Immigration. Travel. Living.

Expat guides: job in Spain

Before you conclude, Spain is among the best places to work in Europe. Spain has one of the fastest recovering economies in the EU, and the fourth-largest economy in Europe. Unemployment is also gradually decreasing since the new reforms are creating new platforms and opportunities lost in the economic downturn since 2013.

As expat looking for jobs in this part of Europe, it may hard to find one since there are a ton of applicants. This guide will help with your application process and ensure that you are taking the right steps.

Will I need to speak Spanish?

Ok, as an ex-pat planning on working in Spain, must I learn Spanish? No, you don’t. Knowing the official language of the country is not compulsory for most occupations in the country. Since Spain has a fairly high amount of English-speaking residents.

If you don’t speak Spanish, you can easily work in a multinational company, schools, university, as a tourist guide, real estate agent, private English teacher or lecturer, and any other services needed by other ex-pats. In time, you can brush up your Spanish and move up the ranks.

Requirements for foreigners to work

man and woman standing front of pedestrian lane

If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, you WILL NOT need a work permit or visa to work in Spain. Citizens of these countries can freely travel, live, and work in the Kingdom of Spain.

Expats from other parts of the world, outside the EU and EEA, MUST obtain a Spanish residence visa and work permit before they can work or live in this part of Europe.

Once you get a job, you must register and obtain an NIE number and complete their Spanish tax registration to pay their income tax (IRPF). 

How to Find a Job in Spain

The reason why most ex-pats applications are turned down is that they’ve been applying for jobs in the wrong places, out of ignorance or desperation, Spanish employers are very strict when it comes to employment. If you are still looking for a job, these are the best places to start looking:

  1. Associates – When looking for a job in a foreign country, the best way to find one is by reaching out to your friend and ask for assistance. If he is can act as an inside man for you in the organization, you will be getting employed in no time. This is one of the best ways to get a job in this part of Europe.
  2. Newspapers – Newspapers and other publications are excellent sources of information when it comes to looking for job vacancies in the Spanish republic. Millions of newspapers are published daily in both English and Spain. You can get started by finding a job in newspapers like the Euro Weekly News, The Olive Press, The Leader, Costa Blanca News, and Sur in English.
  3. Online Media – Thanks to the internet, you can find a job from the comfort of your home. You can begin your search on sites like The Local, Think Spain, Sur In English, Jobs in Barcelona, Jobs in Madrid, Expatica Jobs, EURES, Reed, Europe Language Jobs, and XpatJobs.

How Much Will I Be Paid Working in Spain?

You can earn as much as €1,200/month as an employee in Spain. On the 13th of August 2017, Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social (the Ministry of Employment and Social Security) increased the minimum wage to €858.60 per month. 

There isn’t a fixed hourly wage rate. This means part-time workers earn €429.30 per month. When calculated, the average employee in Spain earns about €8.41 per hour.

Working conditions

The average full-time working week in the Spanish republic is about 41.3 hours, from 9 am to 8 pm. This comes with long lunch breaks between 1 pm and 4 pm. Work starts slowly with small talk among colleagues and a cup of morning coffee. After long hours, then lunch. This is considered a time to relax and prepare for the rush hour that comes after lunch.

The mothers and fathers enjoy 30 days of paternity/maternity leave. It can also be extended if there is any complication at birth. New mums can also take a one-year unpaid leave after birth. Standard maternity leave in Spain is 16 weeks paid leave, 18 weeks for twins, and 20 weeks for triplets. 

There is also unemployment benefit (also known as El Paro, unemployment subsidy, or Subsidio por Desempleo) to employees who have been unemployed for more than 12 months. You get up to 80% of your usual salary for a maximum of 24 months. You may receive higher depending on your condition I.e children, disability…

Sure tips that will help you land a job in Spain

Do you still need more strategies that will help you get employed in Spain? Here’s a set of ideas from an American living in the Kingdom of Spain for more than 15 years.

  • Prepare a European-style CV for Spanish Job Interviews.
  • Get recommended by friends who work in the company. These acts as upvotes.
  • Be versatile, don’t rely on your fluent English alone.
  • Increase your skill base.
  • Learn to speak Spanish.

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