What do teachers earn in Switzerland - and where do they earn the most?

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What do teachers earn in Switzerland - and where do they earn the most?
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The phrase ‘teachers should be paid more’ was repeated so often by parents who found themselves juggling their work and their kids during the coronavirus lockdown that it became a cliche.


But what do teachers actually get paid in Switzerland - and how does this differ from canton to canton? 

An extensive assessment of teacher salaries put together by Switzerland’s Watson newspaper has revealed teacher salaries across the country. 

The wage levels are broken down according to different schooling levels. 


Kindergarten teachers

There is a significant divergence in wages earned by kindergarten teachers across Switzerland. 

In Zurich, kindergarten teachers earn CHF86,000 - which is around CHF5,000 than anywhere else in Switzerland. 

Kindergarten teachers in Graubünden, in the east of Switzerland and under three hours away, earn CHF60,000 - the least anywhere in the country. 

There is hope however for teachers earning less than some of their national counterparts, with significant increases in teacher salaries in the past year. 

The annual amount rose by almost CHF8,000 in Schaffhausen, CHF5,000 in Basel and CHF3,388 in Bern. 

The average wage for kindergarten teachers in Switzerland is CHF73,963 (+CHF730 compared to 2019), while the maximum is CHF112,311 (+CHF1071 compared to 2019). 


Primary school

Geneva has the highest salary for primary school teachers (CHF97,000), who receive the same amount as their secondary and high school level counterparts. 

Ticino primary school teachers are paid the lowest (CHF65,800). 

The average wage for a primary school teachers in Switzerland is CHF77,800, while the maximum wage is CHF117,700. 

Secondary school

Zurich again least the way when it comes to teacher salaries - teachers in Switzerland’s most populous canton earn just under CHF100,000. 

Geneva is just behind in second spot, while the tiny canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden is in third. 

Nidwalden, where secondary school teachers earn CHF85,000 is the lowest in the country. 

"Hi Miss, why did you move to Zurich?" Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

High school

High school teachers earn the most in Zug, followed by Zurich and Thurgau. 

Teachers in these three cantons earn CHF118,000, 112,000 and 111,500 respectively. 

Neuchâtel is on the bottom of the list for high school teachers, although teachers still earn more than CHF80,000 per year. 

For more information on what teachers earn in each part of Switzerland - as well as what vocational teachers take home - please click here

A version of this story was originally published in August 2021. 



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