The best and worst paid jobs in Switzerland in 2019

The Local Switzerland
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The best and worst paid jobs in Switzerland in 2019
A senior veterinarian can expect to earn 11,320 Swiss francs (around €10,000) a month. File photo: Depositphotos"

The latest edition of a key Swiss report sheds light on how much people can expect to earn in Switzerland – police and priests included.


Taking in over 9.400 jobs, the hefty Lohnbuch Schweiz 2019 was compiled by Zurich’s economy and employment department and is based on intense mining of data on recommended salaries and minimum wages across all of Switzerland.

And while the salaries listed in the report do not provide an exact picture of what people are actually earning every month, they do give a key insight into which jobs are well paid and which are not.

This is especially relevant in Switzerland where salaries are often shrouded in mystery.

Top earners

The report shows, for example, that chief financial officers who are new to the position have a listed pre-tax salary of 14,000 Swiss francs (€12,460) a month. 

Also highly paid are senior medical consultants in Zurich. Their monthly pre-tax salary is listed at 13,017 francs a month.

Read also: This is how much people earn in Switzerland

Other top earners include high-ranking diplomats (13,663 francs), credit risk managers (with a starting salary of 8,769 francs) and senior veterinarians (11,320 francs).

And, in what may come as a surprise, parish priests with the Swiss reformed church in their ninth year of service have a listed salary of 9.084 francs – a figure unchanged on last year.

Meanwhile, an IT professional with Swiss qualifications could expect to earn 4,615 francs a month – a sum which rises to 6,669 francs for people in this group with a Master’s degree.

For police in canton Zurich, the salary listed in the Lohnbuch Schweiz is 5,594 francs a month before tax and for senior ticket inspectors on Swiss trains, the figure is 4,969 francs.

Farmers with a professional qualification have a listed salary of 4,500 francs and ‘band 3’ primary school teachers in Zurich have their monthly wages listed at 7,016 francs a month.

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Switzerland's working poor

There are also a wide range of jobs in Switzerland where salaries are below or close to the 4,000-franc mark..

This figure is important as the official poverty threshold in notoriously expensive Switzerland is 3,981 francs a month for a household of two adults and two children under the age of 14.

Read also: Two Swiss cities among top ten most expensive globally

Among the lowest paid professionals are taxi drivers who are just starting out. They have a listed salary of 3,150 francs a month. Meanwhile, hairdressers with a trade qualification can expect to earn 3,800 francs a month for their first two years on the job and retail employees’ salaries are listed to begin at 4,1000 francs a month before rising to 4,350 francs a month after three or four years on the job.

In all of the above cases, salaries have not shifted on 2017 levels, suggesting that people are more poorly-paid professions are also being worst hit by rising costs such as higher health insurance premiums in Switzerland.

The Lohnbuch Schweiz is currently in its tenth edition and is considered a key reference tool for everyone from employment authorities to unions.

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