Every year, thousands of aspiring TEFL teachers move abroad to live the dream of teaching English in a foreign country. Of all these countries, Spain is becoming one of the most popular and, more specifically Barcelona is emerging as the most exciting place to teach English.
And with good reason. The city is an amazing mix of old and new, of tradition and innovation, with endless possibilities for those looking for an adventure of a lifetime. There’s no wonder so many want to move to Barcelona.
With all the excitement that the city offers, it can also be daunting for those looking to start a career teaching English. That’s why we’ve created this insider’s guide – we want to give you a better idea of the local teaching market and the opportunities available, to help you navigate your journey towards becoming an English teacher in Barcelona.
If you’re dedicated, it’s easy to find a job teaching English in Barcelona. English is a highly sought-after skill, for speakers young and old, so there’s a very high demand for English teachers across the city.
You’ll find plenty of job websites advertising for English teacher roles. These are regularly updated with job adverts for anything from language academy roles to private tuition.
Here’s a list of just a few useful websites:
And don’t forget, as one of our TEFL Iberia graduates, you’ll have insider access to the TEFL Iberia jobs board!
There are a variety of places you can teach English in and around Barcelona. Here are the most common examples.
Private language academies are a great option for recent TEFL graduates when it comes to finding an English teaching job in Barcelona. You can find work teaching adults or children in top language academies in Barcelona, either in group classes, one-to-one or a mix of the two.
One advantage of training as an English teacher at a TEFL school in Barcelona is that you have a good pathway to teach at the school once you’ve graduated!
Another option when it comes to teaching English in Barcelona is to set up your own private classes. Yes, going freelance is tricky (more on this later), but finding your own clients for one-to-one or small groups is a great option, and very common to get paid in cash. The two most popular websites for advertising yourself are Tusclasesparticulares and Superprof.
Working as an English teacher within a private company is another option in Barcelona. If you specialise in business English, there are opportunities to work for companies who provide in-house English lessons to business employees in the city.
After all, Barcelona is one of the fastest growing startup cities in Europe, and English is a prized skill across the board.
English is taught in all schools throughout the city, whether state-run, private or subsidised. Some centre English learning around a specific activity – for example, music classes, sports or dance classes – so you can combine teaching English with another skill.
You can also live in Barcelona and teach English remotely. Many people study to be a TEFL teacher in Barcelona, then end up teaching English online once they graduate. You’ll need specific skills when teaching online, but with the right help and guidance, it’s an excellent option for budding TEFL teachers.
Don’t forget to check out our guide to teaching English online for more information on how to build a career as an online English teacher.
The typical salary for TEFL teachers in Barcelona varies a lot. It depends on experience, age group, size of group, area of the city, who you’re teaching etc.
At the moment, the average rate of pay for an English teacher in Barcelona is €15–€17 per hour. If you’re teaching English in an academy, for example, expect to be working between 16–22 hours per week at a salary of around €1,300 per month after tax. Of course, you can supplement this with private classes.
Without a doubt, the easiest, most secure way to teach English in Barcelona is to get a contract with a school, academy or company. That way, you’ll get regular work and a regular salary, plus you won’t have to navigate Spain’s notoriously complex freelance and tax system.
Having said that, while being a freelancer in Spain is difficult and brings complications, it’s definitely an option that should be explored by those who’ve been in the city for a while.
Being freelance, or autónomo in Barcelona, gives you more freedom. You can build up your own client base and create your own flexible schedule. You have to pay a fee every month, but it starts off low – you won’t have to pay the full fee until over a year after registering as freelance.
In terms of tax, hiring an accountant, or gestor, is a must. Thankfully, there are plenty of English-speaking gestors in Barcelona.
Our advice? Start with a contract job. You can always explore the freelance option later down the line.
If you’re looking for a job continually, it normally takes 2-3 weeks. At TEFL Iberia, we run a job-search workshop as part of our Trinity CertTESOL course, so you can even look for a job while studying. We also offer our students job contacts and placement help – in fact, most schools in Barcelona contact us directly looking for recent TEFL Iberia graduates.
Outside the classroom, there’s so much to see and do! Between the delicious cuisine, incredible culture, stunning scenery and vibrant nightlife, there’s always something new to discover in Barcelona.
Check out our guide to Living & Teaching in Barcelona for an insight into the best ways to spend your downtime in the city.
While you don’t need previous working experience to teach English in Barcelona, you’ll need at least a Trinity CertTESOL qualification. This will not only actually qualify you for the job from the employer’s point of view, but also give you the vital skills and classroom practice that you’ll need to feel prepared and confident in your own abilities.
While an advanced level of English proficiency is required, that doesn’t mean that you must be a native speaker. In fact, non-native speaking English teachers make up about 20% of our students and often have certain attributes that even native speakers don’t have!
It’s not a requirement. A good TEFL course will prepare you to teach English anywhere in the world without the use of any other language. That said, learning some Spanish will certainly enrich your experience outside of the classroom and help you make the most of living and working in Barcelona!
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