Are Jobs Easy to Find in Spain?


Whn we were looking for apartments in Javea, we also needed to find jobs. Jobs can be easy to find in Spain, depending on the area of Spain you are in and what qualifications you have. You will need to be able to speak fluent Spanish as well as English, German, and/or Dutch. Being fluent in these languages will make your job search easier because of the high number of internationals living in Spain. There are only a few legal requirements to be able to work in Spain.


To legally work in Spain it is necessary to have an NIE number. The NIE number is similar to the Social Security Number (U.S.A.) and the National Insurance Number (U.K.). This can easily be applied for at the nearest town hall (ayuntimiento) or the nearest main police station (Guardia Civil), depending on the rules and laws of the area of Spain in which you plan to live and work. If you are originally from a country within the E.U., you will not need to apply for a visa but you will have to apply for an NIE to work or to be able to purchase property, a vehicle and/or a business. All that is required to apply for an NIE is your original passport and photo copies, a padron (see below) and money to cover any possible photocopying and local process charges. Each area varies on costs but it is not expensive to apply.


Before you can apply for an NIE number you will be required to provide an original copy of your padron to complete your application. The padron is a document which shows where you are currently residing within Spain. There is no charge to obtain a padron but some town halls may request a small photocopying or printing fee. A padron is required for anyone who intends to work or live in Spain long term.

Specialized Employment

In Spain there are certain qualifications for particular jobs that must be obtained in Spanish. For example if you are a qualified driving instructor, you will need to retrain and qualify with a Spanish driving course to be able to teach people to drive in Spain. Holistic practices are not completely recognized in Spain but if you have qualifications or licensing from another country, you will have to have them translated and certified by a legal representative and displayed within your place of work alongside your insurance documents. This goes for many qualifications, but to be sure, check with a lawyer before you begin to work.

The Open Market

If you do not have qualifications in a specific area but you have the experience and ability to work in a variety of public sector jobs, you will find that speaking Spanish fluently is a must. If you can speak Spanish and German and/or Dutch, there are many jobs available on the market today. There are a lot of companies that require skilled office workers who are able to translate information to their clients as there are a lot of different nationalities living in Spain. There is a high volume of website design work available for individuals who can create websites in Spanish, translating from English and vice versa. There are also high volumes of IT and legal vacancies available as well as management and accounting jobs, but all require a certain level of Spanish language skills.

Social Security

Most jobs in Spain are hard to come by if you do not speak the language fluently. There are many English bars and restaurants who employ temporary staff but usually there is no contract offered and it is illegal to work long term in Spain without a contract of employment. Further, you will not receive the benefits from paying your taxes. However, some companies will employ you if you offer to pay your own taxes on a self-employed basis. On average it will cost you 240 to 265 euros per month for social security, to show that you are working legally. When you pay your social security, you are able to apply for a mortgage, receive free medical aid and certain benefits towards child care, disability and sick leave.

How to Find a Job that Suits You

Hundreds of full-time and contract jobs are placed online every day on job-search sites. English-language newspapers tend to only list jobs that have low salaries (averaging five euros per hour) and that are mostly without contracts. There are an honest few that do advertise locally for legal permanent positions but when they appear, hundreds apply for one position. Recently a popular company advertised for a shelf-stacking position or two and over 10,000 applications were received. These types of jobs usually involve bar, restaurant, sales and assistant types of employment.

 Final Tip

If you are interested in working in Spain, learn the language and your job options can increase tenfold.

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