What Is A Good Salary in Spain?

Living in Spain remains a romanticized idea and a highly sought-after dream for many. The country’s rich traditions and culture have become iconic worldwide. Because of that, more and more people, including Americans, are moving to Spain. But, before moving there, you would have to think about what is a good salary you need to enjoy life in Spain, right?

A good salary to live comfortably in Spain ranges from €2,000 to €2,500 after taxes. This amount corresponds to an annual wage of €32,000. People in Spain earn an average of €2,710 gross per month. 

The government in Spain also set a minimum wage. The minimum wage has steadily been increasing in recent decades. According to Bloomberg, from €600 per month in 2000 to around €1,125 gross per month in 2021. These figures show that the minimum wage ballooned by more than 60%. It’s excellent news if you plan to relocate to this country.

What is considered a good salary in Spain?

Expats wanting to move to Spain need a Spanish Working Visa to legally reside and work in the country. However, you must receive an offer from a Spanish company to get a work visa in Spain. But how do you know it’s a good offer?

Before you say yes to a job in Spain, you must consider how much you will be making and if it would suffice for the cost of living. 

According to Trading Economics, the average nominal monthly wage in the country in 2022 amounts to €2,006. You can afford to live a decent life in Spain with this salary.

Specifically, you can rent a fully-furnished one-bedroom apartment and still have enough for your other needs and some luxuries. To achieve a net pay of this amount, you need to make an annual gross income of €32,000.

Also, according to several sources, considering the average cost of living in Spain, you need to make at least €2,700 if you are single. This amount translates to a €32,400 annual gross income. On the other hand, if you are someone supporting a family, you need to have €2,200 to €2,881 net per month. That means you need to make €71,000 annual gross income. 

Keep in mind that Barcelona is more expensive than cities such as Málaga or any suburban area. Thus, take this into account when negotiating your salary.

Here’s some info on the average salaries in Spain by city: 

CityAverage salary
Barcelona€3,130
Madrid€3,190
Valencia€3,080
Málaga€2,910
Sevilla€3,020
Bilbao€2,690
Source: housinganywhere.com

Moreover, here’s an overview of the average annual wages in the top industries in the country according to different sources: 

  1. Aerospace – €32,505 
  2. Pharmacy – €54,280
  3. IT – €42,020
  4. Energy – €50,226
  5. Tourism – €29,000

Last but not least, here are some work perspectives in Spain: 

  1. Six factors will largely influence your salary in Spain. These six factors include the following:
  • Career field
  • Nationality
  • Location in Spain
  • Experience level
  • Level of education
  • Gender
  1. Banking, insurance, health, engineering, and IT are among the sectors that pay the highest salaries in Spain. 
  2. Non-EU expats typically earn more than the average annual salary since they require a work visa. Those with a work visa filling a job on the shortage list are in high demand.
  3. Higher education is essential in specific sectors or professions in Spain. If you believe a higher education makes you a more qualified candidate, you can use your educational background in a job interview to justify your salary expectation.
  4. Spanish pay equality is still behind even in 2022. In Spain, gender continues to negatively influence salary, with women earning 4% less than their male counterparts.

Example of a good salary in Spain

You might think you need to work multiple jobs in Spain to live comfortably, but data shows otherwise. €32,000 is enough for you to live a decent but not extravagant life in the country. 

If you earn an annual gross salary of €32,000, you will get a net take-home pay of €24,467 per year or €2,039 per month. This amount can cover your basic needs, such as rent, food, transportation, and utilities, and still have some euros left to save. 

Here are some of the highest costs that you will have to deal with when you’re in Spain: 

HousingApartments in Madrid can be rented for an average rent of €660 to €880 per month, or €1,055 to €1,530 for three bedrooms, depending on how close to the city center you live.
Prices are slightly higher in Barcelona: €710 to €890 for a one-bedroom and €1,105 to €1,540 for three bedrooms. If you’re looking for cheaper rent, go to Sevilla, Valencia, and other coastal cities.
Food€380 a month is enough for food and non-alcoholic beverages. 
TransportationOn average fare costs €1.50 in Madrid and Valencia and €2.40 in Barcelona.
Utility billsThe average monthly electricity bill is around €113. But, heating during the winter and air conditioning during the summer may affect this.

You don’t find healthcare on our list since it’s free if you have a Spanish Social Security Number. Some treatments will require you to contribute; check with your region for details since healthcare systems differ. Another thing to note is that public healthcare services do not cover dental care in Spain.

To ensure you are fully covered for a wide range of medical treatments or avoid paying any amount, consider private health insurance in Spain. Basic packages for young people aged 20 to 30 start at around €30 to €50 a month. Costs increase with age, and most insurance companies won’t cover customers over a certain age.

For expats in Spain, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.

Suppose you moved to Spain; here are some of the typical jobs and salaries in the country:

JobAverage monthly salary
Accountant€2,100
Financial Analyst€3,508
Human Resources Manager€4,150
Bank Branch Manager€5,125
Business Analyst€3,616
Sales Manager€4,591
Office Manager€2,558
Project Manager€3,241
Secretary€1,441
Creative Director€2,791
Graphic Designer€2,791
Developer€2,758
Engineer€2,750
Aerospace Engineer€3,675
Flight Attendant€1,966
Source: housinganywhere.com

Don’t be discouraged if your expertise isn’t on this list! Spain offers many job opportunities. Furthermore, you can switch careers by enrolling in training programs and seminars sponsored by the government and private organizations.

Taxes in Spain

Individuals are primarily taxed directly in Spain via two types of income taxes: Spanish personal income tax (PIT), for individuals who are residents of Spain for tax purposes, and Spanish non-residents’ income tax (NRIT), for non-residents of Spain who earn income in Spain.

Therefore, people who receive income in Spain must either pay Spanish PIT or Spanish NRIT.

Personal income tax (PIT) rates

The following rates apply to savings taxable income:

  • 19% for the first €6,000 of taxable income.
  • 21% for the following €6,000 to €50,000 of taxable income.
  • 23% for the following €50,000 to €200,000 of taxable income.
  • 26% for any amount over €200,000.

For general taxable income, progressive tax rates apply (the state’s rate plus the rate approved by each autonomous community in their progressive tax scales). There may be differences in tax liability between autonomous communities.

The following table illustrates how state withholding tax rates are calculated. 

Taxable base (up to EUR)Tax liability (EUR)Excess of taxable base (up to EUR)Tax rate (%)
0012,45019
12,4502,3657,75024
20,2004,22515,00030
35,2008,72524,80037
60,00017,901240,00045
300,000125,901Remainder47
Source: pwc.com

Non-resident income tax (NRIT) rates

Income earned by non-residents without a PE is taxed at the following rates:

  • The general rate is 24%. In other EU member states or countries affiliated with the European Economic Area (EEA), the rate is 19%.
  • Capital gains generated from asset transfers: 19%.
  • Interest rate: 19%. Residents of the EU are exempt from paying taxes on interest. Double taxation treaties usually set lower rates.
  • Dividends: 19% (DTTs typically establish lower dividends).
  • Royalties: 24% (DTTs usually establish lower royalties).
  • Taxes on pensions are progressive (between 8% and 40%).

Bonuses and holiday pay

The law in Spain requires holiday bonuses. The employer must pay workers twice yearly: once at the end of the year and once during the summer. 

Bonuses double an employee’s salary for the month in which they are paid. Therefore, if an employee makes €1,800 a month, they’ll get an extra €1,800 paycheck in the summer and another in December. 

Salaries in Spain

While Spain has the highest rate of youth unemployment and the lowest salary average in the EU, it continues to be an attractive country for expats.

Young expats are attracted to Spain for many reasons, including the high quality of life, good work-life balance, and cheaper cost of living. Consequently, once expats have a well-paying job in Spain, the benefits of living in the country outweigh the time required to find a job.

Spain’s biggest and best cities are great places to work because they have a huge expat community and many more job opportunities for English speakers. So if you’re seeking employment, we recommend looking at the largest Spanish cities before applying at one of the best companies in Spain that provide foreigners with a working visa.

The following are some of the highest-paying jobs in Spain:

  • Surgeon: €64,500 yearly
  • Project manager engineer: €59,900 yearly
  • Sales manager: €58,880 yearly
  • IT director: €48,000 yearly

Generally, the highest paying sectors include banking, insurance, health, engineering, and information technology.

Minimum wage in Spain in 2022

In Spain, the minimum wage (SMI, or Salario Minimo Interprofesional) is the same for all workers regardless of their age, gender, or contract of employment. It applies to casual, temporary, and domestic work.

The Spanish government sets the minimum wage based on factors, including national productivity and employment levels. Spain’s Ministry of Employment and Social Security sets the minimum salary daily, monthly, and annually.

Spanish minimum wage is €7.55 per hour in 2022. If you work 40 hours a month as a full-time employee, that’s €1,125 paid over 12 months or €965 per month spread out over 14 payments (2 additional payments in July and December). In total, this amounts to €13,510 per year.

These levels make Spain the seventh highest minimum wage (minimum interprofessional salary or SMI) of 22 European countries.

Minimum income for a residence permit

A Non-Lucrative Visa in Spain requires a minimum monthly income of €2,316 per month and an additional monthly income of +€579 for each family member.

What is the average salary in Spain?

As of 2022, the average salary in Spain is €2,710 gross per month or €32,520 per year. Since this is the average income, 25% of the population earns less than $1,600, and 75% earn less than $7,080.

Spain ranks in the middle of European countries regarding average net salaries.

CountryAverage net salaryComparison with Spain
Spain€1,408baseline
Netherlands€2,629+87%
Germany€2,565+82%
Sweden€2,525+79%
France€2,275+61%
Italy€1,446+3%
Estonia€1,200-16%
Portugal€859-39%
Greece€742-47%
Source: housinganywhere.com

Compared to the average salary across the 27 European countries, Spain’s average salary ranks in the middle, but its cost of living is also significantly lower.

Is a 50,000 EUR annual salary good enough to live in Barcelona?

If you have a job that pays you a €50,000 gross yearly salary, you can expect to receive €35,796 net income annually. The average net household income in Barcelona is about €35,000. Thus, with this amount, you can afford your basic needs and have a few more euros to spend on savings or some small luxuries. 

However, as a single, you will have a very good lifestyle in Barcelona since the average net income for a single is €1,800 per month.

Here’s an overview of the annual vs monthly costs that you might cover when you’re in Barcelona:

  • Annual rent (1 bedroom) in the city center: €11,760 (€980)
  • Basic utilities: €2,028 (€169)
  • Monthly pass for transportation: €480 (€40)
  • Groceries: €4,560 (€380)
  • Total: €18,828 or €1,569/month

Spending on all these major costs, you will still have over €16,000 left. So gross salary of €50,000 is more than enough for pretty much anyone in Barcelona.

How much do you have to earn to live comfortably in Spain?

To live comfortably in Spain, you should meet an average income of €32,000. This comes to €1,982 per month after taxes.

According to the sources, a single person needs about €1,844 per month to live in Barcelona, Spain. Overall, in Spain, €1,500 per month is enough to live comfortably.

Here are some ways to allocate this budget:

Rent

Spain’s average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around €660 per month or about €1,055 to €1,530 for a three-bedroom apartment, depending on your proximity to the city center. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Barcelona is €710 to €890, and for a three-bedroom apartment, it is €1,105 to 1,540. 

Food

On average, Spanish households spend about €380 per month on food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Eating out

Eating out doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can find excellent restaurants serving traditional Spanish food in Madrid and Barcelona at reasonable prices. An inexpensive restaurant will cost around €10 – €15 per person, whereas a more upmarket restaurant will cost approximately €40 per person.

Transportation

Buses run locally, so fares may vary slightly based on location. According to Numbeo, a single fare in Madrid and Valencia costs €1.50, and in Barcelona, it costs €2.40. If you’re planning on commuting to work, you can buy a monthly travel pass for discounted usage on buses and metros.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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