Spain is one of the most popular destinations to teach abroad in Europe. With its rich culture and history and leisurely work culture, Spain makes for the perfect destination for new teachers and experienced teachers alike. If the siesta is a habit that calls to you or the vibrant flamenco dance amazes you, consider teaching English in Spain. With a rich food culture that has an abundance of liquor and tapas, you will constantly find adventure in this European paradise.
Even without a TEFL certification, you will be able to find work in this country as its demand for teachers grows each year. With or without experience, you will be able to find some type of employment. Although the higher-paying positions with better benefits are more competitive and usually require better qualifications, there are still many jobs that don’t require native English speakers to have any certification.
If you’re a native English speaker and want to teach English in Spain, continue reading so you’ll know everything you need to start a career as an English teacher in Spain, including teaching jobs in Madrid.
Teaching English in Spain
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. Teaching English in bigger cities like Barcelona may certainly be more competitive in terms of qualifications.
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, teaching English in France, or teaching in Finland.
Teach English in Barcelona
Teaching English in Barcelona is a unique opportunity for English teachers in Spain, where you can experience everything that Spain has to offer. There are many language and cultural assistant positions available in the city, as well as international schools and universities, such as the University of Barcelona.
If Barcelona is a tempting destination, you’re in luck! This city has the highest average salaries for English teachers in Spain. Though you’ll have to be careful because Barcelona is one of the most common cities for pick-pocketing. Additionally, because of the high quality of life in Barcelona, these positions are very competitive.
Teach English in Madrid
If you’re looking for the closest thing to a metropolitan dream, then the capital of Spain, Madrid, is the destination for you. Like Barcelona, there is a vibrant culture rich with food and music. There are also many language and cultural assistant positions available.
Madrid is the number one destination in Spain for professionals and cosmopolitans. It offers a vibrant nightlife and rewarding social life. It also has the highest number of jobs available in Spain, so starting your job hunt in this city is a great idea. You may also want to consider teaching in Poland which has similar advantages.
Qualifications for Teaching ESL in Spain
There are a few requirements in order to teach English in Spain. Though it varies by the institution 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.
Here is a quick reminder on the various language programs for international teachers.
- TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- TESOL: Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages
- TESL: Teaching English as a Second Language
- CELTA: Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (now known as Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
The first three acronyms are used to refer to any program to train new English-speaking teachers abroad. Most private and international schools and language academies will have specific requirements, especially for TEFL INTL or CELTA certification. TEFL INTL is a certification that you can obtain in person in Spain, which makes you a more competitive candidate for private institutions.
But don’t worry, TEFL certification will make you employable all over the world. CELTA is a specific language program offered by Cambridge University. Schools offering CELTA programs must adhere to strict standards, which makes it perceived as the most esteemed of the in-country language programs. Some prestigious positions will cite a CELTA certification as a requirement.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about English teaching jobs in Spain.
Types of English Teaching Jobs in Spain
As a teacher in Spain, you will have many opportunities to work in public or private institutions. You can even venture off on your own and tutor privately, or become a volunteer ESL teacher abroad. Here is a quick look at the most common positions available to teach English in Spain.
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. It’s a great opportunity to exchange culture!
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 and Madrid have 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. You can also get TEFL/CELTA certified in Spain which will let you get a higher paying job with better benefits.
If you want to teach English in Barcelona, or if you want to teach 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, while others 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.
Volunteer Teaching English in Spain
In addition to paid opportunities, there are also many well-established volunteer opportunities in Spain that allow those without certification to get some teaching experience. You will most likely act as a teaching assistant to a public teacher in one of the smaller towns.
These opportunities are fantastic for cultural exchanges and are made much more affordable through subsidized travel and accommodation. If you’re looking for a short-term program in a welcoming community and have little or no Spanish experience, these positions are perfect. You can also volunteer as a teacher while you get your TEFL certification, or in between paid positions.
What You Need to Know Teaching English in Spain
Here are all the important things you need to know about ESL jobs in Spain.
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.
Teacher Work Culture in Spain
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. 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.
Average Salaries to Teach English in Spain
Check out this quick list of average salaries for English teaching jobs in Spain.
- 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
Things to Consider When Teaching English in Spain
At this point, you may already be excited to send in your application to become a teacher in Spain. But before you do so, you should read through the following things to consider before you apply to teach English in Spain.
- Besides the common destinations of Barcelona and Madrid, make sure to research Valencia and Seville, which are popular cities for ex-pats and international teachers
- 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 rated as one of the safest countries in the EU. Madrid and Barcelona regularly top the charts for happiness.
- If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, check out regions like Andalucia or País Vasco, which each have small towns rich with culture and history.
FAQ for TEFL Jobs in Spain
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching ESL in this amazing country. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
Is teaching English in Spain hard?
Becoming an English teacher in Spain is relatively easy because there is an ample supply of jobs and a large ex-pat community. English is a common second language, and there are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture.
What are the requirements to teach English in Spain?
The basic requirements for teaching English in Spain are a passport from a native English-speaking country, as well as a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, you will need TEFL/CELTA certification if you want to teach at a private or international institution.
What is the cost of living in Spain?
Spain has a relatively low cost of living, with high average salaries for English teachers abroad. There are many strategies you can use to save additional money, like private tutoring on top of your salary position, or sharing a flat with another ex-pat. If you decide to tutor privately, your housing and travel accommodations are often subsidized, and you are awarded a small living allowance.
What is the average salary for an English teacher in Spain?
The average salary for teachers in Spain varies depending on the position. The lowest paying positions are at public schools for around Є700 per month for part-time work. The highest positions are found at universities and international schools and top out at Є3,000 per month.
Join the Conversation to Teach English in Spain
What are your thoughts about teaching English in this amazing country? Is it the right option for you, or are you looking for another high-paying European destination like Sweden? If the climate and culture is what interests you, Thailand is an amazing place for teachers to practice their craft.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API