How to land your dream job in Madrid

Discover the job opportunities in Madrid. Get tips on where to start your search and how to land a job even without speaking Spanish!


5 minute read
Updated on 18 Aug 2023

Other than checking social networking sites and company websites, how can you land a job in Madrid as an English speaker? To help you maximize your chances of finding a job, we’ll be sharing some tips on:

  • How easy is it go get a job in Madrid?
  • Which industries and companies offer job opportunities for English speakers?
  • How to find these job openings?
  • How to negotiate based on the average salary in Madrid?

Why is Madrid so popular with working expats?

Madrid is one of the best places to work as an international due to the sheer number of work opportunities. Of the more than 500,000 companies, 40% are foreign businesses, and 4 are featured in the Fortune Global 500.

Madrid ranks 4th in European cities with the highest number of headquarters of multinational companies.

The second reason is that unlike the rising unemployment rate in Spain, there has been a significant drop in unemployment in Madrid 2022. In fact, Madrid is ambitiously creating new job opportunities to reduce unemployment. To give you an idea, 23.2% of the newly registered companies in Spain in April 2022 were in Madrid.

Working in Madrid also means having the best work-life balance thanks to the laid-back Spanish work culture, Mediterranean climate, and Madrid's lively neighborhoods with plenty of events and nightlife.

Is it hard to get a job in Madrid?

The job market in Madrid is competitive because Madrid is one of the most accessible Spanish cities to find a job in, especially for those who don’t speak Spanish. Not only is it one of the best cities in Spain but also a hub for international companies, making it a popular destination for various expats who want to move to Spain.

So how quickly or easily you’ll find work in Madrid depends on which industry you’re in if you need a work visa, your experience, language skills, and your educational background.

How hard is it for non-EU citizens to get a job in Madrid?

When it comes to nationality, non-EU citizens have to deal with more documentation and rules, such as getting a Spanish work visa, meeting the salary criteria and applying for jobs that are on the shortage list. Although finding a job is more complicated for non-EU citizens, it’s also worthwhile as you’ll likely be paid a great salary because of the salary criterion.

Your chances of finding a job as a non-European citizen will increase if you’re a highly-skilled worker or someone who knows Spanish.

Job opportunities in Madrid

Most expats find a job in one of Madrid’s prominent industries:

  • Service – Around 86% of Madrid's income comes from the service sector.
  • Finance and banking – Madrid is Europe’s and Spain’s largest financial center. Banks in Madrid carry out 72% of all banking activity in Spain. Many international and Spanish banks like Santander, BBVA, Popular, and Bankinter have their headquarters in Madrid.
  • Technology – Madrid is a hub for high technology after Barcelona. It’s also home to over 1,200 tech start-ups. Famous Spanish apps such as Cabify and LingoKids are all Madrid based.
  • Transport and logistics – From building roads and train networks to carrying goods and passengers, Madrid is a transport hub thanks to its strategic location. This connectivity also makes Madrid a logistical hub, with 75% of Spain's logistics companies located in Madrid.
  • Tourism – Madrid is the most visited city in Spain. Each year, around 1.8 million international and 3 million local tourists visit Madrid. This creates many job opportunities for the hospitality and service sectors.
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutical – Madrid is a crucial player in the healthcare industry in Spain, especially in biotechnology and the development of innovative prescription drugs. Madrid has 17.5% of the biotech companies in Spain. It’s also home to 80% of the world's largest biomedical and pharmaceutical multinational companies, like FAMAR, LILLY, and PFIZER.

Jobs for English speakers with no experience

With no (relevant) experience and no Spanish, your chances of finding an English-speaking job are lower than those with experience. But you’ll still have plenty of options thanks to tourism being one of the biggest industries in Madrid. You’ll find many jobs at hotels, restaurants, bars, and travel agents.

If you don’t want to work in the tourism or service industry, other popular jobs include a sample preparer, driver, nanny, customer service agent, delivery person, or English teacher.

Where to look for a job in Madrid?

You can find a job in Madrid in 4 ways:

  1. Search for English-speaking jobs at a global company – Madrid is home to many top Spanish companies. Leading local employers in Madrid include Telefónica, Santander, Iberia, Prosegur, and BBVA. Besides these, several big international companies like Amazon, Deloitte, PwC, IBM, and Oracle have headquarters in Madrid. So go to the company’s website and sign up for alerts about new job openings.

  2. Through online networking websites – such as LinkedIn,,,,, Jobandtalent, and Educajob. But don’t just hit send when applying. Check who the hiring manager is and address them in your cover letter to show you pay attention to detail.

  3. Using social media – Although an uncommon source, some expat groups on Facebook advertise new job openings. You can also follow the profiles of companies you are interested in not only to keep up with their business culture and updates but also new job openings.

  4. Register at local job agencies – Job agencies have a long professional relationship with many companies, increasing your likelihood of landing a job.

No matter how you choose to apply for a job, make sure you know a few common phrases in Spanish even if you’re applying for an English-speaking position. Doing so will show the recruiter that you’re an ambitious individual who is eager to integrate into the local culture.

How much will I earn in Madrid?

While the national average salary in Spain is €2,250, the average salary in Madrid is €3,200. The actual salary you receive will, of course, also depend on the industry you’re in, your level of experience, and your education.

Below you can find a list of popular professions with their average salaries:

Job TitleAverage salary in Madrid
Software Engineer€3,100
Project Manager€3,200
Software Developer€3,310
Data Scientist€3,300
Data Analyst€3,390
IT manager€3,660
Financial Analyst€3,700
Mechanical Engineer€3,360
Electrical Engineer€3,160

So use the national average salary or the industry-specific average salaries to negotiate a better deal for yourself.

Once you get the job, don’t forget that you need to open a Spanish bank account to receive your paycheck.

Time to apply!

Now that you know where to look for a job, it’s time to start the application process!

You won’t need a visa to work in Spain if you're an EU citizen. So you’ll only need to obtain a tax ID (the NIE number) to start your career in Madrid.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need a work permit. Once you find a job and receive an offer from the company, your employer has to sponsor you by applying for a permit on your behalf. Then, the immigration office will evaluate your application within 8 months. Once you receive the approval, you can relocate to Spain and arrange mandatory paperwork, such as NIE number and Spanish health insurance.

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