How do I find a job teaching English in Spain?

Spain has many attractions that draw a large number of teachers every year. The warm climate, relaxed lifestyle, world class beaches, and world famous cuisine are just a few. Many people also take the opportunity to learn Spanish while living and working in a modern, international city such as Madrid or Barcelona. If Spain is on your list of potential destinations, take a look at the following tips that should help you on your way.

What are the basic requirements for teaching English in Spain?

The main requirement for teaching English in Spain is a TESOL qualification. The vast majority of employers that offer a decent salary will expect their job applicants to have completed an internationally recognised teacher training course.

What is the best way to apply for jobs teaching English in Spain?

A relatively small number of teaching jobs can be secured from within your home country via a government recruitment program that places teachers into local schools. However, for the vast majority of teachers it will be necessary to travel to Spain first and then start the job hunting process. The simple but effective approach is to fly into the city of your choice and immediately start contacting local employers with your CV/resume and a cover letter in hand. Although this might seem like a daunting prospect, there is no need to worry as the high demand for teachers means you are virtually guaranteed a position as long as you are well prepared and determined.

When is the best time to apply for jobs teaching English in Spain?

For the best choice of jobs you should plan to arrive in time for the main hiring season that starts around mid-September. You should find there are plenty of vacant positions available for the upcoming school year. The next best time for job hunting in Spain is January.

Where are the best places to apply for jobs teaching English in Spain?

By European standards Spain is a very big country, however, most of the teaching jobs are located in a few of the biggest cities. Madrid, the capital city, has the largest number of potential jobs, with Barcelona coming in as a close second. Other cities worth looking at include Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, and Granada.

What visa will I need to teach English in Spain?

EU nationals are in a great position as they can live and work in Spain without a visa. Because of this, citizens of the UK and Ireland have a good advantage in the job market. Securing a work visa for non-EU citizens can be a tricky process which leads many people to work on a basic tourist visa. Although this is technically illegal, it is common practice in Spain and rarely causes any problems. If this approach doesn't appeal then you might want to consider applying for a student visa. You can apply for this if you sign-up for a government approved training course, typically a Spanish language course. With a student visa you are also entitled to work up to 20 hours per week.

How much money will I need to start teaching English in Spain?

As most people arrive in Spain without a job in place, you will need sufficient funds to last until you get your first paycheck. Typically most people can find a job within a couple of weeks which means you should budget for at least four to six weeks of living expenses. This figure would be somewhere in the region of $2,000 to $3,000 US dollars.

What can I do to ensure I find a good job teaching English in Spain?

The best thing you can do to find a good job is to apply for as many different positions as possible in the area where you have chosen. There are several useful publications where you can find the contact details of potential employers such as the Madrid Blue Pages, the Yellow Pages, English and Spanish language newspapers, and online teaching forums. Having a professional looking CV/resume and cover letter is essential if you want to make a good first impression. Having a copy of these translated into Spanish might also be a good investment. You should also get a local SIM card on arrival in Spain so you have a local contact number to give out. Finally, presenting yourself in a smart and professional manner when meeting employers is an absolute must or your chances of getting the job will be ruined.