Everything You NEED To Know About Teaching English In Spain

Have you ever considered a life of sun, sangria and siestas? From salaries to programs, check out everything you need to know about teaching English in Spain!

Teaching English In Spain

With over 71 million visitors arriving on its shores in 2022 alone, Spain is the second-most visited destination in Europe and one of the most popular countries in the world.

And for good reason too! We could talk all day about the sun-soaked Mediterranean climate, the stunning delicacies on offer, and the vibrant cultures nestled in every corner.

What we would wager is a less-known enticer for the country is its ever-expanding opportunities for English teachers looking to work abroad.

But, from Madrid to Majorca, Spain boasts some of the most lucrative salaries, best work/life balances on the continent, and a wealth of other bonuses. Join us today as we delve into what makes teaching English in Spain so popular and how you can kickstart your teaching career!

Where To Teach

As with many other popular countries for teaching abroad, the majority of job opportunities in Spain are found within the biggest urban cities in the country, especially in Madrid and Barcelona. These bigger cities also boast more lucrative salaries, though the cost of living in these areas is typically higher than in the more rural parts of the country.

Madrid and Barcelona are the two most visited cities in Spain and are renowned for their faster-paced lifestyles. There are opportunities to teach in private language schools, universities, international schools, and private businesses in these bustling metropolitan areas.

For those looking for an alternative to these two Spanish cities, Sevilla is a great option. The home of flamenco dancing and bullfighting, the largest city in the Andalusia region provides an authentic southern Spanish experience and has job opportunities aplenty in many language and international schools.

How To Qualify To Teach In Spain

Sold on some of the best destinations in Spain? Here’s a quick overview of what you need to bring with you before you start prepping your first lesson plan:

Degree And Previous Experience

Many teaching positions in Spain will ask candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree, though this doesn’t necessarily have to be in the field of education. It isn’t a legal requirement, but it is something employers will show a preference for, especially for the more lucrative and in-demand jobs. Previous teaching experience is another factor that is preferred but not always essential.


First off, the good news is that if you’re an EU citizen, you don’t need a visa to work in Spain! For those who aren’t in the Union, you will need a work visa to teach English in the country. Getting a work visa requires having a job offer from a Spanish institution, as well as meeting other requirements such as having a minimum amount of teaching experience or possessing a university degree.

Thankfully, there are some other visa options available! Citizens from Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand aged between 18-35 are all eligible to apply for a working holiday visa, which allows them to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months.

TEFL Certification

With Spain remaining one of the most popular destinations for English teachers abroad, TEFL/TESOL certification is almost a must-have for any would-be applicants. Most employers will look for at least 120 hours worth of training from an accredited and reputable course provider such as The TEFL Academy.

Types Of Teaching Jobs

As one of the hottest destinations for teaching abroad, Spain has a diverse array of options when it comes to teaching opportunities. Each of these positions has its own benefits, requirements, and appeal. Here are some of the most popular types of teaching programs and jobs TEFL graduates have picked up across Spain:

Language Assistant Programs (€1,000 – €2,000 ($1,100 – $2,200) a month)

These positions are funded by the Spanish government and place native English speakers in primary and secondary schools with the aim of helping students improve their proficiency skills. These jobs are usually part-time contracts with around 12-15 hours of work per week, giving plenty of time for teachers to sample the local attractions or catch some rays! The most popular Language Assistant Programs include NALCAP, BEDA, Meddeas, and UCETAM.

Public, Private & Semi-Private Schools (€1,000 – €3,000 ($1,100 – $3,300) a month)

Public schools are also run by the Spanish government with both primary and secondary schools adhering to the national curriculum. Semi-private schools, also known as concertados, receive subsidies from the government, which they sometimes use to hire foreign English teachers. Private schools are independently funded and typically have their own curriculum they follow.

Summer Camps (From €250 ($275) per week)

Thinking of spending an extended summer across Spain? Summer camps will often hire English teachers to lead group activities and provide English lessons for their campers. These positions will typically ask for previous experience working with children, and there is a wealth of different types of camps ranging from adventure and sports, arts and culture, and science and technology camps.

Living With A Family

If you’ve acquired a working holiday visa, another viable option for teaching English in Spain can be living with a family and tutoring privately. The agreements for these types of positions will vary depending on the agreement between the teacher and the host; teachers will provide private lessons either in exchange for accommodation and food or a monthly stipend. Being a family au pair will often require additional childcare services as well as private tutoring.

Benefits Of Teaching In Spain

Aside from the opportunity of slow travelling through Spain, enriching the lives of students, immersing in their culture, and picking up a salary, you might be wondering what else there is to teaching English in the country.

Most TEFL teaching jobs in Spain come with support from employers with visas, health insurance, and help with finding housing. The country has a national health service called the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS), providing comprehensive medical coverage for free to all citizens and legal residents.

But, while healthcare might be free for those signed up with social security, non-residents and visitors in Spain will have to pay for medical services. Some teaching positions help cover the cost of these, while more prestigious jobs may even come with their own private insurance applicants will be enrolled in for the duration of their contract.

Living And Teaching In Spain

When it comes to work-life balance, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a country better suited for most people than Spain. While most of us are being trapped by the fast-paced hustle and bustle of grind culture, Spain is still very much a country capable of teaching us the benefits of slowing down and not worrying so much about punctuality and promptness.

Learning some basic Spanish phrases is a good way of ensuring you make a good impression both inside and outside of the classroom. While English proficiency is high across the country with it already being a de facto second language, it’s a good way of assimilating into Spanish culture and showing respect for the locals. Spanish students are typically lovely and vocal, and most will speak to you in their local dialect as well!

And, of course, be mindful of the country’s authentic Mediterranean culture. That means expecting more physical contact than in other countries, having places shut for a siesta during the middle of the day, and eating later in the evening with meals lasting a good few hours.

Teaching English in Spain is one of the most fulfilling experiences available for nomads. Renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning climates, and superb work-life balance, picking up a TEFL job in a Spanish school allows sun-chasing travel lovers the opportunity to live a true Mediterranean life while simultaneously enriching the lives of their students and earning a decent living to boot!


The TEFL certificate is commonly used as a qualification for teaching English abroad world wide.

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Justin Gonzalez

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