How Much Money Do You Make Teaching English in Spain?

Teaching English overseas is a great opportunity to explore the world without emptying your wallet. Spain is a popular destination for travelers all around the globe, known for its rich culture, beautiful architecture, tasty food, and pleasant climate. Teaching English abroad in Spain might be the perfect opportunity to travel in a more sustainable way and, more importantly, not have to sacrifice much from your salary.

What Factors Contribute to the Salary I Can Make Teaching English in Spain?

The potential salary of a person teaching English in Spain will, of course, depend on their level of education and experience. A public school primary teacher earns about 36,000 USD a year, making Spanish teachers some of the highest paid worldwide[1] and making it more likely that your salary for teaching English abroad will be one of the highest in the world. As a native speaker, and especially as a certified language teacher, you can work in private academies and give private lessons, which will earn you anything from 10-20 EUR/hour. It’s also good to know that Spain is a very affordable country. It is not difficult for an English teacher to make a good living in Spain. English teachers are also in high demand in Spain, making it the perfect opportunity for native speakers to make the move without expecting their salary for teaching English abroad to dwindle over time.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Salary as an ESL Teacher in Spain

Are you thinking about teaching English in Andalucia, Madrid, or other Spanish countries? It’s an excellent opportunity to gain experience, immerse yourself in Spanish culture, and make a living. You may be in a completely different country, but money is still money, and managing it right is the best way to live comfortably! With a little bit of planning and effort, you can make the most out of your salary for teaching English abroad and enjoy the glorious Spanish culture. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Research the Cost of Living in Your City

Before you start working, make sure you do your research on the cost of living in the city you will be working in. Generally, the cost of living in Spain is lower than in other European countries. However, this can vary depending on the city you’ll be based in, and knowing how much you need to spend on essentials like housing, groceries, and transportation will help you budget accordingly.

Choose Your Housing Wisely

One of the significant expenses you’ll face as an ESL teacher in Spain is housing. Finding an affordable place to live can be a significant challenge, especially in larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Consider sharing an apartment with roommates to save money on rent. Alternatively, consider living outside the city center where rent prices may be cheaper. Be mindful of additional expenses like utilities and internet costs and factor these into your budget.

Eat Like a Local

Eating out in Spain can be a pricey affair, especially in touristy areas. But did you know that many restaurants offer a “menu del día” (menu of the day) that includes a starter, a main course, dessert, and a drink for a reasonable price? This is an excellent option for a satisfying lunch on a budget. Additionally, Spanish supermarkets offer a wide range of products at affordable prices, so cooking your meals at home can also help you save money.

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Spain offers a wealth of free cultural and leisure activities, so make the most of them! From exploring the historic streets of Granada to taking a stroll through the Retiro park in Madrid, there are numerous free activities to enjoy. Check out local websites or social media pages to find events happening in the city you’re in and make the most of your teaching English abroad salary.

How Taxes Affect Take-Home Pay in Spain

Have you ever wondered how your earnings as an English teacher in Spain might differ from what you actually take home? The intricate web of taxes may not be the finest part of teaching English in Spain, but it is key to unlocking the true financial picture. In Spain, the tax system operates on a progressive scale, but that can affect each person’s financial reality in different ways. There are things like deductions or allowances to consider that might cushion the impact.

Teaching English in Spain offers a fulfilling career path, and we’ll outline the tax situation in Spain so you receive more clarity on what to budget before and during your teaching experience.

Progressive Tax Structure

Spain operates on a progressive tax system where taxation rates increase as income levels rise. For English teachers, this means that your income tax rates will vary depending on how much you earn. The tax rates range from 19% to 47%, with different brackets determined by income thresholds.

Tax Residency

Your residency status can influence your tax liabilities in Spain. You’re considered a tax resident if you spend more than 183 days in Spain in a calendar year or if Spain is the primary base for your professional or economic activities. Non-residents are typically subject to different tax obligations than residents.

Tax Deductions and Allowances

Several deductions and allowances can affect your taxable income:

  • Personal Allowance: Spain offers tax-free allowances based on individual circumstances. This reduces the taxable income, ultimately lowering the amount subject to taxation.
  • Social Security Contributions: These deductions are essential for accessing healthcare and social benefits but also decrease your take-home pay.
  • Work-Related Expenses: As an English teacher, certain work-related expenses — such as teaching materials or professional development costs — can be deducted from your taxable income, lessening the overall tax burden.

Impact on Take-Home Pay

Understanding the tax system’s impact on your earnings is vital for financial planning:

  • Taxes can significantly reduce your net income, affecting your take-home pay. Accurate estimation of tax liabilities helps create an accurate budget and manage finances effectively.
  • Being aware of the tax brackets and eligible deductions allows you to plan for taxes and ensure a more precise estimation of your actual earnings.

Tax Filing and Compliance

English teachers working in Spain are required to file taxes annually. Depending on your specific situation, you might need to complete different tax forms or declarations. Factors like residency status, income sources, and others play a significant part here.

Can I Incorporate Additional Sources of Income in Addition to My English Language Teaching Job?

You’ll probably be comfortable living off your salary while teaching English in Spain. But overachievers are out there, and if you really want to secure even more income for your adventures in Spain, there are a few ways to add flexibility to your income. Beyond your primary teaching role, try diversifying your income stream with:

Private Tutoring

Offering private lessons allows you to cater to students seeking extra English practice. Varied rates influenced by qualifications and location provide an additional income stream. Flexibility in scheduling allows you to balance tutoring with your primary teaching job, ensuring a consistent flow of income.

Online Teaching

The flexibility of online teaching enables you to work from home or any location with internet access and expands your teaching opportunities. Engaging with diverse students enhances teaching skills and broadens global outreach.

Freelance Work

Leverage your skills to try niche freelance work and get your name out there. Make sure it doesn’t interfere with your regular teaching job, but get out there, show your skills to the world, and get rewarded for it!

What Other Benefits and Perks Come With Working in Spain?

Teaching English in Spain doesn’t just come with a good income and a few learning experiences. There’s so much more to taking your talents to Spain. Plenty of teachers come out with experiences like none other. See what else Spain can offer you!

  • Language Learning Opportunities: Immersing in Spanish culture accelerates language acquisition and cultural integration. Daily interactions facilitate fluency, enabling personal growth beyond teaching English or even learning Spanish. You’ll feel more comfortable branching off into other European languages or cultures around the world!
  • Professional Development Support: Schools or programs often offer avenues for growth, such as workshops, seminars, or support for further qualifications. These opportunities enhance teaching skills and career prospects.
  • Cultural Experiences: Access to Spain’s rich culture and history and European travel enriches life. Many people don’t have the ability to dive deep into a culture like Spain while getting paid for it! Exploring diverse facets becomes part of the enriching journey.

Teach English in Spain With RVF International!

If you’re someone who likes the idea of teaching abroad but does not have the education or experience, RVF International has you covered. We were awarded the best teach abroad program of 2021[2], and for good reason. We give native speakers a chance to share their linguistic skills by working as language assistants in Spanish primary, middle, and high schools. With our program, you’ll work 12-20 hours a week and make a teaching English abroad salary of 700-1000 EUR, enough to cover your expenses in Spain and to explore the country. And who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with teaching!

Participants will also gain experience teaching for a whole school year, strengthening their CV and providing a unique experience that compares to very few people. If you wish to improve your teaching skills while in Spain, we can help you get TEFL/TESOL certified and even give you a discount on the programs. This can be the perfect opportunity to kick-start a meaningful and healthy career!

What are you waiting for? Contact our team today, and we’ll help you fulfill your dream of teaching English overseas in Spain and help you make a decent living while doing so!