The guide to jobs in Spain for English speakers
Mise à jour 23th jan. 20

Career opportunities in Spain

Whether you just moved to Spain, or you are planning to move there, soon enough a time will come when you will want (or need) to search for a job for English speakers. That is, of course, if your mastery of the Spanish language still has to be perfected. Luckily, Spain is a busy touristic destination, as well as being an open-minded country with high levels of qualified immigration.

There are plenty of work opportunities for English speakers and, if you follow this guide, you will soon find that being an English speaker can play in your favour, and you will find a job sooner than you thought possible.

Jobs in tourism

As an English-speaking employee, one of the safest places to start looking for jobs is the tourism industry. Spain has a well-established tradition for tourism, and it has been a long-time favourite destination among northern Europeans and British citizens, thanks also to several tour operators and direct charter flights from the main British and northern European cities.

While the highest chances of encountering a job opportunity for English speakers are in the main touristic areas of Spain, the big cities - such as Madrid and Barcelona - have several hotels and hotel chains that are constantly looking for personnel. Positions such as receptionist or guest relations in hotels catering to a British audience are a safe bet for the first job as an English speaking worker with social skills.

The Spanish Islands - the Balearic and the Canary Islands above all – also have a reputation for being among the favourite holiday destinations for British citizens and northern Europeans. Not only that, in the Canary Islands British account for the biggest expats community on the Islands. There are properties, shops, travel agencies and other businesses run entirely by Brits.

Expats communities

The British community in Tenerife – the biggest of the Canary Islands – is so well-established that you could get along totally fine without ever having to learn a single word of Spanish. Thoroughly research all the businesses run by British people on the island, and you will find a job for English speakers in no time.

Applying personally

When it comes to applying for a job, a good idea would be to write your curriculum in English as well as Spanish. By doing this, you will make sure that the message you want to convey is understood, no matter the reader’s proficiency with English. Most of the information contained in a curriculum can be efficiently translated with an automatic translator, provided you get someone native to do the final proofreading for you.

At the time of applying for a job for English speakers in Spain, the same rules apply as for any other job. Sometimes, it can be helpful to show up personally, and hand over a copy of your curriculum directly to the human resources department or the person in charge, especially if you plan on leveraging on your savoir-faire and your soft skills.

Applying through platforms

On other occasions, and this seems to be the growing trend nowadays, you might want to rely on a web platform such as InfoJobs for example, that specialises on the Spanish jobs market. By doing this, you will have the possibility to apply automatic filters to your research, without having to be very skilled in search engines queries.

Spontaneous candidacies submitted via email seem to be not as efficient as going in person or using a portal to find a job in Spain for English speakers. Too many times, the emails sent by an unknown address are seen as spam, even more so if they contain an attached file such as a curriculum. It is much better to do the first screening by telephone, or by going in person, before sending out emails with curriculums. This is also to avoid being added to a mailing list, while still being jobless.

Tax rates and duties

Independently from what type of job you are looking for, whether it is an engineering job, a nursing job, a job in tourism, or other jobs for English speaking graduates in Spain, as long as you are the employee you will be subjected to the tax rates for employees. The employer will have the obligation to pay the taxes on your salary, provide for the social security and the income taxes, as long as your salary does not exceed €22.000 a year.

If you have a second job, or other sources of income such as property houses etcetera, then you will have to declare your income. In this case, the following rates apply: up to €12.450/year – 19%; up to €20.200/year – 24%; up to €34.000/year – 30%; up to €60.000/year – 37%; more than €60.000/year – 45%.

If you are unsure of what taxation regime you are subjected to, or if you are an autonomous worker with a small business, an accountant might be the safest bet for you to handle taxes without the headache of having to calculate them yourself. Good luck with your search for a job in Spain for English speakers!