Welcome to our page on finding jobs and work on the largest and most popular Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife.
Why is Tenerife so popular?
Tenerife has something for everyone, vibrant nightlife, good beaches and quiet charming resorts. The scenery and the landscape is like you’ve never seen before. Highlights will include a cable car ride to the summit of Mount Teide or a camel safari or dolphin spotting.
“It is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² (785.47 mi2) and 908,555 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most of any Canary Islands.” Source: Wikipedia Tenerife
At the bottom of the page we invite employers and job seekers to list your jobs wanted in Tenerife.
Most of the jobs advice on this page is aimed towards jobs in Tenerife for English-speaking people. Head for the south of the island where you will find most of the job opportunities on offer as it is where the biggest tourist resorts are located.
So what is it like to live in Tenerife, watch this short video to find out!
Working in Tenerife in 2023 or 2024
The Canary island of Tenerife is only 300 km away from Africa yet it belongs to Spain. Tenerife is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe because of the all year round climate.
In the winter many of the popular resorts on the Costa del Sol, Spain’s most popular tourist coast, get quite cold and so Tenerife being much further south scores highly because many people come here for the mild winter weather and climate.
If you are hoping to live and work on Tenerife on a full-time basis this is good because it means there are more job opportunities than other areas of Spain and the work is not just seasonal.
Tenerife is the largest of the seven Spanish Canary Islands. If you want to consider job opportunities on neighbouring islands, our best recommendations would be to look for jobs in Gran Canaria, jobs in Lanzarote or work in Fuerteventura.
Alternatively try these smaller Canary Islands which also have tourist jobs in the summer: La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, Alegranza, Isla de Lobos, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste.
Tenerife however is probably the best place to consider searching for work because of its huge popularity and size.
Many people who consider looking for jobs in Spain are drawn to finding work on mainland Spain perhaps on the Costa Blanca or Costa Brava where many expatriates have settled without realising how quiet it is in the wintertime and how few jobs opportunities there are.
Do I Need a Visa to Work in Tenerife?
If you are an EU citizen then you won’t need a visa to get a job in Tenerife. If you a resident of the United States, Canada or Australia or any other non-European Union country then you will need to apply to the Spanish Embassy in your country for a visa which will be valid for three months.
Do I Need a NIE Number to Work in Tenerife?
Most jobs in Tenerife are paid unofficially in cash and you are working illegally. If this is the case you won’t need a NIE number.
Your N.I.E. number is your tax identification number in Spain (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros).
Getting an N.I.E. number in Tenerife – Go to the local police station and fill out the necessary forms. Some basic details are required such as address, name, passport number etc. Obviously the form is in Spanish. You should be issued with a temporary card on the spot. Take a copy of your passport and a passport sized photo just in case.
Real Experiences of Working Full-Time in Tenerife
Marie sent us this letter which we think is incredibly useful if you are intending on searching for full-time work:
Some people write that foreigners come to Spain to the most touristic areas and that is the wrong choice. But it is an understandable choice – for many people it is exactly the sea and the beach that is most appealing. I moved to the south of Tenerife nearly three years ago, it was intended as a 4-5 months’ stay, but I loved the place and decided to stay on and try to settle in.
I did not speak Spanish when I came, but, naturally, in the process of living here I have learned to speak it enough to get by with authorities etc., though not enough to work for an all-Spanish firm. I would not say I stayed hoping for a laid-back life style, I love to work and have a great sense of responsibility for doing a good job, what was appealing to me was the vicinity of beach and the possibility to go there after work and at weekends, all year round – it does work as great stress relief and gives the change of pace and relaxation like nothing else. I am also a very adaptable person, and get along with most people I meet, despite nationality, race, age, or educational background.
Whatever negative comments I have read here about Spanish people can be applied to many other nations. I have met many good Spanish people here; yes, you have to speak their language as most of them do not speak English at all or not sufficiently to hold a meaningful conversation. There are cultural differences, of course, yes, there is the mañana thing, but not everyone is the same. I have dealt with very efficient and helpful people in the municipality, in gestoria, in court, in car rental agency, just to name a few. It appears to be a combination of luck as well as your own attitude: even a very professional and helpful person will turn his/her unfriendly side to you if your manner expresses mistrust and expectation of inefficiency or failure.
Tenerife, naturally, does not have a wide selection of office jobs for qualified professionals, and the competition is fierce, that is only to be expected. The only truly bad thing here, as well as in the continental Spain for what I hear from other people, is the labour market situation. It does not concern people who come here for retirement or have tons of money or a good business idea (the latter two categories are not guaranteed against meeting the labour market face to face at some point either), but people who need a job to live. Salaries are low, that is one thing, but what is worse is that you can almost never hope to get a permanent contract, whether you are Canarian or whatever you are.
This was the “brilliant” idea of the Spanish goverment to fight the recession of 2008 – to relax the legislation concerning temporary contracts – and vola! – the official unemployment rates have dropped allowing the governement to start boasting everywhere about the so-called Spanish miracle. In practice, it means this: you are given a temporary contract, usually 3 or 6 months initially, then it may be prolonged to one year, but not beyond that because in this case the employer must give you a permanent contract. In order to avoid this, they fire you, no matter whether you are good or bad at your job, you have your 4 months of unemployment benefits, and then the cycle repeats – work for maximum 1 year, 4 months of benefits. Hotel chains might move you to another hotel after those 4 months. Car rental agencies works the same way. So there is an army of hotel receptionists, car rental agents, waiters, cooks, and chambermaids, as well as office clerks, migrating from company to company in a cycle. Experience and work quality mean nothing, what matters to the employer is not to give you a permanent contract and not to pay you sickness/holidays/pension at all costs. There are some companies who do value employees and offer permanent contracts to good workers, but they are so few that by the time you find one you will already be planning to move away. It is not surprising that the customer service is often bad as people are discouraged and depressed. Funnily enough, it is mainly British-owned firms that offer better conditions and permanent contracts, but they are so few and often out of reach for the locals due to poor command of English.
Many young Canarians, both single and families, who try to build an independent life, are often forced to give up and move back with theirs parents simply not being able to continue paying the rent. Foreigners fight for a while and leave the island. Understandably, this situation on the labour market means that there is no stability and no way to plan anything for a longer term, not to mention any career growth of course. If you need to work for a living, sooner or later this instability gets to you and you realise that not even the vicinity of the ocean helps on the general mood.
Very sadly, after all this time, I am leaving for UK. After witnessing the job market and seeing everyone I know being thrown about like garbage for all this time, no sun and beach can beat a permanent contract in UK and its dignified work conditions. It is painful to see people here struggling. It is not true at all that all Spanish are so lazy as many people seem to believe, many of them work like slaves in inhuman conditions and no hope for any change. I have been extremely lucky here with my landlord, and a well-paid job that was excellent until a new manager came, but it is a mistake to think that the situation that the majority of people are in will never touch me, and staying on will just be pushing my luck. Compared to the situation on the labour market, all I have read here is petty complaints about things that are either unpredictable accidents or things one can adjust to. After all this, I would never say I hate Spain or Tenerife! I love this island so much, it is a fantastic place in so many aspects, and I only feel huge compassion for people who live and work here, and can only hope that this situation will improve the sooner the better.
Where is the Best Place to Find Work?
If you don’t know anything about Tenerife we have small sections below on each of the main tourist resorts and towns.
This will give you a good idea of where to focus your search for work and the types of jobs that you might expect.
Naturally most of these jobs are tourist related but further down the page we also have other jobs that other English speaking people have obtained in Tenerife.
The best places to finding work would be the busiest tourist resorts which are Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos.
These very busy and lively and quite wild at times!
They certainly do appeal to the younger generation so if you are of an older generation, perhaps the place to look is the capital of Tenerife which is Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a lovely town and port.
Another extremely popular tourist resort which is a little bit more upmarket is Puerto de la Cruz.
These are the most popular tourist resorts on Tenerife: Santa Cruz de Tenerife (the capital), Amarilla Golf, Costa Adeje, El Medano, Garachico, Guia De Isora, Los Cristianos, Los Gigantes, Playa De La Arena, Playa De Las Americas, Playa Paraiso, Puerto De La Cruz, Puerto De Santiago and San Miguel De Abona.
Playa de las Americas
Playa de las Americas is the busiest resort on Tenerife which makes it the best town in which to search for jobs on the island. There is a good choice of beaches, marina and port.
Playa de las Americas is a good place to work as it has many bars and restaurants as well as nightclubs in which you find the usual tourist related jobs such as bartender, waiter, waitress, chef, PR reps or dancers and entertainers.
Concentrate your search for work in the famous Veronica Strip area where the clubs open until the early hours and there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can ask for work.
Just 1.5 kilometres from the centre of Playa de las Americas is the quieter area of Playa de Fanabe. Transfer time to Playa de las Americas which is 17.5km from Reina Sofia airport is about 30-45 minutes.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz is a more residential resort which still has plenty of restaurants and bars but retains its charms as a fishing village.
Located on the north-west coast 35km from the capital of Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz has black volcanic sand as do most of Tenerife’s beaches.
For jobs concentrate your search on the main shopping strip of Avenida de Colon and the Plaza de Charco.
Costa Adeje is located to the north of the beach resort of Playa de las Americas and is regarded as a more upmarket destination.
Most definitely much quieter although it has nice restaurants and a lovely small sandy beach. We highly recommend a visit to the nearby beach of Playa del Duque which is a lovely stretch of sand with watersports available.
The transfer time to Costa Adeje from the airport is just 35-40 minutes and although this is a nice relaxing tourist resort if you’re looking for jobs and work you are perhaps looking in the wrong location, with Playa de las Americas a much better place to search for vacancies.
Los Cristianos – (Tenerife South)
Los Cristianos was once a small and quiet fishing village which has transformed into one of Tenerife’s most popular beach resorts with a relaxed cosmopolitan atmosphere.
A charming resort popular with families who enjoy the crescent shaped sandy beach which has excellent facilities and plenty of bars and restaurants.
The transfer time to Los Cristianos from the airport is just 35-40 minutes. The harbour area is especially popular as you can go on excursions to see dolphins and whales and watch fishing boats coming in with the catch of the day.
This is certainly a place where you can find jobs on Tenerife although needless to say the busy and lively resort of Playa de las Americas is more likely to have work and is just a short distance away.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The busy cosmopolitan city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the island’s capital. A lovely place to live, this would be a good choice to look for jobs as long as you’re fluent in Spanish as this is the administrative centre of the Canary Islands.
Summer Job – Work for Students
Tenerife is incredibly busy in the summer and is one of the best places in Spain to find seasonal work.
The good news is that there are plenty of English speaking jobs but a little bit of Spanish will put you ahead of most other foreigners looking to work in Tenerife.
The island needs an influx of extra staff to cope with the additional demand in the bars, restaurants and hotels on the island.
If you are a student looking for work in the summer why not come to Tenerife? You may not be well paid but you will have a great holiday and the experience of a lifetime.
In this section we are just covering the main points as we have a much more detailed page on summer jobs.
Most summer jobs can be found in the largest tourist resorts which are located in the south of Tenerife, these are Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz.
The most popular types of summer jobs in Tenerife are working in bars and nightclubs performing such duties such as serving drinks as a bartender or barmaid, dancer or entertainer, DJ, glass collector, security, bouncer, cloakroom or PR rep.
Restaurants also need part-time and full-time help for: cooks, chefs, kitchen assistant, waiter, waitress or dishwashers.
The bigger hotels in Tenerife will also require casual summer workers to help with the additional tourists in such jobs as cleaners, animators, dancers, entertainers, receptionists etc.
The summer season doesn’t normally start until the end of May and goes through to mid-September.
Whatever summer job you do it will typically be lowly paid because there is an extremely high demand and lots of competition for jobs and so employers are never going to pay much more than the average going rate of six euros an hour unless you have exceptional skills and services to offer.
What is a PR Rep Job?
A PR rep stands for public relations or promotional representative. It is basically a sales job where your role is to get more customers into an establishment or business.
Most PR reps work for bars or clubs standing outside on the pavement or in the street handing out leaflets or vouchers with discounts, for example cheap drinks or free shots.
Basically you do whatever it takes to encourage passers-by to come into the bar and spend money.
To be a successful PR rep you either need to be a good looking male or female or even better, have an outgoing personality and a good sense of humour.
There are also opportunities to be employed by restaurants, nightclubs and timeshare resorts.
How Much Can I Earn as a PR?
Working as a PR requires you to have great skills because otherwise you will not earn much money. Wages are typically on commission only and at best, on a very small basic salary.
Your working hours are likely to start at 8pm and could go all the way through to 4am in the morning.
Some bars and clubs offer a basic salary of €30-€40 per shift while others may have a commission only structure depending on the amount of customers and business you bring in to the bar or club.
This is why some PR reps can be extremely persistent, persuasive and even aggressive when they approach you.
This is certainly one way to just arrive in Tenerife without a job and very quickly be able to get one because if results are poor you will be fired very quickly, so the owners do not have much to lose by employing you and give you a chance.
If you happen to be really good they will benefit from all the additional custom that you generate them and all they have to do is pay you a small fraction in wages.
They know competition for jobs in Tenerife is extremely high in the peak summer months so they can pretty much pick and choose as they wish.
It does help to be good-looking especially if you are a young woman as this is one easy way for ladies to stop groups of lads and attract them into a bar.
Just go into bars, restaurants and timeshare companies and ask if they have any promotional or sales jobs going.
Advantages to Getting a Job As a PR Rep
- It is a lot of fun.
- You can get a job immediately on arrival in Tenerife.
- If you are good you can earn a lot.
- Free drinks.
- You can go to the beach during the daytime.
Disadvantages to Working As a PR
- If you are bad you could earn nothing.
- You need to fund your accommodation and living expenses on top.
- Pay is commission only or low basic.
- Long and late hours.
Obtaining work in a hotel in Tenerife is another possibility for work with the advantage over other Spanish resorts in that Tenerife does happen to be a consistent all year round destination for tourists, however most jobs will require a number of different languages to be spoken.
It would be helpful if you can speak Spanish, English and German as a minimum qualification if you are applying for work in the position of a receptionist.
One of the best ways of getting to work in a hotel is as a holiday rep for the package holiday companies. Typically you will be dealing with English-speaking customers although some Spanish would be an advantage so that you can cope with emergency situations.
You can also find work as a transfer rep getting the guests from the airport in Tenerife to their accommodation.
In the evening the major hotels in Tenerife put on nightly shows so there are positions available for entertainers and animators as well singers and dancers.
If you are good with children, most hotels have a kids club or nursery in which you look after children while their parents can relax and enjoy themselves on holiday.
There are plenty of cleaning jobs in Tenerife although less so in the hotels but there are more opportunities in the private sector cleaning villas and apartments on changeover days.
Most of the cleaning staff in large hotels are North African immigrants who are quite happy to work for extremely low rates of pay.
The best places to search for hotel jobs would be the resorts of Playa de las Americas, Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz.
Resources for Finding Jobs
In terms of the best resorts in which to look for work in Tenerife, try the most popular tourist resorts of Playa de las Americas, Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz. The island’s capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife it’s also worth considering if you can speak some Spanish.
Radio stations advertise jobs – Oasis FM is a British speaking radio station broadcasting in Tenerife and with a daily job section. You can find these listed on Oasis FM website.
Recent examples include: Direct Telecom were advertising for Telesales Advisors, Blue Flag Travel were also looking for telemarketer, Future Resorts Marketing were looking for British, Dutch, Scandinavian and Russian Sales Reps, T.O’s and Call Centre Staff and Linekers bar in Starco, Las Americas required PR’s.
Job websites & forums for Tenerife – there are many good websites advertising the latest jobs in Tenerife. We list any vacancies in Tenerife below at the bottom of the page. The Tenerife Forum is a good source of jobs.
Word-of-mouth – nothing beats actually being in Tenerife itself and being able to instantly start work. Very few employers are willing to hire you if you’re still living in the United Kingdom as they cannot be sure you will actually come out as agreed.
Local newspapers in Tenerife – Tenerife has a number of different publications with many free magazines and newspapers in English which typically have classified job advertisements near the back.
Canarian Weekly – “Looking for new employment then follow the Canarian Weekly for all the latest jobs available in Tenerife.”
El Dia – This Spanish newspaper will require you to have a good grasp of Spanish to be able to translate the classified job advertisements.
Tenerife Weekly – Local Tenerife news in English.
Recruitment agencies in Tenerife – Currently we are not aware of any recruitment agencies.
Try finding work with an official contract which is usually for a duration of three months which will entitle you to the Spanish state healthcare system, Spanish school system and some unemployment and pension benefits.
Of course there are many other Tenerife jobs just like anywhere else such as lawyer, doctor, teacher, nurse, policemen, pharmacist and shop assistants etc.
A good alternative to working in a bar or restaurant in Tenerife is to teach English to Spanish people.
This is more of a part-time job than a full-time career position but nevertheless if you have a professional qualification from a recognised authority such as a TEFL teacher or ESL, then you will have a good opportunity to get a job at one of the language schools on the island.
Teaching English in Tenerife Resources:
FU International Academy – “Our teachers are university graduates and native English speakers. Many of them have worked with us on a full-time basis for several years and we ensure that they regularly update their skills.”
Jobs for Tradesmen
If you have skills as a tradesman then you have a good opportunity of finding work in jobs in Tenerife.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands with a thriving tourist industry so there are always opportunities in construction however the resident English-speaking expatriate population provides even greater opportunity for finding work.
You are more likely to be successful in relocating to Tenerife if you’re prepared to start your own business and become self-employed. Types of skills that would be useful in finding work would be as a plumber, painter, builder, electrician, tiler, plasterer, bricklayer or labourer.
For more advice on working in Spain see our construction work page.
In the sections above we have already covered the most popular jobs in Tenerife. In this section we cover some of the other possibilities for job opportunities on the Canary Islands of Tenerife.
Although the Spanish property and real estate boom has come to a crashing halt, there are still opportunities especially if you are good at sales. In this field there are possibilities to work in a estate agencies in sales and lettings.
There are plenty of property maintenance jobs such as cleaning villas and apartments, swimming pool cleaning, gardening, handyman and tradesmen jobs such as electricians, plumbers, painters, decorators and builders are still needed of course.
There is a need for drivers in Tenerife to transport the tourists around the island. You will find coach and bus drivers required. Many companies operate taxi, shuttle bus and minibus services to and from the airport.
Tenerife has a lot of vacancies for sales positions mainly because it has a thriving timeshare industry which of course is very sales orientated. There are plenty of vacancies for telemarketing where you make phone calls each day trying to sell people services and you earn a commission.
These telesales jobs are almost always paid entirely on commission or with a very small basic salary which isn’t enough to live on in itself.
Although we have touched briefly on this above, restaurant jobs are probably the easiest type of work to get after bar work.
If you are pleasant, can offer good customer service with a smile and you have learnt a few basic words of Spanish then you can most certainly get a job as a waiter or waitress on the island.
Behind the scenes in the kitchens you could work as a chef, cook, kitchen help or dishwasher.
Jobs for Professionals
Many people who are office workers e-mail us to ask us if there are any jobs for professional workers in Tenerife. The bad news is there really isn’t. There are a handful of jobs for management, marketing, IT, webdesign, legal, media, office, executive, admin and secretarial work.
There are a few nursing jobs especially in the home care sector looking after elderly people who are requiring extra help and being looked after. Nevertheless these jobs are few and far between.
Looking after children represents one of the best opportunities to find a job in advance of moving to Tenerife. There are plenty of expat families and Spanish families in Tenerife looking for au pairs and nannies to look after their children while they are at work.
Sometimes you can even get a nanny job in Tenerife working for a family who are going on holiday there for an extended period of time. In fact they just hire a nanny (or au pair) just for the holiday so that they can relax or somebody takes care of the kids.
Working as an au pair in Tenerife is relatively lowly paid but typically you will live with your host family and so you will have very little expenses as your accommodation and food will be paid for and included in your salary perks.
English-speaking Jobs in Tenerife – Expat Jobs
The large amount of expats who have moved to Tenerife means there is a demand for English speaking goods and services to be provided to this population. Sadly the amount of expats who are fluent in Spanish is in the minority and this minority prefer to deal with people who speak English or who are British.
These are some of the jobs that we know people have obtained in Tenerife: hairdressing jobs, working in a shop (retail), personal trainer, beautician, pet care, computer services, business services, graphic design, computer repair, insurance sales, customer service jobs, journalists, writers etc.
The article above covers various aspects of working and finding a job on the island of Tenerife, one of the Spanish Canary Islands.
Of all the Canaries, Tenerife is the best island to search for jobs as it is the largest island and the liveliest in terms of tourism which of course provides most of the jobs, both part-time and full-time.
The bullet points below outline the main sections of the page.
- About Tenerife
- Living in Tenerife
- Work for English Speakers
- What Jobs are Available?
- Where to Find Jobs
- Jobs with Accommodation
- Job Forums
- Summer Jobs
- Part-Time Work
Employers – please list your situations vacant in Tenerife below.
If you are looking for jobs wanted in Tenerife please leave your details below in the comments box:
Don’t Miss Our Related Tenerife Pages:
Most Popular Places in Spain To Find Work:
Most Popular Work:
- Bar Work in Spain
- Waiter – Waitress
- Property Maintenance
- Holiday/Transfer Reps
- Summer/Student Work
- TEFL/Teaching English
Helpful Pages if Moving to Spain:
We also have our Spanish jobs and work section.