Finding a job in the Canary Islands

Finding work in the Canary Islands
Updated 2023-07-30 12:28

The Canary Islands is Spain's southernmost autonomous community, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 600 miles from the Spanish mainland and approximately 60 miles west of Morocco. The group of seven main islands and several smaller ones is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, a sunny haven of beaches, water sports, nightlife, golf courses and nature reserves. Employment opportunities in the Canary Islands are varied and particularly attractive to students, trainees and young professionals.

The Canary Islands are volcanic in origin and experience a subtropical climate, which means they enjoy year-round warm temperatures. The islands attract many expatriates, who make up about 13% of the population, according to the Spanish Institute of Statistics.

Good to know:

The autonomous community of the Canary Islands is divided into two provinces, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The overall population is around 2,177,700 inhabitants.

The economy of the Canary Islands

The economy of the Canary Islands is principally based on the tertiary or services sector (around 74%), with tourism as the most significant contributor. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 14 million people vacationed in the archipelago annually. Industry represents about 8% of the regional GDP, and food processing, clean technologies and oil refining are other important economic pillars.

Like many places worldwide, the economy of the Canary Islands took a big hit during the COVID crisis. However, today, it is well in recovery mode. In 2022, the economy grew by 8.2%, which was better than the 5.2% growth of the Spanish economy. That´s according to data released by the Canary Islands Institute of Statistics. Meanwhile, the gross domestic product (GDP) is at 93.7% of the value recorded before the pandemic.

Labor market of the Canary Islands

In spring 2023, the workforce in the Canary Islands experienced a 0.5% increase, reaching a total of 877,258 workers. The islands also significantly reduced their unemployment rates, with an annual decrease of 9%. This brought the number of unemployed individuals down to 179,692, marking the first time it had fallen below 180,000 since August 2008. Encouragingly, every sector of the Canarian economy witnessed a decline in the number of jobless individuals.

If you're a job seeker moving to the Canary Islands, you'll probably stand a better chance of employment success if you have two foreign languages under your belt, including Spanish. English, German and Russian language speakers are in demand in fields such as tourism, hospitality, call centers, education and information and communications technology.

In general, transport, industry and construction jobs tend to go to skilled local workers.


Following the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, UK citizens no longer have an automatic right to live and work in Spain. The only way UK citizens can secure a full-time job is to land a role featured on Spain's shortage occupation list.

These new rules do not apply to UK citizens who were legal residents in the Canary Islands or Spain before 2021 and remain legal residents.

Good to know:

The average salary in the Canaries is one of the lowest in Spain, and the cost of living is high. In 2021, the average wage was 23,082 euros per year, but in 2022 it was 21,897 euros per year, a drop of 5.1%.

However, the islands are popular with digital nomads who are less reliant on the local economy and labor market.

How to find a job in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are a popular destination for expats looking for an exciting career change or a new start in life. However, finding a job in a foreign country can be challenging, especially if you don't know where to start. So here are a few useful tips to help you on your way to finding work in the Canary Islands:

  • There are several job search websites that expats use to find job opportunities in the Canary Islands. Indeed, Infoempleo and Monster are a few of the popular ones to check out.
  • Use professional networking websites like LinkedIn to connect with potential employers or recruiters in your industry.
  • Check local Canary Island newspapers such as Diario de Avisos or La Provincia for job listings.
  • Use your networking skills well, as many jobs in the Canary Islands can be found through connections. Reach out to personal or professional contacts to inquire about job openings or referrals.
  • Send speculative job applications to big firms operating in the area if you have the skills and qualifications required by the local labor market.
  • The several Chambers of Commerce on the islands are a valuable resource for expats looking for job opportunities or starting their own businesses.
  • Bar work, hotel jobs, or summer jobs for young people are typically the easiest types of employment to pick up. During peak summer months, there's an increased demand for bartenders, barmaids, cleaners, security staff and PR and marketing roles.
  • Volunteer work is a great way for expats to gain experience and build connections.

Good to know:

The average working week in the Canary Islands is typically 40 hours. The working day will typically start between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and finish at 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. In between, there'll be a two-hour or three-hour lunch break/siesta between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

How to prepare for a job interview in the Canary Islands

Whether you're feeling confident or a bit nervous, there are some essential tips you should keep in mind to ensure you present yourself in the best possible way. 

Knowing the cultural norms and customs of the Canary Islands will help you prepare for a job interview. It will help you to understand the interviewer's communication style and relate to them better.

Conduct thorough research about the organization that you are interviewing with. This will help you to understand their work culture, vision and mission. 

It is essential to dress appropriately for an interview. Unless specified, you can dress in business casual attire.

You can anticipate and prepare for commonly asked interview questions such as "Tell me about yourself" and "Why do you want to work for this company?"

Punctuality is highly appreciated in the Canary Islands' work culture. Set out for the interview early to avoid getting lost or hitting unexpected traffic.

Practice your communication skills, including active listening, eye contact and body language.

Be prepared to discuss the skills, experience and personal qualities you gained while living in another country.

The work culture in the Canary Islands

The people of the Canary Islands are known for being friendly, warm and welcoming, which translates into a workplace culture that is inclusive and supportive. It´s one that prioritizes collaboration, communication and teamwork, with a focus on building relationships and creating a positive work environment.

Useful links:

Canary Islands Employment Service


Opcion Empleo

Info Jobs


Mil Anuncios

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.