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Salaries in Switzerland: In which sectors have wages increased the most?

Despite the pandemic and struggling economy, wages in Switzerland rose by 1.5 percent in 2020, a new study shows.

Salaries in Switzerland: In which sectors have wages increased the most?
Jobs in IT pay well in Switzerland. Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP

The Swiss Wage Index, released on Friday by the Federal Statistical  Office (FSO) is an annual indicator of gross wage growth by industry.

As the chart below shows, the biggest salary increases were in the IT and other information services, as well as in science and technology (3.4 percent in both cases.)

Next are manufacture of metal products (2.2 percent), followed by trade and repair of cars and motorcycles (2.1)  and publishing and telecommunications (2.0).

On the other hand, salaries in sectors like financial services are among the industries with the lowest wage increases.

Negative growth was registered in seven industries, including insurance, utilities, and retail.

What are the average Swiss salaries for various professions?

Workers in Switzerland are among the best paid in the world, but the cost of living here is one of the highest as well.

FSO’s Swiss Earnings Structure Survey of 2018, the last year for which official statistics are available, reports the median monthly wage in Switzerland at 6,538 francs.

Salary platform Lohncomputer  lists average monthly earnings estimates culled from various wage surveys.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Lawyer: 9,300 francs
  • Accountant: 8,125 francs
  • Teacher: 7,292 francs
  • Bank employee: 6,750
  • Architect: 6,250 francs
  • Nurse : 5,667 francs
  • Carpenter: 5,150 francs
  • Hairdresser: 4,375 francs

Other salary estimates can be found here.

If you’d like to find the expected average wage in your industry, check this link.

READ MORE: Swiss salaries: How much do people earn in Switzerland?

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For members


Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Switzerland has made reciprocal agreements regarding working holiday visas with several countries. Here's what you need to know.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Over the past few decades, countries around the globe have rolled out ‘working holiday visa’ agreements.

These visa schemes, largely targeted at young people, allow people to work and live in a particular country, usually for a set period of time and pursuant to certain conditions.

In recent years, Switzerland has expanded its own form of a ‘working holiday visa’, although there are some important differences to be aware of.

Unlike some of the better known schemes like those in place in Australia, applicants are discouraged from moving around and are generally required to stay with the one employer for the duration.

The goal of the visa scheme is to allow applicants to “expand their occupational and linguistic skills in Switzerland”.

The visa scheme runs for 18 months and cannot be extended.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

The agreements are made between countries, meaning your fate will depend on whether your government has at some point struck a deal with Switzerland.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between permanent residence and Swiss citizenship?

If you are from the European Union or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), then you will be able to live and work in Switzerland as is – and will not need to go through this process.

If you come from outside the EU, you will only be able to apply for this visa if you are a citizen of the following countries:

Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

What does ‘reciprocal’ mean in this context? 

Where these agreements have been struck, they have entitled citizens of both countries to certain rights and permissions in the other country. 

However, while these arrangements might be reciprocal, they are not identical. 

For instance, while citizens of Australia can enter Switzerland and work, the rules for Swiss citizens in Australia are significantly different. 

Therefore, if considering each program, be sure to study all of the relevant details as these will change from country to country and from agreement to agreement. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get a working holiday visa in Switzerland