Working in Madrid

Expats working in Madrid can expect to be immersed in a modern city that lays claim to most of the population in Spain's central region, as well as the majority of its economic activity.

Job market in Madrid

As the national capital, the city attracts direct foreign investment as well as a fair number of multinational corporations. The largest economic sector in Madrid is its service industry. The best performing sectors within the industry include corporate services, transport, communications, real estate and financial services.

On average, expats are likely to find more job opportunities in Madrid than in other Spanish cities. However, competition for jobs in Madrid is often much higher than in other major European cities.

Expats working in Madrid will receive some of the highest wages in Spain, which is an additional attraction for those moving to the city. The downside of this is that the growing population and increased demand for real estate mean that the cost of living in Madrid is also higher than the rest of the country. It should also be noted that salaries in Madrid are generally lower than in other Western European countries.

Teaching English in Madrid remains popular among expats in the city, while other industries that are popular with expat employees include IT, finance, skilled labour and engineering. 

Candidates who can speak Spanish or are willing to learn will find themselves at an advantage. Those who are also able to speak a third European language will find that they have more opportunities than the average job seeker in Madrid. 

Finding a job in Madrid

Expats who come from European Union countries have the advantage of not needing a work permit for Spain. Employers also generally offer job contracts to other European nationals before looking outside the continent. 

Expats who are non-EU nationals will need to have a job offer or apply to be self-employed in order to legally work in Madrid.

It is a good idea for expats to contact a recruitment specialist or head-hunter in Spain to assist them in finding a job. There are also several online portals which advertise job openings and should be checked regularly.

Making contacts and networking in Madrid is also important. The power of connections is not to be underestimated and is a principle ingrained in the Spanish working world. Expats should take advantage of any attempt to interact with decision-makers and should make an effort to attend job fairs and group events.

It should also be kept in mind that although many international companies have offices in the city and its diverse economy attracts all kinds of people, it is still important for foreigners to learn at least some Spanish. International business may be conducted in English, but other transactions will most likely occur in the local language.