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WORKING IN SWITZERLAND

What is the average salary for (almost) every job in Switzerland?

New official figures cast light onto how much the Swiss earn on average in different professions.

Thinking of a career change or just want to compare your salary? Here's how much people earn in Switzerland. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
Thinking of a career change or just want to compare your salary? Here's how much people earn in Switzerland. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

A report, put together by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office and released on Monday, shows how much people in major professions earn on average. 

The figures show a stark difference between the averages in different professions in Switzerland. 

What is the average wage in Switzerland? 

With an average monthly gross income of 6,555 francs (€6,385, £5,358 , $US7008), Switzerland has some of the highest salaries in the world. 

The comparatively low tax burden in Switzerland, particularly compared to other European countries, leads to a significantly high take-home pay. 

Around one in ten Swiss residents are considered ‘low wage earners’, which means they take home less than two thirds of the median wage each month (CHF4443). 

Around half a million people are in this category, two thirds of which are women. 

On the whole however, the wage gap between men and women in Switzerland has shrunk over time. 

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

Women earn 10.8 percent less than men, which compares positively to the 11.5 percent gap in 2018 and the 12 percent gap in 2016. 

The man reason for the gap is the higher proportion of men in management roles than women. Men in this category earn 16.8 percent more than women. 

What are the average salaries for different jobs in Switzerland? 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, average salaries in the finance industry are the highest of any sector, with finance workers earning CHF10,211 per month. 

Workers in the pharmaceutical sector earn CHF10,040, followed by CHF9,200 for those in IT. 

At the lower end of the spectrum, workers in hospitality earn CHF4479 per month and those in the retail sector earn CHF4,997 per month. 

The lowest wage category in Switzerland is the ‘personal services sector’, which includes hairdressers, beauticians and undertakers. Workers in that category earn CHF4,211 per month before tax. 

Jobs in the middle of the pack with averages reflecting the national average include the healthcare sector CHF6,821 and manufacturing (CHF7,141). 

How important is education in earnings in Switzerland? 

The report also highlighted the benefit of higher education in earning potential, even for people in the same job. 

Employees without a managerial role earn an average of CHF8,332 if they have completed university, but will earn an average of CHF7,994 if they have a university of applied sciences qualification. 

Employees who have completed an apprenticeship earn CHF5,863 on average, while those with vocational training earn 7,501. 

In which part of Switzerland can I earn the most? 

The figures also highlighted the difference between different parts of the country when it comes to wages. 

Röstigraben: The invisible barrier separating Switzerland

In Zurich, the country’s economic driver which contributes one fifth of national GDP, the median wage is CHF7,113 well above the national average. 

The relevant figure in the Southern canton of Ticino is CHF5,546 per month. 

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JOBS

Employment: This is where Switzerland’s jobs are right now

Switzerland’s labour market bounced back quite well from the Covid pandemic, with many industries looking to hire skilled workers. A new study shows where most vacant positions are.

Employment: This is where Switzerland's jobs are right now

As The Local recently reported, “many sectors are looking for qualified workers, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which reports that the unemployment rate was a record-low 2.3 percent in April, and the number of job seekers is currently 25 percent lower than at the same time in 2021. 

While many industries are experiencing a boom — for instance, jobs in IT, healthcare, construction and sales are plentiful — the shortage of skilled employees is a huge problem for many employers.

READ MORE: Which jobs are in demand in Switzerland right now – and how much can you earn?

Now a study by the Swiss section of Manpower recruiting agency sheds light on where in Switzerland most job vacancies are, which could be helpful to everyone looking for employment now.

The good news for job seekers is that “the market situation is very positive for employees…Skilled workers are scarce and the shortage cannot simply be filled by workers from neighbouring countries”, according to Peter Unternährer, Manpower’s regional director for central and eastern Switzerland.

Manpower’s survey for the second quarter of 2022 (April to June) shows that 38 percent of Switzerland’s employers plan to hire new workers.

Most job opportunities (32 percent of employers seeking to hire personnel) are found in the greater Zurich area, followed by 31 percent in the Mittelland, which encompasses the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Jura, Neuchâtel and Solothurn.

Next (30 percent) are in the Lake Geneva region, which includes the city and canton of Geneva, as well as Vaud.

In central Switzerland, 24 percent of companies are looking for employees, 23 percent in the eastern part of the country, and 18 percent in the northwest.

Manpower also found that 75 percent of the companies surveyed promote gender equality and 63 percent promote diversity in the workplace — meaning they are inclusive of employees of all backgrounds and nationalities, both in terms of hiring practices and wages.

Overall, Switzerland’s unemployment rate is much lower than across the European Union — where more than 6 percent are jobless, according to latest figures from Eurostat — because the Swiss economy was already sturdier than many others before Covid struck, so was in a better position to withstand the crisis.

But Switzerland was also one of the very few countries that have been able to attract international companies to its shores even in the midst of the pandemic, which translated into more jobs for the local workforce.

Experts believe this is due to the country’s strengths, including political, economic and financial conditions.

“Even in a time of crisis, Switzerland scored thanks to its stability, predictability and security”, said Patrik Wermelinger, member of the executive board of Switzerland Global Enterprise (SGE), which promotes the country abroad on behalf of the federal government and the cantons.

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

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