Spanish English language schools have been hit recently with economic problems and some of the major chains have closed down. However, there are still jobs available, especially to qualified native-speakers from the UK.

The best time to arrive is in September when schools are recruiting teachers for the academic year ahead.

Native English language speakers can find teaching jobs in Spain without any qualifications beyond their degrees but it will make your professional life much easier if you have some training under your belt! The maximum number of teaching hours per week allowed by law is 33, but contracted teachers can expect a challenging schedule with close to this number of hours and often at inconvenient times. You might consider working privately as an option because it is better paid than working in schools. If you’re in Madrid, try putting an ad for your services in the Segundamano newspaper.

Although it is difficult for non-EU citizens to work legally in Spain, the reality is that thousands of Americans, Canadians and Australians are employed as English language teachers throughout the country.

Embassy in UK:

39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB

Tel: 020 7235 5555

Embassy in USA:

2375 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20037

Tel: 202 452 0100

British Council office:

Paseo del General Martinez, Campos 31, 28010 Madrid

Tel  +34 (91) 337 3500


Ü  Tip:

Dress formally for your interview. If you get the job, you can ask later if casual attire is acceptable while working.

Ü  Visa/Permits:

Officially, non-EU citizens require a work visa if they are staying over three months. In reality most work without contracts at least initially as work visas are difficult to get. Those wishing to stay in the long term usually apply for a work visa, involving documentation from their employer and from the US, and a return trip, a lengthy process

Ü  Requirements:

College Degree and a TESOL/TESL Certificate

Ü  Cost of Living:

Urban life in Spain is expensive but if you are selective about where you stay, then savings can be made.

Ü  Currency:

£1 = € 1.49  $1 = € 0.76

Ü  Salaries/Taxes:

A minimum monthly salary in the big cities is around £300 / $550 a month. Private sector schools pay approximately £4.50 / $8 per hour in Catalonia. Freelancers can earn around £6.50 / $12 per hour in the Valencia region and from £7 / $13 to £15 / $30 in Catalonia. Residents pay 15% tax in arrears and an additional 6% in social security payments. If you work cash in hand (which is often the case for non-EU teachers) then you should not pay any taxes.

Ü  Accommodation:

Rents often take up more than a quarter of a teacher’s salary, especially in the major cities, although lower salaries in smaller towns might include accommodation. Expect to pay a minimum of £200 / $380 a month if you want to live on your own. For shared accommodation, standard rents are around £100 / $190 per month. Up to two months’ deposit is payable in advance.

Ü  Health advice:

As you will probably be working as a freelancer you must have your own insurance.

Ü  English Language Media:

Barcelona Metropolitan, Costa Blanca News, Sur