Spain

Work in Spain | Requirements, Salaries, and Job Search Tips

Ashley R. Cottrell

Would you like to live and work in Spain? Every year, thousands of people from around the world relocate here to start a new life. With about 15% of its population being foreign residents, Spain has become an increasingly diverse country and a popular destination for many international students.

We know that moving to another country can be a stressful process, especially when searching for a new job. That’s why we prepared this super guide for you on everything to know about working in Spain. <

Here, we will guide you through the work requirements as well as list the most in-demand jobs in the country. We also provide some useful job search tips to help get you started. After this, you’ll be prepared to work in Spain in no time!

Methods to Work in Spain

visa application to work in Spain

If you have already decided to live in Spain, you must learn how you can work there. There are two methods through which you can start working in Spain while living there:

Internship Agreement or Contract

For students looking to work in Spain to gain experience in their area of study, internship agreements and contracts are an excellent option.

Internship agreements between Spanish universities and companies allow their students to work, such as an apprentice, to put their knowledge and skills into practice. The internships serve to give students first-hand experience within their professional field. These types of contracts aim at recent university graduates seeking to enter the labor market in the area in which they studied.

To opt for an internship contract in Spain, you must have a university degree, vocational training, or another type of higher degree studies, such as a professional certification. Contracts can also depend on the employer and position for which you are applying. Sometimes, an internship is a requirement to obtain a university degree, which depends on the area of specialization.

An internship agreement must specify whether you will work full-time or part-time, the duration of the internship, which is usually 1 to 6 months, and the type of work you will perform. While employers of the internshipare not obliged to pay you, it is still an opportunity to gain the experience needed to work in Spain after graduation.

Work Visa for Spain

To work in Spain, whether for yourself or as an employee, you will need a work visa. There are two types of work visas for Spain:

  • Residence Visa to Work– allows you to work for an employer in Spain <
  • Self-employment Visa– allows you to work independently in Spain, such as owning a business

To learn more about these visas as well as the application process, check out our complete article on visas for Spain.

Requirements to Work in Spain

woman writing requirements

You may think that you will only need a visa to work in Spain, but there are other requirements you must meet after acquiring one:

Foreign Identity Number (NIE)

To work in Spain, you will need a Foreign Identity Number (NIE),which <certifies you as a foreign resident in the country. To request one, you must go to the Spanish consulate of your country. Generally, this number is already assigned to you once you receive your visa.

Foreign Identity Card (TIE)

Whether for residing, studying, or working in Spain, if the duration is longer than six months, you must apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE).

The TIE is the official card of the NIE that certifies a foreigner can legally reside in Spain for a designated time. The TIE is equivalent to an I.D. card and must be with you at all times. To request one, you need to make an appointment with a local immigration office or a police station.

Social Security Number 

Having a social security number is another requirement to work in Spain. This number enables you to acquire social security through payments from your employer. To carry out this procedure, you must go to an office of the Social Security Treasury, which will assign you the number. Make sure to bring your passport as an I.D., visa or residency documents, employment contract, and rental contract. You can download the social security request form, as well as find your local office, on the official social security website of Spain.

Bank Account

While it is not mandatory, having a bank account can make your job application and payment process easier. Many employers in Spain distribute payroll through bank transfers. Some of the top banks in Spain that work with non-residents include BBVA and Banco Santander.

Wages | How Much You Can Earn Working in Spain

businesswoman walking through city

For anyone interested in living and working in Spain, it is best to learn everything about wages in this country.

The first thing you should know isthe Interprofessional Minimum Wage (SMI), which is a minimum salary in Spainthat all employees must receive monthly, regardless of the contract conditions and the sector where they work.

The SMI, this year in 2020, is 31.66 euros per day. This amount is equivalent to 950 euros per month and 13,300 euros per year. As in all countries, salaries vary depending on the type of job, especially if for a skilled job. On the other hand, paid internship agreements can be below the SMI, such as for a stipend for students. The remuneration usually ranges between 200 and 600 euros but depends on the agreement between the company and the student.

Whether you are a student or a professional, we encourage you to look for a job in your area of study or specialization. If you are currently a student and only able to acquire unskilled jobs, such as a waiter, you can still live comfortably while working in Spain.

Most Demanding Jobs in Spain

tour guide working in Spain

Now that you know the requirements to work in Spain, let’s take a look at job sectors in search of skilled workers:

Tourism and Hospitality

The hospitality and tourism sectoris one of the fastest-growing sectors in Spain and has a wide range of work. Spain is steadily becoming the most popular tourist destination in Europe, making it easier for international students to acquire jobs. Should you choose to work in Spain within this sector, these are some of the most requested positions:

  • Kitchen helpers
  • Chefs
  • Waiters
  • Hotel managers
  • Customer service staff

Medical and Healthcare

The health sector is alsoanother area with a lot of job opportunities, especially for immigrants deciding to move to and work in Spain. Professionals in the nutrition, sports, health, psychology, and public health sectors are in high demand. If you have certifications and academic experience in the health area, here is a list of common open positions within the field:

  • General practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Specialist doctors
  • Medical case managers (health insurance)
  • Occupational physicians and analysts
  • Medical Researchers

Finance

Do you work well with numbers or have experience in finance? If so, banking and insurance are also job areas that are in-demand in Spain. Below is a list of possible positions and opportunities to explore:

  • Risk analysts
  • Financial advisors
  • Financial directors
  • Accountants
  • Bank associates

Telecommunications 

The Telecommunications and ICT sector, another fast-growing career area in Spain, has a low unemployment rate. It is estimated that only 5% of the people trained in these areas are unemployed. So, if you have skills and qualifications in these areas, check for the following positions:

  • Data analysts
  • I.T. experts
  • Programmers (Java, J2EE, and .NET)
  • Mobile app developers
  • Project managers
  • Database administrators
  • Helpdesk Technicians

How to Find a Job in Spain

woman searching jobs in Spain online

The good news is, you can start looking for work in Spain before your trip to the country. Below, you will find our helpful tips on how to search for job opportunities and where to look:

Online Job Sites 

here are dozens of job websites online where you can find vacancies throughout Spain. To start looking, you can use Empléate, which is a website promoted by the government of Spain. Here are links to other popular job board sites on which you can search:

State Public Employment Service

The State Public Employment Service, or SEPE, is a dependency of the National Employment System of Spain. Here, you can get information about the different job offers and the most demanding jobs in the sector of your interest.

SEPE has 759 offices throughout the country, so you can easily locate one nearest to your residence. You can also visit the official SEPE website to receive more information and free resources.

Social Networking Sites

While social networks allow you to post photos and stay connected with family and friends, you can also use them to search for job opportunities. On networks like Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook, you can find groups or company pages that list jobs available throughout different cities in Spain.

Resume Distribution

Although old fashion, distributing your resume in person is still a very effective method. As soon as you arrive in Spain, go out and explore the city with several CVs or resumes on hand. This way, you can leave them with managers of cafes, restaurants, shops, or anywhere there is a signifying help wanted.

About the author

Ashley Cottrell