Teaching English in SpainNow Hiring


Map of Spain

See other ESL teaching opportunities in
Western Europe
How Much Can I Earn?
Monthly Salary:
900 - 1,500 EUR
1,047 - 1,744 USD
Private Tutoring per Hour:
15 - 20 EUR
17 - 23 USD
Income Tax Rate:
19 - 24%
Ability to Save per Year:
300 - 2,900 USD

What Are My Benefits?
Rarely included
Never included
Health Care:
Usually included
Usually paid

What Will Teaching Be Like?
Teaching Hours:
15 - 30
Typical Contract Length:
One year or less
Typical Start Date:
September/October or January
Application Timeline:
1 - 6 months

What Do I Need?
Work Visa:
EU citizenship preferred
Education Requirements:
High School Diploma or Bachelor's Degree,
Oxford Seminars TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate
Additional Notes:
Difficult for non-EU citizens; employer must be willing to sponsor a work visa; candidates encouraged to apply in person

Peak ESL Hiring Season in Spain
Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Spain
How to Find Jobs Teaching English in Spain
English Schools in Spain
Tips for ESL Teachers in Spain
Requirements for ESL Teachers in Spain
Embassy and Consulate Information for Spain


Peak ESL Hiring Season in Spain

The peak hiring time for people interested in teaching English in Spain is usually September or October and again in January. Spanish schools operate on a similar schedule as their North American counterparts and most students have the summer off.

Finding a teaching job in the summer is probably harder than any other time of the year. With school being out for the season, summer camps may be an English teacher’s best summertime employment option.

Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Spain

Public and Private School System

The Spanish education system is provided by a hybrid of public and private schools. It is estimated that close to 30 percent of Spanish children attend private schools, while the others go through the public school system. Children are required to attend school from ages six to 16.

The curriculum at a Spanish school is taught in the Spanish language, which can make it challenging for ESL teachers to find work. There are more jobs teaching English in private schools than there are in public schools.

Private Tutoring

Some ESL teachers find teaching private English lessons to be a better path than teaching in-school, as ESL teachers often find that they can make more money teaching in a one-on-one setting. A large part of teaching private lessons is marketing to find prospective students. It is best to hang up posters around town, talk to other teachers, and use the Internet to advertise. The average hourly rate for private tutoring ranges between €15 - €25. ESL teachers under contract with an English school should verify with the supervisor that they are allowed to teach privately. This is usually outlined in an ESL teacher’s contract and breaking this rule could lead to dismissal and removal of any Spanish visas.

Live-In Positions

Another option for some English teachers in Spain is to take a live-in ESL teacher position. There are some families in Spain looking for a private English tutor to come live in their home and give one-on-one English instruction to their children outside regular school hours. Some of these positions are paid and some are volunteer jobs; both can be great ways to begin a teaching experience in Spain.

Jobs Teaching English in the Summer in Spain

With so many teachers applying for positions in popular peak hiring months such as September and January, many ignore the summer season. Most schools in Spain operate on a similar schedule to American schools; therefore, many Spanish students do have a summer vacation. Numerous private schools teach throughout the summer months and this is a high turn over time for ESL teachers in Spain. Some schools offer additional programming in the summer months to attract students who normally use the summer as a break; this is another good way to get into an English school in Spain.

How to Find Jobs Teaching English in Spain

At one time, Spanish schools were full of American and Canadian English teachers. Now, with the amount of paperwork and red tape it takes to get a work visa, these numbers have gone down quite significantly. One principle resource for Oxford Seminars graduates is to make use of their Job Placement Service. All graduates of the TESOL/TESL/TEFL certification course have access to a team of Job Search Advisors who will assist teachers with finding teaching positions internationallly.

There are also other resources to help in the search for an ESL job in Spain. For teachers still living in North America, the best place to search is the Internet. Using the internet offers the ability to translate listings in Spanish to English, and there are plenty of sites that offer job postings for ESL teacher positions.

In addition to checking out job search web sites, ESL teachers can look for work in some of Spain's many newspapers. The following online publications are written in Spanish, but can easily be translated to English with Google Translate.

English Schools in Spain

Many find communicating with large international schools to be an excellent avenue toward finding a job. These schools offer children a chance to have an English curriculum whilst living in a Spanish environment & culture. Please note that many international schools will require state teaching credentials in order to consider your application. 

Here are some examples of international schools for teaching English. Remember these schools receive a large number of applications, so when contacting them, be sure to stand out from the crowd.

The American School of Barcelona
Since 1962 this non-profit school has been teaching Spanish children from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12. The American School of Barcelona centers their lessons on the American public school curriculum with some local Spanish culture added.

Most of the school's staff come from outside of Spain and they do employ ESL teachers under contracts. The school is located in Esplugues, a small town on the outskirts of Barcelona.

International College Spain
The International College Spain is an English school for children from the ages of 3 to 18. Lessons are primarily taught in English, but Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, and Korean are taught as second languages. The student population at the International College Spain is very diverse, with students coming from all around the world. The teaching staff is almost equally diverse, with teachers coming from many different nations, including the United States.

Additional ESL Resources to Help Teach English in Spain

The Internet is a great source of information for any type of research, including working as an English teacher in Spain. The best way to find information is to read about the experiences others have had teaching in Spain.

Please note that these are merely examples of the resources available and they may not suit individual teaching needs.

Tips for ESL Teachers in Spain

  • It's a good idea to learn as much Spanish as possible before moving to Spain and write out some Spanish cheat sheets of commonly used phrases.
  • Save up some money before leaving, for travel, rent, and other living expenses. Talk to a financial/banking advisor about how personal finances can be managed while away.
  • Remember, adapters will have to be purchased for any electronic device brought to Spain.

Requirements for ESL Teachers in Spain

Americans, Canadians and non-EU citizens may find the experience of getting through the necessary red tape to work in Spain quite time consuming. Since 2006, citizens of the European Union have been allowed to work in Spain with little paperwork. For those ESL teachers from outside the EU, teaching English in Spain is a much harder task, as they will need to get a Spanish work permit and a visa.

Work Permit

The first thing needed to start working in Spain is a Spanish work permit. A work permit is actually a lot different than a visa. The work permit is a government-issued document which gives Spanish companies permission to hire a citizen from outside the EU. The Delegación Provincial del Ministerio, de Trabajo (Ministry of Labour) will base their decision on the candidate's experience and by determining if the position applied for could be equally filled by a Spaniard or an EU citizen. The company must prove that there are no suitable candidates from Spain and the European Union to fill the job as well as the applicant can. It is common for citizens of Latin American nations to get extra consideration during this application process.

It is suggested that future English teachers in Spain contact a lawyer if possible to get some help with the work permit application process.

There are different types of Spanish work permits depending on what the applicant's needs are. They are broken into two main groups: permits for people moving to Spain to work at a job (like ESL teachers), and foreigners moving to Spain to be self-employed (perhaps as a full-time English tutor).


  • Type A Spanish Work Permit - These permits are for people interested in working mostly seasonal or contract work. The maximum time spent in Spain with this permit is nine months.
  • Type B Initial Work Permit - Issued to people interested in working in one particular field or in one defined area. This permit will allot its user a one-year stay in Spain.
  • Type B Renewed Work Permit - When a Type B permit ends, the foreign resident can apply for an extension called a Type B Renewed Work Permit. The extension can last up to two years.
  • Type C Work Permit - Once a Type B permit has expired, the foreigner could be eligible for a Type C Work Permit. This extension allows the person to work in any profession throughout Spain.


  • Type D Initial Work Permit - The foreign worker must work in one profession for a maximum of one year. The permit can have a geographical limitation that only allows the person to work in one area.
  • Type D Renewed Work Permit - In most cases, this extension of a Type D Initial Work Permit allows the worker to do any job they want. It is possible that the person may have restrictions concerning what kind of work they do and where they can live. This permit lasts for a maximum of two years.
  • Type E Permit - Once the Type D Renewed Work Permit expires, the person has the option of applying for a Type E Permit. This permit allows its holder the opportunity to work any job they desire in any location. This permit can last up to three years.

How to get a Spanish Visa

After receiving a work permit, ESL teachers are one step closer to teaching English in Spain. However, they will still need to get a Spanish visa. ESL teachers need to decide which Spanish visa is the most suitable. There are basically three types of visas in Spain: a transit visa, a temporary stay visa, and a residence visa.

  • Transit Visa - This Spanish visa is meant for people who are just passing through. The Transit Visa is given to foreigners passing through the ports and airports of Spain. When holding this visa, travelers can spend up to five days in Spanish territory.
  • Temporary Stay Visa- This visa is meant for people interested in staying for more than a vacation in Spain. This visa will last for up to three months. The temporary stay visa comes in three different forms: visas for groups having a short stay, diplomatic or prominent person visas, and visas for studying in a Spanish school.
  • Residence Visa - Most teachers coming to Spain to teach English are interested in gaining a Spanish Residence Visa. This visa expires after one year and can be renewed for an additional two years. If the person still wants to remain in Spain after a total of three years, they can apply for a Permanent Residence Visa. Having a Permanent Residence Visa means that its holders can renew the visa an endless amount of times. Residents must renew this visa every five years.

Items to Submit with Work Visa Application

  • An application signed by the future employer
  • Seven professional passport-size photos
  • A photocopy of a valid passport and the actual passport
  • Official notice of a job being offered; must be signed and stamped by the employer
  • An original copy of an official company fiscal identity document
  • Original official company social security inscription and documents TC-1 and TC-2 (provided by the ESL school)
  • Certified originals from the Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social and the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria that state the company the applicant will be working for has paid all their taxes and social security payments
  • Official certification that the job was opened to Spaniards to apply for, that the position was advertised in the official Provincial Unemployment Office, and no citizen of Spain or the EU was suitable
  • A description of what the company does and why an American is the best fit for the job
  • Originals and photocopies of degree transcripts/certifications and credentials, along with the official seal of convalidation of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture in Madrid
  • Certificate of health and a criminal background check

Final Steps for Getting a Work Visa in Spain

After filling out the Spanish Work Visa application, ESL teachers should travel to the closest Spanish Embassy or Consulate office and make an appointment. All of the applicant's paperwork will be processed during this appointment. Make sure that all documentation is available for the appointment. After completing this process, there will be a few months of waiting before an applicant is informed of the status of their application. If the work visa is approved, it will need to be picked up in person at the Spanish embassy or consulate's office that the ESL teacher originally applied at.

Embassy Information for Spain

American Embassy Offices in Spain

American Embassy in Madrid
Calle de Serrano, 75
28006 Madrid, Spain
City: Madrid
Phone: (+34) 91-587-2200
Fax: (+34) 91-587-2303
Website: https://es.usembassy.gov/

Canadian Embassy Offices in Spain

The Embassy of Canada in Madrid
Torre Espacio, Paseo de la Castellanna 259D
28046 Madrid, Spain
City: Madrid
Phone: 34 91 382 8400
Fax: 34 91 382 8490
Email: espana.consulaire/consular@international.gc.ca
Website: https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/spain-espagne/index.aspx?lang=eng

Australian Embassy Offices in Spain

Australian Embassy
Embassy of Australia in the Kingdom of Spain
Torre Espacio
Paseo de la Castellana, 259D, Planta 24
28046 Madrid
City: Madrid
Phone: 34 91 353 6600
Fax: 34 91 353 6692
Email: madrid.embassy@dfat.gov.au
Website: www.spain.embassy.gov.au/

British Embassy Offices in Spain
British Embassy & Consulate General
Torre Espacio
Paseo de la Castellana 259D
28046 Madrid
City: Madrid
Phone: 34 917 146 300
Fax: 34 917 146 301
Email: spain.consulate@fco.gov.uk
Website: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/
Normal Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm

Irish Embassy Offices in Spain

Irish Embassy in Madrid
Embassy of Ireland
Ireland House
Paseo de la Castellana 46-4
28046 Madrid
City: Madrid
Phone: 34 91 436 4093
Fax: 34 91 435 1677
Email: https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/spain/contact-us/
Website: http://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/spain/

New Zealand Embassy Offices in Spain

New Zealand Embassy in Spain
New Zealand Embassy
Pinar 7, 3rd floor
28006, Madrid
City: Madrid
Phone: 34 915 230 226
Fax: 34 915 230 171
Email: embnuevazelanda@telefonica.net
Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/europe/spain/new-zealand-embassy
Normal Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm

Embassy Information Outside Spain

Spanish Embassy Offices in the United States of America

Spanish Embassy in Washington DC
2375 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
City: Washington, D.C.
Phone: 1 202 452 0100
Fax: 1 202 833 5670
Email: emb.washington@maec.es
Website: https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/washington/en/Paginas/index.aspx

Spanish Embassy Offices in Canada

Embassy of Spain in Ottawa
74 Stanley Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1M 1P4
City: Ottawa
Phone: 613 747 2252
Fax: 613 744 1143
Email: emb.ottawa@maec.es
Website: https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/ottawa/en/Paginas/index.aspx

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