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Why now is a good time to be a private teacher in Spain 

If you’re considering working as a private teacher in Spain, the latest stats show why you’ll be increasingly sought-after and likely to find plenty of pupils to make a living. Here’s why. 

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Spanish families spend triple the amount they did a decade ago on private tuition for their children. Photo: Marc Thele/Pixabay

Teaching isn’t famed for being the most remunerative job one can do, and Spain is no exception. 

The average gross monthly wages of a secondary school teacher in Spain are €2,300, which can end up being around €1,800 net a month, but according to Spanish workers union UGT big regional differences mean many secondary school teachers end up getting a lower salary than that. 

Primary school teachers tend to get lower pay – around €2,000 gross a month – and again this is subject to differences between regions, experience and whether you’re working for a private or public institution (public schools tend to pay better). 

Wages for university teachers usually start low (around €2,000 gross a month) but can double over the course of a decade. 

Teaching can also be a very demanding job, as it is elsewhere in the world, and to become a public teacher in Spain you usually have to sit a state oposición exam. 

Private teaching however, referred to as clases particulares in Spanish, is emerging as an appealing alternative for those who want to make a living out of teaching in Spain. 

The country’s latest Family Budget Survey (EPF) reveals that 24 percent of students in Spain now receive private tutoring outside their classrooms.

Wealthy households spend up to five times more than poorer ones, although mid to lower income families in Spain are increasingly prioritising private tutoring for their children. 

Private teaching in Spain has gone from being seen as  a luxury service to a necessity in many Spanish households.

It’s a trend which started during the financial crisis that hit Spain in 2008, and over the course of the next decade Spanish families tripled their spending on private tutoring to a total of €732 million. 

And the pandemic has served to increase demand for private tutoring further still, spurred on by a 550 percent spike in demand during 2020.

Maths and science tutoring is what is most sought after, with the results of a 2019 study by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement showing that Spanish students are lagging behind in these two fields compared to students elsewhere in Europe and in Asian nations. 

“I don’t think that the Spanish educational system is failing,” Juan Moreno, author of the “Education in the Shadows” study which includes this latest data on Spanish tutoring, told Spanish radio station RNE.

“What’s happening is that more and more families understand that they have to invest more, they see the need for a more personal education in a climate of greater competitiveness. They want their children to have a competitive edge.”

And how about English teaching? According to Spanish private teaching website tusclasesparticulares.com, the most in-demand private classes in 2020 were English, followed by maths and then French. 

The desire among Spaniards to improve their English skills continues into adulthood, with a 2022 survey by online English school Open English finding that 99 percent of students believed that learning English could help them achieve their career goals, and 93 percent said it would serve as personal fulfilment.

Spain continues to have the lowest level of English proficiency in Europe according to a 2020 study by the EF English Proficiency Index, ranked in 33rd position globally. 

The Covid-19 pandemic and its health implication for face-to-face teaching has also meant that there’s greater acceptance among pupils and their parents for classes to be held online, allowing teachers to have more free time and save on transport costs.  It’s a modus operandi which is no doubt here to stay after the pandemic. 

So whether it’s English, French, science or maths that you’re considering teaching privately in Spain, know that there is demand to be able to make a living out of it in most cases. 

It isn’t without its challenges, and you’ll have to decide whether to work for a company or go solo at it as a self-employed worker, but private teaching is a sure-fire way for many foreigners to be able to live and work in Spain for the foreseeable future, without having to have a full-time job.  

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For members

ENERGY

How to change the title holder of utility bills in Spain

When you move into a new property in Spain you will need to change the account or contract holder over, so that any future water, electricity or gas bills will be in your name. It's not as easy as you may think; here's how you go about it.

How to change the title holder of utility bills in Spain

Changing the name on your utility bills and the payment details should in theory be relatively straightforward, however you may come up against some common problems which can make the change pretty complicated.

Firstly, you will need to find out which energy companies have been contracted for your property.

You can do this by asking the previous owner themselves, contacting your landlord if you’re renting or asking your estate agent to find out for you.

When it comes to water, this should be provided by your local council or city, so you won’t need to contact the previous occupant for this one. 

How do I change the title over?

When you first move in, remember to note down the numbers on the gas, electricity and water meters, so you can give these to the utility companies and they can record how much you should owe, instead of having to pay for the previous occupant’s consumption as well.

Next, you will then need to contact the energy company supplying your property or water provider and ask for a cambio de titular a nombre del arrendatario o comprador (ask for a change of ownership in the name of the renter or buyer).

The process should be completely free for electricity and gas, but in some cities, you may need to pay a deposit for changing the title of the water bill, which you should get back when you vacate the property. The deposit can be anywhere between €50 and €100.

Contacting the energy company by phone may be the best way to make sure everything is done correctly, but some companies also have online forms where you can request a title change. When it comes to water, most cities will have water offices you can visit or specific e-mail addresses if you can’t contact them over the phone. 

There are a few pieces of information you’ll need to have on hand before you contact the company. These are:

  • The full name of the previous person who had the bills in their name
  • Your NIE / DNI
  • The address of the property
  • The date you moved in
  • The CUPS code (not needed for water)
  • Your padrón certificate (for water only)
  • A copy of the deeds of the property or rental contract
  • Your bank details

With all this information, they should be able to change the name over on the account relatively quickly, so that any future energy bills will go directly to you.

At this time, you can also change your tariff or amount of energy contracted to suit your individual needs.

How do I find the CUPS code?

The CUPS code or Código Unificado del Punto de Suministro (Universal Supply Point Code) is a number that identifies each individual property that receives electricity or gas. The number doesn’t change, so you could ask the previous occupant for this as it will be written on their energy bills.

Alternatively, if this isn’t possible you can contact your energy distributor – these are assigned by area and stay the same. By giving them your name, address and ID number such as NIE, they will be able to give you the CUPS code associated with your property.

What if I want to change to a new energy company?

If you’d prefer not to contract the energy company that the previous owner had, you can also choose to go with a new one. In this case, you will still need all of the same information and numbers as above, but you will contact the energy provider of your choice and the type of tariff you want to pay.

How long will it take to change the name over?

It can take between 1 and 20 days for the bills to be changed over into your name. The previous occupant will receive their final bill and then you will receive the new one from the date you moved in.

What are some of the problems I might come up against?

The most common problem is when the previous occupant is not up to date on paying their bills and has some outstanding debt. In this case, if you try to change the title over into your name, you will also be inheriting the pervious owner’s debt.

In this case, you will have to get the previous occupant to pay their outstanding bill before you can change it over into your name. If you have problems getting them to pay their bill, then you can show proof of the date you moved in by sending in a copy of your deeds or rental contract. This should in theory allow for the transfer of ownership without having to take on the debt, however it can be tricky process, often calling the energy company multiple times and waiting for verification of the proof.

What if the energy services have been cut off?

In the case that the property has been uninhabited for some time, the previous owners may have deactivated or cut off the utilities. If this is the case, then you will need to call the energy providers to activate them again. This will typically involve paying several fees to be able to get them up and running. The amount you pay will depend on the energy distributor and where the property is based in Spain. 

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