SALARY IN SWITZERLAND

Switzerland is deservedly considered one of the most prosperous countries in Europe and around the world. The financial and banking services sector is highly developed in the state, and the production of high-tech products and consumer goods is well established.

Political, economic and social stability contributes to the successful functioning of Swiss business and systematic increase in incomes of Swiss citizens. Unemployment in the country does not exceed 2-4%, and if we exclude foreigners, only 2% of locals are officially unemployed.

Salaries in Switzerland are very high, and unlike some countries of the European Union, the tax burden is very moderate. On the other hand, the cost of living in the country, including food and rent prices, is prohibitive. Therefore, many Europeans from neighboring countries prefer to work in Switzerland during the day and return home in the evening.

Next, we will outline the minimum and average level of Swiss salaries in 2024, highlight tax rates, and compare labor remuneration by occupation, economic sector, and region.

Salary in Switzerland

Minimum salary in Switzerland

Switzerland is a country with a free market economy, well-developed democratic institutions and an effective legal system. The principle of fair pay for all members of society, regardless of gender or race, is enshrined in the federal Constitution. Discrimination in employment is not permitted in principle. However, there is no such thing as an official minimum wage in Switzerland.

Important.. In 2014, Swiss citizens did not support the initiative to introduce a minimum wage of CHF 4,000 per month (CHF 22 per hour) by a majority vote in a referendum.

The level of pay, working hours, guaranteed vacation and other conditions of professional activity are agreed between the employee and representatives of the local company during the recruitment process. In addition, there are collective labor agreements between trade unions and the employers' federation that set minimum wage rates and other aspects of employment in specific industries.

Most collective agreements contain provisions stating that the minimum wage in Switzerland in 2024 should be between CHF 2,800 and 5,300 per month for qualified professionals and CHF 2,200 and 4,200 for unqualified workers. In terms of U.S. currency, that comes out to $3,010-5,700 and $2,365-4,515, respectively. That is, the minimum income in Switzerland, even before taxes, is quite substantial.

Minimum wage rates in Switzerland (francs per hour)

  • Unskilled workers –18.9

  • Unskilled workers with more than 4 years of work experience – 20.75

  • Qualified professionals with a Swiss university degree (EFZ certificate) or at least 3 years of professional education – 22.85.

Important.. The cantons of Jura, Neuchâtel and Ticino voted to introduce a minimum wage as of January 1, 2021. In addition, on September 27, 2020, Swiss voters in the canton of Geneva approved the minimum wage by a majority vote, and later residents of the canton of Basel-Stadt did the same.

MINIMUM WAGE IN SWITZERLAND

Canton Rate (francs per hour)
Geneva 24.32
Basel-Stadt 21.70
Neuchâtel 21.09
Jura 20.60
Ticino 19.75

Note. Employers in Geneva who fail to pay the minimum wage of 24.32 francs per hour are subject to an administrative fine of 30,000 francs.

Normally, the annual wage in Switzerland is based on a 13-month system. That is, employees are paid in equal monthly installments, and double in the last month of the year. The level of income depends on age, experience (seniority), qualifications, education, economic sector, working hours and the specific canton. You can calculate your salary in Switzerland online here.

Average salary in Switzerland

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the average salary in Switzerland in 2024 is 6,788 francs per month before taxes, which is equivalent to 7,620 dollars. At the same time, women receive 9.5% less than men – 6,397 and 7,066 francs respectively. In cities such as Geneva or Zurich, you can earn more. In the private sector, the average salary in Switzerland is 6,510 francs per month and in the public sector 8,094 francs.

Switzerland's population in 2024 is around 8.8 million, including 5 million employed persons. Job growth is recorded in almost all sectors, especially in insurance, hotels, catering, construction and the industrial sector as a whole. A slight decline is observed only in wholesale trade.

SALARY IN SWITZERLAND BY SECTOR OF ECONOMY

Sector of economy Average salary (francs per month)
Financial and insurance activities 9,882
Information and communication 9,131
Education 8,577
Public administration and education 8,433
Professional services 8,110
Real estate services 7,005
Manufacturing 6,717
Health and social services 6,609
Arts, entertainment and recreation 6,509
Water, waste management 6,447
Construction 6,410
Mining and quarrying 6,369
Transportation and storage 6,115
Wholesale and retail trade 5,897
Administrative and support services 5,614
Accommodation and catering services 4,587
Other services 6,700

SALARY IN SWITZERLAND ACCORDING TO AGE

Age Average salary (francs per month)
Up to 29 years 5,399
30-49 years 7,042
Over 50 years 7,553

SALARY IN SWITZERLAND BY OCCUPATION

Occupation Average salary (francs per month)
Executives, senior officials and legislators 10,770
Administrative and commercial managers 10,046
Managers of production and specialized services 9,585
Information and communication technology specialists 9,703
Business and management professionals 9,385
Teachers 9,375
Legal, social and cultural professionals 8,829
Professionals in science and technology 8,468
Associate professionals in business and management 7,319
Health professionals 7,728
Information and Communication technicians 7,588
Technicians and Associate professionals 7,325
Associate professionals in science and technology 7,319
Legal, social, cultural and related associate professionals 6,827
Security guards 6,549
Other clerical support workers 6,233
Workers in metallurgy, engineering and related industries 6,217
Workers in the electrical and electronics industry 6,206
Auxiliary clerical workers 6,204
Managers of hospitality, retail and other services 6,118
Workers in construction and related trades (excluding electricians) 6,066
Craft and allied trades workers 6,049
Health care associates 5,963
Digital and material data processing clerks 5,910
Craftsmen and printers 5,866
Customer service clerks 5,793
Assemblers 5,725
Stationary plant and machinery operators 5,715
Operators and assemblers of plant and machinery 5,693
Drivers and operators of mobile plant and machinery 5,673
Skilled workers in agriculture, forestry and fisheries 5,479
Garbage collectors and other simple laborers 5,404
Workers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation 5,403
Personal care workers 5,370
Workers in food processing, woodworking, garment and other craft and related occupations 5,099
Elementary occupations 4,990
Service and sales workers 4,986
Agricultural, forestry and fishery workers 4,840
Cleaners and helpers 4,356
Food preparation assistants 4,227

SALARY IN SWITZERLAND BY REGION

Region Average salary (francs per month)
Zurich 7,229
Northwest Switzerland 6,969
Lake Geneva region 6,849
Central Switzerland 6,779
Mittelland 6,752
Eastern Switzerland 6,344
Ticino 5,590

Note. Information on salaries by economic sector, age, occupation and region is based on official data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

Cost of living in Switzerland

Living in Switzerland involves huge costs, which are not always compensated by high salaries. This is especially true in the major cities. For example, the cost of living in Zurich and Geneva is on average 15-25% higher than in London and 35-45% higher than in Paris.

The main costs in Switzerland:

  • Rent: from 1,500 francs for a modest studio in a bedroom neighborhood to 3,000 or more francs for a large apartment in the center.

  • Utility bills: 200-250 francs per month.

  • Food: 500-600 francs per month per person.

  • Transport: 70-100 francs per month by public transport or 100-200 francs per month by car.

  • Health care: minimum insurance amount is about 250 francs per month, but the cost may be higher depending on options and coverage.

  • Internet/mobile phone: 100 francs per month.

  • Clothing and leisure activities: 700-800 francs per month.

Payroll taxes in Switzerland

Switzerland's federal tax system is considered one of the most successful in the world, but is generally very complex. Taxes are levied at three levels - federal, cantonal and municipal. Accordingly, the aggregate rates differ in each region. Foreign workers are taxed directly from their salaries on the same basis as Swiss specialists. The employer is responsible for this.

FEDERAL INCOME TAX IN SWITZERLAND IN 2024

Taxable annual income Base tax Rate of the excess (%)
0 18,300
18,300 32,800 0.77
32,800 42,900 137.05 0.88
42,900 57,200 225.90 2.64
57,200 75,200 603.40 2.97
75,200 81,000 1,138.00 5.94
81,000 107,400 1,482.50 6.6
107,400 139,600 3,224.90 8.8
139,600 182,600 6,058.50 11
182,600 783,200 10,788.50 13.2
Более 783,200 90,067.70 11.5

Note.. Rates are for a single individual who is unmarried and has no minor children.

At the local level, the amount of tax payments depends on the canton. For example, in Zurich the maximum income tax rate of 13% is provided for annual income of 254.9 thousand francs. In Geneva, the highest rate of 19% is set for income over 616.2 thousand francs per year.

Foreign professionals residing in Switzerland and earning an annual salary of more than 120,000 francs (500,000 in Geneva) are required to file a tax return with a breakdown of their income sources and list assets in all countries of the world.

All employees in Switzerland are entitled to a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year, and young professionals (under 20 years of age) to five weeks. Most companies take out insurance to pay their employees 80% of their salary during long absences due to illness and some other reasons.

Working mothers (full-time or part-time) receive 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, and as of January 1, 2021, working fathers can also receive parental leave.

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