The city of Barcelona, Spain is known for its beauty, culture, and food. A seaside paradise, it is one of the largest tourist hubs of Europe and home to one of its largest football clubs. If you love wine, sports, or fashion, teaching English in Barcelona is the perfect option. Barcelona also has a rich history and vibrant political culture, as it is the capital of the Catalan region and is the second-largest city in Spain.
Barcelona is a city of art and architecture, where you will find the works of Antoni Gaudi scattered throughout the ancient city and Picasso in the museums. Foodies will fall in love with La Rambla, where fantastic food and sangrias await. Life and leisure in Barcelona is the ideal of Europe, and teaching English in Barcelona is the perfect opportunity to explore why.
Are you interested in teaching English in Spain and specifically Barcelona? Continue reading for all the information you’ll need to work in this highly desired destination.
Teaching English in Barcelona
With a large population of international professionals and ex-pats, there is a high demand for English teachers in Spain. Because of the global financial crisis, many adults in Spain are seeking to upgrade their education. In order to teach English in Spain, you must be a native English speaker. Besides that, however, the qualifications can vary greatly depending on the position.
While TEFL certification is a benefit and is a requirement for private institutions, you can still find a position. Also, some proficiency in Spanish is expected for most positions. With an enviable work culture and a fantastic attitude on life, teachers in Spain might just have the best jobs in Europe. You may also want to consider teaching ESL in the Czech Republic, ESL in France, or teaching in Finland.
Requirements to Teach English in Barcelona
Because of the competition, there are a few requirements in order to teach English in Barcelona. Though it varies by the institution, to compete in a larger city, at a minimum you will need:
- bachelor’s degree
- passport from a native English speaking country
- (most likely) some level of Spanish
For private institutions, you will need TEFL/CELTA certification and previous teaching experience. Even though it’s not absolutely necessary for public schools and tutoring, getting this additional certification in Barcelona will help you land the job you want. But don’t worry, TEFL certification will make you employable all over the world. Now, keep reading for everything you need to know about English teaching jobs in Barcelona.
Salary and Cost of Living for English Teaching Jobs in Barcelona
Check out this quick list of average salaries for English teaching jobs in Barcelona.
- Language and Cultural Assistant – Є700 – Є1300 per month for 15-20 hours of work a week
- Private Schools and Language Academies – Є1,500-2,000 per month
- International Schools – Є1,600 – 3,000 per month
- Private Tutor – Є20 – Є22 per hour plus living stipends
The most common jobs are language and cultural assistant positions. Although private and international schools offer higher salaries, they are rarer and more competitive. If your goal is to get one of these more prestigious jobs, you will need the qualifications and you will need to apply within Spain. It’s also a good idea to get TEFL certification in Barcelona. Visa-sponsored programs pay a flat rate each month. But if you are working at a language academy or tutoring, you are paid by the hour.
Housing in Barcelona
Housing in Barcelona is a bit tougher in comparison to the rest of Spain. Unfortunately, housing costs here can be quite high. However, if you’re a savvy traveler, you can find affordable housing. Generally, it is a good idea to look for housing within Barcelona so you can meet landlords face to face. Try staying in a hostel or Airbnb for a week or two while you find more permanent housing.
The cheapest option you’ll have is to rent a single room for around $325 a month. The next best option is to share a flat with roommates, which will cost around $375-$400 a month. Finally, if you want to have your own place while living in Barcelona, it can cost you up to $800 a month. If you want to save money on housing, try to avoid tourist locations, and make sure your neighborhood is well connected with transit and groceries. Spain also has many programs that include a homestay in your contract, like the Cultural Homestay International, which connects you with a host family. If you’re looking to learn Spanish or Catalan, these are attractive options.
If you’re looking to save a bit more cash due to a lower cost of living, then consider teaching ESL in Poland.
What to Expect When Teaching English in Barcelona
Barcelona has a fantastic work and leisure culture that will be exciting for you to experience. With a balance between relaxation and hard work, the savvy spender can thrive in this metropolis.
Fortunately, Spain has a fantastic work culture, where hourly wages and salaries are high, and work hours per week are lower than North American standards. It is very common for schools to have a two-hour long lunch break while students socialize outside.
Private teachers and language assistants can expect to work around 15-20 hours a week while making enough to live on. Even full-time positions prioritize a healthy work to leisure ratio. There is a relaxed dress code, so long as you are dressed respectfully. Also, in Spain, teachers take a more hands-on, interactive approach that might be unfamiliar to North American teachers who have more experience with standardized testing. As a teacher in Spain, you are expected to manage your classroom similarly to classrooms in North America.
How to apply for jobs
The easiest way to get a high-paying job with great benefits is to apply for jobs within Spain. When you are applying locally and especially if you are TEFL/CELTA certified, you will be able to find a job much easier. Otherwise, check out popular institutions like Meddeas, which has over 200 educational centers. Another notable institution is the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP), which places native English and French speakers all over the country to teach English in Spain.
Types of English Teaching Jobs in Barcelona
To be a teacher in Barcelona, you will have to compete with educators from around the world who all want to teach in one of the best cities in Europe. Although public school positions are easier to get, they also pay less. Don’t worry though. With some experience and TEFL certification, you will find a job just fine!
Language and Cultural Assistant
If you’re looking to enter the public education system, there are many positions available through the North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain. These positions are easier to obtain, so you will only need to be a native English speaker with a degree.
This is a perfect opportunity for young professionals with a degree who are looking to get experience teaching. The job runs from the beginning of the primary and secondary school years in October and ends in May. As a language and culture assistant, your job will be to support local teachers and facilitate conversational activities with students. Best of all, TEFL certification is not required for these positions.
Private Schools/Language Academies
These are the most abundant English teaching jobs in Spain. If you are TEFL/CELTA certified, it is very easy to land a contract at a private school or language academy. Barcelona has many of these opportunities, and they compete with each other to get the best teachers.
Therefore, you will need some Spanish and teaching experience. TEFL INTL certification is always a benefit and usually lands you a higher salary. These are full-time positions where you will have benefits and vacation time. It is easier to land one of these jobs if you are already living in Spain. It may seem like a risk to move before you land a contract, but remember that there is a high demand for English teachers in Spain.
If you want to English in Madrid, there are many international schools with positions regularly available. These schools offer instruction in many languages. Usually, it is English, French, Spanish, German, or Japanese. As Spain is a highly desired destination, many ex-pat children attend these schools.
The models of education often follow American, British, or French schools, which will make the transition to teaching English in Spain much easier. Some are non-profit and some are privately run. Teachers here will need to be familiar with the International Baccalaureate curriculum or the International Primary Curriculum. Positions at these schools are very competitive and given to highly qualified teachers.
Children, teenagers, university students, and professionals of all types are all seeking private tutors. Families will often hire an experienced teacher to tutor all of their children, which means that private tutoring can be a very lucrative English teaching job in Spain. Private tutoring is a great option if you are looking to immerse yourself in the culture of Spain.
Often you will live with the family you are tutoring and will give private lessons several times a week. As you will be living with your family, your accommodation is included as a benefit in addition to a modest living allowance. As a private tutor, whether you are living with your students or not, you are truly able to connect with the heart of Spain.
Things to Consider When Teaching English in Barcelona
Looking for a quick glance at teaching in Barcelona? Or are you looking to double-check your facts before you make the trip to this amazing country? Check out this quick guide to essential knowledge for teaching English in Barcelona.
- The process of obtaining a visa can take a long time if you are not from the EU, so plan accordingly. The sooner you get your application in the better!
- As a whole, Spain is one of the safest countries in the EU. Madrid and Barcelona regularly top the charts for happiness.
- Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find job opportunities, especially for private academies. Get to know the locals and you will make these connections with ease.
- Loquo is a fantastic place to look for language academy positions. It’s basically Spanish Craigslist.
Teaching ESL In Barcelona FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching in this amazing city. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How much do TEFL teachers make in Barcelona?
TEFL teachers in Barcelona generally make between 1000-2000 Euros per month. However, you can supplement your income with private teaching for around 20 Euros per hour.
Are ESL teachers in demand in Barcelona?
There is certainly demand for ESL teachers in Barcelona. However, people from the EU have a much easier time finding jobs as English teachers in Spain than those without that.
Can you make a living teaching English in Barcelona?
You can make a living teaching English in Barcelona. However, you likely won’t be able to save a significant amount of money like you might be able to teaching ESL in the Middle East or some parts of Asia.
Do I need a TEFL certificate to teach in Barcelona?
You can sometimes find a teaching job in Barcelona without a TEFL certificate. However, you will need a Bachelor’s degree and be from a native English-speaking country.
Join the Conversation About Teaching English in Barcelona
What are your thoughts about teaching English in Barcelona? Is it the right option for you, or are you looking for another high-paying European destination like the Czech Republic? If you’re looking for a high salary, China is an amazing place for teachers to practice their craft.