Pros & Cons of Teaching English in Madrid, Spain

Gain valuable insights from International TEFL Academy (ITA) alumna Christina Bates as she shares the advantages and disadvantages of teaching English in Madrid, Spain.

Get Your TEFL Guide to Teach in Spain

Let me preface this post by stating the obvious and expressing that everyone’s teaching experience varies depending on who you teach (kids, teenagers, adults), where you teach (language academy, in-company, school, cafe, etc.) and the type of class you teach (large group, small groups, private classes). I’ve always taught at a language academy teaching business adults in companies. I know many other teachers, however, who currently teach in the Auxiliar, BEDA, or other government-sponsored school programs for teaching English in Spain.

Here is my personal pros and cons list of teaching in Madrid, take it as you will. Let’s start off with the cons and then finish off on a good note.

Cons of Teaching English in Madrid

What are the Cons to Teach English in Madrid?

Teaching English in Madrid can come with challenges such as intense competition for jobs, the cost of living, language barriers outside the classroom, administrative complexities, a demanding workload, and the need for cultural adjustment.

Now, let's take a look at Christina's personal cons for teaching in Madrid below:

Income that's Just Enough to Get By

You will typically make anywhere from as low as €10 to €20 ($11.50-$23 USD) an hour depending on your experience and where you teach. This may seem like enough since the cost of living is low in Spain, but to be honest, it’s just enough to get by.

Spain is a breakeven country, so if you want to make more you’ll have to work more than the average 20 hours per week, which compared to the 40+ hour work week back in the US isn’t that bad. 

Read more: How Much Do English Teachers Make in Spain?

Lots of Commuting

Your commute could be anywhere from 15 mins to an hour and a half outside the city center depending on where you’re teaching. In addition, you might have to commute to many different locations. For example, for my first year teaching, I taught at 3 different companies so I spent a good portion of my day in the metro commuting to my next class.

Now I have the luxury of only teaching at one company and the commute is only 15 minutes via metro from my place. So again, it all depends on your setup. Read more from Christina about Tips & Hacks for Getting Around Madrid.

Random Work Hours

You could potentially have random work hours throughout the week. For example, you’ll have one class that goes from 8-10 am then another from 1-2 pm then you might not have one again until 6 pm.

So in return, this could create much longer days than the 9-5 pm you may be used to because you have to factor in commute time and your schedule might be sporadic. 

Pros & Cons of teaching English in Spain

Pros of Teaching English in Madrid

What are the Pros to Teach English in Madrid?

Teaching English in Madrid offers advantages like experiencing a vibrant and diverse culture, opportunities for personal growth, gaining international teaching experience, forming connections with students and colleagues, exploring historical landmarks, and enjoying a lively social scene.

Read more: What Are the Basic Requirements for Teaching English in Spain?

Lots of Holidays

Spain has many holidays, over 22 to be exact. I’m currently writing this post while taking advantage of one of their holidays. What’s great for you is you can use this time to travel.

What might not be so great is that you don’t get paid for it, but I like to see holidays more as an opportunity to explore though. Glass half full! 😉

Attractive Location

Teaching in Madrid means you are centrally located in Spain, this makes traveling within the country and even to other countries super easy and affordable.

Easy to Learn Spanish

Madrid is one of the best cities to learn Spanish because unlike some of its neighboring regions, only Spanish is predominantly spoken here. So no need to worry about understanding Catalan or Basque, for example like you do in Barcelona, for example. 

Efficient Networking

I’m a huge advocate for getting to know your students and asking them for suggestions or recommendations. A lot of my students have become like friends and family to me. 

This definitely makes living in a foreign country a lot easier. Plus you never know what opportunities they could bring you in the future. 

ITA Ambassador Christina Bates highlights her personal pros and cons of teaching English in Madrid, Spain

Well there you have it, my pros and cons of teaching in Madrid. It’s not an extensive list and by no means is this list the same for everyone but I’d like to think most teachers teaching in Madrid can relate.

Overall I’d have to say I’m really loving my time teaching in Madrid! Clearly why I decided to stick around for another year and hey, who knows when I’ll be returning.

Related Resources:


Posted In: , ,

Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad & Online?

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad or online, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.