Teacher in Spain

Teaching in Spain International Schools

Spain as an old developed country in the European Union is popular for teaching in Spain international schools. As a country, teachers relocate to cities, towns and rural areas to take up teaching jobs in Spain in their specialist subject such as history.

You can choose to teach English in Spain as a first language at an international school or English as a second language.

Teaching in Spain

Are you a qualified and licensed school age children teacher in your own country?

You must be a trained teacher holding the right qualification for Spain teaching jobs in schools and preferably 2-3 years experience.

European citizens are free to live and work in Spain including Irish teachers. 

Non EU citizens can secure certain jobs and sponsored work visa at international schools in Spain, although more difficult.

For example; Teaching jobs for English speakers from UK teacher in UK curriculum schools and United States teachers are currently teaching at American schools in cities from Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona, Murcia, Cádiz, Toledo.

Teaching in Spain International Schools

This page includes: Teaching job options at International school, language school English teachers as well as key points of living in Spain

Teachers get sponsored for a Spanish work permit

Ireland teachers in Spain

Irish teachers have much more opportunities to teach in Spain international schools, and a greater choice of suitable jobs to apply. Why? Irish teachers are English speakers, western qualified and European citizens with full rights to live and work and no visa issues.

Other suitably qualified teachers get sponsored for a Spanish work permit and residency, such as Mandarin or Japanese teachers or teaching a countries school curriculum, such as French or USA core or common core or a British teachers UK school curriculum.

As an example, to become a school teacher in Spain taking up a position as a secondary teacher of  English at the British School of Seville you must be a fully a qualified teacher from an EU country or can secure a work permit.

Teach English at a Spanish fee paying private school if you are a native English speaker.

Or do you hold a CELT, TESOL or TEFL certificate that qualifies you to teach English as a second at a language school?

Work permit and residency Spain

To obtain a teaching work permit and residence you require what the government legally requires you to have as a school teacher and the schools own hiring requirements.

European citizens do not require a work permit, although any foreign person staying longer than 3 months in Spain must register and obtain a residence permit.

Non EU citizens can obtain a work permit under “shortage occupation” visa in Spain as you would be a highly skilled employee working in Spain.

Ministry of Labour in Spain would only issue the school permission and you a work permit teaching a foreign curriculum; for example United States core and common core. Here no suitable applicants with relevant skills could be found in Spain or Europe.

A school must show that they advertised and could not get anyone suitable in Spain or EU. An international school could and do sponsor third country nationals (Non EU citizens).

You as a foreign teacher would have specialist knowledge, experience & skills that would benefit the school. Or maybe you teach a subject with a shortage of teachers.

Spain international school teacher salary

Spain teacher salary: Primary & secondary classroom teachers at an international school can earn in excess of 2,300-2,950 Euros per month full time subject to local tax deductions. Head of department and senior leadership positions are paid more.

International schools in Spain provide assistance to find suitable accommodation and some will provide an accommodation allowance in addition in a salary package.

Teaching in Spain international schools salary paid is generally more generous than Spain government schools for teachers at all levels from classroom to head teacher and principal.

Teacher requirements for Spain international schools

Qualifications needed to teach in Spain for school teachers are; Western teaching qualifications are mostly accepted, you should inquire when applying for a teaching position to what qualifications are required or accepted.

  • Qualified/certified teacher qualification, for example, a BEd qualification, PGCE or PGDE diploma, BA primary for teachers applying for posts at nursery, secondary or primary school level.
  • Bachelor degree and above in related subject at the age range or BA Education, BEd for primary school teachers.
  • Preferable 2 plus years experienced teaching.
  • Criminal background check with no adverse record 6 months old or less.
  • 2 good school teaching references.
  • Legal right to work in Spain or can obtain a work permit.
  • Teacher age in Spain 18 years old to no age limit.
  • English language teachers should be native English speakers or fluent.
  • Translated, certified and legalised qualification certificates & documents into Spanish.
  • Teaching English as a language teacher you should/expected to have a TEFL or CELT 120 hours certification minimum (In class certificate).

Opportunities in Spain schools

Private fee-paying schools around Spain cater for local & the large international community of resident foreign children in cities, towns and countryside.  

No two schools are the same, where students are offered to study curriculums from different countries from nursery at 4 years old to sixth form at 18 years.

Spain’s rank in education means its one of the best countries in Europe providing a good education system for all age groups of children.

Working in private international schools in Spain means you teach 5 days a week full time, parent evening & contact, take part in school clubs and extra curricula activities, sometimes over 6 days.

Spain school day runs from approximately 9am to 5pm with 1-2 hours break for lunch.  Students participate in school clubs after classroom lessons each week.

School teaching positions offers you to teach part or full time where International Baccalaureate (IB), USA, Swiss and British curricula are offered by individual schools.

Lessons are taught in English at UK and American international schools with teachers not requiring knowing Spanish to teach in Spain, although some Spanish language skills would help.

An advantage is that the teacher is generally employed on a permanent basis and enrolled in the Spanish healthcare program saving you making mandatory contributions or a lot of money on medical care insurance.

School student age you can teach

School student age you can teach

Classroom teacher with and without additional responsibility are the most advertised.

Subject areas offered in Spain private schools at nursery, primary, secondary school age are similar to other western countries.

Primary teachers in Spain can secure jobs as a year 1 to 7 teacher.

Nursery teachers from 2 to 5 years can secure a full time teaching position in a nursery in Spain international schools.

Education jobs in Spain schools

Sports coach, librarian, school nurse, driver, bursar, full or part time nurse, house parent, personal assistant, secretary, janitor, IT & laboratory technician, accountant, counsellor are just some of the other school roles at government and Spanish international schools.

Teaching assistant jobs in Spain can be found at international schools, nurseries and Spanish government schools. You would need to be able to communicate in Spanish with school children in classrooms. Not much chance obtaining a work permit as a teacher’s assistant long term.

Teach English in Spain government school position is highly possible as students learn the English language in all state Spanish schools in the country.

What do international schools look for in teachers?

  • Professional teacher with presence around school and in the classroom.
  • Qualified to teach in an international school at the age level.
  • Strong in-depth knowledge of the subject and curriculum.
  • Use a variety of teaching & learning strategies for student class and individual learners.
  • Proven record of good teaching and examination grades.
  • Committed to teaching.
  • Looks for ways to continually improve as a teacher.
  • Team player that helps other teachers and school students.
  • Willing to participate in school life with extra curricula activities.

Applying for a job in Spain as a teacher

How can you teach in international schools in Spain? The process to get a teaching job in Spain is that you are asked to complete an application online and forward a resume/cv and if asked to interview you would teach a class to show your ability as a teacher.

First find a teacher vacancy that you are qualified for and meet all the requirements for the position.

Telephone and Skype interviews are also conducted by schools or recruiters as an alternative to a mini teach.

Where to find Spain teaching jobs? Option is to start online on teacher job boards if you are not already in Spain and social media groups. Search for teaching jobs in Spain opportunities online and recruitment agencies for a list of jobs to teach in schools in Espana, also look on school website job page.

International school locations in Spain

SantanderAlmeríaZaragozaLa OrotavaPortals Nous
A CoruñaPontevedraToledoPontevedraEl Ejido
SotograndeLeioiaBerangoPuzolLas Palmas de Gran Canaria
CalviaPalma De MallorcaLa CanadaCórdobaLa Barraca de Aguas Vivas
LanzaroteSantiago de CompostelaBenidormCastellón de la PlanaElche

Main population centres private international schools are concentrated in 50 major areas in Spain.

Teaching English in Spain language schools

First of all employers advertise for English language teachers that are qualified with a TEFL certificate or similar qualification that was studied in a classroom, not online.

English language lessons in Spain are popular as ever as people wish to learn one of the worlds international languages for anyone looking for a country teaching English Abroad.

There are employers that run programs that allow you to learn and teach giving you a wage and you gain a TEFL certification after a certain length of time.

Teaching English in Spain without a degree is highly possible as a language teacher certification is the only qualification required for language centres.

Language schools provide English language lessons to children, adults and business people.  You’d be teaching listening, reading, writing and speaking to different age groups. 

Each learner will have ability in English from non to people at the language school to brush up pronunciation.

Hours and wages of English language teachers in Spain

Teaching English in Spain

You can choose to work part time or full time from a few hours a week to 25 contact hours in the classroom. 

Although a language school in Spain is private a wage package is paid to allow even new teachers a reasonable living in Spain.

New teachers can expect to be paid around 950 – 1300 Euros and for teachers with experience up to 1800 Euros full time. Spanish income taxes are deducted from your salary.

Requirements to teach English at a Spain language school

  • Native or fluent English speaker 18 years old and above.
  • Legal right to work and live in Spain.
  • Sign an employment contract.
  • CELT, TESOL, EFL or 120 hours TEFL English language teaching qualification conducted in class is highly preferred.
  • Criminal background check with no adverse result.
  • References.
  • All documents officially translated into Spanish, legalised and authenticated.

Teach English in Spain requirements at language schools include a face to face interview needed by many employers, although some will hire you via a Skype or telephone interview.

You’ll need to find and pay for you’re own accommodation, although a few schools and employers offer language teachers jobs with accommodation in Spain, especially summer schools.

No TEFL, CELT qualification

What if I have no teaching experience or qualification?

There are a number of programs that place native English speakers in state schools as language & cultural assistants such as the Spanish government sponsored Bilingual English Development and Assessment program (BEDA).  This is not a teacher position.

English is a popular language to learn in Spain and is taught in all state and international schools to a certain level. 

Spain has been a popular destination for many years for teachers from English specking western countries such as USA, Australia, Canada and the UK as the high demand for children to learn English helps with a continues flow of available jobs in Spain.

Many of the jobs you will find are for the major cities or towns such as Valencia, Madrid, Bilbo, Zaragota, Barcelona, and Seville.

Financing starting costs in Spain for teachers

You’ll require providing your own accommodation and transportation to Spain.

A number of international schools do provide accommodation as part of a salary package, although you may wish to find a house or apartment that is more suitable for your needs. 

Suitable clothing for interview and funds available until your first wage is essential.

Think about the costs before school teaching abroad:

  • Flight.
  • Visa, residency.
  • Document processing and translation.
  • New clothing.
  • Transport (Car or bus).
  • Equipment.
  • Rent & deposit and any furniture, utensils and appliances.
  • Living expenses before your first wage, food, travel.
  • Emergency fund.

Teaching starting dates in Spain

State and international schools in Spain start the academic year in September or early October and finish in June the following year.

Teaching English job positions are advertised in the previous months online or through agencies. January is another time that you could start at a school although this is midway through a school year and the children’s learning program.

Language school teachers are in high demand from the hundreds of language schools in Spain providing children and adult English learning classes at all levels all year round.

Reminder so you plan ahead: You as a prospective teacher may require attending an interview for a school position and possible mini presentation as part of your interview. 

Don’t expect always to be hired just with a telephone or Skype conversation, although some language schools do employ teachers without a formal face to face interview.

Process of applying for a residency permit in Spain includes

  • Spain rental or property sales agreement and photocopy
  • Passport or identity card and copies
  • A copy of your work contract copy
  • Two passport sized photographs
  • Evidence of sufficient funds at the social security level. This is a bank statement or a letter from your Spanish bank
  • Other documents depending on your citizenship
  • Medical insurance certificate
  • Tax registration number
  • Form EX18 application form completed in Spanish
  • Proof of the application has been paid at a local bank stamped Modelo 790 payment form

Apply for residency as a non-EU citizen requires additional documentation depending on individual circumstances.

You apply for residency at the local town hall.  Check with your employer for guidance.

Opening a Spanish bank account

A non-resident account can be opened with your existing documents, although there are advantages of getting a resident bank account, such as better banking facilities.

Apply online or go into a bank branch with an official translator enabling you to fully understand the terms and conditions.

To open a Spanish account at a bank, the following documents are required.

  • Passport or identity card.
  • Proof of employment. Will be your contract of employment.
  • Foreign identification number if registered as a resident. (NIE Number) You can apply separately for the number and receive your NIE during applying for Spanish residency.
  • Proof of address such as your rental contract or sale paperwork.
  • Each bank has their own requirements in addition.

Spain taxes

As an employee, your salary is taxed at a progressive rate and deductions are taken off to cover such things as sickness, unemployment, pregnancy and health care, social security, and other deductions is payable.

Income tax rates Spain until end December 2020

€0 – €12,450                   19%   

€12,451 – €20,200          24%

€20,200 – €35,200          30%

€35,200 – €60,000          37%

Over €60,000                  45%

Personal allowance deduction is 5,500 euros for 2020 before income tax is payable in Spain.

Basically, any money you make over 5,500-6,000 euros each year is taxed at 19% up words at a progressive rate.

Once you pay a certain amount of year social security in Spain a pension is payable, although the exact amount each year periodically changes.

Resident in Spain for 183 day’s you become liable of tax on worldwide income.

Double taxation treaties are in force with many countries and Spain, so you may be able to offset tax and only pay once.

Spain country facts

Population: 48 million plus approximatelyCurrency: EuroLanguage: Spanish+ 1 GMT winter time in SpainDialing international code: + 9
May to September very hot with little rain climateSpain adopted democracy in 1975Spain is part of the European unionSpain operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50HzSpain National Day 12 October

Spain transport

Full selection of modern fast trains from towns to cities.

Drivers with European driving licenses can drive with their own countries license for as long as it is valid. 

You can exchange your license for a Spanish driving license should you wish after 6 months resident in Spain, an EU wide rule.

Health care in Spanish towns & cities

Some employers provide private health care for private medical facilities, although a European health card is valid until you become a Spanish resident.

Medical treatment is expensive if you need to pay for it going private.

Being employed in Spain entitles you to be enrolled in the state health system and allows you many free health care treatments, although no all.


You should not expect to be offered accommodation as part of your salary package in Spain, although some international school offer shared or single accommodation.

All employers generally help in providing assistance with finding a suitable rental property, and some provide temporary accommodation while you find a place of your own.

Renting property in Spain

Spain has a lot to offer anyone renting for the short or long term. Houses, apartments/flats/condo, detached rural and townhouses for all budgets.

Except the major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga you can find a good apartment, Finca or villa on a teachers salary.

Property agents, accommodation website, local newspapers all have a good selection of properties to rent in each town and city all year round.

What about living with a host family for a year?  Could be fun and may be easier to integrate into the community better. This option could reduce rental and living costs.

Spain living costs

Is it expensive to live in Spain? Yes and no depends on location and a person’s lifestyle. As an international school teacher you could afford to buy a modest house paying a mortgage from your salary.

Spain is a good country to live in and desirable by Spanish nationals and people that relocate to Spain to retire, work or long term holiday, which means prices are higher in popular areas.

You alone have to make the decision if moving to Spain to teach is a good idea for yourself, family and career goals.

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