List of Most Demanded Jobs in Switzerland


Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with a number of international companies offering employment opportunities for foreign professionals. Yet some jobs might simply be too competitive, and you won’t stand a chance of getting a vacant position. Are you like other thousands of foreigners thinking about getting a job in Switzerland at some point? It’s good to know that not everyone makes it to the end. Applying for one of the highly sought-after jobs will significantly improve your chances of success.

Most In-Demand Jobs in Switzerland in 2021

  • Various engineers: civil, mechatronics and electrical engineers
  • Skilled technicians
  • Welders and mechanics
  • Software developers and other IT related jobs
  • Legal jobs
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Other medical staff
  • Chemical and plastics processing jobs
  • Metalworking and mechanical engineering jobs
  • Skilled construction workers
  • Hospitality and housekeeping jobs
  • Transport and traffic jobs

With a small population of about 8.7 million people, over 2 million have foreign passports. At the same time, tens of thousands of labor migrants from neighboring countries, mainly France, Italy, and Germany, daily cross the Swiss border, as they work in Zurich, Geneva, and some other cities. Generally, employment in Switzerland requires the applicant to fulfill several conditions, including experience, education, and skill level. The future profession also should be in high demand with the lack of applicants from the local labor market. If there is already high competition for the job, foreign nationals most likely won’t even be invited for the interview. Which jobs are in this list – read in the article.

Most in-demand jobs in Switzerland in 2022

Switzerland, with its high salaries and low taxes, is an attractive place to work for professionals from all over the world. Moreover, the country also needs a large number of qualified workers. Some jobs are particularly in high demand, which couldn’t be filled by available labor on the Swiss market alone.

The most significant number of job listings have been seen among these professions:

  • engineering
  • financial services
  • IT
  • project management
  • research
  • hospitality
  • health and public service

Hence, expats specializing in these job sectors may have more luck finding employment in Switzerland.

For instance, in 2020, more than 520,000 positions were open for candidates. Moreover, Swiss handicraft businesses have been severely affected by the shortage of skilled workers for years. If you are a skilled worker, your chances of getting a job will be very high.

Switzerland is currently has a high demand for professionals in the following areas:

Job/IndustryNumber of vacancies in 2020Number of hiring companies
Trade/Craftsmanapprox. 173,000approx. 12,000
Constructionapprox. 125,000approx. 8,000
Engineers/Techniciansapprox. 188,000approx. 10,000
Project managementapprox. 94,000approx. 11,000
Health and Socialapprox. 81,000approx. 7,000
Sales and Distributionapprox. 79,000approx. 12,000
IT and Telecommunicationapprox. 79,000approx. 5,000
Other technical jobs approx. 76,000approx. 7,000
Finance, Accounting, and Insurance approx. 70,000approx. 8,000
Administrative and office staffapprox. 60,000approx. 10,000
Source: jobfile.ch

The hospitality industry also has many open vacancies and often struggles to find staff. Graduates with skills and qualifications in these areas are in high demand.

Consequently, most high demand jobs in Switzerland fall into these categories:

  • Trade, Construction & Engineering
  • Digitization & Project Management
  • Service sector
  • Health and Social

Craft, Construction & Engineering

Alongside craftsmen and construction specialists, technical professions are some of the most sought-after occupations in Switzerland. Engineers, designers, and architects, in particular, were in high demand on the Swiss labor market in 2020.

But other technical professions, such as mechatronics engineers or mechanics, also have good prospects for employment.

Digitization & Project Management

Digitization is creating new jobs in Switzerland day by day. Moreover, it’s also changing the way we work in the future. Workers in the area of organizational development and project management have become highly demanded as well as IT and telecommunication professionals.

Services

The service sector employs the largest number of workers in Switzerland. Legal, financial services, and other classical services – they are all included! Growing fields are IT, Finance, and pharmaceuticals. And they mostly need highly-trained specialists: analysts, researchers, top management.

Health and Social

Medical and nursing professions were always in high demand in Switzerland. In fact, many foreign nurses are seeking employment there. Also, the shortage of workers is very noticeable in the health industry. Swiss society is getting older and older. Demand is also expected to grow steadily in the future.

Some other data on high demand jobs provides the following ranking (from least sought after to the most):

  • 10. Accountants/financial jobs, such as auditors, accountants, financial analysts
  • 9. Cleaning/housekeeping staff
  • 8. Highly educated professionals, such as project managers, lawyers, notaries, researchers
  • 7. Chemical, mechanical, electrical, civil engineers
  • 6. Administrative and office staff, such as assistants and receptionists
  • 5. Drivers, such as truck drivers, couriers, drivers in construction machinery transport and public transportation
  • 4. Workers in the hospitality industry
  • 3. Management/executive staff
  • 2. Sales representatives in the B2B, B2C and customer support sectors
  • 1. Skilled workers, such as electricians, welders and mechanics

For instance, in 2018, workers in the following industries were particularly in high demand in Switzerland:

1) trust and fiduciary services (including auditors, tax advisers, etc.)
2) skilled technicians
3) engineers
4) doctors, medical assistants, and pharmacists
5) IT
6) technical drawing
7) plant operating specialists, quality control experts, etc.
8) legal jobs
9) teaching and education positions
10) top management and top public service positions

While, in German-speaking Switzerland, technicians were the most sought-after workers. Companies struggle to fill these vacancies.

Read also: What is a good salary in Switzerland?

1Auditors, accountants
2Civil servants
3Medical staff, pharmacists
4Mid-level Managers
5Tax Consultants
6Programmers
7Project managers
8Builders
9Technical specialists
10Teachers/teachers

Major Swiss industries

Foreign candidates more often get hired by companies in the major Swiss industries such as:

  • finance and related services, including banking, insurance, audit, financial technology and consultancy
  • IT
  • machinery, mechanical and electrical engineering and metals
  • pharmaceuticals and chemicals
  • renewable energy, particularly hydropower
  • biotechnology and life sciences
  • aerospace
  • manufacturing parts for cars and other vehicles
  • tourism

The best Swiss industries for graduates are banking, engineering, insurance, IT, pharmaceuticals, among others.

Best jobs in Switzerland for foreigners in 2022

Every foreign candidate will need skills for a successful job application in Switzerland. Particularly, non-EU citizens won’t stand a chance without possessing some highly demanded in the country skills and related qualifications. Experience, of course, only adds benefits to your resume.

Consequently, many highly-skilled foreign workers successfully find work in Switzerland. Some jobs have less competition some have more. That’s why looking for a job from a high-demand list will give you the best prospects.

International applicants may have more luck in major Swiss cities such as Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zürich rather than in smaller, rural areas.

As we mentioned, the Swiss economy is dominated by the service sector. Switzerland also has a thriving tourism industry, with hospitality jobs available throughout the country. Those interested in banking and insurance careers can find opportunities in Zürich, and those looking for a career in chemicals or pharmaceuticals will find most vacancies in Basel.

Germany and Switzerland are the most well-known countries for working abroad as an expat or skilled professional. But where life is better? Read in our in-depth article.

Shortage professions in Switzerland

The Swiss workforce has been experiencing a shortage for many years, which has particularly become even worse in 2020 and 2021. There are around 97 different occupations which are lacking candidates. Companies in Switzerland struggle to find qualified employees.

Here is the list of most important shortage professions in Switzerland in 2021:

  1. Engineering
  2. Trusteeship
  3. Technicians
  4. IT
  5. Human medicine and pharmacy
  6. Technical craftsman
  7. Law
  8. Technical drawing
  9. Chemical and plastic processing
  10. Metalworking and mechanical engineering
  11. Wood processing and paper manufacturing & processing
  12. Food and beverage manufacturing & processing
  13. Electrical engineering and electronics, watchmaking and vehicle and equipment manufacturing & maintenance
  14. Social sciences, humanities and natural sciences
  15. Post and telecommunication
  16. Machinists
  17. Media and related
  18. Advertising, marketing and tourism
  19. Banking and insurance
  20. Art
  21. Order and security
  22. Therapy and nursing
  23. Teaching and education
  24. Entrepreneurs, directors and senior managers
  25. Civil servants
  26. Education and pastoral care
  27. Transport and traffic
  28. Textile processing, printing and warehousing
  29. Trade and sales
  30. Hospitality and housekeeping
  31. Construction
  32. Cleaning, hygiene and personal care
  33. Commercial and administration

German translation:

  1. Ingenieursberufe
  2. Treuhandwesen
  3. Techniker/innen
  4. Berufe der Informatik
  5. Humanmedizin und Pharmazie
  6. Technische Fachkräfte
  7. Berufe des Rechtswesens
  8. Technische Zeichenberufe
  9. Chemie- und Kunststoffverfahren
  10. Metallverarbeitung und des Maschinenbaus
  11. Holzverarbeitung sowie der Papierherstellung und -verarbeitung
  12. Lebens- und Genussmittelherstellung und -verarbeitung
  13. Elektrotechnik und Elektronik, der Uhrenindustrie und des Fahrzeug- und Gerätebaus und -unterhalts
  14. Sozial-, Geistes- und Naturwissenschaften
  15. Post- und Fernmeldewesens
  16. Maschinisten/Maschinistinnen
  17. Medienschaffende und verwandte Berufe
  18. Berufe der Werbung, des Marketings und des Tourismus
  19. Berufe des Bank- und Versicherungsgewerbe
  20. Künstlerische Berufe
  21. Berufe der Ordnung und Sicherheit
  22. Therapie- und Pflegeberufe
  23. Berufe des Unterrichts und der Bildung
  24. Unternehmer/innen, Direktoren/Direktorinnen und leitende
  25. Beamte/Beamtinnen
  26. Berufe der Fürsorge, Erziehung und Seelsorge
  27. Transport- und Verkehrsberufe
  28. Textilverarbeitung, Druck und Lager
  29. Handels und des Verkaufs
  30. Gastgewerbes und Hauswirtschaftsberufe
  31. Baugewerbes
  32. Reinigung, Hygiene und Körperpflege
  33. Merchants und administrative Berufe

Source: mangelberufe.de

The engineering professions, for example, civil and electronic engineers, remained top of the ranking for shortage jobs. Technical jobs such as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning engineers moved from third to second, followed by IT workers.

Furthermore, the shortage of specialists in the medical and pharmaceutical industry continues to rise year after year. Foreign nurses and doctors have great chances of getting a job in Switzerland.

The shortage varies from state to state, some parts of the country are affected more than others. On the picture, you can see where skilled workers are in the highest demand; hence, the shortage is the greatest.

Source: swissinfo.ch

Working as a Non-EU citizen in the Switzerland

The fact is getting a job, residence, and work permit is harder for non-EU citizens. Nationals of countries outside the EU/EFTA can only work in Switzerland if they are qualified. Hence, you must have at least completed vocational training. Having a university degree is indeed better.

Authorities also recommend gaining a few years of experience in the relevant niche before attempting the move to Switzerland.

What are the requirements for non-EU candidates?

Firstly, your future employer must prove that Switzerland has the economic interest to hire you and that the employer couldn’t find a suitable person in the Swiss and EU/EFTA labor market. Plus, the company should offer you the same compensation and conditions as they would to the Swiss national.

Employers are responsible for getting permits for their foreign workers. That’s why not many companies are willing to hire someone from abroad. It’s just too much work for them.

Whereas self-employed foreigners take care of their permits on their own.

Skilled jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

Best skilled jobs in Switzerland where foreigners have the highest chances:

  • Various engineers
  • Technicians
  • Software developers and other IT related jobs
  • Technical specialists
  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Other medical staff
  • Technical draughting jobs
  • Chemical and plastics processing jobs
  • Metalworking and mechanical engineering jobs
  • Skilled construction workers
  • Hospitality and housekeeping jobs

These skilled jobs are also in demand but offer foreign national lower chances of success for employment:

  • Advertising, marketing, and tourism jobs
  • Postal and telecommunications
  • Food and luxury food manufacturing and processing jobs
  • Electrical engineering and electronics jobs, watchmaking industry jobs
  • Vehicle and appliance engineering and maintenance jobs
  • Wood processing and paper manufacturing and processing jobs
  • Social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences jobs
  • Teaching and educational jobs
  • Machinists
  • Banking
  • Insurance sector jobs
  • Media professionals and related jobs
  • Public order and security jobs
  • Educational and pastoral jobs
  • Transportation and logistics jobs
  • Textile processing, printing, and warehouse
  • Trade and retail jobs
  • Commercial and administrative jobs
  • Cleaning, sanitation and personal care jobs

Unskilled jobs in Switzerland for foreigners

Generally, it’s hard to get a work permit for unskilled jobs in Switzerland. There are already many unqualified people who are living in the country and don’t need a permit to work. As a non-EU citizen, it’s almost impossible to get a visa for a job that doesn’t require any qualifications or if the applicant isn’t qualified at all.

Your country of origin

However, citizens of EU/EEA countries have good perspectives on getting a job with no skills and education in Switzerland. They are almost at the same level as local residents.

Best job perspectives for someone without a degree from a non-EU country

Tourism by far gives you the best chances to get a job with no qualifications in Switzerland. Hospitality and tourism are some of the most significant sectors in the country, employing many foreign workers.

Hence, tourism provides numerous employment opportunities for Swiss nationals and foreign workers alike, often with no requirements for qualifications. The majority of these jobs are seasonal or summer jobs. Commonly, seasonal workers get a permit in Switzerland for three or six months. The visa and work permit can also be easily obtained compared to regular full-time jobs.

For example, you could find work in bars, restaurants, and hotels or in one of the many ski resorts in the Alps, which frequently welcome seasonal workers. You could also instruct winter sports – English-speaking ski and snowboard instructors are always in demand. Thus, speaking English and one official language in Switzerland will be very helpful.

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