If you’re looking for jobs in Spain, it may appear that there are only a few suitable jobs and an endless number of job seekers, especially if you’re limited to jobs in Spain for English speakers. However, you can find work in Spain knowing where to look. There are many jobs in Spain for foreigners with specialized skills.
In Spain, many people find work through informal means such as word of mouth, networking, and speculative applications. This is especially true for small to medium-sized businesses. As a result, do not limit your job search to agencies and advertisements: be proactive, seek opportunities, and network.
The job market in Spain
As of May 2020, Spain had one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe and the highest among EU countries, at 14.5%. This is more than double the EU’s average of 6.7% in percentage terms.
Spain also has the EU’s second-highest youth unemployment rate, at 28.9% in April 2022. The Spanish government has implemented a specific plan to address youth unemployment. Unskilled workers experience the highest unemployment rates.
Despite high unemployment, Spain has opportunities in various industries, including IT, automotive, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food and beverages, and tourism. Spain is home to several large global companies, including:
- Banco Santander (finance)
- Telefonica (telecommunications)
- Repsol (energy)
- ACS (construction)
- Iberdrola (energy)
- BBVA (finance)
- Inditex (clothing retail)
- IAG (air travel)
There are several benefits of learning Spanish and getting into one of these giant companies in an executive position is one of them. Mastering Spanish can help you secure a good job with attractive perks and benefits.
Job opportunities in Spain
Spain, along with Greece and Portugal, have one of the lowest percentages of available jobs. However, the most likely sectors for opportunities are services, IT, engineering, finance, and healthcare. Job openings in the fields may require specialist knowledge, such as tax experts in the finance sector.
Seasonal work in the tourist trade and teaching English in Spain are both popular options for English-speaking foreigners, as are services catering to the large expat populations along Spain’s coasts and in major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla. Otherwise, Spanish is usually a job requirement.
Job salaries in Spain
The Spanish minimum wage is reviewed annually, and it was raised to €1,108 per month (gross) at the beginning of 2020. During the 2007-2008 economic crisis, salaries in Spain fell in almost every sector, with public-sector jobs suffering the most.
However, in recent years, average salaries have resumed their upward trend. According to Spain’s National Statistical Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica – INE), the average salary in 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available) was €25,416. This varies according to gender, region, and sector.
Work culture in Spain
Knowing Spanish work culture is important to find the best possible opportunities. Spanish business culture values hierarchical structures, with strategic and other decisions at the top. Meetings are held to exchange information or issue instructions, not to reach a consensus.
Expect business colleagues to spend time getting to know you during your first meeting; it’s all about building trust between you, with a strong emphasis on personal characteristics. As a result, negotiations can be prolonged. Individualism is preferable to teamwork, but modesty is essential for employees.
Labour laws and labour rights in Spain
The average full-time working week lasts just over 40 hours, from 9:00 a.m. to as late as 20:00, with some companies still allowing long lunch breaks between 14:00 and 16:00-17:00. However, in recent years, the Spanish government has taken steps to phase out the long lunch siesta that characterizes the Spanish working day. Many larger companies and multinationals will likely have standard working hours and a one-hour lunch break.
Workers are relatively well protected under Spanish employment contracts, which are common even for temporary positions. Probation periods are typically between 2 and 6 months. The minimum notice period for contract termination is 15 days, but it can be up to three months for those who have worked for many years.
In addition to Spanish public holidays, Spanish workers are entitled to a minimum of 22 working days of paid holiday per year.
Job websites in Spain
There are numerous job websites for finding work in Spain, including those for specific professions:
Jobs in Spain for graduates
- Graduateland – search multinational companies for graduate openings.
- Primer Empleo
- Bolsade Trabajo
- Busco Jobs
- Expansión y Empleo: employment news as well as jobs
- Oficina Empleo
Jobs in Spain for English speakers
- Expatica jobs
- The Guardian
- The Local
Teaching jobs in Spain
There are numerous opportunities to teach English in Spain, but simply being a native speaker is unlikely to secure a job; a TEFL qualification will give you a much better chance. Consider taking a course either in your home country or in Spain.
TtMadrid and TEFL Iberia are schools that can help you find TEFL jobs in Spain; otherwise, you can also look for teaching jobs at Spainwise and Lingobongo.
You may also be able to provide private lessons and find your own English-speaking jobs in Spain. Place an ad in a newspaper or expat publication, or use your networks and word-of-mouth.
If you are not fluent in Spanish, we recommend you explore italki to find the best learning resources online.
This online platform is excellent for improving your Spanish language skills. Italki stands out from the crowd for several reasons.
Personalized lesson plans: Learning Spanish online is much easier with tailored lesson plans that meet learning objectives and requirements. italki provides personalized learning sessions to help you learn Spanish online. These sessions will help you set learning objectives and goals.
Spanish tutors with experience: italki’s tutors are primarily native speakers. You can select the best online Spanish lessons from a pool of experienced and professional teachers based on your preferred learning schedule and budget. These teachers will design personalized learning plans based on your specific requirements.
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Flexibility in scheduling: Learning Spanish at your own pace and on your own time is extremely convenient for all students. This incredible platform understands people’s hectic schedules and strives for maximum flexibility.
When you book your Spanish lessons through italki, you will be fully engaged with your personal Spanish tutor. The conversational learning style makes learning more engaging and enjoyable.
Visit italki. Fill out your profile with all of the necessary information. Select the ‘Find a teacher’ option and apply the Spanish teacher filter to find a Spanish teacher. Choose a teacher who fits your learning objectives and requirements well. Plan your lessons.
You are strongly advised to follow your Spanish tutor’s additional material, exercises, and scenario-based content. Accept constructive criticism and work on improving your weak points.
Can expats easily find job opportunities in Spain?
Yes, Spain welcomes expatriates, and there are various job opportunities across industries. Networking, online job platforms, and recruitment agencies can assist in the job search.
What industries are popular for expat employment in Spain?
Industries like tourism, technology, finance, and education are popular for expat employment. The demand for English teachers, IT professionals, and hospitality staff is notable.
Is it necessary to speak Spanish to find a job in Spain?
While many jobs require proficiency in Spanish, especially customer-facing roles, there are opportunities in multinational companies and certain sectors where English is sufficient. Learning Spanish, however, enhances job prospects.
There are several jobs for expats in Spain. You need to find the right opportunity that fits your skillset and expertise. If you are learning Spanish, you can seek guidance through various Spanish dictionary apps to expand your vocabulary and pronunciation.
Additionally, you can explore the best online Spanish tutor through italki and embark on becoming a fluent Spanish speaker.