Which job pays off the most in Switzerland?

Salary comparison: the ten best-paid jobs in Switzerland

It's not just managing directors and lawyers who earn very well in Switzerland. Working in Switzerland can also be worthwhile for chemists and engineers. But who is ahead and earns the most? Below are the ten professional groups that guarantee the most lucrative paycheck!

1. Managing Director

For CEOs and managers, the salary of course depends heavily on the size of the company and the industry. The bosses of the large Swiss corporations earn the most. There are hardly any upper limits. The Nestlé boss receives 9.3 million francs including annual bonus payments, the UBS boss 11.16 million and at Roche the CEO even gets 12 million francs.1

If one looks at the average salaries, the executive salaries are highest in the pharmaceutical industry (476,136 CHF), in Swiss banks (581,640 CHF euros) and insurance groups (519,372 CHF). In comparison, managing directors in the hotel and catering industry (116,004 CHF) and in retail (171,432 CHF) earn significantly worse.

2. Head of Finance and Accounting / CFO

The job market for job seekers in finance and accounting is good. Qualified candidates can often choose between several job offers. The head of finance and accounting is responsible for the areas of finance, accounting and controlling and leads the team in financial accounting. According to the personnel consultancy Careerplus, a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) with an annual salary of an average of CHF 150,000 rewarded.

3. IT manager

The IT industry is on the up and in Switzerland it is expected that there will be a shortage of 30,000 skilled workers by 2022. Qualified employees such as administrators for database systems and networks as well as IT managers are desperately wanted and accordingly well paid. According to personnel consultant Robert Half, IT professionals with three to five years of professional experience earn an average of between CHF 85,000 and CHF 100,000 per year. Anyone who takes responsibility for an IT project can earn up to CHF 125,000 annually as an IT project manager. IT managers who take responsibility for the entire IT department will be paid a salary of 140,000 to 150,000 CHF rewarded.2

4. Business consultant

According to a survey by Kienbaum Consultants International, whoever joins a management consultancy as a university graduate earns an average of 88,100 Swiss francs at the beginning of their career.3 Of course, the same applies here: the larger and more renowned the management consultancy, the higher the remuneration. On average, management consultants with several years of professional experience earn an annual salary of 131,000 CHF. If you work your way up to a partner in one of the large management consultancies, you can earn between CHF 450,000 and CHF 650,000.

5. Marketing and Sales Manager

The salaries in marketing and sales vary greatly depending on the company, so that only very general statements are possible. Marketing managers have an average gross annual salary of 111,500 CHF. According to a salary study by the personnel consultancy Careerplus, sales managers earn on average 123,500 CHF annually.4

6. Asset and Investment Advisers

Asset and investment advisors work for banks and financial service providers and help clients choose the best form of investment. This is no easy undertaking in the current phase of low interest rates and is rewarded like a princely. In Switzerland, investment advisors earn around around on average 114,000 CHF annually, whereby the variable component amounts to between 10 and 20 percent of the salary.

7. Lawyers

The income range for lawyers is huge - depending on whether they choose the profession of lawyer or civil service or whether they go into business and work for companies. The starting salary after graduation is between 65,000 and 72,000 CHF on average. With professional experience, the average annual gross salary for lawyers is 103,000 CHF. But there are hardly any upper limits. Senior partners in major international law firms can earn up to two million francs a year.5

8. Doctors

Resident doctors in clinics earn on average 101,000 CHF annual salary. Senior physicians receive CHF 163,000 and chief physicians an average of CHF 419,000. However, the variable salary component for chief physicians is very high and is largely earned through private medical and expert work. In addition, the age and length of service at the respective clinic play a major role in the salary calculation.

9. Engineers

The shortage of skilled workers is noticeable among the engineers. The starting salaries are on average between 78,000 and 81,000 CHF per year. On average, engineers with several years of professional experience earn in Switzerland 100,000 CHF.

10. Chemists

According to a survey by the management consultancy Tower Watson, chemists and pharmacists receive starting salaries of CHF 90,000 per year. Those who can show a doctorate start with 97,000 CHF per year. On average, chemists with several years of professional experience earn in Switzerland 98,000 CHF yearly.

  1. [1] Handelszeitung.ch: “How much do Swiss top managers earn” at: http://www.handelszeitung.ch/bildergalerie/so-viel-verdienen-schweizer-topmanager (accessed on February 21, 2016).
  2. [2] Netzwoche.de: “Wages 2015: IT leaders overtake finance chiefs” at: http://www.netzwoche.ch/de-CH/News/2014/10/06/Loehne-IT-Leiter-uebermachen-Finanzchefs. aspx (accessed on February 21, 2016).
  3. [3] Kienbaum.de: “Study on the remuneration of graduates in Switzerland” at: http://www.kienbaum.de/Portaldata/1/Resources/downloads/press/2014/18_2014_Absolventenverguetung_Schweiz_final.pdf (accessed on February 21, 2016 ).
  4. [4] careerplus.ch: “Salary study for the sales area 2013/2014” at: http://www.careerplus.ch/sites/default/files/careerplus_salaerstudie_sales_2014_a4.pdf (accessed on February 21, 2016).
  5. [5] Neue Züricher Zeitung: “Und Tschüss” at: http://folio.nzz.ch/2012/april/und-t Schuss (accessed on February 21, 2016).

about me

Rainer Hellstern

Who is writing here? My name is Rainer and I am the founder and author of the Emigration Handbook. Since 2008 I have been writing articles on the topics of work, life and retirement abroad in the blog. Here you will find information material on over 50 emigration destinations worldwide!