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WORKING IN SWITZERLAND

Salaries in Switzerland: In which sectors have wages increased the most?

Despite the pandemic and struggling economy, wages in Switzerland rose by 1.5 percent in 2020, a new study shows.

Salaries in Switzerland: In which sectors have wages increased the most?
Jobs in IT pay well in Switzerland. Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP

The Swiss Wage Index, released on Friday by the Federal Statistical  Office (FSO) is an annual indicator of gross wage growth by industry.

As the chart below shows, the biggest salary increases were in the IT and other information services, as well as in science and technology (3.4 percent in both cases.)

Next are manufacture of metal products (2.2 percent), followed by trade and repair of cars and motorcycles (2.1)  and publishing and telecommunications (2.0).

On the other hand, salaries in sectors like financial services are among the industries with the lowest wage increases.

Negative growth was registered in seven industries, including insurance, utilities, and retail.

What are the average Swiss salaries for various professions?

Workers in Switzerland are among the best paid in the world, but the cost of living here is one of the highest as well.

FSO’s Swiss Earnings Structure Survey of 2018, the last year for which official statistics are available, reports the median monthly wage in Switzerland at 6,538 francs.

Salary platform Lohncomputer  lists average monthly earnings estimates culled from various wage surveys.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Lawyer: 9,300 francs
  • Accountant: 8,125 francs
  • Teacher: 7,292 francs
  • Bank employee: 6,750
  • Architect: 6,250 francs
  • Nurse : 5,667 francs
  • Carpenter: 5,150 francs
  • Hairdresser: 4,375 francs

Other salary estimates can be found here.

If you’d like to find the expected average wage in your industry, check this link.

READ MORE: Swiss salaries: How much do people earn in Switzerland?

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For members

ZURICH

Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

The Covid pandemic hit Switzerland hard, although the country's largest city has rebounded strongly.

Jobs: Why Zurich has rebounded better than other Swiss cities from Covid

Measures imposed due to the Covid pandemic, which began in earnest in February 2020, shuttered businesses across the country and pushed many people out of work. 

When most notable Covid rules were relaxed in Switzerland in mid-February 2022, the economic recovery – highlighted by a strong job market – began in earnest in 2021. 

READ MORE: How the Swiss job market rebounded from the Covid pandemic

Nowhere was this more evident than Zurich, Switzerland’s largest and most economically powerful city. 

How did Zurich rebound from the Covid pandemic in comparison to the rest of the country?

Even though Zurich, along with other large Swiss cities like Geneva, Basel, Bern and Lausanne, have been hit hard by the pandemic from the employment perspective, Zurich’s labour market is now growing faster than in other urban centres.

One of the reasons for this upward trend is that young, well-educated foreigners are coming back.

In the first nine months of 2021, the city’s population grew significantly.

In September alone, it recorded 2,200 additional residents.

This is mainly due to people with a B residence permit, according to Klemens Rosin, methodologist at Zurich’s Statistics Office.

During the crisis, far fewer of them left the city. “This group is made up of well-educated, younger and mobile foreigners who have made a significant contribution to Zurich’s growth”, Rosin said.

Zurich’s employment market is expect to grow even further.

READ MORE: How hard is finding work in Zurich without speaking German?

That’s because in the coming years, many Zurich workers will retire — an estimated  210,000 by year 2050 — creating more job opportunities for younger employees.

In fact, according to a study commissioned by the canton in 2021, if Zurich’s economy is to continue to flourish, it will need around 1.37 million workers by mid-century.

If these vacancies will not be filled, then income, tax revenue and the financing of social security programs will be impacted.

READ MORE: Have your say: What’s the best way to find a job in Zurich

While it is difficult to predict what jobs will be most in demand in 2050 — what new technologies will emerge in the meantime — right now and in medium term, IT workers will be especially needed, experts say, because businesses will continue to to digitalise and automate.

Lower skilled jobs will also be in higher demand, including hospitality, retail and transport. 

With hundreds of thousands of vacancies to fill, people with the permission to work in Switzerland are likely to be flush with offers – particularly skilled workers with recognised qualifications. 

READ MORE: Why finding a job in Switzerland is set to become easier 

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