The Complete Guide to the Average Salary in Spain (2022)

Marle

Updated on Jan 31 • 9 minute read

Working expats who want to move to Spain need a Spanish work visa in order to legally reside and work here. But to get a work visa, you need to have an offer from a company in Spain. But how do you know if the offer is good?

This article will help you negotiate for a better offer or a raise by understanding:

  • The minimum salary in Spain
  • The average salary in Spain in 2022
  • A good salary to live comfortably
  • Average salaries across the industries
  • And what factors influencer your salary.

Is Spain a good place to work?

Although Spain has the highest youth unemployment rate and a comparatively low average salary within the EU, it continues to be an attractive place for expats.

Of the many reasons to move to Spain, young expats are attracted to the high quality of life, good work-life balance, and cheaper cost of living. So once expats get a well-paying job in Spain, the benefits of life in Spain outweigh the time it takes to find a relevant job for English speakers.

The biggest and the best cities in Spain are great places to work as they have a big expat network and much more job opportunities for English speakers. So if you’re looking for a job, we recommend looking at the main Spanish cities and then applying at one of the top companies in Spain that offer a working visa to foreigners.

What's the minimum salary in Spain?

In 2022, the minimum wage in Spain is €7.55 per hour. If you’re a full-time employee working 40 hours a month, that’s €1,125.83 per month paid over 12 months or €965 per month paid over 14 payments (2 extra payments are made in July and December). This adds up to €13,510 per year.

Most companies in Spain make 14 payments in a year- 12 monthly payments plus an additional payment in July and in December.

With these levels, Spain has the seventh highest minimum wage (salario mínimo interprofessional or SMI) out of 22 European countries.

The last time the minimum wage was raised was in September 2021. Due to the recent inflation, unions are urging for a rise in the minimum wage in 2022. But this hasn’t been finalised yet as banks caution that this could cause prices to rise further.

Do interns get minimum wage in Spain?

Unfortunately, this minimum wage does not always apply to interns in Spain. If you’re still a student, you’ll most likely be compensated a maximum of €300 for travel or lunch. But if you’ve graudated and are undertaking an extracurricular internship, you should get at least minimum wage.

What is the average salary in Spain in 2022?

In 2022, the average salary in Spain is €2,710 gross per month or €32,520 per year. Since this represents the average, 25% of the population makes less than €1,600 and 75% earns less than €7,080.

When compared to other European countries, Spain’s average net salary sits in the middle.

CountryAverage Net SalaryComparison with Spain
Spain€1,408baseline
Netherlands€2,629+87%
Germany€2,565+82%
Sweden€2,525+79%
France€2,275+61%
Italy€1,446+3%
Estonia€1,200-16%
Portugal€859-39%
Greece€742-47%

Although the average salary in Spain is in the middle when compared to the average salary across the 27 European countries, you’ve to remember that Spain’s cost of living is also considerably lower.

What's a good salary for a comfortable life in Spain?

Considering the average cost of living in Spain, a good salary for a comfortable life in Spain is €2,700 for a single person or €4,000 for someone supporting their family.

For your reference, if we account for rent, groceries, health insurance, public transport, and leisure costs, then the average cost of living in Spain is:

  • €1,100 per month for a single person on a tight budget.
  • €1,750 per month for a single person with a moderate budget.
  • €2,200 to €2,881 per month for a family with children.

Don’t forget that in Barcelona you need more money to live on average than you need in cities such as Màlaga or any suburb. So keep this in mind when negotiating your salary!

The average salary in Spain 2022 (per career sector)

Your career choice is the determining factor for your true average salary. So how much should you earn in your career field in Spain?

Job TitleAverage Salary in Spain
Accountant€ 2,100
Financial Analyst€ 3,508
Human Resources Manager€ 4,150
Bank Branch Manager€ 5,125
Business Analyst€ 3,616
Sales Manager€ 4,591
Office Manager€ 2,558
Project Manager€ 3,241
Secretary€ 1,441
Creative Director€ 2,791
Graphic Designer€ 2,791
Developer€ 2,758
Engineer€ 2,750
Aerospace Engineer€ 3,675
Flight Attendant€ 1,966
Architect€ 3,375
Mechanic€ 1,160
Bilingual Teacher€ 2,250
Project Manager€ 3,441
Construction Project Manager€ 4,608
Civil Engineer€ 2,516
Customer Service Representitive€ 1,210
Receptionist€ 1,150
Waiter/ Waitress€ 1,030
Chef€ 1,875
Dentist€ 6,575
Pharmacist€ 3,650
Attorney€ 5,258

But remember, this is just the average salary and that the actual salary you might get or deserve, depends on a variety of factors.

Factors that influencer your salary

Needless to say, the average salary only gives you only a benchmark of what you can expect. In the end, your actual gross salary depends on these 6 factors:

  1. Career field
  2. Location in Spain
  3. Nationality
  4. Experience level
  5. Level of education
  6. Gender

1. Your salary varies with your career field.

As you can see from the previous table, the salary you earn in Spain (or anywhere else) heavily depends on which career field you choose.

Some of the highest paying jobs in Spain include:

  • Surgeon: € 64,500 yearly
  • Project manager engineer: € 59,900 euros yearly
  • Sales manager: € 58,880 yearly
  • IT director: € 48,000 yearly

Overall, the sectors that pay the highest salaries include banking, insurance, health, engineering, and IT.

As an expat, it’s also good for you to know that some of the most in-demand jobs in Spain are high paying and difficult to fill locally. So if you want to apply for a job in Spain, consider these professions:

  • Data scientist
  • Computer engineer
  • Computer programmer or engineer
  • Commercial technician
  • Business developer
  • Account manager (with multilingual capabilities)
  • Doctor
  • Qualified operators.

2. The largest cities in Spain offer the highest average salaries

The average salary in Spain varies based on your location. While you will earn an average of €3,130 in the metropolis Barcelona, you can expect an average salary of €2,910 in Málaga.

Don't forget: the cost of living in Barcelona is higher than in Málaga.

CityAverage Salary
Barcelona€ 3,130
Madrid€ 3,190
Valencia€ 3,080
Málaga€ 2,910
Sevilla€ 3,020
Bilbao€ 2,690

3. Your experience level drives your wage

Your pay rate will increase as you gain work experience. As a guideline, with 2 - 5 years of work experience, you’ll earn an average of 32% more than an entry-level employee. With more than 5 years of experience, you can expect a raise of 36% and with 10+ years of experience, a 21% raise.

4. Your Non-EU status can be beneficial

In general, non-EU expats tend to earn more than the average annual salary as they need a work visa. Since a work visa is granted to those who’re filling a job on the shortage list, you’re in high demand. In other words, since the government cannot favour local employees to help the country’s unemployment situation, it translates to a higher salary for expats.

Alternatively, highly skilled or educated expats can also apply for the highly skilled worker visa which has a minimum salary requirement of €55,142 a year for managers or directors and €40,077 a year for scientists.

Either way, expats can earn higher average salaries than locals as they’re in demand for fulfilling hard to fill positions.

5. Your level of education sets the tone

In some sectors or for some professions, a higher education matters a lot. If you believe a higher education makes you a better candidate, then you can use your level of education as an argument for your salary in a job interview.

Take these figures as a reference for your monthly income:

Education LevelHigher salary in %
Diploma or certificate+ 17% more than high school diploma
Bachelor's Degree+ 24% more than with certificate only
Master's degree+ 29% more than Bachelor's Degree
PhD+ 23% more than Master's Degree

6. Your gender still shapes your salary

Even though it's 2022 Spain is still behind in getting gender pay equality. Unfortunately gender continues to negatively influence salary in Spain and women earn on average 4% less than their male counterparts.

GenderAverage Gross Salary
Male€ 2,770
Female€ 2,660

Don't use this factor as an indicator to settle on your gender-determined salary. Instead, use it as an incentive to get to the same level as men as a woman.

Please reach out to content@housingnayhwere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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