Spain is located on the beautiful Mediterranean coast and shares boundaries with Portugal and Algeria. It is a beautiful, culturally rich, and colorful country. The country attracts thousands of tourists yearly with its museums, cathedrals, beaches, and so on.
However, we are not just here for the aesthetics, but to inform you on how to work in Spain as an English speaker. Find out more.
We have already spoken a little bit about its location and culture. Let us elaborate a little on some of its political and economic features.
With a population of 47.4 million people, it’s the sixth-most populous country in Europe. The economy is a mixed capitalist one. Also, it is the fourth largest in the Eurozone and the 14th largest in the world. More so, the automotive industry employs the most in the country and is the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe after the Germans.
Spain has 17 autonomous communities or regions as it is one of the most decentralized countries in Europe along with Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. These autonomous communities have their own elected parliaments, governments, public administrations budgets, and resources. Also, health and education are handled by individual communities.
Booming Regions in Spain
Using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GDP per capita, the Madrid autonomous community is the most successful Spanish community. Here is a list of the ten communities with the highest GDP in Spain.
- Madrid – 230.7 billion
- Catalonia – 228.6 billion
- Andalusia – 160.6 billion
- Valencia – 110.9 billion
- Basque Country – 72.1 billion
- Galicia – 62.5 billion
- Castile and Leon – 57.9 billion
- Canary Islands – 45.7 billion
- Castilla – La Mancha – 41.3 billion
- Aragon – 37.0 billion
To add a little context to these statistics, the GDP of Madrid and Catalonia are in the same region as that of Finland. Regions like Andalusia and Galicia are fast-growing communities.
Is it Difficult to Get Jobs in Spain As a Foreigner?
In general, the unemployment rate in Spain is high. In May 2020, there was an unemployment rate of 14.5%, which is double the average employment of 6.7% of countries in the EU. Spain also has a very high rate of youth unemployment which was 40.8% as of June 2020. The government has plans to rectify these unemployment issues and has implemented several plans that would improve the unemployment situation for both locals and foreigners.
Although jobs for foreigners are hard to find, there are jobs in particular industries, especially for English-speaking foreigners. Industries like tourist trade, teaching (especially English teachers), air travel, energy, and construction.
There is also a thing about Spaniards and their reception of foreigners. Most times, jobs in Spain go to the locals and this makes it difficult for foreigners to find jobs.
However, speaking the local language is an advantage to foreigners, as Spaniards are more welcoming to people who speak their language. Now, let’s look at how to work in Spain for English speakers.
How to Work in Spain For English Speakers
Your citizenship status is very important as a foreigner. EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens can easily move to Spain before looking for a job. This is because Spaniards like to have a certain level of trust before employing.
For non-EU citizens, working in Spain gets stricter as you would be required to have a work contract before moving to the country. After that, the company can apply for your work permit, before you get your work visa.
Finally, you should also confirm if your qualifications gotten from countries outside the EU are acceptable in Spain. You can do that on the NARIC website.
Apply for jobs:
This is the next step, but you have to go about this the right way. To start this, you need to have a decent understanding of the Spanish job market. There are three tested and trusted ways to apply and search for jobs in Spain. Networking, Recruitment agencies, and door-to-door Resume sharing.
- Networking: A lot of jobs in Spain are filled by word-of-mouth recommendations or professional connections. It is highly recommended that you work on your networking skills. You can search for networking events online, attend and improve your connections.
- Recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies are essential for job searches in Europe and Spain is no different. Agencies like Adecco will not just guide your job-seeking process, they would also provide CV tips, interview advice, and general career advice.
- Door-to-Door CV sharing: This is the best option for those looking for seasonal jobs or roles in the tourism industry. There is something special about meeting your prospective employer and showing him/her your qualifications in person.
Social media can also be used to your advantage. You can use Twitter hashtags to look for jobs, cold emails to HR emails or managers or simply searching for abroad jobs online can go a long way.
Another important thing to note is the rise of self-employment and freelancing in Spain. 15% of the Spanish workforce are self-employed which is above the EU average. Self-employment in Spain comes in two forms, first one is the Freelance Professional. In this situation, your personal and business income are taxed together. Or you can set up a limited company, here the business taxes are done separately.
If you still want to find a job, here are in demand skilled and unskilled jobs for foreigners in Spain.
In Demand Skilled Jobs in Spain For Foreigners
- Business Consultants
- IT jobs
- Mechanical and Industrial Engineering jobs
- Medical Practitioners
- English Teaching jobs
- Language teachers
In Demand Unskilled Jobs in Spain For Foreigners
- Tourism and Hospitality jobs
- Personal Care providers
- Greenhouse workers/ Farmers
Websites to Find Jobs in Spain
Conclusion: How to Work in Spain for English Speakers
Well, you should consider where you want to stay. The best advice is to stay in the main cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville because it is easier for foreigners with little understanding of the language to find jobs there.
You can also try volunteering and applying for internships, programs like these add to your CV and can also be a part of your networking strategy.