Finding Work in Spain

Finding work in Spain is not easy, especially outside the major
cities where unemployment can sometimes be quite high. If you are a member
of an EC country then you have an automatic right to live and work
in Spain but if not then you may find obtaining your residence card
time-consuming and frustrating. It is also necessary for non-Europeans
to have their employment approved by the Spanish Ministry of
Labor (Ministerio de Trabajo) and obtain a visa before entering
the country.

Work In Spain-Seasonal Jobs

There is typically quite a lot of work to be had in the major tourist
resorts from the beginning of May until the end of September.naturally enough
this mostly consist of work in the hotel and catering industry with
plenty of casual bar work normally available in English run bars. This
type of work is notoriously poorly paid, although you can improve
your wages with tips, but has the advantage that it is quite easy
to get and it is not always a requirement that you speak Spanish. So if you
just want to work in Spain for the summer then this type of work may
suit you best.

You probably will not be able to arrange it without being in the country
though and just approaching bar owners or scouring the job vacancy
ads. in the local English press.

Couriers and Tour Reps.

If you speak Spanish then you may be able to get seasonal work
in Spain as a courier, tour guide or sports instructors, approach
some of the larger holiday companies at such Thompson Holidays to see
what they have on offer.

Competition for jobs is fierce and Spanish fluency is usually necessary, even for
employment with foreign tour operators. Most companies also have age
requirements, the minimum being 21, although many companies prefer
employees to be older. To find out which companies operate in
the part of Spain you are interested in check the brochures in
your local travel agency or search online but be sure to send in your application
well before the season starts.

Timeshare.

A quick glance in the local English language newspapers, will show
you that 75% of the jobs available are in the timeshare industry. However do not
be immediately put off, because although there are plenty of sharks and scams,
there are also several reputable time share companies that have
many years of success behind them and provide contracts, good
commission rates and opportunities for promotion to their staff.
However, all timeshare companies offer the hard sell approach to
prospective buyers and if you are uncomfortable with this then
it is not for you.

Semi and Permanent Jobs in Spain-Teaching English

English schools are mushrooming all over Spain and offer very good work
opportunities for native English speakers. However it is normally
required that you have some formal qualifications, the most widely accepted being
The TEFL certificate, (teaching English as a Foreign language.)
For a fairly small investment of around 1,000 euros you can obtain
This certificate by attending a one month intensive course and you will then be qualified
to not only work in Spain but also at many other destinations world wide.

Foreign language schools in Spain are generally well run and the wages
are reasonable, they often provide accommodation for their teachers too
so it can be a good way to live and work in Spain.

Details of foreign language schools can be obtained by contacting.
Centros de Enseñanzza de Idiomas, Calle Sagasta, 27, 28004 Madrid.

Private Tuition

There is a high demand for private English teachers here and many
teachers employed at local language academies supplement them
income by giving private lessons. You can advertise in local
schools, universities and retail outlets and, once you're
established, additional students can usually be found through word
of mouth, particularly for children who have failed their end of
year English examinations!

Au Pairs

Both men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 are eligible for a
job as an au pair. The au pair system provides young people with a
great opportunity to travel, improve their Spanish and generally
broaden their education by living and working in Andalucia.
However, the main aim of the au pair system is to give young people
the opportunity to learn a foreign language in a typical family
environment. Au pairs are usually contracted to work for a minimum
of six months and a maximum of a year. Most families require an au
pair for at least the whole school year, from September to June.
The best time to look for an au pair position therefore is before
the beginning of the school year in September. Au pair agencies in
Britain are listed in the Au Pair and Nanny's Guide to Working
Abroad by Susan Griffith.

Construction Industry

Many parts of Spain have seen a building boom in recent years and
the construction industry employs many foreign nationals. However
as most of the building sites are Spanish run it will be necessary for you
to have a basic understanding of the language in order to be able to
get and hold down a job.

Self-Employment.

Many people turn to running their own business in Spain as the best
way to make a living in Spain.However for the un-prepared this road can
be a minefield of headaches and problems.The best advice I can give is to do your homework and remember the old adage, "by failing to prepare, you prepare to fail." Get good advice from a reputable professional about
the legal requirements for your particular business, opening licenses,
tax declarations etc. It is a good idea to talk to other people
who have started there own business and thereby learn by their mistakes.

Rightly or wrongly there are a lot of foreigners resident in Spain who
prefer to employ English speaking people so there are plenty of opportunities
for builders, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, cleaners, hairdressers, beauticians
etc. and anyone determined enough to work through the red tape and get established
should end up with a good business.

For any sort of work in Spain you will need to obtain your NIE
(numero de identificacion de extranjero) which you can do through the
Oficina de Extranjeros, (foreigners office) at your local police station.

Illegal Employment

Illegal employment incentives in Spain where it has been estimated that as much as 25% of the officail GNP is due to the black economy with real unemployment being at least 10% below the official government figure.

Many unscrupulous employers use illegal labor as a means to avoid paying the high social security contributions and to be able to pay low wages for long hours and poor working conditions. Heavy fines are often imposed when offenders, which includes both the employee as well as the employer, are prosecuted so be warned!