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Living and Working in Spain

Average Salary in Spain

Living and Working in Spain Typical Non Spanish

With an expat population of just under 5 million (as of 1 January 2019), making up around one tenth of the total population, it’s clear that Spain is a firm favourite among the global expat community. People flock here from every corner of the world in search of better climate, cuisine and culture, but how does the country fare in the salary department? After all, they do say that money makes the world go around. According to a study carried out by Expansión/Macrodatos.com, Spain ranks 23rd out of 41 countries on the list, with an average salary in 2019 coming in at €27,537, which is roughly €2,295 a month with 12 payments. Naturally, as is the case with most countries around the world, salaries depend on a range of factors.

By region

Did you know that Spain is a decentralised country? This essentially means that each of its 17 autonomous regions have their own elected parliament as well as control over a range of services, including healthcare and education. However, and this is where it gets interesting when discussing the average salary in Spain, that only 2 regions, Navarra and the Basque Country, have independent tax systems. The other 15 form part of the country’s tax redistribution system, which in simpler terms means that richer regions transfer taxes to their poorer counterparts.

So, with that in mind, it’s interesting to see that the region with the highest average salary in Spain in 2019 was the Basque Country, with a monthly salary of €2,626.86, and just ahead of Navarra, where it comes in at €2,471.92. Madrid, the country’s capital, on average pays its workers slightly less each month, at €2,408.23. Catalonia, which sought independence and, therefore, fiscal autonomy, from Spain in 2012, pays out an average of €2,379.24 a month to its workers. At the lower end of the scale come Andalusia, with €1,980.97; Extremadura, with €1,928.51; and Canary Islands, where the average monthly salary stands at €1,907.78.

average salary in spain in euros

By profession/category

It goes without saying that, no matter where you are, salaries vary according to a range of factors, but one of the most important variables is, naturally, the job category and/or level of specialisation. The table below shows the average salary by professional category and sex in 2017, according to data by the INE.

Professional category

Average salary in 2019 (Men)

Average salary in 2019 (Women)

Qualified construction works, except machine operators



Drivers and mobile machinery operators



Scientific and intellectual technicians and professionals working in the health and education sectors



Protection and security services workers



Executives and managers



Non-public facing office workers



Labourers in the fishing, agriculture, and construction sectors



Technicians, support professionals



Other scientific and intellectual technicians and professionals



Restaurants and retail workers



Public-facing office workers



Healthcare workers



Fixed machinery operators



Qualified workers in manufacturing industries, except operators



Non-qualified workers in the services industry (except transport)



Qualified workers in the agricultural, livestock, fishing and forestry sectors.


No data available

As for self-employed workers in Spain, according to data published by the INE in 2016, the average salary for “autónomos” in Spain failed to reach the minimum wage (Salario Medio Interprofesional), coming in at just €9,917, almost €2,400 below the reference salary.

average salary in spain by profession

By skill set

Fluency in 2 or more languages is increasingly common in an era of globalisation, but does a multilingual skill set earn you more money? According to an article published by Medium.com, there are more and more companies that claim that their business growth is directly related to multilingualism. The question is, are these companies willing to pay you more? While there is no official data in Spain on the correlation between higher salaries and multilingual workers, an article by a finance expert on Forbes.com indicates that the “ability to converse more adds to your human capital”.

In short, if you’re an expat with plans of making the move to Spain, do your research beforehand so as to avoid having your hopes of earning a high salary dashed. Do your calculations, taking into account the average cost of living and average salary in each region/city according to your profession and level of expertise, but look on the bright side - perhaps your fluency in English or any other language will earn you extra coins.

Download Free Guide:  Cost of Living in Spain

Typical Non Spanish

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