Teaching English As a Foreign Language in Spain

Teaching English as a foreign language is a wonderful way to see the world, explore a new culture, earn a good income, and build your transferable skills. Spain is a popular destination for expats who are looking for a country that offers welcoming locals, year-round sunshine, and a great work-life balance.

What better way to explore Spain and maintain your income than by teaching whilst you live in the country? But how do you begin?

Here’s everything you need to know about teaching English as a foreign language in Spain:

Obtain a Recognised Teaching Certificate

It isn’t enough just to be able to speak English! The main legal requirement to teach English in Spain is that you have a recognised teaching certificate. The three most widely recognised certificates are: TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language), CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) and TESOL (Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages). We advise that you apply for your teaching certificate before you relocate to Spain if possible: this will give enable you to look for the right role at your leisure before you commit to your new location.

The costs involved in obtaining your certificate will depend on how long it takes, and whether you choose to take an online course or enrol in a recognised academy. Because there are so many English-speaking expats living in Spain, finding a teaching job in the country can be quite competitive: it’s worth baring this in mind, as the best jobs are likely to go to those teachers with the best qualifications and educational standard.

Hassle-Free Employment

Provided you are originally from an EU country, the good news is that you won’t need to obtain either a visa or a work permit to teach English in Spain. In fact, the process of starting a new employment in the country is surprisingly hassle-free. That means if you find the perfect job then you can start almost immediately.

If you are not an EU-resident then, just as with anywhere else in the Europe, you will require a work visa to undertake any kind of work in Spain. This includes teaching English as a foreign language. Obtaining these work visas can be time consuming and you will often need to have secured a role before you apply.

Many English-speaking people who want to work in Spain learn to speak Spanish. If you can speak Spanish then you will be at a distinct advantage: Far fewer people speak fluent English in Spain than in northern European countries, which means you may encounter communication barriers within a school environment if you can’t speak conversational Spanish. If you’re thinking of starting a new career as an English teacher in Spain then why not start taking Spanish lessons now? This will help to make your job applications more attractive.

What is Your Earning Potential?

So, the question that most people really want to know is how much they will earn if they decide to start a new career as an English teacher in Spain. This will depend on where you work, how much experience you have, and what level or age range you are teaching. But as a rule of thumb, you can expect to earn an hourly rate of between 14-30 euros.

Using these rates, your monthly and annual salary will be dependent on how many hours you are contracted to work each week, and where you work. There are four different options available to you. These are:

  • Public School – Public schools in Spain now teach English from an early age and recruit teachers from the UK. You’ll work as an assistant alongside the class teacher, meaning that you’ll need to speak some Spanish to work in this role.
  • Private School – Private schools are international schools are a great choice if you don’t speak English, want to work more hours, and are looking for increased benefits and security.
  • Language School – Traditional language schools offer the flexibility to combine teaching with exploring the area, and often involve teacher adults rather than children.
  • Private Tuition – If you only want to work for a couple of hours a week, or want to gain some experience to apply for a more lucrative role then private tuition is a great option.
The average private school English teacher will work around 25 hours a week. The average public school teacher will work around 12 hours a week. And if you decide to take on private tuition clients then you can work as much or as little as you want, depending on your needs.

When working out what your annual salary would be, remember to consider other benefits such as holidays and social security payments that you will receive if you work in a public or private school. You should also bear in mind that the cost of living in Spain is much lower than in the UK (in fact it currently stands at 16.3% lower in Spain than in the UK) which means you don’t have to match your UK salary to maintain the same quality of life.

Are you hoping to start your career as a Foreign Language Teacher in Spain? Or perhaps you’re already a Foreign Language Teacher looking to move to Spain? Whatever your position, we’re here to help! Whilst you take care of finding the perfect job, we can find you the perfect home. You’ll never want to leave!!!