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Salaries in Switzerland

About salaries

Before you decide to move to Switzerland for your dream job, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much you can earn. It can be challenging to calculate as it depends on so many different factors.

Factors to consider 

You are probably interested in your potential salary. You may have heard that the cost of living in Switzerland is high and this might be putting you off taking a chance in the land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks. The fact is that the salaries in Switzerland are among the highest in the world, so even with high prices, you are likely to live a very comfortable life. Salary calculators such as payscale.com or lohnrechner.ch (in German or French) can give you an accurate estimate of the average earnings for your profession. They base their calculations on many factors, including age, experience, and type of degree. The canton and the size of the company will also affect your compensation. A 28-year old systems engineer, at the beginning of his career, could earn around 8540CHF per month before tax deductions.  

Net calculator Switzerland Salary

A Switzerland salary is usually paid once a month, and you will often earn a ‘thirteenth’ month, an extra month’s wages at the end of the year. The salary you negotiate with your employer is the gross sum, the money you earn before tax and compulsory social contributions are deducted. Social security covers pensions, unemployment, accident, and disability insurance. Health insurance in Switzerland is not automatically deducted, you need to arrange it yourself. Your net salary will be 13-20% lower than gross. Non-EU/EFTA workers with a B permit also have income tax withheld at source, further reducing take-home pay. A net salary calculator such as ethz.ch can show you your expected take-home pay. The 28-year old system engineer we mentioned before would take home 6727.60CHF of his Switzerland salary. There may also be additional benefits such as bonuses or profit-sharing, which can boost wages considerably.

The average salary in Switzerland

Switzerland has the second-highest average wage in Europe after Luxembourg, 62,350CHF per year. The monthly average salary in Switzerland across all sectors and education levels is approximately 6,502CHF before tax. Highly skilled foreign workers generally earn more than their Swiss counterparts. 12,247CHF per month compared to 10,136CHF for Swiss nationals. Salaries are usually reviewed once a year and pay rises take effect from the 1st January. As well as excellent wages, the Swiss also have powerful workers’ rights compared to other European countries. The government sets the maximum hours you can work, 45-50 depending on the industry. Overtime is typically paid at 125%, or you may be offered the equivalent time in lew. Average salaries in Switzerland vary widely between sectors. The industries which have the highest salaries tend to be financial and pharmaceutical.

Minimum Switzerland Salary

There is no statutory minimum wage in Switzerland, although some sectors have negotiated labour agreements, setting minimum salaries for their members.  The minimum wage was last on the political agenda in 2014. Three-quarters of Swiss voters rejected a minimum wage of 22CHF per hour, which would have been the highest in the entire world. Voters were concerned that a statutory minimum wage would result in higher costs for employers and therefore higher prices. However, the main reason was that most employees in Switzerland already earned well above the proposed minimum. The starting salary of an engineer leaving university could be 70,000CHF - 95,000CHF. This is depending on your speciality and level of degree. Those with a masters degree earn considerably more, for example.  

Switzerland Salary – Mundialz

Mundialz wants to help you in your international career. We know there are many elements you must consider before choosing to live in Switzerland. Read our information pages on Switzerland and let us guide you towards making an informed decision.  

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