Immigration. Travel. Living.

Finding a job in Switzerland as an Expat

Finding work in the country is easy yet difficult. Although the Swiss job market welcomes ex-pats, especially for senior management-level positions, the competition for these positions is high. As a country well known for its high quality of life, ex-pats tend to flock there, leaving few job vacancies. If you get a job here, the average Swiss salary is one of the highest paid in Europe. Its working days are Monday to Friday and employees work 45 to 48 hours a week. Although ex-pats finding work here is tough, a good portion of the nation’s workforce is foreign employees. If you are a foreigner looking to relocate to the country to work, or you are interested in looking for work while residing here, this article provides information on finding work in the city as an ex-pat. 

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Applying for a job as an Expat

Finding work is very competitive given the few slots available. Thus, an applicant must ensure they are highly qualified before applying for a position. The typical requirements for working are a university degree and years of work experience. When applying for a position, applicants need to submit the following documents namely a CV containing their education qualifications and work experiences, a cover letter, and copies of educational degrees, etc. Since lots of foreigners hold management and senior-level positions, this means that the eligibility for ex-pats is high.  Expats can work with a recruiter or job agency to assist them in their search for job opportunities. The easiest option is to search online on job portals or social media groups for posted vacancies.

Language requirements for Swiss jobs

Switzerland has four national languages, they are German, Italian, French, and Romansh. Based on the location and job, vacancies are posted in any of the four languages. The CV and cover letter should be submitted in the language where the job position is located unless stated otherwise. Learning to speak any of the languages will increase your chances of being employed.

Job opportunities for foreigners

A large number of foreigners working here are in upper management and senior-level positions. The following industries where foreigners can find opportunities are engineering, IT, the hospitality industry, financial services, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Minimum wage and average salary

The country has the second highest wage in Europe after Luxembourg. Although payments vary depending on the job sector, the national average annual salary is around 114,000 CHF, or 9,500 CHF a month. While the average minimum wage is about 55 CHF an hour.

Most demanded jobs

Thanks to the rising use of technology and an aging workforce, experts believe the country might experience a shortage of workers of about half a million by 2030. Some areas of work, especially those with the need for highly skilled workers, are already facing the employment crunch. With this shortage posing a problem for the Swiss workforce, qualified ex-pats in the productive job industries may have luck finding employment easier.

Swiss working culture

The Swiss take their work seriously. Business meetings start on time and employees focus on their tasks, completing them efficiently and timely. Mixing one’s personal life and work life is not acceptable here and is viewed as highly unprofessional.

Social security and benefits

All ex-pats residing and working in the nation require a Swiss social security number.  Social security is meant to cover the cost of living for people after retirement or in the event of becoming widowed or orphaned. Workers automatically pay into the social security scheme. While employers pay half of the scheme, the other half is deducted from employees’ paychecks. The salary of employees determines the amount to be paid.

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Working in Switzerland as an expat

Options of Obtaining Switzerland Citizenship

Getting an employment visa: Work Permit in Switzerland

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