Spain has always been one of the more desirable European countries to not only visit, but to also find ESL teaching positions. Steeped in history with its beautiful Costa del Sol beaches and the legendary tapas bars of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain is one hot destination. There’s quite a high demand for English teachers in Spain still, which is why despite salary reductions and the recent economic crisis, Spain remains inviting.
Even if the economy is still weak, there are still many ESL opportunities in Spain. Experienced ESL teachers are in hot demand and it’s possible to find ESL employment in private language schools, government state schools, universities, and private tutoring (however, this alone cannot make ends meet).
There are many countries in the world particularly in the Middle East and in Asia where an ESL teacher will receive attractive incentives such as reimbursed airfares or housing, however, in Spain this is rare. While you may not receive these extra added bonuses working as an English teacher in Spain, you’ll be able to earn enough to support yourself monthly and enjoy an international experience at the same time. The average salary for an ESL teacher in Spain is approximately £1,000. From this amount teachers are expected to usually pay for their own accommodation. While the ESL salary in sunny Spain is low, many teachers supplement their income by offering private ESL lessons which can earn around £15 per hour.
Due to all the paperwork and bureaucracy Spanish schools prefer to hire ESL teachers who have EU passports. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a work visa for non-EU citizens, which is why American and Canadian citizens often find it more difficult to find work.
Most English teachers in Spain work in private English schools and their lessons can cater to many different ages and groups from kindergarten right through to adults learning business English. Typically, these private language schools in Spain pay per the hour. A number of jobs are advertised online, however, Spanish employers often prefer to hire locally, which may mean you going on your holiday and doing a bit of door knocking with your CV in hand. The hourly rate is approximately £11 with most teachers working about 25 hours each week.
Food is relatively cheap and it’s possible to eat some delicious tapas at about £15 per person. Expect to pay around £2.50 for a local beer in major cities and £2 in smaller towns. Spain is famous for its food, so be sure to sample some of their succulent seafood dishes and their world famous paella. Getting around Spain can be cheap if you’re prepared to take Spanish public transport with the average inner-city ticket costing £1.50.
Because most private language centres in Spain don’t assist you with your move, you’ll have to factor in about £1,500 for startup costs which includes putting down a deposit on an apartment and flights from the UK. By law, Spanish employers are responsible for paying your health insurance, so do make sure to ask this and have it written into your contract to confirm.
Spain offers teachers a lot more than just a basic ESL job. If you’re interested in a country steeped in rich history and are curious about a diverse Mediterranean way of life and healthy living, not to mention flamenco music and a lot of dancing then working in Spain’s ESL hubs of Madrid, Bilbao, Mallorca, or Barcelona is worth checking out.