TEFL Course Viability for Teaching in Spanish Schools


I’m visiting Spain this summer with the intention of making a permanent move thereafter. I’m curious if anyone here has experience working in schools in Spain? I’m contemplating investing in a TEFL course, but I’m unsure if it’s worth it.

I have two years of teaching experience, certified in Florida, with expertise in teaching IB/advanced level classes. Additionally, I hold a master’s degree in integrated marketing and have a background in corporate communications.


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“I spent seven years in Spanish schools as a language assistant. That’s usually the easiest way to get your foot in the door teaching here. There are American schools here, but as you can imagine they are competitive.”

“Look into visas. And the auxiliar program. There’s always a need for English teachers at academies but pay is low. Spanish salaries, in general, are low. (Think 10K- 30 K euros/yearly).”

“I worked in schools and privately I’d honestly say look into using your degree and experience to get into a field that pays more. Being a teacher is rough.”

“Expensive TEFL certifications aren’t worth it, but if you can get it for a few hundred then it’s worth having for the few places that require it. All the neighboring countries require it and you’ll likely want to do a Summer program in Italy, France, Portugal at some point.”

“Do you speak fluent Spanish? You’ll need to. Pay a visit and find out about rates of pay and whether you will be contracted or autonomo. As autonomo you’ll be facing monthly Social Security payments of around €320, whether you’re earning or not. Then you’ll be paying income tax which kicks in at a much lower rate of earnings that you may be used to.

You will soon discover that you will need to supplement any income from teaching with at least 2 other jobs, in order to house, feed and clothe yourself. Depending on the part of Spain you come to you’ll also see that schools ( especially in the south) finish their summer term in June and most don’t return until mid September, so factor in how you are going to earn during those months.

In the case of language schools the break can be longer – up to 4 months. Many language schools operate after normal school hours – 16.00-22.00, so be prepared for that. However, before anything else, check out if you are eligible for a visa and what type….. Best of luck from a 69 year old teacher with 48 years under her belt who still has to work 3 jobs to get by.”

“Sign up for Search Associates since your certified you could apply for international schools with your qualifications. There’s other platforms that cater to international education recruitment but that’s the main one. Also going the Aux program could get you in Spain to teach and you could see if you really like it before applying for perm jobs.”

“You should be looking into international schools!”

“Hi, you could try Search Associates, which does some placements in Spanish IB schools.”

“This question gets asked frequently, so you’ll find information if you use the search bar. Granted that you have work permission, your best bet is to apply to private schools or concertados since they sometimes hire native English teachers. You won’t be qualified to teach in public schools, unless you do a language assistant program, which is part-time work.”

“I’ve been teaching for 12 years in the US, was an auxiliar in Andalucía for two years, have two Master’s degrees in education fields, and a TEFL certification. I applied to dozens of private schools, concertados, international schools, universities, etc. (in the Sevilla area, for context) and they all said the same thing.

We’d hire you in a second if you were a resident and had the right to work here, but we don’t sponsor visas. I do know a couple of rare cases where a school sponsored a work visa, because it was someone they knew and they had connections.

Other than that, all of the non-EU teachers I know in Spain married Spanish people and got residency before they were hired. If you want to work at a language school, that may be different – I can’t speak to that one. And for public school jobs, you have to have residency and go through the process of oposiciones.

The school where I was an auxiliar wanted to hire me, but they couldn’t figure out any loopholes or hoops to jump through other than finding me a Spanish husband (no luck).”

“I taught in language assistant programs and an international school in Spain with just a degree and my US license. You only need a TEFL if you plan on teaching ESL. The biggest hurdle is the visa. I have a recorded workshop all about teaching in Spain. Let me know if you want the link.”

“Spainguru’s TEFL recommendation Live and Study in Spain – Spain student visa


The insights reveal a diverse range of experiences and advice concerning teaching in Spain, especially regarding obtaining a Spanish Non Lucrative visa and working in Spanish schools.

Key advice includes exploring language assistant programs, considering visa eligibility, and understanding the low salary levels in Spain.

TEFL certification is helpful but not a requirement for all teaching positions. It’s also recommended to have a financial plan due to low wages and seasonal work periods.