Jobs in Barcelona – The Honest Truth About Working in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world and as a place to live it has a variety that most other cities just cannot compete with.

No wonder many people thinking of working in Spain consider moving to Barcelona and finding a job.

Spain’s second largest city is actually the fourth most visited city in Europe because of the many famous tourist attractions such as the Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia, Saint Eulalia Cathedral and the Castell dels Tres Dragons.

We know Barcelona is rich in culture with many famous monuments and sites but it is also a fantastic place to live being located on the coast with wonderful beaches right in the heart of the city such as Mar Bella. For winter ski lovers you are only two hours away from ski resorts in the Pyrenees.

Few cities allow you so many options for leisure and culture. FC Barcelona are one of the most famous football teams in the world playing at the famous Nou Camp stadium – there are many possibilities for living the outdoor lifestyle and keeping fit.

Below we will give you a guide on what sort of jobs in Barcelona you can expect to find, particularly if you are an English-speaking person.job-spain-graphic

Employers – Are you looking for staff and employees in Barcelona?

List your vacancies at the bottom of the page.

Want a job in Barcelona?

Add yourself to our free email job alerts for Barcelona in the newsletter box in the right-hand navigation sidebar or list your job wanted in Barcelona in the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Other vacancies in Spain are listed on our main job page.

Work For English Speakers

Most of the advice on this page is aimed towards English-speaking people looking for jobs in Barcelona.

Unfortunately Barcelona will be one of the hardest places in Spain to find work if you are an English speaker. Even if you are fluent in Spanish the problem with Barcelona is that they are fiercely nationalistic and speak Catalan and not what we know as Spanish, which is actually Castilian (Castellano in Spanish).

In the sections below we concentrate on the best possibilities for finding English jobs in Barcelona. As a general rule the city is best for finding professional jobs with major international companies based in Barcelona.

Alternatively you will be looking for work such as becoming a nanny in Barcelona or an au pair in Barcelona whereby you will be living with a family and looking after their children while they work. These Spanish families will be employing you so that their children also pick up the English-language.

There are other smaller towns in Spain which have large expatriates populations in comparison to the native Spanish population. In these towns there are better possibilities for working all the year round providing services to English-speaking people such as tradesmen jobs like plumbing and electricians.

We refer to towns such as Marbella and Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol or Torrevieja and the surrounding area on the Costa Blanca.

Realistically, working and living in Barcelona and getting a job there will require some knowledge of Catalan.

Barcelona Summer Jobs

There are much better places in Spain to look for summer jobs but because Barcelona does have a thriving tourist industry there will of course be opportunities in the peak summer months to find work.

You should be aware when looking for summer jobs in Barcelona that the month of August is actually relatively quiet because many residents go on holiday to other parts of Spain. So there is actually less work than you might think but nevertheless the influx of tourists means many bars and restaurants will require extra help.


Certainly if you are a student looking for work in Barcelona we would steer you towards the more popular tourist destinations elsewhere in Spain where it is much easier to find work in bars and restaurants.

Most summer jobs will be in the tourist trade such as serving behind the bar or waiting on tables in popular restaurants located in the city centre or on the beachfront. Some opportunities exist for cooks and chefs in the kitchens.

Other seasonal opportunities to work in Barcelona would include working in the many hotels and hostels located throughout the city and naturally which experience extra demand in the summer.

Hotel jobs in Barcelona working as a receptionist are very rare and you would need to speak Catalan as well as Castilian. More likely you would get work as a waiter or waitress.

Hourly rates of pay in Barcelona are likely to be around €5 an hour for seasonal and summer jobs.

Bar Work in Barcelona

One of the most popular summer jobs in Spain is working in a bar in a tourist resort. Barcelona will also fit into this category and the good thing is that you will need only to speak limited Spanish or Catalan in order to serve drinks and give the correct change.

As usual we would still advise that you are better off looking at the international tourist resorts on the Spanish islands such as such the popular Canary Islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria.

The Balearic Islands are also very popular especially Ibiza and Majorca/Mallorca.

All of these islands have busy resorts famous for their nightlife and packed with hundreds of bars catering exclusively to international tourists where you can even get a job without speaking a word of Spanish.

The best opportunity in Barcelona for work and jobs would be in one of the expat bars specifically aimed towards the foreign population. These will include popular English pubs and Irish bars.

We recommend asking for work in these Barcelona bars:

  1. The Queen Vic at Nou de la Rambla 24, 08001 Barcelona.
  2. George Payne Irish Bar – Plaza Urquinaona, 5 Barcelona.
  3. Flaherty’s Irish Pub – Plaça de Joaquim Xirau, 08002 Barcelona, Spain.
  4. The Quiet Man – C/ Marquès De Barberà 11 08001 Barcelona, Spain 934 121 219.
  5. The Temple Bar – Passatge Madoz 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain, Tel: 933 179 432.
  6. Scobies Irish Bar – C/ Balmes 8, 08007 Barcelona, Spain, tel: 933 018 594
  7. George & Dragon – C/ Diputació 269, 08007 Barcelona, Spain, tel: 934 881 765
  8. The Shamrock – C/ Tallers 72, 08001 Barcelona, Spain, 934 124 636.
  9. The Philharmonic – C/ Mallorca 204, 08036 Barcelona, Spain, Tel: 934 515 043.
  10. Dow Jones – C/ Bruc 97, 08009 Barcelona, Spain, Tel: 934 763 831

Try also Mollys Fair City, O’Hara’s, Ryans Irish Pub Paradis, Flann O’Brien, Dublin Irish sport tavern, Hogan’s, Irish Rambler, Jules Verne, Paddy’s Lane Irish Bar, Temple Stone Bar and the Fastnet Irish Pub.

Sales and Marketing

Most of the towns we cover for getting jobs in Spain are tourist destinations, yet Barcelona offers something different in that it is headquarters to so many multinational companies.

Not many Spanish towns can compare to Barcelona for sales jobs. Major companies have vacancies in the sales and marketing departments and there are many businesses with call centres which will require English speaking people catering to the large expat population in Spain. Of course many of these positions require a degree of Spanish and Catalan.

IT & Computer Jobs

I.T. stands for information technology and there are a number of vacancies and positions for IT jobs in Barcelona predominantly working for international companies looking after their computer systems. These could include popular Barcelona employers such as American Express, Avis and Hewlett-Packard.

If you are a contractor or programmer and able to offer backend computer support you may be lucky enough to find a job in Barcelona living in one of the best cities in the world for lifestyle.

Of course one of the great things about IT jobs is that you won’t need to speak any Spanish at all.

What Work Is There in Barcelona for Expats?

Because Barcelona has the problem of the language of Catalan it means that to find work in the city requires a degree of skills and qualifications that are not readily found in the resident population.

barcelona streetsEnglish speaking people that we know of, who have found work in Barcelona have specific skills in graphic design, design, finance or fashion.

This is definitely the city to find professional jobs such as human resources, media, admin, customer service, secretarial, legal or accounting positions. If you are an executive or at board level see our Barcelona headhunters page to find top-level managerial positions in Barcelona.

The vast range of nationalities working in Barcelona is vast and you will find many Germans, Dutch, French, Scandinavians, Americans, Canadians, Colombians, Moroccans, Romanians, Polish, Russians etc.

Some other miscellaneous types of jobs that you might just be able to find as an English speaker would be in nursing, care, hairdressing, telemarketing, telesales, photographer, personal trainer, fitness, beautician, secretarial, admin and as a journalist or writer.

ESL/TEFL Teaching Jobs

We have discussed how difficult it can be to find jobs in Barcelona for English-speaking people but when it comes to your language, the obvious use is to look at a teaching job. Barcelona has many of the biggest companies in Spain with headquarters here so there are plenty of translation jobs in Barcelona.

For ambitious Spaniards looking to increase their income opportunities being able to speak English is very important in order to progress up to executive or board level.

Barcelona is also home to many international schools with English as the first language. At these international schools in Barcelona there are teaching positions.

A professional teaching qualification for teaching English such as the internationally recognised TEFL certificate (ESL and TESOL are also recognised) will go a long way towards being able to find well paying work.

Benjamin Franklin International School – A welcoming International School with over 40 nationalities in the heart of Barcelona, Spain.

Learn about Rachel from America who went through the International TEFL Academy certification and has been teaching English in Barcelona Spain:

Rules and Regulations

Most casual seasonal jobs will be paid in cash without a working contract, leaving you with no entitlement to any benefits such as free medical treatment if you are suddenly taken to hospital or fall sick.

Ensure you are employed on an official contract entitling you to the Spanish social security system and its free medical care and pension system.

You will not require a visa to work in Barcelona if you are a national of an EU European country such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland.

Other foreign nationals such as Americans, Australians and Canadians will be required to apply for a visa from the Spanish embassy or consulate in their own country before they can travel to Spain. This visa usually will last three months at which point you have to leave the country.

When deciding what job offers to accept try to take those that come with an official working contract which is usually for a duration of three months. An official contract entitles you to the free Spanish state healthcare system, free Spanish school system and unemployment and pension benefits.

An official job will require a tax identification number known in Spain as the N.I.E number for foreigners. This is relatively easy to obtain, just go to your nearest police station or Social Security office with your documentation such as passport or driver’s license. You will need to fill out a form and a temporary number and certificates will be issued to you.

Where to Find Work

Barcelona job websites & forums – there are plenty of Internet sites and job forums advertising the latest job vacancies. We offer this service whereby at the bottom of our page employers and job seekers can list their jobs vacancies in Barcelona.

Craigs List Barcelona – Craigs List is a global classified advertisement website which has a specific Barcelona section for jobs.

Other popular websites for finding jobs in Barcelona include Loquo Barcelona. At the time of writing we can see they have over 23,000 jobs advertised in these main categories:

  • Software / Internet
  • Engineering / Architecture
  • Healthcare
  • Design / Creative
  • Marketing / Advertising
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Office / HR
  • Accounting / Finance
  • Education / Teaching
  • Hospitality / Waiters
  • Hairstylist / Beautician
  • Logistics
  • Construction / Maintenance
  • Part-time / Internships

Word of Mouth – Most jobs in Barcelona will not be advertised especially those of a part-time nature or summer jobs in Barcelona. Many bars or restaurants will simply put a notice in their window asking for staff. It also helps to be in Barcelona asking around and making contacts.

Barcelona newspapers – The city has a number of free magazines and newspapers in English which typically have classified job advertisement sections.

One of the best-known is the Barcelona Metropolitan magazine. This is a free monthly publication in English with a classified job section at the back.

This is a great place to find those expat jobs specifically aimed at English-speaking people. The magazine is distributed at many popular spots throughout the city or you can go direct to their website.

If you can speak some Spanish or Catalan then the daily newspapers are definitely worth looking at because they all have classified job sections.

La Vanguardia

El Pais

Our main employment page also has some good job sources which would equally apply to Barcelona such as recruitment agencies or employment agencies.

Empresas de Trabajo Temporal (ETT) are recruitment agencies in Spain – mostly professional and admin work on temporary contracts.


Wikipedia Barcelona – Open source travel guide to Barcelona featuring up-to-date information on sights, history, climate, facts and figures, travel tips and more.

Ajuntament Barcelona – The official Barcelona website created by the City Council, is a channel of communication with all topics of visiting and living in Barcelona covered.


Below is a You Tube video showing the very best sights in Barcelona and why it would make a fantastic place to live and work.


We receive hundreds of e-mails from people wanting to work in Barcelona. In reality it is one of the hardest places in Spain to find a job despite it being the second largest city – you may wish to also consider the capital Madrid if you want to find work in a major Spanish city.

The problem stems from the fact that Barcelona speaks the language of Catalan which is spoken by very few people outside the region of Catalonia.

It makes finding work and jobs extremely difficult for foreigners and in particular English-speaking people.

You’ll find much more success in finding work in Spain on the many holiday islands in Spain or Costa del Sol which is full of expatriates and is more international.

Below are some of the main sections and frequently asked questions about finding work in jobs in Barcelona.

  • Is the cost of living in Barcelona high?
  • Are there jobs in Barcelona for English speakers?
  • Jobs in Barcelona for Americans
  • Where can I find jobs in Barcelona?
  • Popular Types of Work and Job Vacancies
  • Summer Jobs in Barcelona 2017
  • Part-Time Work in Barcelona

Staff Required? Employers – please list your jobs in Barcelona below – IT IS FREE!!

Please leave your details below in the comments box if you WANT TO WORK IN BARCELONA!!

Most Popular Places in Spain To Find Work:

Most Popular Work:

Helpful Pages if Moving to Spain:

How to Move to Spain

Find Long-Term Lets & Rentals

Guide to Property in Spain

I Hate Spain – Disadvantages

We also have our main Help Finding a Job in Spain Section.



  1. Hi
    Traveling from Dublin looking to move to Barcelona for a while
    I have worked in Call centre helpdesk jobs also worked for a year as a waitress in a pub



  2. Rosie Furnival says:

    Hi there,
    I am a 25 year old chef looking for work in barcelona. I have run a small kitchen, as well as catering for private functions such as weddings and christenings. I am fun, easy to get along with and hard working. I would be looking for a permanent position in a kitchen starting in August. I speak conversational spanish, but would like to become fluent. Please email me with any relevant jobs.
    Thanks a lot

  3. MICHAEL P. says:


    we are looking for an Group leader-director for an english summer camp in Begues, a small village in the Garraf about 30km from BCN in the hills above Casteldefels.

    It’s 3 weeks, June 29 to July 20.

    Responsibilities include coordinate teaching kids (7-14 year olds) and teaching one group for three hours a day and then accompanying them on their other activities during the rest of the day (including going to Port Aventura, kayaking, pony riding…).

    You get 1.5 days off and pay is 500€/week before tax.

    Accommodation is provided for to sleep there the nights.

    With CELTA or DELTA course of Cambdridge English or similar studies

    You need to be a responsible, active, sporty type who likes being with kids.

    Native English speaker with experience teaching children and teens, preferible in summer camps too.


  4. Bed Prasad Belbase says:

    My work fild is interior decorater.I do falls ceiling, filll puttin and make smooth on it,painting, assembling furniture and related of decorating work.if you are looking for a worker like don’t hesitate to leave me message.
    I’m seeking to get my field job in barcelona. my email adress is
    Ved Prasad

  5. Banafshé Hosseini says:

    Hello, my name is Banafshé and I am a 23 year old female from Toronto, Canada. My dream is to move to Spain this summer 2014 and start working, perhaps as an English teacher. I have plenty of experience, not only in teaching, but also in many other fields. I also speak French and Farsi.
    Please do email me if there are any jobs available, I am confident that I will be an asset at your institution.

  6. Hi,

    My name is Katy, I have a Master’s degree in History of Art from Christie’s Education (the London auction house) and I am looking for work in the arts sector in Barcelona. I have experience of working in luxury retail and managing a brand in a high-fashion environment. I am highly knowledgable in the fields of art and fashion and wish to find a career in Barcelona.
    I am a native English speaker, with basic French and Spanish language skills.

    Please contact me at f you have a suitable opportunity.

    Kind Regards,

    Katy Christensen

  7. constantinos says:

    Hi my name is constantinos ,
    i am looking for a CHEFS job in Barcalona from the 4th of feduary , iwill be relocating there from Australia . I have 8 y10 years experiance and willing to start in any position in the kitchen to start with and projcet my skillls to rise in the ranks . Iam english speaking ,greek italian little french and also basic spanish .
    KIND regards and thanks

  8. Mohammed NAsser says:

    Dear Sirs,

    I found this site interesting and would love to try my luck out. I’m Mohammed from United Arab Emirates , Age 27. I have 2 years experience of Customer Service and Admin assistant in HR , I speak English /Arabic and Hind but i would love extend my experience working in new fields such as Customer service ,Call Center, Receptionist , sales assistant or any other jobs can be found . I also have a hobby to draw so any work with drawings i could help too. I would be very happy and grateful to have any opportunity from Barcelona , Please contact me if there’s any quarries needed .

    Thanks and Regards,


  9. Robert McGrath says:

    I am a highly qualified Executive Chef from the American Southwest. I have been recognized as one of the Ten Best Chefs in America by Food & Wine Magazine; a winner of The James Beard Foundation Best Chefs in America Award; supervised the culinary operations for the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations in the US; cooked in Monte Carlo for Alain Ducasse for Craig Claiborne’s 70th Birthday at Hotel de Paris & the Rothschild Villa in Cap Ferrat; authored a best selling cookbook; won an Emmy for my television program, Check Please! Arizona; have visited Barcelona several times (enjoyed El Bulli, Cal Isidre, Passidis del Pep, Quimet & Quimet, Colibri and many other fine Catalan restaurants (as well as wonderful little restaurants in Barcelonetta). I would enjoy an opportunity to bring my culinary skills to Barcelona an at the same time learn from the vibrant culinary

    • Chuy Cervantes says:

      Hey Robert, i’m traveling Spain via Austin, TX, and have ended up in Barcelona with the same hopes of making my way into a kitchen, hoping to learn as much as possible, with someone as qualified as yourself I cant imagine it would’ve been to difficult? Any luck, Advice?

      Thanks a Bunch,


  10. Chantelle says:

    Hulla 😀 i am chantelle and i am 20 years i old and i live in the UK. i really want to work in Spain i have got experience in bar tending, admin, and customer service i would be willing to take up anyj ob offer that you have my dream is to work in spain and i am a very reliable person very good time keeping and very good at adapting to jobs if if you could give me the chance i can prove it i am a very hard working girl! i really hope to hear from you soon!!

    • David McMillan says:

      Hi Chantelle,

      We have a telesales role based in Barcelona if that is of interest? Please send me your CV to and we will be in touch.


      David McMillan

    • Hi ladies,

      If you are still interested in work then kindly email me and send your CV and photos. I have different work opportunities for young people all over Europe and all throughout the year so plenty of opportunities if you are serious and interested.


  11. SANDEEP MAKKAR says:

    Hello sir, i am sandeep makkar. i have + from C.B.S.E. i am a bsc hotel management person. i was 12 month work in dubai THE MEYDAN HOTEL . I would like to work at abroad.

  12. tiziana says:

    Hi, my name is Tiziana, italian. i have been working in ireland for the last 6 years. At first as a manager in a shop and for the last year and a half in a credit card company. My English is fluent and i speak Japanese too. I own a university degree in translation and interpretation to and from Italian, English and Japanese. And i am a credited yoga teacher. I am studying Spanish at the moment in order to be able to work and live in Spain… and i would love to move there as soon as possible!

  13. Patrycia says:

    Hello my name is Patrycia i come from Poland but i live in Scotland 7 Years . I want to go to Spain and found job . I ve`got experience with Position : Housekeeper, Kitchen Porter, Waitress , I want found smomething this role . I am hard working women and punctually . For any more information about me please contact me by e-maill . Thanks

  14. Andre avontuur says:

    Andre Avontuur – Michael Jackson

    Play video
    Show in Spain, This Is It.
    Added on 3/31/2012

    Dear Entertainment Company
    My name is Andre Avontuur, 29 years old, and I come from Cape Town South Africa. I am a vibrant and energetic individual with vision and passion for entertainment.

    For the passed 3 years I’ve performed in Spain, Costa Brava, Costa Dorada and Costa Blanca with the show This Is It, a tribute to Michael Jackson.This was a very successful show which i have choreographed.
    I always enjoyed this very much, and we had a great show. Maybe you even know the show.

    Last year was my last year for the company I worked for, and I would like to work for another company this year doing what im good at, Michael Jackson.

    If you are still looking for a MJ act, I would like to get in touch, to talk about season 2013. On You Tube there is several videos of the show.

    This year i would like to present a solo Act. I am also very flexible if you would like to add members to the show to form a group.

    If you’re interested in working together this summer. Please contact me.

    Skype – Andreavontuur1234

    Contact number – +27 786 435 781

    For any more infortmation you would like to know about more in detail please feel free to ask.
    Kind Regards,

    Andre Avontuur

  15. Hi, i’m a lithuanian girl currently living in the UK. Hoping to find a job in Spain, prefer Barcelona, but other cities would be OK too, for the summer, such as a waitress, or any other that involves working with tourists or simply customer service. Hope to receive some offers. 🙂

    • Hi,

      If you are still interested in work then kindly email me and send your CV and photos. I have different work opportunities for young people all over Europe and all throughout the year so plenty of opportunities if you are serious and interested.


  16. Fanny Faragó says:

    Hi Everyone, I’m Fanny and I will finish secondary school in this year. I want to spend my summer in Spain, with relaxing and work as well. I would like to apply for any types of work there, mostly by hotels or bars. My best friend, Sophie Réti would go with me too. We speak english and german on intermediate level (with language exams). I hope there will be opportunities for both of us. We are responsible and flexible too, and we’re really good at dealing with people. It would be a great part of our summer, we’re not afraid of work. 🙂 If you interested in our help, just send me an e-mail, and I will enclose the CVs.
    Best Wishes
    Sophie & Fanni

    • Hi ladies,

      If you are still interested in work then kindly email me and send your CV and photos. I have different work opportunities for young people all over Europe and all throughout the year so plenty of opportunities if you are serious and interested.


  17. Marius Farcas says:

    Hi, My name is Marius and I m an experienced HANDYMAN /GARDENER /CARETAKER. I am currently self employed in my own Maintenence business in England but would like to move to Spain…mainland or one of the Canary Islands. I am a fluent English speaker with a little knowledge of Spanish. I am 38 and single. If you have any job oppertunities in Property Maintenance or Construction I would love to hear about tham.

  18. Carmen Fratila says:

    Hi! My name is Carmen I’m from Romania and I am an ex-teacher of English with an about 25 years’ experience with children especially teaching English. I’d like to work and live in a Spanish family with children for looking after them and speaking English as well, and also to do some housework.
    I can speak and understand Spanish. I was in Barcelona in summer of 2011 for finding a job but unfortunately I didn’t know anybody there.
    If you are interested in further information about me I can send you my CV in English
    Hoping for a positive and a sooner reply, I wish you all the best.
    Thanks a lot!

  19. salman javed says:

    Asslam O Alaikum Sir my name si salman javed and i m 23 years old and i m looking for job as waitress/barmaid in Barcelona.i have worked last few years in restaurent in big city plz give me job and i wanted to start work from january.Thank you.

  20. Hola 🙂 I’m girl from Poland and I’m looking for job as waitress/ barmaid in Barcelona. I have worked few years in pubs and restaurant in big city (also in catering service and on weddings). I can start work from January. Thank you.

    • Hi ladies,

      If you are still interested in work then kindly email me and send your CV and photos. I have different work opportunities for young people all over Europe and all throughout the year so plenty of opportunities if you are serious and interested.


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