For members


5 jobs you can do in Switzerland without a degree

If you're looking for a job in Switzerland that doesn't require university qualifications or apprenticeship training, there are plenty of options out there. Here's a look at five sectors where jobs are available.

A person working in a kitchen
Working in a kitchen can be a good job in Switzerland. Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

Whether you’re looking to kickstart the career of your dreams or simply want to get a job quickly, here are five job opportunities you’ll have an easy time securing in Switzerland – even without formal training.


Many renowned Swiss security companies will hire staff without asking for a formal education or apprenticeship and will instead provide new hires with some basic training. Companies, such as Alpha Protect, welcome and value Quereinsteiger (the German word for people who change their careers) who want tojust as much as those with years’ worth of experience in the security field.

If you’re hoping to work security, many corporations will instead insist on the following: a driver’s license; at least a C permit; decent spoken and written language skills for the area of Switzerland you’re in; good PC skills; very good health and physical resilience; and an impeccable reputation topped with orderly financial circumstances.

Salary range: median gross wage is 58,882 Swiss francs per annum including 13th salary.


The shortage of skilled workers is getting worse in Switzerland, with a lack of carers available across the country – but there is one silver lining. From childcare to social therapy residential facilities, many places are in desperate need for caregivers and will now consider those who want to change careers who may not have the required qualifications, but pack the necessary enthusiasm to take on a role in the care sector.

So, if you have very good knowledge of spoken and written German (or one of the other Swiss languages if you are in that area), are quick to comprehend and observe even the most complex situations and consider yourself a resilient, empathic person, a career in the care sector may be a rewarding short – or long-term – fit.

The only downside? You will have to exert a high degree of independence and may have to work irregular hours including weekends.

READ ALSO: What Swiss employers are doing to recruit hard-to-find staff

Two people holding hands.

Becoming a carer is an option in Switzerland. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Salary range: median gross wage is 61,290 francs per annum (with an education) including 13th salary.


Whether you find yourself suddenly out of work and having to score a quick gig, or simply have a love for keeping your surroundings neat and organised, there are a plethora of jobs in cleaning to choose from in Switzerland.

Most cleaning jobs will require you to have a good command of the German language – particularly those in hotels – and be flexible with regard to your working time and location. The good news is, you’ll be able to work fairly independently while still being part of a larger team – talk about the best of both worlds.

Salary: median gross wage is 51,188 per annum including 13th salary. If hired privately, it’s important to note that on January 1st 2023 the Swiss Federal Council adjusted the minimum wages for domestic workers working over 5 hours a week to an hourly rate of CHF 19.50 to 23.55.

Kitchen assistant

Got a flair for cooking or just love trying new recipes? Then applying for one of Switzerland’s many kitchen openings is usually a safe bet. While some companies may ask for prior experience in a professional kitchen, many won’t – and even if you lack the skillset remember you have nothing to lose by applying.

As a general rule of thumb, kitchen jobs in the city will have you working as part of a team and in a customer-oriented manner. Many employers will ask that you can communicate in German but will not have to do so fluently.

Salary: median gross wage is 48,100 per annum including 13th salary.

Waiting staff

The majority of Swiss workers are employed in the service sector, so if you need to find work urgently and are open-minded, searching for a job as a waiter/waitress is arguably the easiest way to go about finding quick employment in Switzerland.

Whether you prefer to work the day shift at an established restaurant in somewhere like Zurich’s Old Town or are keen to work late evenings at a bar or pub, most establishments will ask that you speak German and English with additional languages always welcome. Of course, if you are in another part of Switzerland, you may be required to speak the main language there. 

While upper class restaurants will prefer experienced waiting staff, there is nothing stopping you from working your way up from waiting tables at a casual pop-up bar in the summer, to serving food and drinks at Zurich’s Michelin Star restaurants EquiTable and Geneva’s Le Cigalon.

All you’ll need is a motivated demeanour, a well-groomed appearance, and the ability to service both domestic and international guests.

Salary: median gross wage is 51,170 francs per annum including 13th salary.

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For members


Why does Zurich have the highest wages in Switzerland?

Various studies show that when it comes to salaries, Switzerland’s largest city has an edge over other regions. What is the reason for that?

Why does Zurich have the highest wages in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s wages are famously high overall, but if you analyse them closer, you will see that, salary-wise, some regions fare better than others.

Logically, earnings are higher in large cities than in small towns and rural areas, as that is where most economic opportunities are.

However, income disparities exist even between the urban centres.

This has been shown in various surveys, including the latest one, released this month by HES-SO, the umbrella association of Swiss universities of applied sciences (UAS). 

Unlike general universities, UAS doesn’t offer Master or Doctorate degrees, but rather Bachelor’s programmes linked with a specific professional field. They are often attended by people who had completed their vocational training and wish to further their education.

What did this survey find?

What emerged from this study is that graduates of universities of applied sciences earn significantly more in 2023 that they did two years ago, when the last study was carried out.

Their median annual wage currently amounts to 104,000 francs, compared to 100,000 in 2021.

However, the results also indicate that there are regional disparities, with wages being higher in German than in French-speaking Switzerland.  

Among the cantons, Zurich is in the lead, with a median income of just over 111,000 francs per year.

This is not exactly a new piece of information: statistics show that salaries in Zurich are 10.8 percent higher than in Geneva, and 5.4 percent higher than in Basel.

How can this discrepancy be explained?

The Local put this question to Fabian Büsser, director at Michael Page recruitment agency.

He said that it is a matter of what kind of jobs are most in demand and their geographical location.

“Some of the highest paying jobs are in finance, insurance, IT, and engineering,” he pointed out, most of which are located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

“This region accounts for nearly 90 percent of advertised jobs in these sectors and is home to the largest banks, insurers and technology companies, as well as other firms requiring engineers, such as real estate and property,” Büsser said.

According to the latest Michael Page Swiss Job Index, while 89 percent of these jobs can be found in the German-speaking region, only 10 percent are in the French-speaking area (and even fewer — 1 percent — in Ticino).

There is, however, some positive news for the Swiss-French part

The HES-SO survey found that while this region trails behind the German-speaking part, the wages there have increased significantly.

The median annual salary in the Geneva area is 92,300 francs, which corresponds to an increase of 8.4 percent compared to two years earlier.
This is particularly the case in the IT branch, with a median salary of 112,000 francs, followed by finance and insurance, with 106,000 francs.

How do these wages compare to those who graduate from ‘regular’ universities?

Switzerland has several kinds of higher education establishments: cantonal universities and two federal polytechnic institutes: one in Zurich (ETH) and the other in Lausanne (EPFL).

They are considered the ‘highest’ educational institutions.

Graduates of these establishments can earn as much as 10,170 francs a month, which amounts to 122,000 a year.

READ ALSO: How much can you earn with a Swiss university degree?