Spain is one of the most popular destinations for expats in Europe. Over 310,000 Brits now call it home, alongside, alongside 220,000 Italians, 682,00 from Morocco, 675,000 from Romania and many, many more from other countries.
Only a quick look at statistics gives an insight into why. Nearly 79% of expats are happy with their life in Spain. Considering the warm climate, long siestas, and delicious food, it’s no surprise that so many find a happy home in the country.
But where are all these expats working? Spain has become known in recent years for problems with unemployment, so knowing which industries and careers are thriving is essential for any would-be expat.
Customer Service & Marketing
11% of expats work in the IT market. Many of these are in customer service or marketing roles. Spain is home to many multinational corporations, and most are looking for employees who speak multiple languages. If you have a good grasp on English, it’s easy to find a job on the phones or creating online marketing strategy for businesses.
There’s also a rise of Scandinavian business in Spain, so if Finnish or Danish is your national language, then you have a good chance of finding employment.
This industry is a top-choice as it supports a range of experience levels. If you’ve previously worked in marketing, then you can apply for development positions. However, if you’ve never even worked in a corporate environment, most large companies have call centres that need customer service reps who speak a wide range of languages.
Another way to support yourself abroad is by working online. The digital nomad community is vast and spans most of the planet at this point. This group of employees has a wide range of employment roles. These include:
- Software design/development
They work from home and are usually freelancers or contracted to individual companies, meaning they can set their hours and schedule. The flexibility of the role has made it incredibly popular, particularly with tech-savvy Millennials.
Many freelance sites exist to help support digital nomads finding projects. In Spain, popular choices include Glassdoor, Upwork, LinkedIn, and AngelList. By creating a profile on this platform, it’s easy to connect with clients and develop professional relationships.
The education sector is another popular one for expats. TEFL, and similar qualifications, make it easy for graduates to become language teachers, and Spain is always looking to employ people in this field. Currently, 10% of the expat community works in education.
Spainwise.net is a website solely dedicated to helping foreigners find TEFL employment in Spain. However, numerous sites exist to help align you with jobs or specific programs that will help qualify you as a teacher.
Spain is one of the many European countries that doesn’t have extensive English lessons in school. Only 47.4% of natives say they studied the language in high school or elementary school. Today, 60% say they can’t speak, read, or write English. Unlike neighboring Portugal, who have eight years of mandatory English, the market in Spain is rife with opportunity for expat teachers.
Teachers in Spain can earn an average salary of €14,509 per year.
In 2015, Finance was one of the fastest growing industries in Spain, so it’s no surprise that it represents 10% of expat employment in the country. If you have a relatively good knowledge of Spanish, then there are several positions to look for. You could work as a:
- Treasury Inspector
- Collections Manager
- Financial Director
- Financial Analyst
Some of these roles would require employment from an international corporation. However, others are available as a freelance position. Glassdoor has a full list of accounting positions in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as more remote regions.
If the salary is important to you, then the financial industry has the best monetary potential. Working as an accountant alone, you can earn as much as €26,932 per year. This fee will only rise if you work hard towards promotions within your company.
In 2012, Engineering was the most sought-after qualification in Spain. Considering this, it’s no surprise that so many expats have found a place in this industry. Trade skills have always been a safe bet for those wanting to work abroad, as every country requires knowledgeable employees in these areas. If you have prior work experience, it’s easy to secure an engineering role in Spain.
If you only speak English – or have it as a second language – then aim for employment in big multinational companies, where you can get away with not speaking Spanish. However, if you have a handle on the local lingo, then you can also find jobs at smaller national firms.
Support Spain’s Booming Expat Community
Despite the current uncertainty in the expat community due to Brexit, it’s undeniable that foreigners living in Spain are supporting the national economy. Reports from the Alicante region alone show that €1.32 billion of contributions have come from the area’s British community.
For those living in Spain, supporting the booming expat community is essential for on-going financial growth. Buying and shopping at expat businesses will help the national economy.
If you’re a foreigner looking to move to Spain, there are endless opportunities to have thriving life in this sunny European paradise.