Top-ranking executives in the pharmaceutical industry now have a median gross salary of 645,420 Swiss francs (€565,660) against 526,000 francs for the third-placed banking and financial services sector.
In second place is the insurance industry where the median gross salary for top-flight executives is 643,104 francs.
That’s according to previously unpublished data on executive salaries from the Federal Statistics Office obtained by Switzerland’s NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.
Not just top executives
The banking sector’s slide down the ranking tables is not just for the upper echelons either. Mid-level managers in the pharmaceutical industry now have a gross median salary of 280,000 francs against 220,000 francs for their counterparts in banking, who come in third place behind the insurance industry here as well.
The figures reflect the differing fortunes of the two industries over the decade since the global financial crisis.
While mid-level managers in the pharmaceuticals sector have seen their salaries soar 90,000 in this period (the industry’s exports have climbed from 50 billion francs to 80 billion francs in ten years), bankers at the same level have actually seen their median wage plummet 40,000 francs.
Not crying poor
But top-ranking bank executives can't exactly cry poor. Compared to most industries, they continue to do very well. By comparison, top-ranking executives in the retail industry have a gross median salary of 149,016 Swiss francs. For the health sector, that is 229,244 francs and for the transport sector, the figure is 204,416 francs.
For employees without management responsibilities, the top earners are in telecommunications, with a median gross salary of 104,352 francs, followed by the pharma industry (100,290 francs) and education at 98,592 francs.
At the other end of the scale, the lowest-paid industries at this level are hospitality (49,932 francs) and then retail, where the figure is 55,380 francs, and construction at 70,188 francs.
Read also: This is how much people earn in Switzerland