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What are Switzerland’s highest paying jobs?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
What are Switzerland’s highest paying jobs?
Doctors earn a lot of money in Switzerland. Photo: Pixabay

Swiss salaries are famously higher than elsewhere in Europe, attracting many foreign workers to its shores. But in which jobs can you earn the most money?


With a median monthly gross income of 6,555 francs (6,842 euros), Switzerland has some of the highest salaries in the world. 

‘Median’ means half of the working population earn more than this amount, and half less.

Based on most recent figures, these careers allow you to earn the most:

Surgeons and specialised doctors (indicated as annual salaries):  460,000 francs

Attorneys: 313,000

Company CEOs: 276,000

Orthodontists: 249,000

Airline pilots: 184,000

Judges; 387,000

Bank managers: 295,000

Chief Financial Officers: 258,000

University professors: 221,000

Marketing directors: 166,000

All of these positions require university degrees, which means you need academic credentials for top-paying jobs.

What jobs pay most if you are not a university graduate?

If you have finished a Swiss apprenticeship (vocational training), your salary level will depend on your chosen field as well as how long you have been working in the profession.

Overall, the average salary five years after completing training is 5,270 francs a month, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

In the IT sector, the salary is 1,100 francs above this average, while in sales, the monthly income is less than 5,000 francs.

The second-highest gross median income for full-time employment is that of nurses.

With an average of 6,060 francs per month after five years of employment, they are followed by apprentices with degrees in electricity and mechanical construction (5,445 francs), architecture and construction (5,425 francs), accounting, marketing and secretariat (5,367 francs) and the social sector (5,349 francs).

Lowest wages — below 5,000 francs a month — are in the retail and “personal services” sector.


In which part of Switzerland can you earn the most?

Much depends in which profession you are employed (see above). 

Generally speaking, the latest survey into this matter, carried out recently by the umbrella association of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences, shows — not surprisingly — that salaries are highest in large cities, where most economic opportunities are.The figures also highlighted the difference between different parts of the country when it comes to wages. 

In Zurich, the country’s economic driver which contributes one fifth of national GDP, the median wage is 7,113 francs a month — well above the national average. 

In Geneva it is slightly less — about 6,700 francs, and in Basel, 6,500 francs.

How far will this salary go in Switzerland?

That is a valid question as the cost of living, especially in Zurich and Geneva, is very high.

The purchasing power of your income depends not only how much you earn and on your spending habits, but also where in Switzerland you live.

That’s because some cantons offer more bang for your franc than others.

According to a recent study, residents of Zug have most disposable income at the end of each month. (Not coincidentally, Zug is also the canton with the lowest tax rate in Switzerland.) 

Next are Schwyz, Nidwalden, Zurich, Obwalden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Country, Geneva, and Basel-City.

READ ALSO: Swiss cantons with the highest (and lowest) purchasing power


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