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salary in spain for secondary teacher

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cathallittle, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. hi
    Can anyone tell me what way the salary works in spain for secondary teaching? How much should a teacher's annual / monthly salary be? This is in relation to a permanent contract in a British school. I have been teaching 5 years at secondary level in the UK and aiming to move to Spain.
    I have an interview next week and this is a real concern. I'd like to be armed with some information about this as it seems to be a tough subject to get any solid information on and one which schools seem to baffle teacher's with during the process.

    so - how much annual / monthly should I expect to be offered? How much should I legally be offered? do they have a pension?
    any other information would be greatly appreciated as I am finding it next to impossible to find any clear information about this.

    many thanks
  2. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Much less than in Britain. If you're going for the money, forget it !
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Dozens of posts over the past five years, with MikeTribe as el viejo sabio of the topic, have contributed to a clear picture: Spanish private/'international' schools, with some honourable exceptions, do not pay well and are not 'up front' about terms and conditions, so that surprises may lie in store such as 10-month contracts, obligatory labour in Summer School, accommodation so expensive that you have to sub-let in the holidays and go home to stay with Mum, primary classrooms where five coloured pencils have to last the whole year...
    And they get away with it, first because there are people who will gladly embrace a straitened lifestyle in order to enjoy the compensating pleasures of living in what is mostly a delightful and entirely a fascinating country - and secondly because they know that the teachers who do bygger-off in disgruntlement can always be replaced by the next batch of sun-seeking hopefuls who have holidayed in Spain and succumbed to its multiple attractions..
    If it were me, and it has been, in a way, tho' not in Spain, the decision whether to settle down for the long haul or fly to a more lucrative position at the earliest opportunity would be determined by the school's culture, its ambiente.
    Is it a place where the adults by and large get on with each other and enjoy the job, do the students mostly want to learn and enjoy school life, is it run by a board and SMT who at least have good intentions, are there sufficient resources and some inkling of school development and improvement?
    Or is the institution controlled by miserly mean-spirited owners, staffed by moaning jobsworths and pupilled largely by materialist insolent cheating brats who want to graduate with the least possible effort?
    Both types of school exist in Spain. They are all members of NABBS so don't look there for quality control. Never was the cliché more applicable, that when you go to that interview, you are also interviewing them.
  4. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    It's really difficult to make a generalization here. Some schools are really quite well paid, especially if you can get some sort of "special" contract like some of the foreign hire teachers at the British Council school. On the other hand, many, especiallyon the coast, are notoriously poorly paid. The absolute legal minimum you can be paid according to the "convenio colectivo" is 22-23,000 euros a year before tax and national insurance. Some British schools pay that, or even less. In Madrid, most pay considerably more. As SMTDude correctly observed, you have to watch out for sneaky little tricks like the plainly illegal 10-month contract by which schools fire all their teachers in June and re-hire them in September to avoid paying holiday pay... I believe my school is the only one in Spain that either has any sort of pension provision or pays a housing allowance, or has private health insurance. As observed above, rents can be very high indeed and leave a big hole in an already quite low salary. On the other hand, the Spanish National Health Service is much better than itts British counterpart and, if you stay long enough, the old age pensions are good, too.
    I've been here for over 30 years, so, as you can see, I love it "warts and all" and would never think of going back to England. There are quite a few good schools with a great sense of community and managements which do their best to maintain good educational standards within the restrictions of operating as private businesses which are obliged to at the very least break even... Please feel free to send me a personal message if you would like more infomation.
  5. Thank you so much for this reply. As i said it is a difficult system to understand from an external point of view. My intentions are not to become a millionaire but would like job security as I plan to live there for the forseeable future (my fiancee has already working there for 2 years).

    this is really helpful
  6. Hi,
    I work in a private school in Madrid and my salary is 20,000 and apparently that is more than most. I also have a 10 month contract which they can give to staff for up to 6 years before being given a permanent contract. Having no job security is really stressful. 2 teachers, one English and one Spanish were told on the first day of term in September that they were no longer needed and another Spainish teacher was told one Monday to go and another was there to replace her. A parent had complained about her. The owner likes to imbue a sense of fear and it works. It is not about ability but about personalities and of course it is about money. I would like to know is there better opportunities out there because I´m thinking of oing back to TEFL. Thanks
  7. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Established commenter

    Not true. Two is the maximum. Even if they continue giving you 10 month temporary contracts after this time, you would be considered permament in the eyes of the law. Speak to the union or to a lawyer.
  8. Craigbane that sounds like the notorious school in the centre of Seville. Very accurate review of this joke school on the internationalschoolsreview.com website.
  9. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    Rachel is right. Consult a union. Usually, the consultation is free. What the school is doing is illegal and is basically defrauding the social security by obliging the government to pay you over the summer. The problem is that schools get away with breaking the law because no one calles them on it. If the owner got fined heavily a couple of times and realized that the authorities were on to her little tricks, they would stop.
    If the 20,000 pay you mentioned is gross then that's also illegal since the numbers I gave in my original post were copy/pasted from the convenio colectivo and are the minimum which can legally be paid.
    There ARE better schools out there. I know of several in Madrid who don't do that stuff and who pay significantly more. It's schools like the one that's exploiting you which give the place a bad name. No school is perfect and all have defects. Life's like that. But you should look at the British school with links to the British government, the Magna Carta school and the international college in La Moraleja all of which pay considerably above the legal minimum (although still considerably less than teachers with the same experience get in the UK) and none of which do silly, illegal 10-month contracts... They are all fully-subscribed and financially sound which indicates that it is quite possible to obey the law and still make a profit!
  10. Mike I really need your help,
    I have been offered a job in Madrid and they are only offering 1200 after tax a month - NO PAY for the first summer, and bonuses here and there. 1200 a month in Madrid! How will I live. I was working at an international school in a small town near valencia and made 25000 before tax before this.
    Should I ask for more money. How do I handle this. I am coming from the USA as well, they should have more sympathy for my travel expenses, no??

    Also, can you tell me the legal salary of 22000 is that before tax is deducted??


    signed, confused.
  11. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    I suggest that you PM Mike through the site.
    The 'package' sounds just about impossible.
  12. Dear Mike,
    I am /was very interested in finding a job in Spain. Not so sure now however. My current salary in Germany is 63000 euros gross, and my contract is permanent. Added to that my pension is on a par with a civil servant and I have first class health care entitlements.
    What sort of salary can I really expect in Spain? If it's less than 40,000 euros and at least half my rent paid then I wouldn't be interested. I would also expect the school to find me accomodation before I arrive.
    20-30,000 euros and I would be better staying in the UK, working as a sub and supplementing my income with private tuition.
    I have sent off lots of applications to Spain but would not be interested at that sort of salary. It would be great to receieve a reply

  13. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    I'm not MIke, but if you're looking for 40 000 as a teacher in a british/international school in spain you're probably going to be very disappointed.
    The only school which pays anything like that (as far as I know) is the European School which I think is in Alicante. Most of the others pay up to 30000 if you're lucky. No pensions, no help with accommodation.
  14. Hi Jennie,
    I totally sympathise with you. I am amazed that the pay in Spain is so poor. Even 25000 before tax sounds really poor to me. I was really hoping to relocate to Spain as I love the country, but it now appears to me that I would earn more working in a beach cafe and a supermarket at nights. How sad is that. Do you get health insurance and a decent pension in Spain?

  15. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    No private pension or private health insurance as a rule. The state system is good though, if you stay for long enough to take advantage of it.State pensions at present are quite generous but of course that could change before we all make it to happy retirement.
  16. Are you serious? Thanks for letting me know. No pensions and no help with accomodation? Forget it then. I'll stick with Germany or else head back to the UK. I can earn more working 3 days per week as a substitute teacher than that.
    The Spanish dream is gone then. Just for hoildays or retirement. But I'll still carry on learning Spanish[​IMG]

  17. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    I agree that 40000-a-year is highly unlikely here and that there are very, very few schools which offer help with accommodation or pay private pensions or health insurance. However, the Spanish National Health Service is very much superior to the British equivalent and you dont really need private cover. Pensions are also much more generous (at the moment) than in the UK provided you hang around long enough to collect it. You don't really need 40000 euros a year to live quite comfortably here. And you do have the great advantage of living in Spain. And most schools here won't have you jump through all the NC paperwork hoops... I suppose it depends on what you're looking for. We've been here for over 30 years and wouldn't even consider going back to teaching in England...
  18. What sort of salary could you comfortably live on then? For example, how much rent would you have to pay for a two bedroomed apartment? I'm not interested in Madrid or Barcleona as I can imagine the cost of living there is astronomical. I'm interested in Alicante and Murcia.[​IMG]
  19. What sort of salary could you comfortably live on then? For example, how much rent would you have to pay for a two bedroomed apartment? I'm not interested in Madrid or Barcleona as I can imagine the cost of living there is astronomical. I'm interested in Alicante and Murcia.[​IMG]

  20. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    I don't know I live in Madrid. I know teachers who live fairly comfortably on less than 2000 euros a month...

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