So, How much do English teachers get paid in Spain?
Can you make a living teaching English in Spain?. The answer to this is most definitely yes. There are two main options when teaching English in Spain. The first is to find a job in an English academy or secondly to teach privately.
Question: How much do English teachers in Spain make?
Answer: Native English teachers working in academies generally earn between €10 – €15 per hour. Private native English teachers on the other hand normally make between €12 and €25 euros per hour.
So what is the difference between working for an academy as opposed to working for yourself?
WORKING FOR A LANGUAGE ACADEMY
- The biggest advantage of working for an academy is that your social security is paid for by the academy, It is important to find a reputable academy which pays your full salary into your bank account. It is a common practice to pay a minimum amount into your account and pay the rest in cash. This means that the academy reduces their tax bill but it also means that if you receive unemployment benefit (in Spain you need to have worked for at least a year to receive benefits) you will receive LESS money. Beware!!!
- You get a regular salary this is normally anywhere between €1000 to €1500 per month
- You don’t need to find students. The academy will give you groups of students or private classes (groups are normally anywhere from 2 students to 10 students)
- The academy should provide you with all the necessary material, books, resources and if a good academy, training
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- Very often you won’t have blocks of classes i.e classes from 16:00 to 21:00 so 4 or 5 hours in one straight go and you will have to travel between students (this is common when you teach in companies) and this means you are not paid for travel time although good academies will pay your petrol or you will be paid more to teach outside.
- You don’t get to choose the students. I have had my property stolen and when the student admitted to it, he was back in class the very next day and the academy did nothing
- No paid summer holiday. The working year is normally from the middle of September to June, If you are lucky and/or want to, you can often work in summer camps. The top jobs do offer 12 month contracts but they are hard to come by and are usually offered to employees who have been working for 2+ years in the academy
- Long hours (the normal working week is between 25 and 30 teaching hours) but you still have to prepare the classes so also be prepared to work Saturdays
BEING A SELF EMPLOYED ENGLISH TEACHER IN SPAIN
- Flexibility, you can choose the hours you work. This however is relative. There are not so many classes in the morning (mainly professionals or unemployed people who need English to get a better job). The afternoons are usually your busy time for children, normally between 16:00 to 20:00 and after that adults
- You can charge more. An experienced teacher can make €25+ per hour teaching privately.
- You can teach online. Check out our full list of online English academies and choose the best from the reviews. I have personally worked with clasgap. Read my review here
- You can choose your students. If you don’t like a student you can politely ask them to leave or explain to the parents that they are not advancing in the class. You can also specialize and choose whether you want to teach for exams like the Cambridge PET or First certificate or you prefer to teach kids.
- You choose the material and the curriculum, you may well follow a book or the student’s curriculum but you can also throw in some fun lessons too or maybe you don’t feel like teaching the present perfect with grammar sheets and you want to do a song. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!!
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- Social security payments o national insurance (Autonomo o Cuota de Seguridad Social). Spain has one of the highest social security payments and being self-employed in Spain is not that easy. First you really need an accountant (asesoria or gestor, about €50 per month, this is an English speaking gestor) and then even before you start paying tax, the National Insurance contributions are a minimum of €286 per month*). You will also need to pay taxes every 3 months and do an annual tax return (declaración de la renta)
- Even after paying all that NI and Tax you have no state unemployment benefit so when the summer comes and the classes dry up (Mid June – Mid September), you still have to pay the above taxes
- The work is seasonal and there are many, many bank holidays in Spain so if you are not charging a monthly amount then it is possible that say in a month where you have 8 classes and are charging €20 per class = €160 per month then with 2 bank holidays that is reduced to €120 for the month, that’s 25% less!!! and multiply that by 20 students, that’s a BAD month
- You have to do your own debt collecting. Always charge up front. It is not uncommon for people to come to a few classes and stop coming and then conveniently forget to pay. BE WARNED!!
- You are in charge of preparing all the classes and getting all the material. Nowadays it is a lot easier and a quick Google search for ESL material will really help
If you are a new teacher I would definitely recommend starting in an English language academy. This will allow you to gain experience and see whether or not you really want to stay and become an English teacher in Spain.
A native English teacher is NEVER out of work here. After Brexit, there has benn a shortage of native English teachers so salaries at least in theory are rising.
After your first year, you will know which are the best academies in town or if you are confident enough to go it alone or even start your own academy. Good Luck!!!
If you have any questions about being an Englih teacher in Spain, then please leave a comment at the bottom of this page or get involved on the teaching english in spain section on the forum.
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