Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by rabiamuzaffar
Spain is most often associated with golden beaches and sangria on the Costa del Sol or all-night parties in bustling cities like Barcelona and Madrid. Then there is the food, paella, churros, tortilla, gazpacho, and octopus (or octopus if you want to go there). Living in Spain for almost three years allowed us to see a lot of what it offers. Teaching in Spain has been quite diverse. Working in a high school, an academy, and a residential course. They all present unique challenges and opportunities.
You can read this guide on what you need to know about teaching in Spain if you’re interested in teaching abroad in Spain.
What qualifications do you need for teaching in Spain?
In Spain, most teaching jobs require only a degree and a TEFL certification. While plenty of jobs includes training as part of the position, you can complete an online TEFL course before moving to Spain. Spain did not require me to have a working visa from the UK. Depending on how Brexit’s final repercussions turn out, that could change.
When it comes to teaching English in Spain, individuals outside the EU have a few options. Student visas allow you to work part-time while studying (you can get one to learn Spanish). Work visas require sponsorship. The Cultural Ambassadors Program recruits Americans and Canadians to assist with English classes. Most American TEFL teachers apply for the Ambassadors program to work in Spain because a work permit can be difficult to obtain. Ensure you reach out to the Spanish embassy or consulate in your area and do your research before moving to Spain!
Everyone needs an NIE, or a Foreigners Identification Number, regardless of where they are from. Obtaining an NIE is a relatively simple process, and your employer will be able to help you set it up. My friend who helped me explained that there was a slight chance of getting my NIE on the first day, but it was more likely the week after. It could take longer than expected. That mainly depended on how the woman felt! This is one of the annoying things about Spanish life.
Where should you look for a teaching job in Spain?
There is a low level of English proficiency in Spain. That’s good news for you! There are many TEFL jobs in Spain for native or native-level English speakers. Most English teaching jobs in Spain are hired locally, so your best option is to go to Spain and apply in person with your resume and certifications. A school will generally hire through an agency, but you can also contact them directly through their website or by going to their office to speak with the principal.
Several programs/opportunities to teach English in Spain can be found online before you arrive in the country if you prefer to secure a job before moving. It won’t take you long to find a job at an academy, school, or summer camp, regardless of where you want to work.
Which is the best teaching job in Spain?
Auxiliaries de conversation program / teaching at public schools in Spain.
Whether they are primary or high schools, age groups are already predetermined. When you have an idea of what you prefer, it’s easy to aim for it. The primary school in Spain runs from ages 5 to 12, and high school runs from ages 12 to 16, followed by two years of ‘Bachillerato,’ after which students attend university at 18 years of age. The school day generally begins at 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm when the students go home.
Your after-school workshops and clubs will probably start at 4 pm if you are involved. English levels will be very mixed, which can make things more challenging. Especially in high schools, some students can barely count to ten, while others understand almost all of what you’re saying.
English language assistants (‘auxiliary’) are a good start for anyone with no previous experience. You had to do very little work since the principal teachers were running the classes; only a few small activities were required to be prepared each day. The hours are short, and you can learn which exercises work well from your more experienced colleagues. You gained the most experience from running after-school workshops, although preparing the three weekly sessions took most of your time.
As a warning, some schools take advantage of your native language level by giving you more work than your contract specifies. This has happened to you a couple of times, although you saw it as extra experience and a way to improve early in your career. It is advisable to be strict early on to ensure you don’t take on too much work for your limited pay.
- Salaries range from €750 – €1,000 ($885 – $1165) per month, with Madrid teachers earning the highest amount.
- Working hours: 15 to 20 per week.
Advantages of teaching in Spain.
- It is a more flexible schedule.
- It is an excellent place to start for students with no or little experience.
- There is less pressure to lead lessons
- Requiring minimal preparation before classes.
- Focused on age groups
Disadvantages of teaching in Spain.
The pay for support teachers is meager.
There is a risk of doing more than contracted work.
There is no accommodation provided.
Levels may differ within the same class.
Class sizes are large about (30+ students).
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Most teachers will need a recognized teaching certificate such as TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA to teach English in Spain. Depending on the type of teaching job, the average salary in Spain is between €700 and €2,000 per month.
TEFL teaching in Spain is fulfilling, challenging, and allows you to enjoy your life outside of the classroom as a TEFL teacher. I highly recommend both Spain and Seville as great places to live and teach English.
Primary school teachers in Spain earn an average salary of $36,405, above the OECD and EU averages of $29,494 and $28,934, respectively.