Tips for British Expats on Finding a Job on the Costa del Sol

Finding a job as an expat in Spain

If you’re moving to the Costa del Sol you may be looking for a job. The employment market in the area is currently better than the rest of Andalucia but even so the jobless rate stands at just under 22%.

Unemployment in some Costa del Sol resorts such as Marbella, Estepona and Fuengirola is lower and around 15%. In this article, we explore what types of jobs are available and how to find a job on the Costa del Sol.

Qualifications for a job on the Costa del Sol

Employment qualifications vary from one job to another and there are no set requirements.

You will find opportunities with no qualifications needed and others that require the highest available.

Languages are extremely useful for jobs on the Costa del Sol. Most jobs deal with the multi-cultural community and the more languages you speak the better.

While speaking Spanish isn’t a must, you’ll certainly find it useful for dealing with employment paperwork. The ability to speak Spanish will also open more job possibilities.

Paperwork for jobs on the Costa del Sol

The amount of paperwork required for taking a job on the Costa del Sol depends on your nationality as follows:

EU nationals

If you’re from a country in the EU, you have the right to work in Spain without needing a work permit.

This makes the paperwork easier and the process quicker.

Non-EU nationals

If you’re from outside the EU, you require work permit to get a job on the Costa del Sol.

This involves considerable paperwork for you and the company, and you should apply for a visa before you arrive in Spain. Enquire at the nearest Spanish consulate in your home country.

Types of jobs available on the Costa del Sol

Employment on the Costa del Sol tends to fall into the following categories:


Services make up the largest sector within the job market. Openings range from bar, restaurant and shop employment to work in marketing companies. Depending on the location and job description, the ability to speak Spanish may not be necessary.


Tourism drives a large part of the economy on the Costa del Sol and offers plenty of job openings from tour operators and guides to hotel management. Language skills are essential and most people who work in this sector are at least bi-lingual in Spanish and one other language.


The Costa del Sol is home to a large number of companies requiring sales staff. Job openings are available in property and investment companies.

Several international companies run call centres based on the Costa del Sol. Most jobs are telesales only and language skills usually essential.


The Costa del Sol property market link to article on the CdS property market ranks among the busiest in Spain and therefore offers plenty of employment openings.

Jobs range from property finders and estate agents to marketing for property companies.

Most jobs require language skills, particularly in English and Scandinavian languages.


The giant Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía (PTA) technological park in Malaga city employs thousands and is home to some of the world’s top technology companies.

The PTA offers plenty of job opportunities in the IT sector, one of the highest paid on the Costa del Sol.

English language teaching

Learning English ranks top of many Spaniards’ priorities so you’ll find lots  of opportunities to teach English on the Costa del Sol. Most jobs require basic TEFL qualifications and are based at private academies.

Where to find a job on the Costa del Sol

Online job portals – several advertise job opportunities specifically on the Costa del Sol.

The main local ones are:

Recruitment companies – those operating in the area including:

Expat newspapers – the main expat newspapers publish weekly job openings in the Classifieds section.

Ask your network – let them know you’re looking for job. Don’t forget to tell your real network (neighbours and local friends) as well as your virtual network (Facebook and LinkedIn, for example).

Visit in person – call in person on companies and businesses where you’d like to work and hand in your CV. This is common practice in Spain and often opens the door to a job.