blog - how to find work in spain

If you’re planning on moving your family to Spain, one of the biggest considerations will probably be around how to find work. It was definitely at the top of our list when we started to think about moving to Spain. 

You’ll only be able to become a permanent resident in Spain if you can prove that you have enough income to support your family and not become a burden on the state. This means you either need a lot of savings, an employment contract, or become self-employed. 

Unfortunately, as of June 2020, Spain has the second highest unemployment rate in Europe (behind Greece). This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a job in Spain but it’s not going to be easy. 

Here are some tips on how to find work in Spain as an expat… 

Be prepared to do something different

Since jobs are hard to come by in Spain, you may have to accept that you’ll have to do something that you wouldn’t normally consider.

Having an employment contract in Spain will entitle you and your family to free healthcare, as well as allowing you to apply for residency, so it may be worth just accepting anything initially to get your foot in the door.

Look for remote work 

It’s worth considering if there’s something you can do online to avoid having to apply for jobs in Spain. I already did some freelance Social Media Management on the side of my main job when we lived in the UK and we have built that up into enough work for the both of us to do from home in Spain on a freelance basis. 

There are lots of different things you could do as a freelancer – for some inspiration take a look at this list of remote jobs you can do from anywhere in the world. You would need to set yourself up as Autónomo (self-employed) but once done you can take on clients in any country and pay tax in Spain. 

Many expats we know teach English online, known as TEFL. You take an online course and can end up working for an international company or on a freelance basis. 

There are also job websites that advertise remote jobs for companies across the world. These could be Customer Support roles, Web development, or Administrative roles. and We Work Remotely are good websites to search for remote jobs. 

If you are going to work remotely as a freelancer you will need to set yourself up as autonomo.

Learn Spanish 

If you’re going to have to find a job here in Spain, you’ll need to be able to speak Spanish first. In a very high expat area, you might be able to find bar or kitchen work that doesn’t require any Spanish, but these are very few and far between, are often only seasonal, and obviously won’t pay a lot.  

Most companies will pick a bilingual candidate over someone who only speaks English, and can you blame them when there are so many unemployed people to choose from? For this reason it’s really important to try and learn as much Spanish as possible before you move over, and there are lots of resources to help with this.

Use your contacts 

Lots of job vacancies in Spain aren’t advertised openly but through word-of-mouth or personal contacts. It’s all about who you know! 

Do you know someone who lives and works in Spain already? If so, are their company hiring or do they have any business contacts who are? 

If you work for a large company, do they have an office in Spain? Do any of your other business contacts have offices in Spain? Use your contacts on LinkedIn and see if there is anyone who can help you out. It’s also worth joining any ‘Jobs in Spain’ groups on Facebook. 

Search online 

It’s important to do your research before you make the move. Look at online job vacancies to see what type of jobs are available and what the salaries are – you may be surprised at how low some of the wages in Spain are compared to similar jobs in the UK! The minimum wage in Spain is €1,108 per month, and as of the end of 2019 the average monthly wage in Spain was €1,695 per month. 

You usually cannot apply for a job in Spain until you are officially a permanent resident but it may be a good idea to get in touch with potential employers in your sector to ask questions and make contacts. 

Some websites to start your Spanish job search include: 

Think about the best areas to work 

What job vacancies you can find will depend on where in Spain you decide to move to. Professional jobs for English speakers are more likely to be found in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona. 

If you don’t speak Spanish and are looking for hospitality vacancies in Spain then you will probably have more luck in tourist areas on the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol. 

A small Spanish village is a lovely place to live but you will obviously be very limited on what jobs are available unless you’re willing to drive further afield. 

Consider the working hours 

If one of the reasons you want to move to Spain is to have more time to spend with your family, it’s worth knowing that the working day in Spain is longer than in the UK. 

The average full-time working week in Spain is just over 40 hours, usually starting around 9am and finishing as late as 8pm. The Spanish often take long lunch breaks between 2pm and 5pm, though this is gradually being phased out in larger companies. 

We hope that some of this advice on how to find work in Spain will help you when looking for a job. Do you have a plan of what kind of work you will be looking for?

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