Spain is experiencing a boom in the freelance market, as more and more people are turning to self-employment to escape the nine-to-five grind and get a better work-life balance. The longstanding tourist hotspot is quickly becoming a hub for expat freelancers, with its blissful climate, low cost of living, and relaxed lifestyle.
But one key question for foreign workers remains: “What are the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain?”
Wonder no longer! In this article, we’re going to highlight the most demanded and best-paid jobs for solos like you for 2023. Whether you're a seasoned freelancer or just starting out, we’re here to help you make informed decisions about the right career for your lifestyle. We've considered 14 jobs, including classic freelancing roles like graphic design and web development, as well as new and emerging roles in artificial intelligence and blockchain.
For each profession, we’ll provide top tips, such as:
So, without further ado, let's dive into the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain in 2023!
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has taken the world by storm, and is now trusted by tech giants like Pinterest, Netflix, and Airbnb for cloud storage. AWS is such a behemoth that it stores about 40% of all content on the entire internet 🤯. Its importance in terms of cybersecurity and its “99.99% availability” requires top talent behind the scenes, so there is high demand for developers.
Amazon offers a bunch of free online courses through the AWS Academy, with more advanced modules requiring a subscription. This is an ideal way to get industry-recognized certifications and careers in cloud services. You can channel your learning into a variety of areas such as: development, architecture, operations, machine learning, data analysis, and data centers.
If you don’t want to go it alone, there are a huge number of institutions that teach AWS Academy courses.
Already a cloud storage specialist? Get in touch with Amazon directly!
But not all AWS work happens in-house. Freelance cloud experts can easily turn their hand to consultancy work for a huge range of AWS clients. You can also join groups such as the AWS Freelance Consultants Network to find more niche opportunities.
The average beginner developers can expect around €20,000 per year, rising to around €50,000 when you gain more experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has very recently made the switch from Sci-Fi to daily life, and is in equal parts exciting and scary. Alongside machine learning, it is already sweeping up a lot of jobs, so maybe now is the time to say: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
At the cutting-edge of tech, it’s no surprise that you can get geeky online when it comes to AI development. There are a bunch of free courses with paid upgrades when you really dig deep into the topic.
AI tasks are pretty diverse — programming thermostats, developing biometric security software, or even building robots — so there is a huge range of options out there. Many tech heads see LinkedIn as a bit of an overcrowded market, so look at more niche job boards.
While it’s not leading the way among the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain, you’re still at the vanguard of technology. Therefore, you can expect a healthy €30,000 to €60,000 per year.
Despite the constant industry uncertainty, blockchain and cryptocurrency development is a very lucrative career path 🤑.
If you’ve ever been cornered by a crypto bro at a wedding without zoning out, you’ll know that blockchain is the basis for the entire industry. In short, blockchain is a database that stores new information in "blocks", that are linked by “chains” (I wonder where they got the name from 🤔). Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are driven by blockchain tech and kept in check by users all over the world.
Like the rest of these new-age professions, there are tons of resources online. Udemy, for example, delivers a free Ethereum tutorial from Berkeley.
Companies invest billions in blockchain developers and managers — if they can find them. So if coding is your forte, you’re going to be in high demand! Look for tips online for how to curate your resume for the industry, and get your LinkedIn up to date. It’s likely companies will come to you, rather than the other way around.
You can look offline too. Industry-leading events often come to Spain’s bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona, so keep your eyes open and get networking.
According to a range of educational platforms, a blockchain and crypto developer is one of the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain, with salaries ranging from €45,000 to €120,000 per year.
According to SOCRadar, almost 90% of Spanish organizations were compromised by at least one successful cyberattack from 2021 to 2022. Brutal. That’s why cybersecurity specialists and ethical hackers are in HUGE demand in Spain and beyond.
Cybersecurity is a skyrocketing industry, so there’s all kinds of material out there to draw on. A great place to start is with a cybersecurity webinar to understand the field, before moving into courses and training to get the skills you need.
There is a massive talent gap among ethical hackers. Huge demand for a low number of specialists means that you can often get your skills on your LinkedIn, put your feet up, and wait for the offers to come in. But that wouldn’t be very responsible.
You can find an endless list of cybersecurity events on LinkedIn, so once you’re done updating your profile, take a look and get networking.
Now we’re really talking… Because of the industry talent gap, cybersecurity and ethical hacking leads our list of the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain. Deloitte and Infoempleo put the range at around €75,000 to €115,000 per year.
Data analysts are the go-between for humans and The Matrix. They take meaningless data and turn it into business insights — which every industry is interested in.
You can sharpen your data analysis chops online, sure. But one of the best ways to break into the data industry is through a bootcamp. Madrid and Barcelona are full of them, so you can even learn your data analytics skills in Spain. If study visas are a problem, you can find a range of online bootcamps, then take advantage of the Digital Nomad Visa to move to Spain.
Data analytics don’t provide the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain, but you can expect a more-than-comfortable salary of around €50,000 to €60,000 per year.
In the overcrowded marketplace of the internet, it’s hard to stand out. But graphic designers can make all the difference. It’s not all about corporate advertising either. Great design can help you find a hospital when you most need it and make museums accessible to everybody.
Behance is an excellent site for getting a wide range of inspiration for graphic designers. If you’ve already arrived in Spain, you can also learn about the far-reaching impact of design at the Design Museum in Barcelona!
If you’ve been a designer for a while, you’ll know that nothing is better than a killer portfolio. Send that out to potential clients and see if they like your style. But for some of the best job pages for designers, take a look at Domestika, or the exclusively freelance 99designs.
Unless you’re really hitting the big time, freelance graphic designers working in Spain should average around €19,000 to €24,000 per year.
If you can think of it, there’s an app for it. The explosive rise of apps is expected to continue growing, jumping 22% from 2019 to 2029. And behind all of those apps? Thousands of developers working their socks off.
The first thing to know is that iOS and Android use their own specific coding infrastructure, and it’s a good idea to specialize in one or the other. Like data analysis, the industry route into app and software development is through bootcamps, such as UX/UI app design.
As long as smartphones exist, apps will exist, and new opportunities come thick and fast through both generic and specific job portals. App development is often a project-based task, which makes it great for freelancers. Compile your past work into a portfolio and stay connected to the industry and you’ll uncover some gold soon enough.
App development may not provide the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain, at €17,000 to €46,000 per year. But the relatively low salaries are counterbalanced by the bountiful supply of jobs in the market.
What could be better than strutting around Spain, camera in hand, making a living? Lots of traveling, outdoor work, and scratching that creative itch brings a stream of photographers to the sunny side of Europe.
There are plenty of resources out there for budding photographers — some great, some not so great. But our friends back at Domestika have courses for a range of photography specializations like social media, product marketing, and retouching.
When it comes to photography, there are so many freelancers out there, that it’s good to find your niche. It could be weddings, family portraits, journalism, nature, fashion, sports, food, or anything else you can think of. And when you're not working for someone else, sell your work on stock photography websites or e-commerce sites.
Here are a few good places to start looking for gigs:
You’ve got to be flexible to be a freelance photographer, and it’s fair to say the pay isn’t amazing. But if you’re in it for the passion, you can earn around €17,000 to €25,000 per year.
What’s even better than a sleek photo? An even cooler video. Digital content is always thirsty for great footage, and in 2020, nearly one million videos were uploaded to the internet every second 🤯. That means there’s a lot of work out there for top editors.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a camera yet, you can still turn raw video into true works of art. 3D graphic creation is more complex, but already in high demand, and you can get to work from your bedroom.
Test out your video editing skills on the following platforms:
Video editing is another area where a great portfolio will do a lot of the legwork, so spend time on creating a showreel that puts your best work on display. When it comes to finding gigs, Upwork is a portal for freelance video editors. Take a look as part of your daily routine to find the best roles, because they get snapped up pretty quickly.
If you’re smart in setting your rates, you can get very competitive compensation per hour. So sharpen your editing and negotiation skills to earn around €48,000 per year.
In 2023, forecasts say social media will exceed 3.4 billion users a month. That’s a massive audience, and organizations need social media specialists to exploit it.
Finding out about social media marketing can be as simple as mindfully paying attention to strategies next time you’re scrolling. But there are a huge bunch of free and paid courses to keep you up to date on the latest trends in social media marketing.
Social media marketing is one of the most versatile freelance jobs on this list, spanning all industries, targeting every demographic, and working on each platform. This opens up a lot of options for you
Although experience is a big factor, don’t underestimate industry knowledge and latest trends. Getting the whole package will put you at the top end of €16,000 to €45,000 per year.
Virtual assistants save companies a lot of money. Managers delegate all those essential tasks that aren’t core business, and focus their energy on their priorities. You’ll often hear that VAs need to wear many different hats, so if you’re an adaptable soul, give it a go!
There’s no industry standard qualification for virtual assistants, so you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to reading. Luckily there are some great guides to becoming a freelance virtual assistant that will give you a headstart.
Virtual assistants are needed across all sectors, so you can use a freelance role to get involved in your passion industry.
Clearly, it’s the ideal role for working from anywhere in the world, as long as you’re in a similar time zone to your clients. Take a look at the following links for clients on the hunt for flexible all-rounders like you.
Depending on your role and the volume of work, the average price per hour ranges from €20 to €55. However, by working with clients in high-wage countries, you can turn your role into one of the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain — an ideal option for expats with a deep understanding of their native country.
It’s not just a money-spinner for unsuccessful actors, voice work is a fun and creative way for freelancers in Spain to make their living 🎙️.
Whether it’s corporate videos, audio guides for a city tour, radio advertising, or even film (seriously, there’s nothing Spain loves more than a dubbed film) voice acting is a more-than-viable option.
There’s no obvious roadmap for how to become a voice actor, and a lot of it has to do with your own voice’s unique sound. Our first tip: don’t assume you “don’t have the right kind of voice”. Your future clients want a wide range of accents, timbres, and pitches. The more gigs you get, the more you’ll create your own path.
Get creative with what you look for! Video games, audiobooks, podcasts, webinars, cartoons, YouTube videos, documentaries, and much more. Create your own channel to show your variety too.
Here’s a great idea of a Spanish-based English-speaking voiceover artist who knows how to sell himself.
Voice acting varies wildly based on your experience and the project you’re working on. But according to a Spanish professional:
Podcast intro/outro — €60
Podcast production — from €100
Podcast editing — from €75
Audiobook narration (up to 15,000 words) — €750
Three-minute E-learning clips — from €100
It’s no secret that coding and programming is one of the most in-demand professions in the world today. In our list of the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain, your remuneration is way above average, and as part of a remote-friendly industry, working remotely in web dev is as easy as pie. 💻
Bootcamps in front-end, back-end, or full-stack web development are a great place to start your knowledge, but they don’t come cheap. However, there are free web design courses that can give you a solid grounding. Without a teacher, there’s nobody to turn to when you’re stuck. But you can make a lot of progress if you’ve got the drive.
Most freelance web design jobs in Spain are specifically aimed at back-end, front-end, or full-stack development — and there’s a lot of them. Tailor your resume to what you enjoy most, and check out these some platforms specialized in freelance web developer work:
The plentiful supply of international web development work can boost your income, but the average salary for a freelance web designer working in Spain is around €40,000 to €45,000 per year.
Ezines, newsletters, webpages, blogs, copywriting, e-books, video scripts, and even technical manuals — someone’s gotta write them. Although ChatGPT and other AI tools are threatening the industry, it remains a smart way to make your money for now. ✍️
A great way to make your name in content writing is to specialize in a given area such as law, gardening, parenting, or even classical mythology. Search engine optimization (SEO) is almost always a key factor of writing for the internet, so.
There are a multitude of ways to gain knowledge and confidence in content writing, and here are two:
Check out these platforms to find work as a freelance content writer:
The average for a freelance content writer is between €18,000 and €30,000 per year. But the more specific and in-demand your specialization, the more margin you have to negotiate your rates.
Being totally honest, working in Spain has a reputation for being frustrating. A lot of red tape, confusing forms, and often low pay. But now you know what the highest-paying freelance jobs in Spain are, that’s half the battle.
For the other half, there’s Xolo — an all-in-one freelance service that includes registration, client invoicing, expense tracking, accounting, and much more! And if you need anything off-menu, you can get in touch with our team of local experts for continuous support throughout your life as a freelancer.
Spend your valuable time building your business and living your life. Leave the rest to Xolo.
James McKenna has been a freelancer since 2017, working in subtitling, translation, and his main passion — writing. He loves nothing more than falling down a rabbit hole, a habit that has helped him specialize in areas as diverse as biotech, climate change, higher education, and business strategy.
Based in Barcelona, James learned the ropes the hard way, making mistakes that turned into valuable learning experiences. After working hard to establish himself, he is now working smart, and is always on the lookout for ways to streamline his business.
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