2 dec 2013

If you are not an EEC national and have no right to work in Spain, you must have your employment approved by the Ministerio de Trabajo (Ministry of Work) before entering Spain.

Any national of the European Union has the same right to work in Spain as does a Spaniard in any other EU country.

A considerable number of people who wish to become expatriates end up working for themselves and self-employment is covered later in the self-employment section.

Whilst it does happen, it can't be described as wise to depart for Spain without the means to support yourself and family. When cash runs out, the adventure will soon become painful and eventually, returning home may be the only option open to you, however....

The rewards for success are great. A wonderful climate, better life for you and your family and probably more important than anything else is that you won't spend the rest of your life wondering whether or not it would have worked – because you'll know.

If you can find a firm job offer before you make the move so much the better. It may require you visiting Spain once or twice to see the lay of the land and attend job interviews and whilst it may eat into the cash you have available, success would justify every penny spent and also the confidence to move your family over here with you as well

If you want a good job, it goes without saying that suitable qualifications in your profession and the ability to speak Spanish fluently will be key factors.

I just can’t emphasise it enough but - If you are prepared to undertake any work in order to stay in Spain then prove to yourself that this is the case and start to learn the language. The difficulty in finding work will fall by far if you can get by with the language.

There are many expatriates who earn anything from a pittance to a good living by their own efforts. Most of these are tradesmen who rely on the expatriate community for their work. Whilst many of these do not speak Spanish, neither do their clients, so it follows that the two will eventually find each other when needs must.

Middle and higher management enjoy high salaries and excellent working conditions and although there is equality between the sexes with women enjoying comparable salaries and conditions, it is nonetheless common to find that most of the lower paid jobs are still filled by females.

There are many from the UK who still thinks of Spaniards as having no other career prospects apart from those of waiter or barmen. They arrive in Spain believing they will be infinitely more preferable to potential employers than those who are available to them from local labour. – not so-

Be advised - not only do the Spaniards work long hours, the majority are relatively skilled in their line of work and make worthy opponents when it comes to chasing jobs in their own country.

The rules are very simple - any national of the European Union has the right to work in Spain or any other EU country, providing they have either a valid identity card, or in the case of the UK, a current passport.

It goes without saying that the right to work does not mean that the state has to find you employment. Neither does it mean that that an employer won't employ a national in preference to a foreigner - regardless of what the law may be.

The right to work is based upon compliance with each countries laws and employment regulations. In Spain, employment laws are complex and regularly broken but from time to time the authorities act in an attempt to deal with the black economy, handing out big punishments as a lesson for all.

EU citizens have the same rights to the treatment received by Spanish citizens when it comes to matters of pay, working conditions, access to housing, vocational training, trade union rights and social security. Further, families and immediate dependants are entitled to join them and share the same rights.

The Single European Act of January 1st 1993 was brought into effect in an attempt to create not only a single market but to provide an environment favourable for stimulating enterprise, trade and competition and which would make it easier for EU nationals to work in other EU countries.

As you would imagine, there are restrictions on employment within the civil service, when the right to work may be and usually is, limited on the grounds of public policy, health, or security. Regardless of any qualification you may have, if you don't speak Spanish it is unlikely to help you in finding work.

If you wish to check any qualifications you have as to their validity in Spain, information regarding the official validation of qualifications and the addresses of Spanish professional bodies is obtainable from the education department of all Spanish Embassies. To obtain a direct comparison between foreign qualifications and those recognised in Spain, contact any Spanish employment office where there is a representative of the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC).

To find a job anywhere today is not easy, unless that is you belong to the medical or scientific community, when it's not at all uncommon for jobs to find you.

You should make as many contacts as possible. Don't wait for the result from one application before submitting another. In Spain, it probably will not be of too much interest to employers but you should still prepare your CV and together with any references you may have, send them to as many potential employers as possible.

Whatever type of job you are looking for, when it comes to finding employment, the rules are the same. You must market yourself with as much enthusiasm and professionalism as possible. Accept the fact that little is likely to happen immediately and don't become despondent. Leave despondency to other job-seekers - if they give up, finding your job becomes much easier. Success may be the difference between spending a life in the cold and rain or under the blue, sunny skies of Spain. If you are a professional person, finding work in Spain will more than likely involve a firm of recruitment consultants.

Such organisations tend to advertise in the National Spanish press and relevant trade journals and magazines. Some also advertise in the quality British press so it's worth keeping an eye on newspapers such as the Telegraph, Express, Mail, Times and Sunday Times. Most, if not all, have special days which deal with situations vacant and situations required.

If your requirement for work involves a job where no skills or experience are required, you should look to employment offices, local newspapers, and notice boards, the latter of which in Spain are very popular for communicating a wide range of information. Supermarkets carry advertisements for any and everything. When it comes to jobs offered from these sources, it's usually on the basis of "first come, first served".

One Spanish publication which may help you find work is the Mercado Laboral, which is published each and every Saturday. Jobs are also advertised in the foreign press, much of which can be obtained in Spain. Examples are the New York Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal Europe and Overseas Jobs Express. The English press in Spain, such as the Costa Blanca News, The Entertainer and others, also contains situations vacant and you should check these regularly for job opportunities. Or more local to the Costa Blanca area of Spain are the local expat newspapers such as the Costa Blanca and Round Town News. www.costablancanews.es

You could also place an advert in these papers selling yourself or in fact selling your business if self employment is the way for you.

Most, if not all of the English media in Spain have web sites which contain not only a summary of their headlines and main stories but the situations vacant currently being advertised in their papers. Most can be found under their "name.com".

The equivalent of the "Job Centre" in Spain is the local INEM offices. The majority of jobs on offer are mainly those concerned with semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, particularly those in industry, retailing, driving, catering and bar work.

As you are reading this information on the Internet, don't forget that the "net" can be a good source of jobs on offer. The search engine which brought you to this site is a good place to start looking for Internet jobs. Yahoo and Google have been shown to be particularly effective. Type in "work in Spain" or "employment in Spain" or any other combination of key words which you feel may produce results. Try all search engines, as most have their own unique way of finding information. As mentioned previously there are the expat papers such as the Costa Blanca news etc which can also be read on line www.costablancanews.es

Searching for jobs in Spain via the internet then visit the following sites:


Spain does have a minimum salary law but as with all other countries, certain people seem to earn less than the minimum. This applies particularly to those who may not be in the country officially or who have no work permit.

If you are computer literate, speak and write Spanish and are experienced in office work or administration, then finding work in Spain, particularly in the larger towns and cities, should not prove at all difficult. Apart from knowing someone, the easiest way to find office work is probably to approach one of the many temporary recruitment agencies which exist. As previously mentioned, for the right person, temporary work will often lead to full time employment.

A small amount of Spanish, the type of which can be learned very quickly, will probably find you work in shops during peak holiday season and at Christmas. Your ability to speak English well won't be lost on employers, who recognise the significant contribution to their profits made each year by the tourists who visit Spain.

During holiday peak season, most bars, clubs, restaurants, car hire firms and a host of other businesses employ casual labour for the purpose of promoting their businesses. In the main this involves handing out leaflets with "money off information" to any and everyone. If you don't mind a spot of gardening, many urbanisations employ gardeners to keep the common areas tidy. Owners on such urbanisations may also be interested in your services. There are an impressive amount of expatriate gardeners who earn very good money. Property owners know full well that house prices are determined by a variety of factors, among which is not having an overgrown garden

If the thought of driving on the wrong side of the road doesn't worry you, consider approaching the major national car hire companies for work as a driver. Cars dropped off at airports and other parts of the country are, where possible, rehired to others who may wish to drive them where they are normally based. If this does not happen within a reasonable time, they are simply returned by a company driver.

Spanish hospitals employ a considerable amount of casual labour which includes nurses and auxiliaries. Especially during holiday times. You are likely to find more success with private hospitals than those run by the state, but all should be approached. There are a considerable number of retirees in Spain, many of whom require nursing services from time to time. Look in the English press for advertisements or try one of the temporary recruitment agencies.

Hotels, during peak season, will often employ baby sitters for guests with children. You can either approach them directly or again utilise the services of a specialist temporary recruitment agency. Be prepared to be checked out extensively.

Many of the foreign property companies will offer short term employment for experienced sales people. If your sales figures are reasonable, it may well be that they will offer you either an extended contract or full time employment. Most can be contacted in the UK.

If you are a resident of the European Union you do not require a work permit to start a business but as previously mentioned, you must be a resident of Spain or have applied for your residency.

To find a job anywhere today is not easy, unless that is you belong to the medical or scientific community, when it's not at all uncommon for jobs to find you.