How to work out what salary you could earn in Switzerland?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How to work out what salary you could earn in Switzerland?
You can easily figure out what salary you are likely to earn. Image by Firmbee from Pixabay

Whether you are planning to work in Switzerland or are looking for a new job, it is good to know what income you can expect to earn. There is a way to find this out.


Switzerland’s wages are the highest in Europe, and among the highest in the world as well — the main reason why so many foreigners flock to this country.

This article doesn’t focus on how to apply for a work permit; you can find this information here:

EXPLAINED: What you need to know about getting a Swiss work permit 

Instead, we will explain how you can find out what salary to expect for the kind of work position you are seeking.

Firstly, however, you should know that wages are determined by various factors, including your education, experience, as well as the canton where you will work.

Typically, you can earn more in big cities like Zurich and Geneva, than in small towns or rural areas. However, employers are not allowed to discriminate based on your nationality, gender, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.


You can find out the general level of wages in your particular field from various sources, including in this article:

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

But, as the title states, these are averages that don’t necessarily take into account all the variables and factors mentioned above.

So what is a reliable source of salary information?

The site of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has a national wage calculator which is quite specific. 

It “enables you to calculate a monthly gross wage (central value or median) and the spread of wages for a specific individual profile,” SECO explains.

To find out, you have to fill out your personal information, such as the industry in which you are seeking employment, your age, years of experience, education, how many hours each week you want to work, as well as the canton where you are looking for a job.

What else you should keep in mind while figuring out your potential income?

Some cantons have a minimum wage in place. This is the case in Geneva, where the minimum hourly salary is 24 francs.

Next is Basel-City, which has set its wage at 21 francs an hour, while Neuchâtel and Jura set it at 20 francs, and Ticino, at 19.75 francs.

These salaries, negotiated by unions on behalf of workers, reflect the cost of living in each of these regions, which explains why some wages are higher than others.

Zurich is also planning to implement a minimum wage of 23.90 francs / hour.
READ MORE: 4,000 francs a month: Zurich set to introduce minimum wage

This means that if you are working, or plan to work, in one of these places, you will be paid at least that hourly amount.

However, the vast majority of people earn more than the minimum.



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