What Is A Good Salary in Geneva?

The first question that comes to mind when relocating to a foreign country, especially one with a high cost of living like Switzerland, is, ‘will you have enough cash to get by comfortably?’ The truth is Switzerland has high-paying jobs, but with the country’s expensive cost of living, it can be challenging to make ends meet.

A good salary In Geneva ranges between CHF 6,500 and CHF 9,000 per month. This amount covers taxes, insurance, apartment expenses, food, and transportation. It also allows you to save some for recreation and saving. 

A job in Geneva is a target of many professionals from around the world. Yes, not only French people are moving to this stunning city. Before you start with your job application, it’s crucial to know what thresholds you should be aiming for. In this article, we discuss salary ranges, cost of living, and how must you should earn to enjoy a high quality of life in Geneva.

What is a good salary in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2023?

A monthly gross salary between CHF 6,500 and CHF 9,000 is a good salary in Geneva. However, this may differ due to factors like the size of the family and your definition of ‘living well.’

A single person can comfortably survive on a monthly salary of CHF 3,500, while a family of four requires about CHF 9,000. 

Eating in seat-down restaurants costs around CHF 40 per meal, while cooking for yourself will cost you between CHF 75 and CHF 100 weekly. 

Below is a breakdown of a CHF 6,500 salary when living and working in Geneva:

  1. Around CHF 550 is deducted for unemployment insurance, old age pension, occupational pension scheme, and non-professional accident insurance. 
  1. Although taxes are not directly deducted from the gross salary, paying them is still mandatory, according to most residence plans. The taxman gets about CHF 850 or more. 
  1. Apartment expenses like water, heating, rubbish disposal tax, and electricity may add up to CHF 1,250. 
  1. There are no free governmental health services. Every individual must pay health insurance. A single person pays around CHF 330. This amount multiplies according to the number of family members, as there are no family insurances. Children below eighteen years pay a total of CHF 100. 
  1. Car insurance and civil liability, which may be mandatory sometimes, add up to CHF 100. 
  1. Satellite subscription, audiovisual license fee, and landline and mobile telephone bills cost about CHF 150. 

All these deductions leave you with about CHF 3,250 before paying for transport costs, including car depreciation, petrol, and train and bus tickets. These costs can go as high as CHF 450 in this city. 

To fit in more into this salary, follow the tips below to reduce some costs. 

  • Instead of spending cash on private beaches and swimming pools. Swim in public pools, beaches, or lakes. 
  • Stick to public transport till you get a better-paying job. Owning a car comes with several costs like petrol and insurance, increasing the prices ridiculously. 
  • Instead of booking hotels for parties and functions, book communal spaces for low prices. 
  • For sports, go to communal sports facilities cheaper than private ones. 
  • To save transport expenses, get yourself an electric bicycle. The government subsidizes these, and you’ll get around CHF 500 yearly. 
  • To prevent spending too much on winter sports which are ridiculously expensive here, you could pay for the organized sports in your kid’s school, as they are more affordable. 
  • Don’t spend money on new books and toys. All Geneva towns have libraries and ludothèques where you can borrow books and toys respectively. 

Don’t miss our guide on salaries in Switzerland.

Average and typical salaries in Geneva in 2022

According to Heritage, Switzerland is among the most economically stable country in the world. This mountainous country has high salaries thanks to its outstanding economic growth over the years. 

Below is a comparison between Switzerland’s wages and other countries. 

Source: udlvirtual.edu.pe

Switzerland has a procedural wage payment. Annual earnings are paid in thirteen lump sums, regardless of the time one works. Only the total sum will be recalculated in accordance with the number of months they worked. Whatsmore, overtime is paid at an increased rate of 1.25. 

The average salary in Geneva is CHF 6,550. Excluding social contributions and taxes, this amount should be something above CHF 10,560. 

In terms of professions, insurance, banking, high-end pharmacists, and high-tech professionals are the most profitable. An experienced bank CFO receives an outstanding CHF 21,000.  

Privileged insurance staff wages can exceed CHF 40,000 or even CHF 50,000 sometimes. A sergeant police officer with forty-two hours of work weekly gets a minimum of about CHF 7,000. 

Officers with higher ranks have more salaries. However, the wages of the oldest employees shouldn’t be more than twelve times more than those of the youngest. This principle binds all organizations, whether privately owned or governmental. 

The wage of a primary teacher is just under CHF 7,000 regardless of the workload, which differs from one institution to another. Some may have service lengths of twenty hours, while others could go for twenty-nine working hours. 

Salaries in the hospitality and construction sectors don’t exceed CHF 16,000. This runs across from the regular employee to the top management. 

Wages in the health sector vary greatly. An experienced dentist can get around CHF 30,000, while a doctor working in the public sector receives a minimum of CHF 7,800. 

Below is a table showing the salaries of various job types. 

Job type Monthly salary 
Marketing manager CHF 98,831
Financial analyst CHF 108,840 
IT manager CHF 126,834
C level executive CHF 183,122
Mobile developer CHF 120,717
Dentist CHF 202,914
Physician CHF 92,339
Chemical engineer CHF 94,612
Business developmentCHF 90,172
Business analyst CHF 86,256
Industrial designer CHF 84,793
Product manager CHF 85,059
Data analyst CHF 79, 289
Data scientistCHF 78,085
Attorney CHF 88,978
Source: teleport.org

How much should you earn to live comfortably in Geneva?

The amount you should earn to live comfortably in Geneva depends on your definition of ‘living comfortably. Does it include leaving money over for saving, entertainment, and recreation or simply getting all your basic needs?

A comfortable monthly wage ranges between CHF 3,500 and CHF 5,000 for a single person. However, a family of four should get a minimum salary of about CHF 9,000. If you receive more than CHF 10,000, you are guaranteed to have more than an averagely comfortable life in Geneva. 

Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Below is a breakdown of various living expenses. 

Rent or accommodation 

In Geneva, like all other major cities, housing costs take up a considerable portion of the total salary. Depending on the house size and location, you will have to spend twenty-five to fifty percent of your net wage on accommodation. 

A one-bedroom apartment in the center costs CHF 1,985, while one outside goes for CHF 1,601. A three-bedroomed apartment’s rent is around CHF 4,058 in the center. The same apartment size outside the center goes for CHF 2,991. 

If you prefer buying an apartment instead of renting, you’ll have to pay CHF 14,656 per square meter for one in the center. The price of an apartment outside the center per meter square goes for CHF 10,547. 

The average cost of buying a house in Geneva is around CHF 1,050,000. 

Food 

Eating out in Geneva is ridiculously high compared to cooking for yourself. According to Numbeo, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs CHF 25. A three-course dinner for two people at a mid-range restaurant goes for CHF 120. A 0.33 liter of Pepsi drink costs CHF 3.72, while water is CHF 3.21. 

The cost of groceries in Geneva is as follows: 

Food Cost 
Milk (1liter) CHF 1.6
Rice (1kg) CHF 2.63
Eggs (12) CHF 5.00
Chicken fillets (1kg) CHF 23.61
Local cheese (1kg) CHF 19.37
Beef round (1kg) CHF 43.46
Potato (1kg) CHF 2.05 
Bananas (1kg) CHF 2.60
Onion (1kg) CHF 1.99
Apples (1kg)CHF 3.44
Source: numbeo.com

Transportation 

One of the benefits of living in Geneva is access to the public transport system. A one-way ticket costs CHF 3.00 while the monthly pass goes for CHF 70.00. 

For those with cars, gasoline goes for CHF 1.95 a liter. A new Toyota Corolla Sedan costs CHF 35,000, and a Volkswagen goes for CHF 30,833. Below are the prices of other car models in Geneva. 

Car Price
BMW X3CHF 70,000-90,000
Volkswagen Golf CHF 28,000-32,000
Skoda Octavia CHF 30,000-35,000
Mercedes C class CHF 55,000-65,000

Healthcare 

Healthcare in Geneva is pretty expensive. This country has no free public healthcare. Its healthcare system is universal, meaning residents must pay for private health insurance. This applies to both Swiss nationals and expats. 

The average annual healthcare cost for an individual in Geneva is about CHF 2,800. The mandatory health insurance covers have deductibles ranging from CHF 300 to CHF 2,200. 

Patients have to pay about ten to twenty percent of their medical treatment. This ranges between CHF 700 for adults and CHF 320 for a child. The table below shows the costs of various medical treatments.  

TreatmentTotal cost Cost out of your pocket 
Health screen CHF 2,500-4,500CHF 250-450
GP visitCHF 130-150CHF 13-15
Impatient treatment CHF 13,000CHF 700
Cesarean deliveryCHF 7,000-9,000CHF 700-900
Natural childbirthCHF 5,000-6,000CHF 500-600
Antibiotics (box)CHF 35CHF 3.5
Cold medicine( over the counter,  one week dose)CHF 15CHF 15

Sources

  1. ec.europa.eu
  1. heritage.org
  1. salary.udlvirtual.edu.pe
  1. oecd-ilibrary.org
  1. bfs.admin.ch
  1. teleport.org
  1. numbeo.com
  1. internations.org

Nicholas

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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