Finding work in Spain

29 May 2018 0 Comments Category: blog

The number of unemployed in Spain reached a record high of 24.4%. At present, the unemployment rate has
decreased considerably to 16.4%. If you have recently arrived in Spain, these figures are probably alarming, but it
is important to remember that the most recent data shows a recovery in the job market. Job seekers with a grasp of several languages are preferred employees, but undoubtedly the best way of getting a job in Spain is to know the right people.
If you do get a job, the wages will be considerably less than in the UK – a typical €2O,OOO job in the UK is €12,OOO in Spain. The bottom has fallen out of industries such a real estate and construction, as is evident from a glut of half-finished homes and an 8O% drop in property demand.

This aside, opportunities do exist especially if you are prepared to think laterally. Enterprising Britons have set up their own internet businesses, and continue to work as tour reps, couriers, plumbers, property managers,
and consultants.

Teaching English is one career that, despite the economic crisis, remains thriving in Spain. This is particularly true in the larger cities, where there is a lot of demand for teachers, ideally with a first class degree, a TEFL qualification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and previous experience. A difficulty here is finding a school able to offer large chunks of work rather than just one to two hours at a time.
For jobs outside the tourist areas, speaking Spanish (or the regional language), is a necessity; without it you will
be hugely limited in your opportunities. You can almost get away without speaking it well in popular tourist areas,
although you will be at an advantage if you can also turn your tongue to other languages, as there are a wide range of Russian, Dutch, French, Scandinavian and German holidaymakers.

EU nationals are able to work in Spain without a work permit and most UK qualifications are recognised in Spain.

Foreigners from outside the EU need to have their work approved by the Ministry of Labour before they can start
work and visas are required. The ease with which British citizens can enter the job market puts them at a huge
advantage for jobs such as teaching English in comparison to citizens from other English-speaking countries
such as the USA and Australia.

Unlike in the UK, there are only a limited number of employment agencies, websites and newspapers advertising
jobs. This is because traditionally networking and personal connections have been the main routes into jobs. This
extends into job vacancies within companies, which other employees hear about and either recommend to their
contacts or apply for themselves, preventing the jobs ever being advertised on the open market. The trick here is
to get to know people and put word out that you are job hunting.

While relocating to Spain without a job secured in the first place is a risky business, and something expats
warn against, companies and recruitment agencies will take you more seriously if you are based locally and
employment services prefer you to have a fixed, local address. It will also help with job interviews, which Spanish
employees prefer to undertake in person.


In 2O11, Spain’s minimum wage rose by just 1.3%, taking the minimum monthly pay for a full-time worker to €641.5O, which is the equivalent to around £522. The rise was below the level of inflation.
The average net salary for workers in Spain is:
– €2,44O (£1,984) per month
– €29,2OO (£23,748) annually
Executives and senior managers can expect to receive perks such as private health insurance, private school fees,
sports club memberships, bonuses and profit sharing schemes.

The average annual salary for:

€24, 589 – €51,812 (£2O,OOO – £42,OOO)

€2O,112 – €4O,O25 (£16,OOO – £33,OOO)

Where To Find Jobs

EURES is an information exchange network set up to facilitate the mobility of workers within the countries of the
European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The aims of EURES is to open up labour
markets in Europe to European job seekers, employers and employees.

Transferring Benefits

If you are unemployed and claiming benefits in the UK, you will be able to transfer these benefits to Spain for up to three months while you seek work. In order to do this, you must have been registered as unemployed in the UK for at least four weeks.
You must also apply for a U2 (formerly E3O3) form, which provides authorisation to transfer benefits.
On arrival in Spain, you will need to register as a jobseeker with the INEM within seven days from the date in
which you stopped being available to the employment services in Britain. You will need to submit your U2 form
when you register.


Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your e-mail address will not be published and required fields are marked.