dreams!