If you want to teach English abroad in Europe, there’s no better place than Madrid – Spain’s lively capital city. Home to some 4 million people, Madrid is packed with places to eat, drink, shop and relax… but it’s after dark when this city truly comes to life. From late-night tapas in the city’s winding backstreets to dancing until dawn in the Spanish capital’s hottest clubs, you’ll never be short of things to do once the sun goes down.

But it’s not just one of the top places to party in Europe – Madrid is also one of the best destinations for finding TEFL jobs in Spain. With a large population and a focus on English for tourism, business and studies, the cosmopolitan capital has a continuously high demand for English teachers. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about teaching English in Madrid.

Teaching English in Madrid: an overview

A sunny climate, fascinating Spanish culture, delicious food and dusk-til-dawn nightlife make Madrid an ideal place to live… but what’s it like to have a job teaching English there? 

For a start, English teaching jobs in the capital are plentiful, with opportunities to work at public schools, private language schools and international schools, as well as through government-led English teaching programmes and even as a private tutor. What kind of teach abroad position you are looking for will determine your salary and benefits but generally, most English teachers make between €1,200 – €1,500 (£1,053 – £1,317 / $1,300 – $1,623). This is usually more than enough to find somewhere to stay and enjoy life as a Madrid English teacher.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need a visa to legally work in Spain, but many of those teaching English abroad in the country can apply for a student visa which allows them to work part-time. If you’re a highly qualified teacher with experience, it is possible to find a school willing to sponsor a work visa, but for those who have just received their TEFL certificate, there are plenty of alternative routes into teaching in Madrid. English teaching programmes are one such way, with Meddeas, NALCAP and BEDA being amongst the most popular. 

Keep reading to find out what you’ll need to teach English in Madrid.

Requirements for teaching English in Madrid

Wondering what the requirements are for teaching English in Madrid? These tend to fall into two categories:

  • The qualifications required by a school for a teaching position, and
  • What you’ll require to obtain a visa to legally teach. 

Let’s start with the easy one! If you’re a citizen of the European Union, you do not need a visa to teach English in Madrid. This means that, if you want to offer private lessons, you can technically start teaching with no requirements whatsoever. However, for most English teaching jobs, it won’t be so easy! 

If you’re a non-EU citizen – which includes teachers from America, Canada, the US and now (thanks to Brexit!) the UK, you’ll need a visa if you want to teach English in Spain. The chances of securing a sponsored work visa for Spain are pretty slim, which is why most TEFL teachers will work in Madrid on either a student visa (usually studying Spanish at a local university or college, which allows you to also teach up to 20 hours per week) or by joining an English teaching programme.

English teach abroad programmes, such as Meddeas and BEDA, will each have their own set of requirements but, like most private and international schools, they will commonly look for a degree, some prior teaching experience and teachers who have undertaken TEFL certification courses

You don’t need to be a native English-speaking teacher but it will help, as will having a little of the local language… or at least showing a willingness to learn Spanish!

Salary & cost of living in Madrid

How much you will make, spend and save when you teach abroad in Madrid will depend on where and who you work for, as well as your qualifications and experience. That being said, most ESL teachers will earn enough to live comfortably, enjoy Madrid and even travel a bit during the holidays.

An average Spain salary tends to be in the region of €1,200 – €1,500 (£1,053 – £1,317 / $1,300 – $1,623), while qualified teachers with experience could be looking at significantly higher amounts for positions at the city’s to international schools. If you teach part-time, salaries will be lower – with pay from €700 to €1,000 (£614 – £878 / $758 – $1,083) and those working on an hourly rate can expect somewhere between €15 to €20 (£13.16 – £17.55 / $16.24 – $21.67). Of course, experience and qualifications, including a TEFL certification, might help you to negotiate a better salary or hourly rate.

Unlike some other locations, it’s not common for teaching contracts to include accommodation. Luckily, housing in Madrid is fairly reasonable and easy to find, usually setting you back between €400 to €500 per month, with another €50 to €60 for utilities and bills. 

The Spanish lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive. Eating and drinking, outside of the super-touristy areas, tend to be reasonable, while cooking at home with local groceries will only cost around €30 to €40. Travel is relatively cheap too – especially if you use a Metro and bus pass to get around. If you’re a little bit savvy with your spending, you shouldn’t find it too hard to enjoy the best of Spanish culture and still be able to afford your bills each month!

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English teaching jobs in Madrid

Now you know how much you can make if you choose to TEFL Spain, you might be asking yourself what kind of English teacher jobs in Madrid are available. With such a high demand for English lessons, teaching opportunities in the city are endless. That being said, the majority of TEFL teachers in Madrid will either be working at a private language academy, at an international school as part of a government-led English teaching programme or as a private tutor offering lessons.

Let’s take a look at each different type of school in Madrid below. 

Schools in Madrid

Private language academies can be found all over Madrid City, with most looking for native-English speakers throughout the year. You’ll need to have a TEFL certificate and, crucially, a work-visa, to find a teaching job at a language school. These are usually paid hourly and are a good choice for those in Madrid on a student visa looking for around 20 hours of work per week. 

For qualified teachers with previous experience, it may be possible to find teaching jobs in Madrid at an international school. Many use a British or American curriculum and will also hire those who can teach other subjects, including science, art and maths. These positions offer the highest salaries for English teachers (as well as sponsored work visas) which makes competition for places very high. You’ll usually need more than just a TEFL certificate but if you have the qualifications and experience, you shouldn’t let that stop you from applying. 

If you’re lucky enough to find a full-time teaching job in Madrid, you might still want to earn a little extra travel money (or savings!) in your spare time. Private English classes are incredibly common in Madrid and those hoping to teach on the side should have no problem finding willing students. You can advertise on local job boards, online forums and sometimes even at your main job if your employer allows. Private tutors in Madrid usually charge between €15 to €20 (£13.16 – £17.55 / $16.24 – $21.67) when they start out, increasing their rates for private English classes as they gain more experience.

English teaching programmes in Madrid

One of the most popular ways to find teaching jobs in Madrid as a non-EU citizen is through an English teaching programme. These programmes usually offer a set monthly stipend, accommodation (either with a Spanish host family or lodgings close to your school) and medical insurance. If you’re a non-EU citizen, they’ll also sponsor your work visa, although you’ll often be expected to cover the fees yourself. 

A teach English abroad programme in Madrid will provide a guaranteed teaching job for the duration of your placement, making them an excellent choice for those who have never lived abroad before. Training teachers and ongoing support are generally part of these programmes too. You’ll usually need a university degree (gained in the last four years) and a TEFL certificate, although the latter can sometimes be achieved once you’re in Madrid. Native English teachers are preferred but that doesn’t mean non-native speakers can’t apply.

There are many different types of these programmes but the most well-known are Meddeas, NALCAP and BEDA. 

Let’s look at each of these in more detail below. 

Meddeas in Madrid

One of the most well-known English teaching programmes in Madrid is Meddeas. The programme hires native English, French and German speakers to work as Language Assistants at more than 200 schools throughout Spain. 

Teachers who work through Meddas are expected to help students throughout the academic year with their conversational language abilities, assist the local teacher with their lessons and share cultural information from their home countries. They may also be asked to help with planning lessons, assist with other subjects and classes such as art, music and PE and even arrange cultural day trips.

Becoming a Meddeas Language Assistant is free, and teachers will also earn a decent monthly stipend to cover all their necessary costs. Housing is usually provided, often with host families or in accommodation near to the placement school. 

To be eligible for the Meddeas programme, you’ll need: 

  • To be a native English (or German/French) speaker
  • To have a 3+ years degree (obtained in the past 4 years) 
  • To be able to pass a criminal record check 
  • To be able to cover the initial cost of visa fees and travel to Spain

You don’t need to have any previous teaching experience but it can help your application to stand out if you have a TEFL qualification or some relevant experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Are English teachers in demand in Madrid?

    Yes! With high levels of unemployment and many turning to English lessons to improve their chances of securing work, English teachers in Madrid are in high demand. 

  • Q. How much does an English teacher in Madrid make?

    How much you can make teaching English abroad in Madrid will depend on your employer or how many hours you work per week but, in general, a TEFL teacher in Madrid will make somewhere between €1,200 – €1,500 (£1,053 – £1,317 / $1,300 – $1,623).

  • Q. Can I work in Madrid through the Meddeas programme?

    If you’re a native speaker of English, German or French and have a 3+ year degree (or are currently studying towards one) then you may be able to work in certain Spanish schools in Madrid through the Meddeas programme.

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