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REVEALED: The highest-paying jobs in Spain in 2022

Spain isn't a country that's renowned for its high salaries, but there are a number of job positions that pay way above the average.

best paid jobs spain
Spain may not be famed for its high average salaries, but there are job positions that pay very well. Photo: Alberto Sánchez/Pixabay

According to official figures, the average gross monthly salary in Spain in 2022 is €1,715, which represents a gross annual sum of just over €24,000 in 14 salary payments, as is common in Spain (one for every month of the year plus two extra payments). 

Though salaries mostly depend on the type of job and industry you work in, there are big differences in wages between Spain’s 17 autonomous regions.

READ MORE: What are the average salaries in each region of Spain in 2022?

Overall though, it’s clear that wages in Spain are lower than in most other neighbouring EU countries. According to Adecco, the average gross monthly salary in the EU in 2021 was €2,194, around 20 percent higher than in Spain. 

The Iberian nation is after all notorious for having a troublesome work market, from the aforementioned lower pay, to job insecurity and high unemployment.

However, there are jobs in Spain that pay much better than the average, so those of you who want to find out which positions offer a high remuneration will be interested in the following data from two official studies. 

According to Spain’s leading jobs portal InfoJobs, some of the best paying jobs in Spain are in the IT and tech industries. In fact, four of the ten highest paid jobs in Spain are in the ICT sector, according to InfoJobs.

Hardware and firmware designers are some of the top earners, making €53,074 gross a year on average, and there are a whole host other well paying tech jobs in Spain, namely IT system architects (€45,560), database designers (€44,558) and software architects (€43,490) are all among some of Spain’s best paid jobs.

Beyond the tech sector, the other group of jobs that pay high salaries are management positions. This is particularly true for corporate secretaries/secretary generals (€49,715 €), financial managers (€44,207) and product development managers (€43,259).

Among more traditional jobs that pay well, estate agents make an average of €45,665, asset managers €42,387, dentists €42,174, and security consultants €41,613.

The top 15 on average (gross pay per annum)

According to InfoJobs annual report Estado del Mercado Laboral en España, these are the jobs that on average pay the highest wages in Spain.

  1. Hardware and firmware designers (€53,074)
  2. Secretary General (€49,715 €)
  3. ICT business analyst (€47,156 €)
  4. Estate agent (€45,665)
  5. ICT systems architect (€45,560)
  6. Database design (€44,558)
  7. Financial management (€44,207)
  8. Software architect (€43,490)
  9. Product development manager (€43,259)
  10. ICT Technical Manager (€42,661)
  11. Branch manager (€42,622)
  12. Director of Operations (€42,595)
  13. Asset management (€42,387)
  14. Dentist (€42,174)
  15. Security consultant (€41,613)

The absolute top earners

As in many countries the world over, the absolute top earners in Spain are heavily concentrated in the banking and finance sector, especially when based on seniority.

  1. Managing Directors of Wealth Management departments in banks take home between €200,000 and €300,000 gross.
  2. Mergers and Acquisitions (MA) managers can make €100,000 to €140,000 gross a year.
  3. Business Unit Managers of a multinational, with more than six years of experience, earn between €100,000 and €150,000 gross a year.
  4. CFOs of big insurance companies (valued higher than €100 million) can have a gross annual salary of €120,000 to €150,000.
  5. Senior officials in sectors such as hospitality or retail can make as much as €200,000.

There are also a number of well-paying jobs in the growing digital and IT sector, with gross salaries rising based on seniority.

  1. Data Analyst: (€36,000 to €40,000)
  2. Data Scientist (€55,000)
  3. Chief Marketing Officer (€75,000 to €100,000)
  4. Blockchain Specialist (€50,000 and €60,000)
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialists (€27,000 to €60,000)
  6. Computer programmers (€24,233 to €49,000)

Spanish comparison website Rankia has also released data classifying the best paying jobs on average in Spain (gross figures), with similar findings to Infojobs’ study:

  1. Surgeon (€64,538)
  2. Engineering Project Manager (€59,965)
  3. Commercial Manager (€48,884)
  4. IT Manager (€48,071)
  5. Dentist (46,663)
  6. Estate Agent (€45,992)
  7. Architect (€45,881)
  8. Company Manager (€42,317)
  9. Data Scientist (€41,874)
  10. Industrial Manager (€41,732)

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‘Spain must invest in Spaniards rather than turning to migrants’: EU work chief

The European Commission’s head for jobs and social rights has said Spain “must first find a solution for young people, women and the elderly” with regard to its labour market and “see later if they need immigrants”.

'Spain must invest in Spaniards rather than turning to migrants': EU work chief

The European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit recently took part in a summit on job security in Bilbao, where he spoke with Spain’s Labour Minister and Second Deputy Prime Ministers Yolanda Díaz about the state of affairs for workers in the country. 

When discussing potential solutions to Spain’s high unemployment rate, Schmit explained “I would not exclude immigration, but when I analyse the data, I see youth unemployment of 30 percent, more than double the European average”.  

“The priority for Spain must be to invest in its people,” Schmit continued.

“They must first look at their labour market and find a solution for young people, women and the elderly. They will see later if they need immigrants”.

Despite high unemployment levels which currently amount to three million people, Spain has worker shortages in a wide variety of sectors. 

READ ALSO: The ‘Big Quit’ hits Spain despite high unemployment and huge job vacancies

The Spanish government recently changed its immigration laws to make it easier for employers to hire non-EU citizens for sectors with shortages, from waiters to plumbers, whereas previously recruiters were required to prove that they couldn’t find an EU candidate for the job and the skills shortage list was limited and outdated. 

READ MORE: How spain is making it easier for foreigners to work in Spain

In 2023, Spain’s Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration wants to hire 62,000 third-country workers to cover an array of construction and trades jobs, something the country’s Labour Ministry has not agreed to yet. 

READ ALSO – EXPLAINED: Spain’s plans to recruit thousands of foreigners for construction and trade jobs

The government also recently passed its new startups law to attract foreign investors, digital nomads and talent to the country.

Could Spaniards not be trained to do these jobs as Schmit alludes to? Currently, low wages and unstable working conditions are dissuading many locally trained professionals from staying.

This includes almost 20,000 doctors who have moved abroad in recent years as salaries in other European countries are significantly higher than in Spain, with a newly qualified doctor’s salary only around €1,600 gross per month.

Staff shortages in the health sector are not helped by the fact that foreigners with non-EU qualifications wait for several years for their qualifications to be recognised in Spain through an unnecessarily laborious administrative process known as homologación. This applies to a number of regulated fields, from engineering to dentistry, all of which face shortages. 

READ MORE: How Spain is ruining the careers of thousands of qualified foreigners

Spain’s Socialist-led government has partly addressed some of its labour market issues by reducing the rate of temporary contracts and increasing the minimum wage (SMI), but voices within the opposition have accused Sánchez’s administration of “dressing up” the dire reality.

When asked about the rise in minimum wage, Schmit said that he believes “it will not mean significant changes for Spain, which already has a tradition of updating the minimum wage on a regular basis… but the government must take into account factors such as the cost of living and the economic context”.

“Spain must question whether the SMI allows for a decent life or creates poor workers. Its economy cannot be supported by low wages and low productivity,” he continued.  

When asked if salaries and inflation have to go hand in hand, Schmit argued “wages must be set by collective bargaining. We are experiencing very high inflation because of the explosion in energy and food prices. If there is a large lag between wages and inflation, there will be an impact on demand and the risk of recession will increase”.

With regards to pensions, Schmit explained: “I don’t think that pensions are very high in Spain and if you leave a gap between the rise in benefits and inflation, you can create a situation of poverty among the elderly. Spain has a disadvantage in that it has one of the fastest-ageing societies… The solution is to modernise the economy to make it more productive and attract more people to the job market”.  

Despite these issues, the commissioner acknowledged that the Spanish labour market has surprised many with its resistance this year. “Employment will remain strong if there is no deep recession,” he said.  

“The national plan for access to European funds has a good combination of measures to invest in green energy, digitisation, education and public employment services… Spain experienced its economic miracle due to the real estate boom, which exploded, and now it has to transform to go in the right direction”.

According to a report carried out by human resources company Hays on work trends in Spain in 2022, 77 percent of Spaniards surveyed said they would change jobs if they could. Furthermore, 68 percent of them confessed that they are actively looking for another job and the main reason they argue is to get a better salary. 

According to Eurostat data from January 2021, 37 percent of Spain’s workforce is overqualified, 17 percent higher than the EU average.

READ ALSO: Why more people than ever in Spain are overqualified for their jobs