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How much do Swiss people earn today?

Who takes home more – a pharmacist or a logistics manager? An assistant doctor or a head nurse? In this year’s Swiss salary round-up, we focus on the people working especially hard during the coronavirus crisis.

Every year, canton Zurich’s Office for Economy and LabourExternal link publishes an almost 800-page book of salary dataExternal link for a wide range of professions. It is based on wage statistics and contract details from around Switzerland.

Shall we peek at the pay slips of some of the people whose services are particularly in demand in the wake of Covid-19?


Doctors doing an operation
In a hospital, the head doctor earns CHF13,000 ($13,440) per month; the head nurse and assistant doctors get CHF7,555 – compared with CHF5,600 for other nurses and CHF3,955 for nurses’ aides. Paramedics earn CHF6,500, while entry-level carers in nursing homes get CHF3,850. A lab worker earns CHF4,575. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally


Man writing on a whiteboard
A drug developer in Switzerland earns CHF11,100. The pharmacists distributing the drugs start at CHF6,900. A pharmacist over 40 with 15 years of experience earns CHF8,500. Keystone / Ti-press / Pablo Gianinazzi


huge rolls of paper being made
Someone who makes paper products or soap would generally start at CHF3,900 per month. The rate approaches CHF6,000-CHF7,000 with training and experience. Keystone / Urs Flueeler


A woman with a tray of bread
A baker with a federal degree earns CHF4,100. For an assistant cheesemaker it’s CHF4,975, while the head cheesemaker gets CHF5,875. The starting wage for a supermarket shop assistant is CHF4,000, with more paid for evening, night and Sunday work. Wondering about delivery workers? See the next category. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Delivery and communication

A woman delivering mail
A postal worker starts at CHF4,000, while post office branch heads and logistical managers get CHF5,300. More is paid for nights, holidays and weekends. The starting rate at private delivery companies is CHF3,500, while bike couriers get CHF4,000. For someone working for a mobile communications company, the starting salary is CHF4,500. Jobs in IT support pay CHF4,800 to start and go to about CHF8,000 at the senior level. Keystone / Christian Beutler


TV news producer in control room
In their first year, journalists typically earn about CHF5,575 per month. A TV producer gets CHF6,300. For a worker at a kiosk selling newspapers, the wage is about CHF3,900. Keystone/Ennio Leanza

Clean-up and waste disposal

Man cleaning up street litter
Cleaners working for the federal government get CHF3,400 to start; the maximum is CHF4,450. Workers picking up litter, emptying public bins and collecting private waste earn CHF3,900 to start; managers over 40 can earn over CHF7,000. Keystone / Ennio Leanza

While Swiss salaries might appear high to people abroad, it’s important to remember that Switzerland also has a very high cost of living. For example, people spend about a third of their income on rent alone.

You can contact the author of this article on Twitter: @SMisickaExternal link

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