Do I need a degree to teach English in Spain?

Spain has been a European teaching hotspot for many years due to the high demand for TEFL qualified teachers, the laid back lifestyle, and the country’s well known and popular culture. There are always plenty of jobs to be found in many areas, but what exactly are the requirements for teaching English in Spain?

Is a degree required to legally teach English in Spain?

The good news is that a degree is not a legal requirement for teaching English in Spain. The local government and the vast majority of employers do not require any specific academic background or qualifications when applying to work in schools, language centers, or private companies.

What do I need to teach English in Spain?

One thing that many employers in Spain are keen on is native English speakers. Although this is not set in stone, many English language students expect to be taught by native speakers, which leads to many employers going down this route when recruiting. However, simply speaking the language is not enough to get you through the door of many schools as most will expect you to have completed a teacher training course or have some previous teaching experience. In general, teachers heading to Spain will require an internationally accredited TEFL certificate on their CV/resume.

What is the visa situation for teaching English in Spain?

EU passport holders often have an advantage in the job market as they can live and work in Spain without any need for visas or work permits. In contrast, other nationalities often find it difficult to secure any kind of official work visa for Spain. One option for some people is a working holiday visa that usually lasts for one year and is generally limited to those aged between 18 and 30. Currently these are only available to Canadians and Australians, but you should check with a Spanish embassy in person or online as this could change at any time.

It is worth noting that many young English learners in Spain are keen to learn from an American teacher as they prefer the accent. However, as it is difficult to obtain an official work permit, many thousands of teachers head to Spain from the US every year and work with nothing more than a standard tourist visa that they receive on arrival. While this practice is technically illegal, it is widespread and generally tolerated by the authorities. US citizens who want to keep everything official also have the option of a student visa. By applying for a Spanish language course you can get this visa that also allows you to work a certain number of hours per week.

Who will I work for while teaching English in Spain?

Private language schools are by far the biggest employers of foreign EFL teachers in Spain. Every large city in the country will have plenty of schools to choose from, particularly Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Valencia. Another popular option for TEFL qualified teachers is private tutoring, an area that has grown considerably in recent years. This is a popular option among American teachers who plan to work without an official permit as lessons often take place in the student’s home. By teaching away from school premises you are extremely unlikely to get in any trouble with the local authorities.