German-speaking Jobs in Spain

Spain has always been the Germans’ favourite holiday destination. So it’s no wonder that some German expatriates and emigrants have ended up here. Erasmus has also shown many students what it’s like to live in Spain for a while. Many of these students come back to Spain after their studies for work. German-speakers in Spain are desperately sought after by companies trading and working with Germans. Tradespeople and craftsmen also have good chances of gaining a foothold in Spain. The freedom of movement within the EU makes living and working in Spain particularly easy, as visas and work permits are no longer required. The metropolises of Madrid, Barcelona and the Spanish islands in particular have a lot of jobs to offer for foreigners.

Key Facts

✔ 46.94 million inhabitants
✔ 300 days of sunshine
✔ Currency: Euro

Cost of Living

✔ 1-bedroom apartment: € 677
✔ 1-person household: € 681
✔ Cappuccino € 1.63

Income

✔ Average salary: € 1,338 (net)
✔ German-speaking CR: ca € 1,500 (net)

What job opportunities do German-speakers have in Spain?

Although Spain has suffered economically due to the financial crisis and is struggling with unemployment, job opportunities are improving. Spain is also an attractive country for international professionals.

Current job situation in Spain

After being hit hard by the financial crisis in 2007, Spain is now experiencing an economic upswing again. Although the unemployment rate, especially among young workers and those over 50, remains high by European standards, a reduction in those and an increase in GDP are expected. Despite the Corona crisis, which means job loss for many people around the world, new jobs are being created. In May 2020, over 97,000 new jobs were created compared to the previous month, as reported by Handelsblatt. Of these, most are in construction, agriculture and hotels. The two most important sectors in Spain are still tourism and the automotive industry. After Germany, Spain is the largest car producer in Europe and serves mainly as a location for foreign manufacturers. In addition, Spain is a popular tourist destination and one of the most visited countries in the world.

In-demand jobs in Spain for German-speakers

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Depending on your educational and experience background, the following jobs are suitable for German-speakers seeking employment in Spain:

  • Customer Care Agent: As a customer care agent, you handle customers’ queries and cases via phone, mail, chat and social media. Since customer service often involves big brands that operate internationally, you will be assigned to the customer base of your native language. Therefore, this job is also suitable for those whose Spanish skills are not yet at a professional level. Accordingly, internal communication in the company mostly takes place in English.
  • Animateur | Entertainer in a holiday resort: As one of the most visited countries in the world with a high number of visitors from German-speaking countries, the tourism industry is a good place to look for a job, although not all jobs require an excellent knowledge of Spanish. Especially as an animator, you are directly responsible for looking after German-speaking tourists, which makes German more important than Spanish. A job as an animator will take you to tourist-rich areas of Spain such as the south and west coasts, to the capital Madrid, as well as to islands such as Ibiza or Mallorca.
  • Tradespeople: Due to the economic upswing in Spain, craftsmen and tradespeaople are in demand. As far as prospective self-employment in the skilled trades is concerned, the situation in Spain even looks better than in Germany in some cases, as the requirements are lower. In most cases, employment in this sector requires good to very good knowledge of Spanish and can be found in both small and large cities.
  • Sales Representative: As a sales representative, you cover various areas of responsibility in sales. However, the basic tasks are the research and acquisition of new customers and the support of existing customers. If you are a communication talent and can convince people with winning arguments, this job is suitable for you. In Spain, jobs as a sales representative are offered in medium-sized and large companies, mostly in metropolises but also on islands such as Tenerife.
  • Information Technology: In Spain, there are several opportunities for employment in information technology. In particular, professionals with skills in data management and analysis, new forms of commerce, digital strategy, programming, digital content creation, telecommunications and logistics are sought. As the IT industry is often very international, the working language often amounts to English.

Who should apply for a Customer Service job in Spain?

A job in customer care is mainly suitable for those who want to gain a foothold in Spain. Those who have just arrived in Spain or are even looking for a job from home may not yet have a professional level of Spanish and will be grateful for a job with German or English as the working language. Many customer support agencies in Spain cater to international travellers and offer them in-house Spanish courses and after-hours activities to get to know their colleagues and the city and make connections both professionally and personally. Accordingly, short assignments are possible, as there can be a higher volume of customer enquiries seasonally; for example, during the summer and winter sales. Such a job is suitable for people who only want to spend a summer in Spain or who want to integrate the employment into their work and travel. But longer, permanent jobs are also possible in Customer Care, leading to promotion within the company, for example to Customer Care Supervisor. If you are looking for a job in customer care, you should have a good command of written and spoken German and also be able to communicate in English, as this is usually the company’s internal language. In addition, you should have a service mentality and work in a customer-oriented manner. At the beginning, there is usually a two- to six-week introduction in which you are taught about the company’s business and how to deal with customers.

How to find jobs in Spain for Germans, Austrians and Swiss?

Due to the EU-wide free movement of workers, it is possible for Germans, Austrians and Swiss to live and work in Spain without an additional work permit. In many cases, the health insurance at home also covers the move to southern Europe. Any additional insurance packages can often be booked at low cost and should be discussed individually. In order to find a job, it is worth taking a look at the job portal of Auslandskarriere.de. Here you will find numerous offers from companies on the mainland as well as on the Spanish islands. New job offers from attractive companies are constantly being added. If you are coming to Spain primarily for a change of scenery, you should be aware that your first job in a new country is not necessarily your dream job. The conditions should be right, but often you need experience and a network before you find a job you would like to keep forever. As a foreigner, it makes sense to utilize your German knowledge when looking for a job. Especially companies that work with German-speaking clients or partner organisations are interested in this skill.

Living in Spain as a foreigner

When living in Spain, depending on the location, you can expect similar financial costs as in Germany. While some things may turn out to be minimally cheaper here (e.g. bars and restaurants), others will stand out as unusually more expensive (e.g. organic products).

Housing situation and cost of living in Spain

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If you are new to Spain, the first thing you should do is look for a room or flat to rent. The most popular online platform for such advertisements is idealista.com. airbnb.com is also suitable for finding rooms or flats for a limited period of time. For a room in a shared flat in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, you can expect a rent of 300-600€. Palma de Mallorca is often listed as the most expensive city in Spain. In general, the cost of living in Spain is around the European average. Since going out to eat and drink is an essential part of the culture here, you can increasingly find inexpensive restaurants with an attractive offer (7€to 15€ per meal or inexpensive three-course meals at lunchtime). The popular mantra “live where others go on holiday” can be wonderfully realised with the right job in Spain.