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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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TAXES

MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland

From tax rules to staffing, airport access and education - here's the latest ranking on which areas of Switzerland are the most attractive to businesses.

MAP: The best cantons for business in Switzerland

Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the major global hubs for business – its central European location, neutrality, and connections to international organisations make it a great place to do business.

But which cantons have it better and why?

The main measure cantons can take to attract businesses is to revise their tax rules, and tax reforms over the past few years have shown results in attractiveness to companies, according to Credit Suisse’s 2022 locational quality study.

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

The lender has assessed the tax burden based on its tax indices for legal entities and private individuals to see how attractive a region may be. Corporate taxes on profit and capital as well as taxes on income and wealth for private individuals are taken into consideration.

Additionally, the Swiss bank looked into the availability of specialist labour and highly qualified personnel, basing this index on the level of education of the residents, inbound commuters and cross-border commuters of a region.

How accessible the canton is to the population, workers, and commuters was also a factor taken into consideration.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: The most – and least – expensive cantons in Switzerland

What are the most attractive cantons?

Credit Suisse attached a locational quality indicator (LQI) to each Swiss canton, with the best being +2.5 and the worst being -2.0. The map visualisation makes it clear that there is a cluster of business-friendly cantons: in German-speaking Switzerland.

Geneva, in the French-speaking region, also scores high, which is not a surprise, as the canton is home to many international organisations.

Still, the most attractive canton for business is, for the second year in a row, Zug, ahead of Basel-City, Zurich and Geneva.

Canton Aargau has suffered the most significant ranking loss, dropping two places just behind Nidwalden and Schwyz in 7th place. On the other hand, the cantons of Schaffhausen and Valais, in particular, have become more attractive, each climbing one place.

READ ALSO: Why Switzerland is no longer the tax haven it used to be

Nidwalden, Zug, and Appenzell Innerrhoden are fiscally more attractive

Zug takes the overall top place for a combination of factors, but critical changes in tax policy have brought other cantons higher on the ranking - especially since tax reforms are easier to implement than measures to attract more qualified workers, for example.

Schaffhausen has reduced taxes significantly for private individuals, climbing six places in the Credit Suisse tax index for private individuals.

Also worthy of note is Schwyz, which has become more attractive for private individuals by reducing the cantonal tax multiple considerably from 150 to 120, closing the gap to first-placed Zug.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How where you live in Switzerland impacts how much income tax you pay

As part of Switzerland’s corporate tax reform, a small number of cantons have once again reduced their corporate tax rates this year.

The most considerable reductions have been observed in the cantons of Valais and Jura, each climbing one place to 20th and 22nd respectively in the tax index for legal entities, which is based on the tax burden faced by companies with varying profit situations in all Swiss municipalities.

However, a number of other cantons remain more fiscally attractive: The top places remain unchanged, with Nidwalden leading the way, just in front of Zug and Appenzell Innerrhoden.

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