Jobs for foreigners in Spain are in high demand. Let’s face it – many of us head to this beautiful country for a lifestyle different from our country of birth, and Spain has a vast and varied industry base.
Many people have told us, “We wish we were as brave as you” when they too yearn to move to Spain. It’s not bravery – it’s simply planning, planning and even more planning! But the most important aspect for those of us at working age, is undoubtedly, “How can I earn a living?”
The rule of thumb is pretty much that any job you are doing where you currently live, will be available in Spain too (unless you were doing something with sand in Dubai, or ice in Iceland).
However, if you plan on moving to Spain to look for teaching engagements, it’s best that you find out if you need to complete any visa or immigration requirements first. You don’t want to violate any laws when you start working in Spain, so contact your embassy before accepting any engagements. You can also look for institutions or companies that offer English classes instead of going freelance, so they can be the ones to take care of all your paperwork.
Let’s look at just a few options available to you.
Working in the hospitality industry in Spain
Spain’s tourism industry is one of the largest in this country, and as such it offers various positions within hotels, bars, restaurants and excursions. Many of these roles do not require you to have experience and can be a way of getting your foot on the ladder, so to speak.
Contact hotels, bars and restaurants or tourism providers to see if they have roles that will suit you. Of course you will need to know what areas you are considering as a base first. Most of these roles will be based in the coastal resorts or in the cities. With the exception of the Canary Islands, most of the these jobs in Spain will be seasonal. Perhaps aim for a late-spring move, so that you can get your foot in the door during the summer and build a corking reputation, ready to stay on after the busy period ends. Do bear in mind that most employers give priority to people already living in the area, so don’t be despondent when you get 47 “No thanks” replies out of 50! It’s not personal – it is merely that employers need to know that you’re ready to begin and have already demonstrated a commitment.
If you are young – then contact such companies that recruit “reps”. Be prepared for long hours and low pay… but it will be one hell of an adventure. We have met many people who began as a rep, then managed to gain a permanent role elsewhere after their contract ended. Don0tunderestimate the power of networking – get your faces around town and ensure that everyone knows you you are – in a positive light of course – you’re unlikely to get a job if you’ve gained a reputation for falling over drunk every time they see you.
English language tutor
One job that’s constantly in demand, not only in Spain but also in many other countries, is pursuing a career as an English tutor. Many locals in the tourist areas are continually looking for English tutors to help them improve their language skills. Then there are the parents who want their kiddies to gain a second language, thereby opening more opportuity doors for when they leave school. You’ll have a huge advantage if you’re from an English-speaking country like America or England since many students who wish to learn English prefer native speakers.
It is definitely worth looking at respected online courses such as TEFL, to give you an extra tool ready to begin tutoring others. You can even begin before you leave your home country.
Career in Healthcare
The healthcare system in Spain has an excellent reputation and jobs for medical professionals are plentiful. You can pursue a career as a doctor or nurse in a hospital or health facility in Spain if you have a medical degree. If you’re a bit hesitant to relocate to a foreign country without securing a job offer, you can go through a placement agency to find the right position for you. This way, you’ll have an easier time finding work and may even get a better job offer and benefits. Check with these agencies first – in case you need to have your qualifications converted.
Computer Science jobs
If you have a computer science degree, it’ll be fairly easy for you to pursue a career anywhere in the world. Information technology and software development are two of the most in-demand fields. Barcelona is rapidly becoming a respected hub for these roles so perhaps start your search there. However – you are highly likely to need Spanish language skills (and maybe Catalan too). Learning the language will massively increase your chances of being hired. Plus you will certainly find it easier to settle in locally if you can communicate well with the locals. Yes, English IS the international language of business, but you need to live day to day and communicate seamlessly too.
You can enjoy a flourishing career in Spain if you’re an experienced engineer. Spain has various research facilities that need engineers. It’ll be easy for you to find an opening. If you plan to work in Spain for a long time, it’s better to find a secure job with many advancement opportunities. The income for engineers is fair and decent, although it may not be of a level you’re used to. Don’t worry though, because the cost of living is lower here than many other places. You don’t have to worry too much about your living expenses.
Pursuing a career in another country is a huge step that requires careful assessment and planning. If you hastily fly to Spain without a plan, you may end up having difficulties finding a stable job. There are various work opportunities for foreigners in Spain, so as long as you do your research, you’ll find a job that’ll suit you. If you wish to make the most out of your stay, find work that’ll give you plenty of free time to go sightseeing so you can have a much more memorable stay in the country.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.