How to find work as an English Teacher in Spain

Finding a job as an English teacher in Spain will be easier with a relevant degree qualification or by passing the available certification for teaching English as a foreign language, the most recognised being the CELTA (University of Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) and Certificate of TESOL (Trinity College London).

TEFL Teacher teaching English

Get your documents and certification in order before becoming a TEFL Teacher in Spain

If you’re looking to teach in a semi-state funded (concertada) school in Spain you will need a QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) certificate which is the equivalent of a UK PGCE plus one year practical teacher training. Private schools will appreciate these certificates too, but have more control over who they hire so may not require them.

If you’re looking to teach in a purely state-funded school, you will need the above QTS AND pass the public entry exam in Spanish, the Oposiciones, whereby you have to learn approximately a hundred topics (in Spanish) related to teaching English (grammar, history, literature etc.) and will be asked questions related to several of these topics. Controversially, the Spanish government have now made it easier for native English speakers to become English teacher auxiliaries to support native Spanish teachers more likely to pass the English Philology exams.

If you’re looking for work in a school or academy, it’s best to apply before the summer shutdown begins and send off applications in May, however replacements may still be needed during term time. Independent teachers looking to teach private lessons to individuals or to business employees can advertise year round on many websites.

How much can I expect to be paid as an English teacher in Spain?

Depending on experience, where you teach and whether you work through an academy with a contract or freelance your rate should be around the €10-25/hour for academies and €20-50/hour for businesses although some may charge less or more. Teachers working for schools can expect to earn approximately €1,000-1,500/month for 25 hours teaching time.

Private classes are more profitable but you may find it better to group them in the same area of town or of a similar level of proficiency to save lesson planning and travelling time. You may find that students would like classes several times a week, for an hour or 3 at a time, sometimes on the phone or on Skype which can save you traipsing around a town or city.

Legalities and Tax

To work in Spain you must have the correct visa or risk being deported. Many English teachers start off working in the black and then sign up as an autonomous worker, though this is your choice and you could get caught working illegally. Non-EU nationals will find it easier to enter an auxiliary programme with a student visa, which will  pay you through grants, and you may be able to change your visa once you find a job contract.

EU nationals are allowed to work in Spain, but need to have an NIE (a tax ID for foreigners) and have a contract or sign up as an autonomous worker. The self-employment route however, means that you will have to pay monthly Social Security payments which can start at approximately €50/month for new freelancers under 30 years old (or under 35 for women) for 12 months and increasing gradually up to the normal €250/month fee. Making Social Security contributions is beneficial to receive some of the state services such as the health service, state schools for your children (if applicable), and contributions are counted for if you ever need unemployment benefits later on. When applying for these services you will typically need your work contract, or if you are an independent or autonomous worker your ‘alta‘ or registration.

Often companies will ask you to invoice them to keep their accounting in check – and this involves signing up as an autonomous worker. Ensure that you will be earning more than you will pay out in social security payments! Typically 20 hours a week minimum should make you a profitable English teacher.

Spainwide TEFL teacher package

Spainwide has a super TEFL teacher package to help set you up legally and with the correct tax codes and documents. Please contact us on the phone number above or send us an email to see how we can help you.