Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for teaching English abroad for many different reasons, including the buoyant job market, laid-back culture, great climate, and fabulous cuisine. Jobs are available year-round in most major towns and cities, but are you eligible to join the many thousands of people teaching English across Spain right now?
Do I need a university degree to teach English in Spain?
This is one of the most common questions asked by those who dream of living and working in Spain, and the answer is NO, you do not need a university degree to teach English in Spain. There is no legal requirement for English teachers to have a degree and demand is so high that most employers are also unconcerned about your degree status.
What are the requirements for teaching English in Spain?
Most employers in Spain prefer to hire native English speakers as this is what local students are generally looking for. However, simply being a native speaker does not mean you make a good teacher, which is why employers also generally require their potential employees to possess a TEFL/TESOL certificate. This applies to language schools and people looking to hire a private English tutor.
Can I get a visa to teach English in Spain?
Native English speakers from within the EU (British and Irish) are free to live and work without restrictions in Spain. For other nationalities it is not quite so straightforward. Many Canadians and Australians are eligible for a working holiday visa which allows them to work for a set period of time. It is recommended that you check out the most up-to-date requirements of this option via the Spanish embassy in your home country.
Many people learning English in Spain are keen to learn from Americans as the accent is very popular with the younger generations in particular. Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult for Americans to get their hands on a work visa. Despite this, a large number of people still come to Spain on a US passport and work as English language teachers on nothing more than a tourist visa. While this is technically illegal, it is still commonplace and rarely causes any problems. One legitimate way for US passport holders to work in Spain is to obtain a student visa which allows you to work a certain number of hours a week while also studying Spanish.
Who are the main employers of English teachers in Spain?
Private language academies in the big cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Valencia are the main employers of teachers in Spain. However, there has been a growing shift towards private tutoring in recent years, which is particularly great news for Americans who are only able to get a tourist visa. As private tutoring is usually conducted in the student’s own home there is little chance of getting into trouble with the local authorities.