How much will you earn in Switzerland? This is the first question people ask when thinking about moving to Switzerland for work. Indeed, Swiss salaries are some of the highest in the world, and so are the living expenses.
In Switzerland, a monthly gross income between 6,000 CHF and 9,000 CHF is considered to be a good salary. With that salary, you can afford a decent life in Switzerland, including renting a 2-3 bedroom apartment, regularly eating out, and weekends away.
Salaries can get complicated. In this article, we explain how much money is considered to be good to make in Switzerland and what the average person and top performers are earning. We also reveal who earns the most in Switzerland. Also read about salaries in Zurich.
Can you move to Switzerland without a job? Learn in this article.
What is considered a good salary in Switzerland in 2023?
A monthly gross salary between 6,000 CHF and 9,000 CHF is considered a good enough salary in Switzerland. Earning above 9,000 CHF per month or 100,000 per CHF year will give you a very comfortable quality of life.
An annual salary above 72,000 CHF is considered to be good. Everyone getting between 6,000 CHF and 9,000 CHF per month is a good earner.
With an average annual salary in Switzerland of approximately 78,000 CHF, one can speak of a very good salary from approximately 100,000 CHF gross per year.
For example, lawyers are well paid in Switzerland; they make 111,000 annually on average. Someone in a managerial position will earn between 130,000 CHF and 270,000 CHF per year.
What your life will look like with various salary levels in Zurich, Switzerland:
Salary of 100,000 CHF per year or 8,300 per month – 80,000 CHF or 6,660 CHF monthly after tax.
- Housing: You can rent a 2-3 bedroom apartment outside of the city center – 2,000-3,000 CHF.
- Health insurance: You can get standard coverage for 500 CHF.
- Groceries: 700 CHF – you don’t need to be frugal with your choices.
- Disposal income per month: 2,960 CHF – for closing and shoes, personal items, eating out, entertainment, weekend trips, yearly holidays, etc.
- Saving: you will be able to put away up to 1,000 CHF per month.
Salary of 130,000 CHF per year or 10,830 CHF per month – 104,000 CHF or 8,660 CHF monthly after tax.
- Housing: You can rent a 3-4,5 bedroom apartment outside of the city center (2,000-3,500 CHF) or a 2-3 bedroom apartment in the city center (3,000-4,000 CHF).
- Health insurance: You can take out better coverage with less deductible for 700 CHF.
- Groceries: 700 – 1,000 CHF (if you like to cook) – you don’t need to be frugal with your choices.
- Disposal income per month: 4,260 CHF for closing and shoes, personal items, eating out, entertainment, weekend trips, yearly holidays, etc.
- You can afford a more expensive hobby such as skiing or kite surfing.
- You will be able to shop at higher-end stores for more designer clothes and electrical equipment.
- You can go on holidays more often – 2 or 3 holidays a year, including a more long-haul destination or a week-long winter sport vacation.
- You also can spend many weekends away.
- Saving: you will be able to put away at least 1,000 CHF every month.
In the end, it also strongly depends on where you are living in Switzerland. Rental prices vary significantly. If you are working in another city, budget money for a yearly train ticket or consider buying a car.
You can read in this article how much owning a car will cost you in Switzerland.
For example, apartment rental in Neuchâtel costs about half that in Geneva for the same amount of space. Salaries also tend to be slightly lower in Neuchâtel, but not as different as the rental prices.
The tax system is quite complicated. To calculate how much you will pay in taxes, you need to have to look at federal, cantonal, and local taxes together.
Overall, taxes and social security contributions are around 10% – 30% of the employee’s salary. Yet, you can count with 20% as the most common rate.
Learn about the cost of living in Switzerland in the dedicated article.
Monthly salary between 6,000 CHF and 9,000 CHF is a fairly decent salary.
With that salary, you can live a good middle-income life enjoying your weekends and traveling short distances for getaways.
An example of the cost of living for a single person in Zurich, Switzerland:
- Rent+utilities: 2,000 – 3,000 CHF
- Groceries: 500 – 700 CHF
- Health insurance: 300 – 500 CHF
- Transport: Zurich ticket 700 CHF per year
- Household expenses: 300 CHF
- Entertainment: 500 – 1,000 CHF (e.g. going out, events, gym, shopping)
Even if taking these numbers to the maximum, it will be around 5,860 CHF per month, which leaves you some room for spending. An annual gross salary of about 90,000 CHF (7,500 monthly CHF) or ca., 70,000 CHF net will cover these expenses.
This salary is considered above average. Yet, you can earn less and live more frugally in Zurich, even under 3,000 CHF, if you rent a room instead of an apartment.
In fact, students make between 3,000 to 4,000 CHF as interns, and some banking firms in Zurich pay closer to 6,000 CHF. If students can earn that money, normal employees will get at least 40% more.
Here are some examples of average salaries for various jobs in Zurich:
- Doctor: CHF 110,000–130,000
- IT: CHF 115,000–120,000
- Lawyer: CHF 111,600
- Engineer: CHF 108,500
- Marketing Officer: CHF 90,500
- Civil Servant: CHF 85,800
- Journalist/Editor: CHF 85,200
- Police Officer: CHF 82,200
- Draftsman/Architect: CHF 75,000
- Translator: CHF 73,200
- Postal Worker: CHF 66,600
Are you thinking about working in Switzerland? Germany offers better opportunities for citizens of non-EU countries. Check out the in-depth comparison between Germany and Switzerland. To have better chances for employment in Switzerland, learn which jobs are in-demand right now.
Learn which jobs are in demand in Switzerland right now and which pay the best salaries.
Taxes in Switzerland
The average income taxes plus social security contributions in Switzerland comes to approx. between 10% and 30% of the gross salary. The tax rate is set independently by cantons and municipalities, so it can vary considerably in different places.
Taxes you should expect in Switzerland:
- Federal taxes (mandatory insurance) 7% of
- Federal income tax – for someone with less than 100k, is less than 1%
- Cantonal, local, and church taxes – vary wildly with location
You also need to pay for mandatory health insurance.
With a gross salary of 100,000 CHF in Zurich, you can expect to pay the following taxes in Switzerland:
- Cantonal tax: 4,883 CHF
- Communal tax: 5,811 CHF
- Personal tax: 24 CHF
- Direct federal tax: 1,897 CHF
- Total tax: 12,615 CHF
Additionally, all employees contribute to social funds, such as pension, unemployment, and others:
- Contributions to OASI, disability insurance, compensation for loss of earnings: 5,300 CHF
- Unemployment insurance contributions: 1,100 CHF
- Accident insurance contributions: 400 CHF
- Pension fund contributions: 3,536 CHF
- Total social tax: 10,336 CHF
Total taxes paid from 100,000 CHF are 22,951 CHF. Which isn’t bad at all. In that example, your tax rate is about 23%.
Moreover, with a gross monthly salary of around 6,000 CHF, you will get 5,000 CHF after tax.
Having a Swiss bank account is essential when working in Switzerland. Learn how to open one here.
Health insurance for expats in Switzerland
Expats need a health insurance solution when moving to Switzerland. We recommend Cigna Global for international coverage. Because Cigna insurance is international you can use your policy not only in Switzerland but almost anywhere in the world.
With 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally, Cigna is one of the largest international insurance providers out there.
With that insurance, you can enjoy instant and easy access to healthcare facilities and professionals around the globe.
Visit their website to learn more and choose the optimal coverage for your situation. Find here the sign-in form in German for German speakers.
Is a salary of 130K CHF per year considered good in Switzerland?
An annual gross salary of 130,000 CHF is a decent salary in Switzerland and is well above average. In fact, specialists earn an average of 117,000 CHF across all industries and company sizes.
To sum up, if you would like to be more extravagant with spending, you would be spending your whole salary, but with a modest (but still good) lifestyle, you can easily save 2,000 CHF per month.
Can you move to Switzerland without a job? Read more on this topic in this article.
How much does the average person make in Switzerland?
An average person earns between 5,000 CHF and 6,000 CHF gross per month or 60,000 CHF and 72,000 CHF per year.
Salaries in Switzerland, of course, depend on the job. Here are some examples of how much someone makes in different positions and industries in Switzerland.
Starting from the bottom – a cleaner, waiter, or cashier at a supermarket makes around 4,800 CHF per month. That’s why the average person earns closer to 5,000 CHF per month – because many people work casual, low-paid, low-skilled jobs.
A secretary earns around 7,000 CHF, a kindergarten teacher earns up to 10,000 CHF a month, and a high school teacher easily comes to over 13,000 CHF.
A project manager in a big corporation in Zurich earns around 300,000 CHF annually. An accountant with 5 years of professional experience makes, on average, around 100,000 CHF.
A Swiss radiologist earns a proud 390,000 CHF gross. Furthermore, managing directors currently earn an average of 406,000 CHF.
Yet, the common salary among directors is around 222,000 CHF, while middle and lower managers earn 174,000 CHF and CHF 152,000 CHF, respectively.
What do specialists make in Switzerland?
Top earners among specialists are manufacturing engineers, with an average total of 129,000 CHF, followed by software engineers with 123,000 CHF, and design engineers with 121,000 CHF.
Finance specialists make an average of 96,000 CHF and 94,000 CHF. Even IT help desk support workers earn 97,000 CHF.
Receptionists in companies and hotels make just 70,000 CHF on average.
Salaries for management positions
Managers of the various departments receive between 130,000 CHF and 240,000 CHF. Top performers will make around 235,000 CHF; for example, the head of the marketing department has an annual salary of 228,000 CHF.
Top earners among executives are the CEOs, who earn an average annual salary of 436,000 CHF.
7,500 or 90,000 is considered a good salary, which only 25% of the population can enjoy.
Average salary in Switzerland
The average hourly wage in Switzerland is 60 CHF.
In 2020, official statistics reported that the average annual salary in Switzerland was 6,665 CHF per month across the country and 7,114 CHF in the canton of Zurich. That’s 79,980 CHF and 85,368 CHF annually, respectively.
Specialists earn an average of 117,000 CHF across all industries and company sizes, and an average specialist can expect 87,000 CHF in annual compensation.
Switzerland is home to 40 of the 2,755 wealthiest people in the world.
There is no national-wide minimum wage in Switzerland. The highest rate is in Geneva, Switzerland, and is 23 CHF per hour. In other cantons, it can be as low as 19 CHF.
Switzerland’s salary ranges from 31,300 CHF per year (minimum wage) to 553,000 CHF per year (average maximum wage, actual maximum is higher).
The average gross salary of an employee is 6,538 CHF per month, which is significantly higher than in Germany (approx. 4,748 EUR).
While the median salary is 119,000 CHF per year, which means that half of the population is earning less than 119,000 CHF, and the other half are making more than 119,000 CHF.
Many rankings have shown that Switzerland has one of the highest annual salaries in the world, which are at around 6,500 CHF per month.
Average annual salaries in Switzerland in 2023:
|Occupation||Annual salary (CHF)||Monthly salary (CHF)|
|IT systems specialist||117,000||9,750|
Average expenses with the average salary
Expenses with gross income per month of 6,250 CHF:
- Retirement insurance 550
- Taxes 850
- Rent 1,200
- Health insurance 330
- Other insurances 100
- Telecommunications 150
- Transportation 460
- Other health costs 180
- Food 450
- Shoes and clothing 130
- Household, hygiene articles 300
- Entertainment, recreation, culture 700
In the end, you will have 850 CHF either to save or to spend on leisure.
Are you looking for a job in Switzerland but don’t speak German? Check out this guide.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Switzerland?
How much money you need to live comfortably comes purely to the cost of living.
Switzerland has earned its reputation for being one of the most expensive countries in the world. Therefore, prices are easily manageable if you are working in Switzerland.
Yet, the high expenses are compensated by high wages, low taxes, and high living standards you are paying for.
The most popular Swiss cities for expats, Zurich and Geneva, are among the most expensive cities in the world.
Here are the expenses for a single person that earns 5,000 CHF a month in a less expensive Swiss city:
- 600 CHF for taxes
- 400 CHF for insurance
- 564 CHF savings for retirement
- 1,200 CHF for renting
- 320 CHF for transportation
- 700 CHF for food
Total costs are 3,784 CHF, which leaves a disposable income of 1,216 CHF that can be spent on leisure activities like holidays, restaurants, hobbies, and savings. Check out the insurance from Cigna Global to save some money on monthly expenses for insurance.
As an expat, you can expect to spend at least 30% of your salary each month on rent. In Zurich, apartments are rented for around 2,000 CHF – 6,000 CHF, depending on the size. Additionally, utilities might cost up to 300 CHF.
Telephone and internet are added for about 60 CHF. For the Swiss GEZ, you pay about 28 CHF per month.
Cities like Zurich, Basel, Bern, or Geneva are among the most expensive places to live in the world. Due to strong immigration in recent years, rental prices have increased significantly (by 20% in the last 10 years).
Generally, Switzerland has the most expensive food and non-alcoholic beverages among European countries.
Yet, there are more and more German discounters opening up, such as Aldi and Lidl. By shopping there, you can save a significant amount of cash.
Read this guide about the cost of food in Switzerland and how much you should budget.
On the other hand, Switzerland is anything but cheap in terms of dining. A pizza in a restaurant starts at 14 CHF; a nice meal costs 40 CHF.
While a three-course meal with a glass of wine for two people at a mid-range restaurant could cost around 100 CHF.
Suppose you cook mostly at home and buy cheap products, then budget 20 CHF a day per person. Eating at a restaurant costs at least 20 CHF for a meal (minimum price).
3,860 CHF is the price of the yearly train pass. If you own a car, you are going to spend more than that amount. The yearly ticket for Zurich costs 700 CHF.
Highest paying jobs in Switzerland
Not surprisingly, doctors can earn an average of around 15,000 CHF per month, depending on their professional experience. Pilots get paid up to 14,000 CHF per month.
Among commercial professions head of Accounting, head of Human Resources, or head of marketing receives an average salary of over 10,000 CHF.
The next high-paying occupations are in the IT sector. With good education and experience, you can get around 9,000 CHF per month.
Highest-paying Swiss industries for managers
According to the statistics, companies in the energy, water, supply/disposal, and recycling industries pay their executives the highest salaries – 232,000 CHF.
The second-highest average salaries are paid in the insurance sector – 219,000 CHF. The third place is taken by credit institutions and banks, where you will get a total average wage of 203,000 CHF in a high position.
By contrast, the good pay for management in the Swiss construction company is 197,000 CHF on average.
As the number of individuals relocating over long distances continues to increase, it is essential to have a trustworthy international moving company by your side. With the expert help of...
9 of the Best German Beers for 2023 The German beer culture is deeply rooted, with the country producing some of the best brands and beer styles in the world. The keen and closely monitored...