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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. 

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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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Switzerland and France further extend tax benefits for cross-border workers

Switzerland has again extended a set of beneficial tax arrangements for cross-border workers living in France until November, although not everyone is happy.

Switzerland and France further extend tax benefits for cross-border workers

The rules were originally put in place during the Covid pandemic, when various laws and regulations in Switzerland and elsewhere encouraged people to work from home. 

Alongside these rules, the Swiss and French governments changed the underlying tax rules to encourage people to work from home. 

These rules were originally put in place in March 2020, but have been extended several times and will now expire on October 31st. 

What are the rules? 

Under normal circumstances, anyone living in France who works in Switzerland can spend no more than 25 percent of their time working from home. 

READ MORE: Why French cross-border workers choose to work in Switzerland

If they exceed this time limit, they would have to pay social security contributions and tax charges tin France rather than in Switzerland, which would be much higher.

The agreements between France and Switzerland – along with several other countries where people resident in France work like Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany – “provide that days worked at home because of the recommendations and health instructions related to the Covid-19 pandemic may … be considered as days worked in the state where [workers] usually carry out their activity and therefore remain taxable,” according to the statement from the French Employment Ministry.

In June, cross-border worker advocates called for the agreements to be extended. 

Companies in France’s Haute-Savoie region, where most of cross-border workers employed in Geneva come from, are upset, claiming that home-office agreement makes working in Switzerland even more attractive for French workers, at the detriment of local businesses.

According to Christophe Coriou, head of the Haute-Savoie section of French employers, “these agreements accentuate the competitive disadvantage” of French companies compared to Swiss jobs — in terms of salaries, but also lower taxes and other perks.

“By emptying them of their human resources, Geneva penalises companies in Haute-Savoie”,  Coriou  said, adding that “teleworking of cross-border workers, which is perceived as an additional attraction to the salary, accentuates the competitive disadvantage of companies in neighbouring France”.

What about other countries? 

Switzerland is heavily reliant on cross-border workers, with an estimated 340,000 crossing daily from France, Germany and Italy into Switzerland to work. 

About 90,000 workers from France are employed in Geneva, but there is no official data on how many still work from home.

Italy and Switzerland signed an agreement relating to cross-border workers in March.

Germany also has its own agreement with Switzerland. 

More information about the rules in place can be found at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: What cross-border workers should know about taxation in Switzerland