Which jobs do people in Switzerland admire the most?

Which jobs do people in Switzerland admire the most?

A new study has revealed what the most respected jobs in Switzerland are - as well as the less reputable ones! Medical specialists were found to be the most reputable professionals in Switzerland, while kitchen staff were ranked as the least respected. 

Swiss Professional Reputation Scale

The study itself was based on the results of a survey conducted by the FORS Centre for Social Sciences, which asked 1.675 people to rank 36 professions on a scale from one to nine based on how respectful they thought the career choice was. The data was collected in 2019 and was published in the February 2023 edition of the sociology journal Social Change in Switzerland.

The survey also paid attention to the gender of the people undertaking certain professions and how this impacted their reputation. For example, the study’s authors found that many of the overall most respected professions were held by men. Some of the most highly-regarded professions for women were scientist, high school teacher and biologist. 

Most and least respected professions in Switzerland

Using the results of the survey, professions were placed on a scale from 28 to 86, with 50 as the average. The most respected profession in Switzerland was that of a medical specialist, scoring 86, but was closely followed by professors at a university, company directors, judges, pilots and GPs

On the other side of the scale, placing at the bottom of the ranking was kitchen help, scoring just 28 points. They were followed by office cleaners, packers and laundresses. Most of these lower-ranked positions were more likely to be held by women, and all of the highest-ranked professions scoring 80 or higher were in male-dominated fields. 

Are the Swiss more harsh when it comes to professional reputations?

With these figures in mind, it begs the question: “how does this compare to the rest of the world?” Thankfully, the study’s authors have also assessed the international situation as well. According to their research, Switzerland ranks “technical” positions such as pilots, train drivers and computer engineers higher than its neighbours. 

The Swiss also strongly favour people working in healthcare. Positions such as “nurse” or “midwife” in Switzerland rank well above their international counterparts for reputation.

Top 10 most and least reputable positions in Switzerland

According to the ranking, these are the 10 most reputable jobs in Switzerland:

  • 1. Medical specialist (self-employed)
  • 2. University professor
  • 3. Director of a large company
  • 4. Judge
  • 5. Medical specialist (regular employment)
  • 6. Pilot
  • 7. GP
  • 8. Lawyer (self-employed)
  • 9. Physicist
  • 10. Lawyer (regular employment)

And, these are the 10 least reputable jobs in Switzerland:

  • 1. Kitchen staff
  • 2. Laundress
  • 3. (female) Office cleaner
  • 4. (female) Packer
  • 5. Security guard
  • 6. Fisherman
  • 7. Road construction worker
  • 8. (female) Sales worker
  • 9. Beautician (female, regular employment)
  • 10. Waitress in a restaurant

Check out the full study on the Social Change in Switzerland website

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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