How to become an English Teacher in Spain [2021]


English teacher is definitely one of the best jobs for non-Spanish speakers in Spain. In this article we’ll discuss the steps to take how to become an English teacher and how you to find a job as English teacher in Spain.

Index
Steps to take
1. Get a recognized teaching certificate
2. Make sure you have a proper visa and work permit
3. Basic knowledge of the Spanish language
4. Keep an eye out
Where will I be allowed to teach?
– Language schools
– Private schools
– International schools
– Spanish Universities
– Public schools
– Private lessons
Becoming an English teacher: start-up costs
How much does an English teacher in Spain make
Best TEFL academies in Spain
– Barcelona
– Madrid

Steps to take

1. Get a recognized teaching certificate

Teaching your mother language to locals can seem to be fairly easy at first since you’re halfway there with your level of English and you don’t necessarily need a degree. However, you have to keep in mind that as this is one of the most popular jobs, it also has become very competitive. You will see that teaching a language is a serious profession, which requires a minimum preparation to do it right. So it may be wise to get that certificate after all.

When talking about teaching English abroad, there are different acronyms being used:
TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language)
TESOL (Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages)

There are many different courses focused on TEFL or TESOL which will prepare you to become an English teacher each in their own way. The following are the two most internationally recognised English teaching certificates:

Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)
Trinity CertTESOL

As the name already reveals, the CELTA courses are accredited by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, while the CertTESOL is accredited by the Trinity College London.

The prices of the courses will vary depending on the length, and the academy you choose. Can you get TEFL/TESOL certificates online? Yes, in some cases you can. This will also depend on the place you choose and will probably save you some money. Keep in mind that not all academies have the same reputation and this can be a plus when being on the field.

2. Make sure you have a proper visa and work permit

Non-EU nationals will need to have either a work visa or a Spanish student visa and with that get a student visa work permit that allows them to be employed in Spain.

EU nationals will be allowed to work in the territory with nothing else than their passport. You will need to get your NIE if you’re staying longer than 90 days.

3. Basic knowledge of the Spanish language

You may want to consider taking a Spanish course in Spain. To know a little Spanish could be key, since some of your students will speak English at a very low level. Most of all, if you’re in a small city, you can’t expect people to understand you and coordinate classes, time, or rates with you if you can’t express the basics in Spanish. Be one step ahead and make it easy for your potential students to choose you,  they will be grateful and you will get the job!

4. Keep an eye out

Teaching English in Spain is a competitive field. Try to know where to look for a job and tell people you meet what you do for a living. Talk to strangers, start a chat with the grocery clerk, with your neighbor, with your roommate, and let them know that you’re an English teacher. Word of mouth is the best way to promote yourself, people will recommend you to others and you will have created a network before you can realize it.

Don’t forget to look for teaching jobs online as well; there are a lot of websites and forums where you can get in touch with potential students. Also, check the free online Spanish advertisement boards for English teacher requests!

Where will I be allowed to teach?

With the proper visa and certificate, you will be able to teach in:

Language schools

These institutions are a great opportunity since they teach different languages at all levels. They may not always offer full-time jobs and the wages may be less compared to other teaching jobs, but you will have the possibility of teaching in multiple language schools at once, which can be a great (first) experience.

Private schools

This is most probably the most secure option regarding income and benefits. Working as an English teacher at a private school, you will receive the same income every month and paid leave. Also, the wages here are generally higher. Keep in mind that for these kinds of positions, you will probably be required to know some basic Spanish, have your English teaching certificates in order and have some previous experience in the teaching field.

International schools

International schools are very popular for those who want to teach English in Spain. Since they are bilingual, in principle you don’t need to have a minimum level of Spanish at all. But generally there are fewer English language teachers needed because many students have English as their first language too. If you do have the chance, know that international institutions offer good wages in a quite relaxed environment.

Spanish Universities

If you have some teaching experience, the right certificate, and academic qualifications, you can try to get a teaching job at a university. With the increase of English programs, these institutions are tending to look for appropriate English teachers in return for great wages and benefits.

Recommended articles:
Best Universities in Barcelona for international students.
Spanish University system explained.

Public schools

These institutions are now teaching English as a foreign language from an early age, and the Spanish Ministry of Education searches for native speakers to work as language and cultural assistants in public schools to be placed in primary or secondary schools and work on conversation classes with students. For doing this, you won’t need a teaching certificate, but keep in mind that wages are pretty low as well. Also, you will need to know some Spanish (take a Spanish course!) to get by.

Private lessons

This is one of the most popular teaching methods between foreigners because it allows you to have a flexible timetable and rates. It is also a good choice for those without a specific qualification and those who would like to offer only conversational lessons or prepare students for exams. However, it is pretty difficult to get students at first and you will be spending more time preparing classes for students at different levels with different timetables. Also, have in mind that you will probably be the one to have to travel to the student’s and you will have to consider those expenses on the rates you charge while trying not to get too expensive to keep the competition going.

Remember that you can now promote yourself and your work as a teacher on websites such as Teach Finder or Verbling where students can take online classes or find you near their cities to attend personally.

Becoming an English teacher: start-up costs

A good point to have in mind when planning your stay is to take with you the right amount of money to live the first couple of weeks without an income. Usually, it takes about two weeks to settle down; moving to your new place, having job interviews, promoting yourself, and actually finding some students for private lessons can get tricky at first. Also, if you get a job as an English teacher in an institution (public or private), there will be some administration papers you will have to fill, and everything takes time. So, be prepared, save some money to cover your first weeks not to worry after, and find yourself in a difficult place.

How much does an English teacher in Spain make

The earnings rates will logically depend on the hours and the places where you work, but to have a general idea is good to know that hourly rates for teaching English in Spain vary between €14–€30. Have into consideration that language and cultural assistant jobs in public schools are around 12 hours per week, and jobs in private schools could be around 25 hours per week, so monthly salaries can be between €700 and €2,500 but are usually somewhere between €1,200 and €1,800.

Best TEFL academies in Spain

While there are many different options, we have done some research and made a selection on TEFL academies around Spain. Look, compare and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Best TEFL academies in Barcelona

TEFL IBERIA

One of the most recognized institutions where you can get your TEFL certificate. It is considered the most complete course for new English teachers and is famous all around the world due to its qualified content. During the course, you will be able to teach for real in practical classroom experiences where you will earn confidence by teaching groups of real students. Courses will take up to 12 pupils per class to give everybody access to an instructor.

After getting a certification with them, you will be allowed to teach English wherever you go. You can also do the course online from anywhere you are.

Best TEFL academies in Madrid

EBC TEFL

The perfect place to get a TEFL certification if you are planning to go to Madrid. EBC is a Trinity College London Accredited and part of the network of one of the world’s most reliable educational organizations. Is one of the most recognized institutions worldwide also known for giving job opportunities to students. Its TEFL course will teach you practical techniques and contemporary methods.

You can attend the course in their training center in Madrid or do it online from anywhere you are.

As you can see, teaching English in Spain is a really good option if you are planning to stay here for a while and get a job. There are a lot of opportunities and ways in which you can do it, just try to pick the one that fits better to your personality and get your certification in a well-trusted place.

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