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Work in Switzerland, information about salaries

Posted on 23 February 2009 by Gaffer

“What salary should I request for a job in Switzerland?” — it’s a question a lot of people from outside Switzerland try to answer. Salaries in Switzerland are higher than elsewhere? Myth or reality?

Most surveys estimate that salaries in Switzerland for skilled workers are generally two or three times higher than in most other European countries. In 2006, the salary in Switzerland averaged 5674 Swiss Francs, it’s approximately 68k Swiss francs per year. So, Switzerland has a relatively high level of pay. However, the Swiss cost of living is also very high compared with countries in the EU.

For job positions like executives, experts, managers and specialists, the average salary ranges from 4700 (Hotels, Restaurant…) to 11,220 Swiss francs (banking and financial sector). The most qualified earn almost 7400 Swiss francs, averaging all sectors of activity together.

In 2006, the best salary was on the banking and financial sector but with the global economic crisis and recessionist tendencies, probably the average salary will go down. Though it isn’t certain since a lot of banks have been giving out bonuses during the crisis. Top management may have some trouble but since they earn a lot more than any employers one can’t predict the future salary in this sector.

salaries in Switzerland

You can’t convert you’re current salary to swiss francs, indeed… it’s the same job but you must take into account the cost of living in Switzerland. Your net pay will be higher in Switzerland than in France: all social security deductions – pension systems, unemployment insurance represent 13-15% of the salary and it’s about 23% in France.
In Switzerland, payroll taxes related to health insurance are paid in full by the company but you have to pay your contribution to health insurance (LaMal)… it’s mandatory so you need to purchase one.
Between 2005 and 2006, the salary has increased in Switzerland by 0.1% (all professions and sectors). Maybe you think, it’s the crisis in 2008 so we can use this statistics of the SFO (2006). Actually it’s right; some studies indicate for 2008 a pay increase of 2.6% over the previous year.
The government has made available on Internet some tools to calculate salary for a region
Salary in Geneva
Average Salary in Switzerland
If you’re a job seeker looking for an opportunity in Switzerland feel free to upload your CV on

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Work in the Swiss Hospitality Industry

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Hans-T

According to a recent study by Manpower, Swiss employers in the Hotel and Restaurant Sector are highly optimistic for the period April-June 2008, for which they are predicting an increase in employment in Switzerland of 14%, considerably higher than last years hotel and restaurant industry jobs.

During the first quarter of 2008, the hotel and restaurant sector in Switzerland registered strong demand and created many new temporary jobs. The Manpower study said that for the 2nd quarter of 2008, the hotel and restaurant sectors would provide roughly 15% more work in Switzerland compared with last year. While 2007 was already an exceptional year, 2008 promises to show stronger growth in jobs in the hotel and restaurant businesses.

Despite the increase in jobs in hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, the salaries have not risen very much, and industry analysts are not expecting major increases in salaries any time soon.

Work in Swiss Hotel and Restaurant Industry

So while the increase in jobs this hospitality sector may be good for the general economy, it does not appear to signal an increase in the standard of living of employees of restaurants and hotels. Recruitment among Swiss hotels and restaurants nonetheless remains very strong.

The current strong growth in jobs in hotels and restaurants in Switzerland contrasts with the general moroseness in the construction industry, which has stagnated.

Manpower, the author of the study, is a global company specializing in employment services and temporary workers and has sales of over $21 billion. The group is active in recruitment in Switzerland for the hotel and restaurant industries.

Recruiting agencies claim that January 2008 was still better than January 2007, with a major increase in jobs and open-ended permanent contract hires.

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Cost of Swiss Professionals Increases – Swiss Salaries Rise

Posted on 19 February 2008 by ThomasP

The average hourly cost of labor working in Switzerland increased over the period 2004 – 2006.

Swiss labor costs remain among the highest in Europe, however the strengthening of the Euro has offset the competitive disadvantage of work in Switzerland.

The average hourly wage paid for salaried employees working in Switzerland over the period 2004 – 2006 was CHF 53.90, according to the Federal Office of Statistics (OFS) in Berne.

The OFS emphasized that the progression in labor costs resulted predominantly from the increase in salaries and bonuses paid by Swiss-based companies for higher qualified professionals working in Switzerland and also resulting from the reduction in the effective working hours. The statistic therefore reflects the increasing specialization in the Swiss economy.

However this generalization skirts around large variations in the Salaries increasing in Switzerland

different branches of the Swiss economy. Employees in the sectors of insurance and banking are those costing the most to their employers, with an average remuneration of CHF 80.80 per hour. They present as well the most marked progression in compensation of work in Switzerland, with a rise of more than 12% over the past 2 years. At the Salaries increasing in Switzerlandother end of the scale, employers in the hotel and restaurant industries paid an average hourly wage of CHF 33.20 to their employees, which represents a rise of only 2.9% over 2004 and probably does not even offset the cost of living increases over that period. For clerical workers working in Switzerland, retail stores offered on average an hourly wage of CHF 46.45, an increase of 3.85%.

Between the extremes, teachers were among the better compensated, with an average hourly wage of 66.55%, ahead of public sector administration (CHF 63.85 / + 3%) and those working in the energy industries (CHF 63.15 / 4.15%). The sectors with the highest costs also have the highest demands for well-
qualified professionals working in Switzerland – unsurprisingly the high value-added sectors. In the construction industry, the average hourly salary is CHF 47.60 (+2.9%) and in the manufacturing industry CHF 52.25 (+3.6%).

Overall, it’s the financial services and banking sector which is pushing up the statistics. And the employees from the public sector did not really receive better increases workers in construction, and even less than teachers working in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, the average salary is composed of 83% remuneration directly received, 15% contributions for social security retirement and insurances (such as unemployment), and 1.6% other costs such as continuing education.

In order to compare Switzerland to the rest of Europe, these charges have to be converted into Euros. The OFS calculated that in 2006, the average hourly salary came out to be Euro 33.80, thus ahead of Sweden (Euro 32.15), Luxembourg (Euro 32), and France (Euro 30.30). Thanks to the strong rise of the Euro, the discrepancy between the costs of working in Switzerland and the surrounding EU countries was substantially reduced. It would appear that with respect to cost levels in 2002, Switzerland actually presents a cost reduction of roughly 1% due to exchange rate fluctuations.

Recent studies have called into question the linearity of remuneration and employee fidelity and motivation, indicating that relative status at the workplace is more importantthan absolute compensation in the minds of many professionals working in Switzerland.

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Swiss Salaries Rise Further

Posted on 02 November 2007 by Sprecher

According to UBS, Swiss companies in 2008 will post the largest rise in salaries in over ten years.

Nominal salaries are set to rise substantially, according to their study of the Swiss economy. The number one Swiss bank’s economists are anticipating an inflation rate of 1%, and claim that salaries will rise close to 2.5%, thus roughly 1.5% over inflation.

The rise is higher than that in 2007. Employees this year benefited from a real rise in salaries of roughly 1.3% (after discounting cost-of-living increases).

The UBS studies are made across 19 economic sectors and the conclusions were made public yesterday.

The strong progression in salaries was expected in the pharmaceutical sector and chemical industry (2.8%), as well as in the cantonal administrations and construction industry (2.7%).

The I.T. sectors, Metals, and Machine Tools posted rises of 2.6%.

Companies in the Energy sector, as well as insurances, telecommunications, and the banking sector are betting on a growth of at least 2.5%.

The textile industry, medias, printing, and the graphic arts sector is expected to experience growth in salaries of 1.8% and thus expected to post the most modest increases.

These data do not include bonus systems in place in the many of the sectors. 75% of the large companies surveyed have such a bonus systems in place. This means the rise in compensation is likely higher than the stated figures.

The general business climate remains very optimistic: 49% of the companies surveyed are intending to hire staff shortly, while only 15% are forecasting reductions in personnel.

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Swiss Salaries

Posted on 30 August 2007 by Sprecher

Highly qualified professionals entering the Swiss labor market or already working in Switzerland and thinking about changing jobs after having occupied the same employment for a long period time, may ask themselves, ‘what am I worth now on the Swiss market?’

Below, we provide some benchmark figures, which of course depend strongly on the sector of the economy one is working in and the level of post occupied.

The average monthly salary in Switzerland (all sectors taken together) is slightly more than CHF 5,600, roughly CHF 68,000 annually.

For entry level executives, the range is roughly from CHF 4500 (for the restaurant and hotel field – notoriously underpaid) to about CHF 9000/month (for example in the PTT).

For upper level executives, the average monthly salary is usually between CHF 5300 (hotel/restaurant) and CHF 19,000 (Pharmaceutical, Tobacco industry, Finance…)

Salaries in Switzerland by City
swiss salaries 2007 by city

It is a serious mistake to simply convert monies and compare with whichever country you are coming from.

For a given job position, you can only compare salaries after you have taken into account such things as: cost of living in the country, and salary structure.

In Switzerland, the ration of net salary to gross salary is much more advanatageous than in the majority of EU countries. For example, the ratio is approximately 15% in Switzerland against 24% in France. Obviously, as such, for equal salaries in the to countries one’s net salary would be much higher in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, the social charges related to health insurance are often entirely at the expense of the employee (many large companies do offer health insurance as a benefit but they are not required to do so by law).

Salaries in Switzerland Grouped by Degree
swiss salaries 2007 by degree

You must therefore yourself, independently of your salary, pay for your obligatory health insurance.

To complete your evaluation, you might consult salary statistics from the Swiss government website pertaining in the sector in which you work, or the job function which interests you, or post an inquiry to this website,

Consider as well that salaries vary greatly in Switzerland from canton to canton, with Zurich and Geneva and Basel having the highest salaries, and the highest costs of living. Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, has, on the other hand, relatively low salaries. However, many people appreciate the lifestyle in Ticino.

Other popular Swiss cities are Bern (one of the first Swiss cities to have a Starbucks) , Lausanne, Neuchatel, Yverdon, and Zug.

Salaries in Switzerland Grouped by Sector of the Economy
swiss salaries 2007 by sector

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Best Paid Chief Executives in Switzerland

Posted on 28 March 2007 by Fixer

The executive management at Credit Suisse divided up 178 million francs in 2006, according to the annual report of the second largest Swiss bank. The eight members of the management committee at Credit Suisse took in 151.4 million francs, while 26.9 francs were attributed to administrators.

The remuneration for Oswald Grubel was not specified. That will change however in the next annual report due to the decision of the Federal Coucil of May 2006. In the future, companies must publish the salaries of their top paid directors. The president of Credit Suisse, Walter Kielholz took in 12.1 million francs in 2005, and CHF 16 million in 2006. That’s 10 million francs less than the revenue of the CEO of Oerlikon. With a revenue of CHF 26 million, Thomas Limberger figures up top with the highest paid managers in Switzerland, next to Daniel Vasella of Novartis and Marcel Ospel of UBS (CHF 26.5 million). In the banking sector, Josef Ackermann, head of Deutsche Bank, made CHF 21.4 million and has the title of highest paid executive in Germany. Roche’s chief executive Franz UBS Marcel Ospel

Humer made CHF 16.7 million and Nestle’s Peter Brabeck took in 14.1 million for 2006.

Compared to executive pay in the United States, executive pay in Switzerland remains modest.

In fact, overall, Switzerland currently ranks fourth at 25.6 euros, behind Norway, Denmark and western Germany for labor costs. The high price of labor costs in Switzerland is primarily due to the shortage of skilled labor in Switzerland. The Swiss marketplace for jobs is especially tight with low unemployment, high wages, and an elevated degree of disposable income. There are hundreds of agencies in Switzerland specializing in the recruitment of professionals for key Swiss industries, such as the banking, pharmaceutical, and luxury industries.

The Swiss executive landscape is full of foreign managers, particularly from the North America, the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

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Prostitution in Switzerland: Market Saturation

Posted on 14 March 2007 by LegalBeagle

Since the bilateral accords in 2004 allowing free flow of workers between Switzerland and The EU, Switzerland has seen the number of prostitutes explode. A spokesman for the Geneva Police reports, “in just 2 years, the number of registered prostitutes working in Geneva has gone from 800 to 1500.” In Switzerland prostitution is legal and prostitutes who work in Switzerland are required to “register” with the Brigade des Moeurs, report their income, and pay taxes on it. While obviously many do not register and work clandestinely, the fluctuation of registered prostitutes is a solid indicator of the percentage increase. Prostitutes working clandestinely are often harassed by those working legally since they tend to bring the prices down with discounted services.

There was a time, just a few years back, when the Salon de L’Auto brought a huge rise in business to local prostitution, as did many other large conventions. But with use of the internet now thoroughly generalized, clients more often then not connect with girls through the web. Easily and discretely.

girl studentMany students consider prostitution to be a means to make easy money. According to informal surveys, prostitutes make between CHF 15,000 – 20,000 / month. Given the prospect of such easy money or taking a long-hours job at the McDonalds, for many girls the choice is simple. The Profession is seducing a larger and larger number of young girls, and increasingly minors. Social workers are finding that more and more often girls are turning to prostitution simply to be able to buy luxury items, like Gucci bags or expensive watches. Or in some cases, students

resort to prostitution in order to pay their educational and living expenses. “Without a scholarship, if you don’t want to go into debt with a loan, it can be awfully tempting…” says Michele, a student at the University of Geneva. Michele’s friend Sophie adds, “Thanks to prostitution, I managed to clean up my finances in 6 months instead of more like 6 years.”

Neither girl was willing to go into detail about their activities and behind the financial attractiveness of this trade is a dark and often dangerous universe from which it can be difficult to extract oneself once inside. Recently in Geneva a student prostitute was murdered in her apartment by a client.

Both Sophie and Michele are counting on putting enough money aside to get of the ‘business’ rapidly. “I don’t want to sound materialistic” says Sophie, “but I really can’t imagine working as some boutique salesgirl making 3000 francs a month.”

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