Wages in Switzerland: Why the Highest are in Zurich24 May 2023
Studies show that the highest salaries in Switzerland are paid out in Zurich, why is it so?
Study on Swiss Wages
Switzerland generally has high salaries, but a study show that there are some discrepancies in average wages when it comes to different cantons and cities. Overall in big cities earning are higher, which is no surprise. Among big metropolis, Zurich stands out as the one with highest salaries in the country, as the latest survey conducted by HES-SO and published this month, shows. HES-SO is umbrella association of Swiss universities of applied sciences (UAS), ones that mostly offer Bachelor’s programs linked to very specified professional field and often attended by those who completed vocational training. The survey showed first of all that graduates of universities of applied sciences earn significantly more in 2023 that they did two years ago – with median annual wage at 104,000 francs versus 100,000 francs in 2021. It also showed that there are huge regional discrepancies in salaries, with higher wages in German-speaking cantons rather than in French-speaking one. Zurich is on the lead with medium salary of 111,000 francs per year. Previous studies conducted by various institutions also confirmed that in Zurich wages are 10.8 higher than in Geneva and 5.4 percent higher than in Basel. The median wage per year in the Geneva area is 92,300 francs, which means an increase of 8.4 percent compared to two years earlier. This is particularly the case in the IT branch, where a median salary annually is 112,000 francs, followed by finance and insurance, with 106,000 francs per year on average.
Earning More in Zurich
Why in Zurich wages are higher? Fabian Büsser, director at Michael Page recruitment agency, says that it all depends on what kind of jobs are in demand in a given city: "Some of the highest paying jobs are in finance, insurance, IT, and engineering," and those branches of industry are mostly located in German-speaking Switzerland. “This region accounts for nearly 90 percent of advertised jobs in these sectors and is home to the largest banks, insurers and technology companies, as well as other firms requiring engineers, such as real estate and property”. According to the latest Michael Page Swiss Job Index, as much as 89 percent of these jobs can be found in the German-speaking cantons, while only 10 percent are in the French-speaking area and only 1 percent in Italian-speaking Ticino. These highly-paid jobs are occupied by both Swiss residents as well as many cross-border workers and foreign citizens living in Switzerland.