The Article was originally published on .cult by Melina Zacharia And Luis Minvielle. .cult is a Berlin-based community platform for developers. We write about all things career, make original documentaries and share tons of other untold developer stories from around the world.
The Spanish labor market is booming – and with it the opportunities for developers. After a turbulent 2020, official sources indicated that the revival of the service sector and the general upturn in economic activity will have a positive impact on employment and reduce the unemployment rate in Spain in the coming years. The government forecast economic growth of 7% by 2022-2023, and recent labor market research shows that employment is likely to have increased by 2.7% in 2022.
How much will software developers earn in Spain in 2023?
The average salary for software developers in Spain in 2023 was €53.5k, while the expected salary was closer to €56.4k. This means that developers in Spain are earning around 5% less than initially expected.
Average offered vs. expected offer per roll in Spain
According to our findings, the offered and expected average salaries differed for each role. For example, the average salary offered for backend developers was €53,000, but their average expected salary was €53.3,000.
In this chart, green indicates that the salary offer is higher than expected, while red means it is lower.
For some positions, there are major discrepancies between the salaries offered and those expected. For example, DevOps engineers expect to earn nearly $24,000 more than the companies are offering them, while fullstack developers expect to earn slightly less.
Average developer salary in Spain compared to DACH and the Netherlands
Comparing Spain with Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, we found that average software developer salaries in Spain are lagging behind.
The salary gap for software developers between Spain and other European countries, especially the DACH region, is significant. Developers in the DACH region and the Netherlands earn an average of €74,500 per year, while Spain falls somewhere in the middle with an average salary of €53,500 per year.
What is the reason for the salary differences across Europe?
According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different countries, Spain has a lower cost of living index than Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands. For example the Rental prices in Spain are 64.75% lower than Switzerland, 41.63% lower than Germany and 45.62% lower than the Netherlands. This means that developers in Spain can afford a similar or better quality of life than their counterparts in other countries for a lower salary.
Is this salary gap likely to change in the future? It’s hard to predict how the software developer market will evolve over the coming years, but some trends suggest it may become more balanced. For example, remote work has become increasingly common and accepted, and Spain has recently introduced one Digital Nomad Visa. In addition, the European Union encourages digital transformation and innovation in its member states, which could increase the demand and value of software developers.
Spain offers lower software developer salaries than other European countries, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worse place to work. The cost of living is also lower in Spain and the quality of life is increasing rapidly.
Most interview invitations in Spain by role
In Spain, companies have a greater need for backend developers. According to our data, backend developers received the largest share of all interview invitations on the Honeypot platform. Frontend developers took second place, followed by fullstack developers and DevOps engineers. DevOps engineers are in increasing demand across Europe, and Spain is no different. It’s still new enough that it doesn’t outperform the more traditional roles, but things are evolving fast and the picture will likely look different in a few years.
- Backend developer 54%
- Frontend developer 22%
- Fullstack developers 10.7%
- DevOps Engineer 9.7%
Backend developers are in high demand in Spain. This could be because many companies are developing or migrating their web services to cloud platforms or microservices architectures that require scalable and reliable backend solutions.
Gender pay gap in Spain
Spain had one of the largest gender pay gaps in Europe. The difference in salaries offered between male and female developers ranged from 5% to 18.6%.
Average developer salary by gender and years of experience
Looking at years of experience, we found that male developers with 0-2 years of experience were offered an average salary of €49,200. That is 10% more than what is offered to their female counterparts. With increasing professional experience, the gap decreases.
Green indicates the salary offer is higher than the expectation, while red means it is lower.
The biggest gap was in full-stack roles, where male developers earned 18.6% more than their female counterparts. The only exception was front-end developers, where women earned 3% more than men, but this may be due to the fact that 85% of the offers went to male developers.
Salary expectations by gender
Our results show that women in Spain tend to expect less money than their male counterparts. For example, female backend developers expect €50,100 while male backend developers expect €52,100. This expectation gap could be a great opportunity for companies to join the conversation and create positive change that sets things on track.
As for gender diversity, LinkedIn data Data collected in 2021 showed a wide disparity: 13% of software developers in Spain identified as female, while 87% identified as male. This is in line with our previous findings on the gender pay gap and confirms that major progress needs to be made in closing the gender gap in the Spanish tech sector.
Salary by language and location
Our data shows that Spanish companies value language skills. Spanish-speaking developers received 54% of all interview invitations. In addition, Spanish companies tend to be looking for developers: 81% of interview invitations went to developers already living in Spain.
Why do companies in Spain prefer local developers? One explanation could be that developers outside of Spain have higher salary expectations. Another reason could be the cultural fit and work-life balance that Spanish companies strive for.
The importance of language as a skill for software developers in Spain is underscored by an independent survey by a technology recruiter, in which out of 51,000 software developers working in Spain, 33,000 described their level of English as working professionally, fully professionally or fully professionally. “Native” or “Bilingual” on their LinkedIn profiles.
The most sought after tech stacks in Spain
Our data for 2023 is averaged from 2022 and 2023 to ensure accuracy as the year is not over yet. Expected salary data is obtained from developer profiles on the Honeypot platform, while offered salary data is based on a company’s initial offer during the interview process. It does not reflect the final negotiated and contracted amount. We use an external library to determine gender based on the person’s first name.
You can download the full 2023 salary report Here