It's no surprise that Spain is a popular destination for foreigners to teach English abroad. It's a country with so much to offer: a slow pace of life with the well-known siesta, a rich culture centered around flamenco dance and other forms of the arts, and delicious food and drink.

If you are interested in gaining experience in education, spending some time teaching English in Spain is a great way to do that, with the added bonus of experiencing a new culture -- and an abundance of tapas and sangria.

Whether you are experienced in teaching or not, or have a TEFL certification or not, you'll be able to find a teaching experience that's just right for you, while also immersing yourself in the Spanish lifestyle. With Spain's growing demand for English teachers, you will find a range of positions available all over the country, from private tutor to classroom assistant to head teacher.

In order to teach English in Spain, most teachers will require a recognized teaching certificate such as TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA. The average salary for teaching in Spain is €700 - €2,000 per month depending on your teaching job type.

There are three most common English teaching jobs in Spain: a Language and Cultural Assistant, a full-time teacher in a private school or language academy, or as an English tutor for a family.

Language and Cultural Assistant

A perfect opportunity for young professionals looking to gain teaching experience and spend time abroad, the Spanish Ministry of Education runs the North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain, through which they place Language and Cultural Assistants in public schools across the country.

Language and Cultural Assistants are native English speakers who assist English teachers in primary and secondary schools. Assignments last from the beginning of October until May 31. In Madrid, the duration of the program is from October 1 to June 30.

Private Schools/Language Academies

If you're TEFL/CELTA certified, it's definitely possible to get a contractual teaching job at a private school or language academy in Spain. These are full-time positions that include a monthly salary, benefits, and vacation time. You will be the primary teacher in your classroom and will need to have some prior teaching experience.

If you're already in Spain, you have a better chance at getting one of these jobs as you can interview in person. Although it's a bit risky, it may be worth it to take the leap and move to Spain and then pursue one of these roles, especially if you have the requisite experience.

Private Tutoring

There is a high demand for private English tutors among Spanish families, and this is a great option for those who are looking for a really culturally immersive experience and may not have much experience teaching. The most common option for private tutoring is in-home private lessons, where you will live with a host family and teach English private lessons to the children, and sometimes adults as well, several times a week.

As you'll be living with the family you work for, you will really get to know your students and become a part of the family yourself. This will allow you to connect with the culture and people of Spain on a more intimate level, while also gaining valuable English-teaching experience. You will receive your housing free of charge, along with a modest living stipend.

The difficulty in finding a job depends on what type of position you are applying for. If you are applying for the Language and Cultural Assistant program, the application process is quite competitive but also very straightforward. Also, if you are accepted, you will be placed at a school by the Ministry of Education, so you won't need to worry about choosing a location.

If you're looking for a private school or tutoring job, you may face a slightly more daunting application process as you'll need to do independent research to choose what location you're interested in and what job opportunities are available there.

When to Apply for Jobs in Spain

Applications for the government-run Language and Cultural Assistant program are due in early spring, but you can apply in advance beginning in August/September. Acceptances for the program are announced in April, and this is also when you'll be given your location assignment. When applying to jobs at private schools, there are two main peak hiring seasons: Mid-September to Early October and January.

How to Apply for Jobs in Spain

Applying to the Assistant program is somewhat similar to applying to a university or graduate school program. The applicant will be expected to provide information on their academic background, Spanish language level, experience working with or teaching children and young adults, and experience living abroad. You will be required to submit academic transcripts and write a short essay stating your interest in the program.

If you are applying to jobs at private schools, you'll need to spend a good amount of time researching and networking to find the best opportunities available. If you can save up enough money to move to Spain before finding a job, that's a highly recommended approach as it can help tremendously to be able to interview in person.

Average Salary of Teaching Jobs in Spain

The Language and Cultural Assistants are given a stipend of €700 a month, or up €1,000 in Madrid, for about 15-20 hours of work per week. Since the work hours are minimal and the stipend is modest, it's common for Assistants to take up some side tutoring or babysitting to help support themselves.

Teachers at private schools typically earn €1,500-€2,000 per month, which is a comfortable salary given the relatively low cost of living in Spain.

Qualifications Needed

The qualifications needed to teach in Spain vary by role and school type. Assistant and tutoring positions typically do not require any certification for native English speakers, just a college degree. However, as these positions are becoming more competitive, it can definitely help if you have a TEFL certification or are at least enrolled in a certification course. If you are applying to teach at a private school or language academy, a TEFL certification will be required.

For all positions, it's preferable that you have some proficiency in the Spanish language.

Popular Destinations to Teach in Spain

It's possible to find teaching jobs all over the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas. If you are applying for a Language and Cultural Assistant position, then you will be placed in a school by the Ministry of Education, so you won't actually have a choice of where you teach. If you are looking for a job at a private school or a tutoring position, however, you will have plenty of options.

The two most common teaching locations are the large cities of Madrid, the capital in the center of Spain, and Barcelona, the coastal city on the Mediterranean in the Catalonia region of Spain. Valencia and Seville are other common cities for English teachers and are great options if you're looking for a cosmopolitan location with plenty to do.

If you want to experience Spanish culture in a more intimate setting, consider looking at smaller academies or language schools in regions such as Andalucia or País Vasco, which are dotted with quaint, small towns.

Visas & Sponsorship

One of the major benefits of the Assistant program is that it provides U.S. citizens with a viable (and legal) way to teach English in Spain on a long-stay student visa. The process of getting your visa can take months, though, so it is important to begin the process as soon as you accept your assignment to the program.

For a teaching job at a private institution, you will need to obtain a work visa. Most schools will be able to sponsor you to get a work visa, but you'll need to confirm this before committing to a job.

Teacher Work Culture in Spain

One of the greatest perks about teaching in Spain is the work-life balance. It's common for schools in Spain to have a two-hour long lunch break while the children play outside. During this time, teachers will spend time eating lunch leisurely and going over lesson plans.

If you are an Assistant, you won't be working full time and will have plenty of time to explore the country outside of the classroom. But even if you're working full time, there is still a greater emphasis on work-life balance than in the U.S., as Spaniards strongly value spending time with family, eating slow, freshly cooked meals, and spending time in the outdoors.

Classroom Etiquette in Spain

As a teacher or teaching assistant, you'll be responsible to some degree for classroom management. This is actually fairly similar to how it is in the U.S., where students are expected to be well-behaved in the classroom, not talk over others, raise hands, and treat each other with respect.

It's important to know that teaching styles in Spain tend to differ from the U.S. In Spain, teachers take a more interactive, hands-on-approach with teaching and there are fewer standardized tests involved. This may be an adjustment for those who have prior experience teaching in the U.S.

Health & Safety

Health and safety-wise, there isn't much to worry about in Spain. It's a highly developed and safe country for tourists. You will want to be careful of pick-pocketers as this is common in Spain's larger cities, particularly in Madrid and Barcelona. You will be an easy target if you look very obviously like a tourist or are not holding your personal items close to your body.

Participants in the Assistant program receive basic health insurance through the Spanish national health insurance system. If you're teaching at a private school or tutoring, you should make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.

If you take any medications, bring them with you as you will not be able to have any medications shipped from the U.S. to Spain.

Teaching Programs in Spain

Displaying 1 - 15 of 26 programs
Meddeas
Teach English in Spanish Schools in September 2020. No Fees
Spain
9 •17 reviews

Support the local language teachers and helps students with verbal...

RVF International
Teach English in Spain | Get paid while you travel and explore new cultures!
Spain
9.42 •12 reviews

Reasons to not come and teach English in beautiful, sunny Spain? Zero...

ConversaSpain
Teach English in Spain: Public Schools in Madrid and Murcia
Spain
8.89 •9 reviews

Become an Auxiliar de Conversación, and experience the Spanish culture...

My TEFL Experience
Teach English in Spain with My TEFL Experience
Spain
9.65 •17 reviews

My TEFL Experience is a small, family-run organisation that arranges...

Canterbury TEFL
TEFL Certification Programs and Teaching Jobs in Madrid, Spain
Spain
9.63 •8 reviews

Canterbury TEFL Course 4 wk course with GUARANTEED TEACHING JOBS...

TEFL Heaven
TEFL Heaven: Make it in Madrid with Guaranteed Paid Job!
Spain
9.2 •10 reviews

TEFL Heaven offers an experience of a lifetime to teach English in one...

Spanish Ministry of Education
North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain
Spain
8.62 •13 reviews

The program is an academic “continuing education” grant provided by...

Instituto Hemingway
Teaching English in Spain with Instituto Hemingway
Spain
10 •3 reviews

A job teaching English in Spain is one of the best ways to live abroad...

Cultural Homestay International
Teach English to a Host Family in Spain with CHI!
Spain
9 •5 reviews

Join Cultural Homestay International's World Explorers program in...

Instituto Franklin-UAH
ESL Student Teaching in Madrid
Spain
10 •1 review

Student Teaching in Spain not only gives you insightful professional...

English Educational Services
Teach In Spain with English Educational Services
Spain

You will be working with students between the ages of 6 - 25...

Meddeas
Get TEFL Certified While Teaching English in Spain in September 2020. No Fees
Spain

Teach English in Spanish Schools with no Fees. Enroll in our program...

Sabatica
Teaching English in Barcelona, Spain
Spain

If you’re a native English speaker who is interested in sharing your...

PIC Management
Native English Teachers in Madrid, Spain. Paid internship
Spain

This internship is for all native English speaking students that would...

TEFL Courses in Spain

A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in Spain
  • International TEFL Academy
    Get Paid to Teach English in Spain with a TEFL Certification
    Spain
    9.21 •19 reviews

    Interested in getting paid to travel the world? By earning your...

  • TEFL Madrid Academy
    TEFL Course in Madrid. 100 % Interviews and Job Placement Facilitation Guaranteed!
    Spain
    10 •26 reviews

    TEFL Madrid Facilities TEFL Madrid Academy is strategically located in...

  • The TEFL Org
    Classroom and Online TEFL Courses
    Multiple Countries
    9.63 •38 reviews

    Enrol on an internationally-recognised TEFL course with The TEFL Org...

  • 1 new reviews
    The TEFL Academy
    Combined Level 5 TEFL Course in Europe
    Multiple Countries
    9.42 •26 reviews

    At the TEFL Academy we only offer one course because we want all our...

  • Teaching House
    CELTA Course with Teaching House: Locations Throughout the Globe!
    United States of America
    9.48 •44 reviews

    Globally recognized and accredited by the University of Cambridge, the...

  • 1 new reviews
    TtMadrid TEFL Certification Course
    TtMadrid TEFL Certification Course in the Center of Madrid
    Multiple Countries
    8.92 •13 reviews

    TtMadrid is an internationally accredited 4-week TEFL certification...

  • Oxford TEFL
    World Recognized CELTA (TEFL/TESOL) Course in Barcelona
    Spain
    9.63 •8 reviews

    The Cambridge CELTA is a qualification recognized by schools worldwide...

  • CIEE TEFL
    TEFL Certification & Teaching Job in Murcia, Spain
    Spain
    10 •1 review

    Enroll in our 150-hour TEFL certification course and we’ll put you in...

  • Oxinity
    TEFL Course in Spain, Barcelona and Madrid
    Spain
    9.79 •14 reviews

    Would you like to move abroad and live in a vibrant city where the sun...

New Teaching Jobs

View the latest teaching job postings on our job board.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it expensive to live in Spain?

    While larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona can be on the more expensive side, the cost of living in Spain is lower than in most European countries. A room in a shared apartment in a city center like Madrid can range from about €250-€600 euros ($270 - $650 USD).

  • Is it safe to live in Spain?

    Spain is a very safe country. But, just like the rest of Europe, Spain is notorious for pickpockets. It's important to not carry your passport around and always keep an eye on your phone!

  • How much money do you make teaching English in Spain?
    As a Language and Culture Assistant teaching in public schools in Spain, you can generally earn €700 per month (€1000+ in Madrid). Teaching in private academies and language schools you can earn between €15 - €20 per hour, equaling about €1,500-€2,000 per month if you work full time. You can earn upwards of €20 per hour if you tutor privately.
  • Can you teach English in Spain without knowing Spanish?

    You don't need to speak any Spanish to teach in Spain. Native English-speaking teachers are encouraged to speak only English in most language schools and academies. While it's helpful to know Spanish when dealing with the Spanish government or for the visa process, it is not necessary for your day-to-day teaching job.

  • Do you need a degree to teach English in Spain?

    There are a number of ways to teach English in Spain--some require a degree and others do not, however, all require native fluency in English. While most programs require a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's, there are programs, such as through CIEE, which only require you to be enrolled in a university. It's also possible to teach English without any higher education certification through volunteer programs.

  • Where can I teach in Spain?

    From big cities like Madrid and Barcelona to smaller "pueblos", you can be placed in almost any of the autonomous communities throughout Spain through the Auxiliares de Conversacion program. If you choose to be a language assistant, tutor, or teacher in a private school, you can take your pick of location. Some of the other most popular cities to teach English in Spain include Seville, Granada, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, and Bilbao.

What People Are Saying

I honestly do not know how people get through the process of becoming a North American Language and Cultural assistant without RVF! From the application process, to the step by step instructions...

Center of Vitoria Gasteiz.

RVF International is a fantastic program! I'd been searching for way to teach English abroad and when I found this program, I knew it would be the best fit for me. The constant support and resources...

My students!

I had/am having the most amazing experience working with RVF International. From the very first Skype call, I felt like they truly cared about me. I had a couple other Skype interviews with other...

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