Published 3rd September 2019
From stunning beaches, crazy-beautiful historical and cultural tourist attractions, to mouth-watering food and friendly locals, there aren’t many downsides living to Spain. Okay, there probably are (bureaucracy comes to mind) but we still feel that all the pros totally outweigh the cons of living in this beautiful country. If you’re considering teaching English as a Foreign Language here, you’re probably wondering if TEFL teachers actually get paid to teach in Spain? Maybe we all just do it for the fun of it. Well, here’s everything you need to know about the average teaching salary in Spain.
The average teaching salary in Spain
Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Spain can mean many things. Teaching privately, teaching at a language school, teaching at a government, private or international school, or teaching at a summer camp. Depending on where you work you will either be paid an hourly rate or a monthly salary.
If you are teaching privately or at a language school, you’ll be paid an hourly rate. For private students you can charge around €20 – €25 an hour, depending on your qualifications and experience (and how much your students are willing to pay!). For a language school, an hourly rate can be anything from €15 – €25. Based on the amount of hours you work, you can earn between €1 000 and €1 800 a month.
Of course you need to bear in mind that for many jobs – private students or language schools – you will need to commute to your students’ homes or places of work, so this will affect how many hours you can realistically teach in a day. If you are teaching businessmen, your lessons will usually be in the early morning or at lunchtime. If you are teaching at a language school, it’s likely that you are teaching children and so your hours will be in the afternoons and evenings.
Language Schools Holidays
Another drawback to working hourly that you need to consider is holidays. Language schools close in July and August for the summer, which means you won’t get paid for those months whereas if you are working at a school you will. Instead, if you want to earn money at this time you will need to sign up to teach at a summer camp.
If you are teaching at a government school, you’ll earn a monthly salary of around €1 000 – €1 800 while private and international schools can pay as much as €3 000. You may work more hours at these schools but at least you will be in the same location all day. Plus, holidays are usually paid too if you are continuing onto the next semester.
It’s also possible to be a teaching assistant in a school. As a teaching assistant you won’t be planning lessons, but you’ll be helping a Spanish teacher with general classroom management and helping the students with general English conversation. A teaching assistant earns €700 – €1 000 a month, depending on the location of the school. Teaching assistants don’t need a TEFL degree but will earn more if they have one.
Finally, summer camp teachers will earn approximately €500 a month. This might sound like a little but remember that your accommodation and food is usually included, as you’ll be required to be on-site 24/7 for the duration of the camp.
The cost of living in Spain
Spain is known for its low cost of living, so even though your teaching salary may seem a bit dismal when compared with what you can earn at home, you’ll find your Euros go a lot further in Spain than your Pounds do at home.
Accommodation is usually your biggest expense. Rent for an apartment will cost you about €400 to €800, obviously depending on which city you are living in and which area you are living in, but this is including utilities. Also, it’s very common to share an apartment which would cut this cost in half.
A meal for two with drinks can cost you as little as €25. For lunch, the menu del dia (the menu of the day) is usually the best option which includes two courses, a beverage and a dessert or wine for around €15. Groceries are pretty affordable too, but for the most part you’ll probably eat out anyway.
There is no need to have a car in Spain. Spanish cities are very pedestrian-friendly and if you don’t feel like walking public transport is readily available and affordable. Even travelling between cities is reasonable on public buses and trains.
If you add up living expenses (if you’re sharing), food, travelling and entertainment you’re looking to spend about €600 a month so you’ll be able to live comfortably but probably not save too much.
Contract benefits in Spain
Unfortunately there are not many contractual benefits to teaching in Spain. Airfare is usually not included, probably because teachers are already in the country when they apply for jobs. Accommodation is also not usually included but it’s common to find apartments with other teachers. Health insurance should be covered by most employers.
As you can see, living and teaching in Spain is not a way to make millions, or even pay off your student loan, but Spain is a good choice for teachers who are looking to gain some experience and have the time of their lives doing it.