A Guide to Working in Spain

Spain flag

People come from all the world to seek employment in Spain and it is easy to see why. 

There are lots of different jobs available to English speakers and international staff like working as an au pair, teaching, summer holiday rep or in the hotel, hospitality and tourism industry. Applying is a great way to live in spectacular setting, see some of the best white sandy beaches, improve your language skills and also meet people from all over the world!

Spain is a very large country so you should research locations to see what appeals to you. If you are going to base yourself somewhere for a long period it's best you choose somewhere you will be happy with. Most local people in regions throughout the country also speak at least basic English which can make adapting to the new culture easier.

If going to work abroad in Spain appeals to you, view our guide and apply today.


Top Reasons to Go

Here is why you should apply:

  • A huge selection of local and international companies offering jobs for English speakers
  • Friendly local people and a multicultural society 
  • Sunny weather, a warm climate and a laid back lifestyle
  • Progress your career, find a new home, meet other people and make new professional contacts
  • Improve your language skills! You could combine experiences and book a Spanish course in Spain


Best Places to Apply

You can find positions throughout the country, popular locations include


Jobs on the Spanish Mainland and Cities


Cities on the mainland offer culture, history, bars and lots of places to see. A lot of people choose touristy areas like Alicante which is an expat hotspot. You will usually need to seek out employment in these places locally. Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol are a popular destination for British touristy and because of this there are various jobs available here.


Jobs in the Canary & Balearic Islands

Spain beach

A stunning array of islands with a great climate which include Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. Playa de Las Americas is a popular place to work, close to the beach with lots of bars. Lanzarote - A rock island which is a quiter than the other islands - more relaxing anyway. Gran Canaria - A very relaxed island with a modern town and scenic beaches.


Summer Jobs in Spain

Spain attractions millions of tourists every year and there are resorts which need staff dotted all around the country.

The islands are some of out top destinations to live and find work, and here you can work in tourism, resort, hospitality and customer support. Most summer jobs are flexible and not fixed to a long term contract, sometimes you might need previous experience but generally when working in a bar, cafe or restaurant you will just need to make a good impression when you apply.

Some summer jobs in places like the Canary Islands can be a great way to enjoy the sunshine and country, but sometimes the jobs can be hard work and tiring if you are working night shifts in a bar or club. Also arriving late in summer can mean finding employment more difficult due to the amount of people wanting to work here.


Camp Jobs in Spain

If you enjoy being around children you might like to work at a summer camp in Spain, there are summer programs like Pueblo Ingles which has been running since 2004 and offers activity camps for teenagers who come round all around Spain and the world to take part.

For this role you will probably need some experience in this field of work and also need to be full of energy, friendly, caring and out going. The aim of the camps is for students to learn Spanish and also have a lot of fun!

You will act as a counselor and be in charge of groups of children with groups of around 8 to 10 children, there will also be other local and international workers helping. There are usually structured games, sports, theatre, activities and learning sessions and the best thing is you will get paid!

Camps usually run from June to July and you will need to be free for the duration of this period. Locations for the camps can vary, usually you will fly to Madrid and then the camps are in more rural villages. Children are usually aged 7 to 17. Sometimes this can be a 24/7 role but you will also get free time. 



If you are from an EU country you can work in Spain without the need for any visa or paperwork. Spain also has a working arrangement with both New Zealand and Canada making it easier for citizens from these countries to gain employment here. 

Most employers will require you will need to be aged 18 and over and usually be from an EU country. If you are planning to work for longer than 3 months you will need to get a Spanish ID number (NIE). If recruited for seasonal positions you will get a formal contract and then have full training to get you prepared for working a summer season. The salary can vary and you will be informed of this. For most jobs you will need to apply online with a CV and cover letter, if they like your application you will get a phone/video interview.

For some roles you might need to know Spanish - this will really increase your chances of getting employed. For most jobs advertised internationally you won't need to be fluent. It is recommend to learn Spanish in Spain or at least pick up some basic phrases, this will really help you whilst living there. Also you might also want to check the weather, it might not be an idea to move to Spain during the summer if you are not a comfortable living in 25+ degree weather.


Jobs in Spain for Foreigners & Non-EU Citizens 

Are you interested to find job vacancies in Spain but not sure if you are eligible as you are not from a country in the EU? We get lots of enquires from people from all around the world including countries like the UK ost Brexit, India and South Africa who are keen to secure employment in Spain but this isn't that simple. 

There are several way how you can find jobs in Spain as a non-EU citizen. Some companies offer jobs in Spain for Britsih, Indian, South African and other nationalities but to get hired you will need to be eligible for a work visa or have a company offer you a position. 



Working Hours
In Spain working hours can vary dramatically between employers and jobs. For professional fix term jobs in summer there is an abridged work schedule used by some companies in which the working day runs unbroken from 8 am to 3 pm. However, a common distribution of work hours is from 9 am until 7.30 pm with a three hour siesta in the middle. Over the last few years this siesta break has been significantly shortened in some employments, with the employees finishing the work day earlier instead.

The wages you get really depends on what company you work for, where you are based and how many hours you work. Spain has been affected by the global economic crisis but generally holiday and seasonal positions are unaffected. Don't expect to get paid a fortune for a summer position - sometimes you could get around 800 euros per month which will be enough to cover costs and also leave free money to enjoy yourself. For volunteering in Spain, this is generally unpaid.

Cost of Living
Cities like Barcelona and Madrid are more expensive to live in than places like Alicante and Murcia, generally you can expect to have outgoing of around 500-1000 Euros per month. 

  • A one bedroom apartment in most city centers costs around 500 Euros, but it is a lot more in cities like Madrid and Barcelona where a room in a shared flat can be 500 - 1000 Euros.
  • A bottle of water us around 1 Euro
  • A one way ticket on a bus or public transport costs around 1 Euro
  • A meal out can cost around 10 Euros


Top Tips for Finding Work in Spain

Here are some when looking for work in Spain.

Be Prepared
Explore the job market before you move, see what career options most suit you and your qualifications. Be aware that you may need to re-qualify or retrain to be applicable for the position you want. See if there are any skills you possess which are in demand. Make yourself marketable by knowing your market!

Refine your CV, and Get it Out There
CV’s are often formatted differently abroad, make sure yours is up to date and formatted correctly for the Spanish market. Get your CV circulating through as many avenues as possible – utilise connections, new neighbours, local amenities etc. Put your CV on job sites and clearly present yourself to your target employers. Ensure you clearly state when you are available to start, and be realistic about how long it will take for you to be in a position to commit yourself to a contract.

Ensure That Appropriate Work Permits are in Place
Where possible get any and all paperwork out of the way prior to searching for work.

Embrace New Career Opportunities
When beginning a new career abroad you have to be aware that you may not be able to start work at the level you previously occupied. You may have to take a pay cut or demotion and re-work your way up the career ladder. You may even have to rethink what type of work you wish to do. Don’t be disheartened. The skills you used in your old job might not be in demand in Spain, but maybe they could be differently applied or you could discover new ones!

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
Starting a new life abroad can be difficult, stressful and lonely. In general the quicker you get to know people the sooner you’ll settle in. Join clubs, or fitness classes, get out and about, socialise. Don’t be afraid of rejection, for every person who tells you to get lost there’ll be someone else who won’t. Hold a party, get to know you’re neighbours and take advantage of every useful contact you meet. 


Help & Advice

If you have any questions about moving to Spain or gaining employment please contact us. Or for more options in this region browse seasonal jobs in Europe