Considering relocation to Spain? Here’s what you should know about developer salaries.

Considering relocation to Spain? Here's what you should know about developer salaries.

The Spanish Job Market for Software Developers: Insights and Trends

This 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-related, make original documentaries, and share heaps of other untold developer stories from around the world.

The Spanish job market is booming, and it’s good news for developers. After a turbulent 2020, the services sector’s resuscitation and the overall increase in economic activity are projected to have a positive impact on employment in Spain in the coming years. The government predicts a 7% growth in the economy by 2022-2023, and recent studies indicate that employment likely increased by 2.7% in 2022.

The Average Salary for Software Developers in Spain

So, how much do software developers earn in Spain in 2023? The average salary for software developers in Spain in 2023 was €53.5k, slightly lower than the expected salary of €56.4k. This means that developers in Spain are making about 5% less than what they initially expected.

Average Salaries Offered vs. Expected per Role in Spain

When we delve into the insights, we find that the average salaries offered and expected for different roles can differ. For example, the average offered salary for backend developers in Spain was €53k, while their average expected salary was €53.3k.

Salary Offer vs. Expectation

As we can see from the chart, green indicates that the salary offer is higher than the expectation, while red means it’s lower. Some roles demonstrate higher discrepancies between the offered and expected salaries. For example, DevOps engineers expect to earn almost €24,000 more than what companies offer, while fullstack developers expect to earn slightly less.

Average Developer Salary in Spain vs. DACH and the Netherlands

When comparing Spain to other European countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland, we find that Spain’s average salaries for software developers lag behind. Developers in the DACH region and the Netherlands earn an average salary of €74,500 per year, whereas Spain falls somewhere in the middle with an average salary of €53,500 per year.

But why is there a salary gap across Europe? According to Numbeo, a website that compares living costs across countries, Spain has a lower cost of living index than Switzerland, Germany, or the Netherlands. For example, rent prices in Spain are 64.75% lower than in Switzerland, 41.63% lower than in Germany, and 45.62% lower than in the Netherlands. This means that developers in Spain can enjoy a similar or better quality of life with a lower salary compared to their counterparts in other countries.

Is this salary gap likely to change in the future? It’s hard to predict how the software developer market will evolve in the upcoming years, but there are some trends suggesting it might become more balanced. Remote work has become more common and accepted, and Spain recently launched a digital nomad visa. Moreover, the European Union has been promoting digital transformation and innovation across its member states, which could increase the demand and value of software developers.

So even though Spain offers lower salaries for software developers than other European countries, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a worse place to work. The cost of living is lower, and the quality of life is soaring high.

Most In-Demand Roles for Developers in Spain

In Spain, companies have a greater demand for backend developers. According to our data, backend developers received the biggest share of all interview invites on the Honeypot platform. Following behind are frontend developers, fullstack developers, and DevOps engineers. While DevOps engineering is still evolving and doesn’t surpass the more traditional roles yet, it is on the rise across Europe, including Spain.

Here’s the breakdown of interview invites in Spain by role: – Backend developer: 54% – Frontend developer: 22% – Fullstack developer: 10.7% – DevOps engineer: 9.7%

Backend developers are highly sought-after in Spain due to the increasing number of companies developing or migrating their web services to cloud platforms or microservices architectures, which require scalable and reliable backend solutions.

The Gender Pay Gap in Spain

Unfortunately, Spain had one of the most significant gender pay gaps in Europe for software developers. The offered salaries between male and female developers varied from 5% to 18.6%.

Looking at years of experience, we observed that male developers with 0-2 years of experience were offered an average salary of €49,200, 10% more than their female counterparts. However, the pay gap narrows as the years of experience increase.

Gender Pay Gap

The largest pay gap was found in fullstack roles, where male developers earned 18.6% more than their female counterparts. The only exception was frontend developers, where women earned 3% more than men, but this could be due to the fact that 85% of the offers were extended to male developers.

It’s also worth noting that women tend to expect lower salaries than their male counterparts in Spain. For example, female backend developers expect €50,100, while male backend developers expect €52,100. This gap in salary expectations presents an opportunity for companies to address this issue and bring about positive change for equal pay.

Regarding gender diversity, LinkedIn data collected in 2021 showed that only 13% of software engineers in Spain identified themselves as female, while 87% identified as male. This aligns with our previous findings on the gender pay gap and confirms that there is still much progress to be made in closing the gender gap in Spain’s tech sector.

Language and Location Preferences in Spain

Our data shows that Spanish companies value language skills, with Spanish-speaking developers receiving 54% of all interview invites. Additionally, Spanish companies tend to prefer local developers, as 81% of interview invites go to developers already living in Spain.

Language and Location Preferences

Why do companies in Spain show a preference for local developers? One explanation could be that developers from outside Spain have higher salary expectations. Another reason could be the cultural fit and the work-life balance that Spanish companies are looking for.

The importance of language as a skill for software developers in Spain is reinforced by an independent investigation from a tech recruiter. Out of 51,000 software engineers working in Spain, 33,000 described their English proficiency level as ‘Professional Working,’ ‘Full Professional,’ ‘Native,’ or ‘Bilingual’ on their LinkedIn profiles.

Most In-Demand Tech Stacks in Spain

Our data suggests that the top five tech stacks in Spain are JavaScript, TypeScript, Reactjs, Nodejs, and Docker.

Top Tech Stacks

It’s worth noting that TypeScript and JavaScript claim the top two spots. TypeScript, being a superset-subset of JavaScript, is in high demand, implying that companies are seeking talent that can expand JavaScript’s capabilities. This demand may indicate the need for building AI-backed projects, such as machine learning models.


Our 2023 data is averaged from 2022 and 2023 to ensure accuracy, given that the year is not yet over. The expected salary data is determined 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 used an external library to determine gender based on the individual’s first name.

You can download the full 2023 salary report here.