Jobs in Switzerland: Which roles offer the highest salaries?

Jobs in Switzerland: Which roles offer the highest salaries?

The latest data from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has showcased which jobs in Switzerland offer the highest salaries. The report found that the sector that gives you the best compensation for your hard graft changes dramatically based on age and skill level. Here’s what you need to know:

Salaries in Switzerland continue to rise, albeit slowly

In the report, the FSO noted that the median salary for full-time workers in Switzerland increased by 1,84 percent between 2021 and 2022, to a total of 6.788 francs a month. Wage rates in the alpine nation have increased - albeit slowly - for a decade, rising by 5,4 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Since 2018, waste disposal and other unskilled workers have seen their wages rise the most, with rates increasing by 11,8 percent to a median full-time salary of 5.404 francs a month. Skilled workers in agriculture (+5,6 percent), assistants in the healthcare system (+5,6 percent) and business economists (+4,6 percent) have also seen their wages rise faster than average.

By contrast, four job sectors have reported falling salaries since 2018. Customer service office workers have seen their median wages drop from 6.003 francs a month in 2018 to 5.793 francs in 2022, a decline of 3,5 percent. Hotel and restaurant managers (-2,7 percent), teachers (-0,3 percent) and IT and communication technicians (-0,1 percent) have also seen wages fall.

Which Swiss job sectors offer the largest wages?

When it comes to median wages, workers in the tobacco industry have the highest salaries in Switzerland. As of 2022, the median wage in the industry was 13.299 francs a month. Employees in the pharmaceutical industry (10.296 francs a month) and banking and financial services (10.196 francs) rounded out the podium places.

However, the FSO noted that the most beneficial salaries change dramatically by age and seniority. For those under 30 years old, teachers and specialists in IT and communications technology are the best compensated, with average salaries of 7.083 and 7.009 francs a month respectively - perhaps hinting at how valuable young eyes are in a world of teacher shortages and ever-evolving artificial intelligence.

By contrast, young people were found to earn the least in the food preparation sector at 4.010 francs a month. Cleaning staff (4.079 francs a month) and personal service workers (4.409 francs) followed.

Commercial managers have the fastest-growing salaries in Switzerland

20 Minuten noted that some sectors offer dramatically higher salaries to employees once they reach a high level of seniority. For instance, when it came to commercial managers, employees typically see their wages rise by an average of 79,6 percent between the ages of 29 and 50. A similar phenomenon was also found among managing directors and board members (+76.8 percent), business economists (+64 percent) and scientists, mathematicians and engineers (+59 percent).

Finally, the Swiss energy sector was found to offer the highest median salaries (6.604 francs a month) for unskilled workers, pharmaceutical firms took the top (7.376) for practical task workers, financial services placed first for roles involving complex tasks (9.793 francs) and the tobacco industry took first for roles involving highly complex tasks (16.310 francs).

Jobs sectors in Switzerland with the highest wages

In all, here are the jobs and job sectors in Switzerland with the highest salaries (median francs per month for full-time work):

  1. Tobacco manufacturing (13.299)
  2. Pharmaceutical manufacturing (10.296)
  3. Financial services (10.196)
  4. IT and communications services (9.518)
  5. Insurance (9.018)
  6. Scientific research and development (8.996)
  7. Telecommunications (8.969)
  8. Education (8.577)
  9. Energy sector (8.494)
  10. Public administration, defence and social security (8.433)

For more information, check out the official FSO study.

Thumb image credit: Suteren Studio /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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