If you’re thinking about living in Switzerland and stressing out about finding a stable income, fear not; your new life will be full of opportunities and delights. With some of the best jobs and the highest salaries in the region, Switzerland is yours to conquer.
Pick and choose your favorite position, preferred career opportunity, or part-time job and enjoy the many benefits that come with working in such a country.
Work in Switzerland
Of course, gorgeous mountains are not the only good thing about Switzerland. Maybe on par with its beauty, Switzerland is also known for amazing work opportunities.
With some of the best job markets, salaries, and employment laws, your experience here will be hard to forget, and you’ll enjoy all of it. The following paragraphs have all the information you need on how to work in Switzerland.
The job market in Switzerland
In Switzerland, as of 2020, the number of employed people was around 5 million. 76.9% of the population works in the service sector, 19.8% in the industry and crafts sector, and 3.3% in the primary sector. One of the essential parts of the Swiss job market is the foreign population, as many Swiss companies demand foreign professionals.
Job vacancies in Switzerland
Only 4.9% of the active population in Switzerland are unemployed, with numbers remaining relatively the same throughout the years and even during the COVID-19 pandemic. This stability of Switzerland is one of its most remarkable features as a country where, no matter what happens, they find a way to make it work.
There have been 63121 vacancies recorded as of January of 2022, with a lot of them being advertised on most of the country’s websites explicitly designed to find new employees.
Salaries in Switzerland
One thing you won’t have to worry about as you live and work in Switzerland is your salary. It’s probably going to be an excellent one, as salaries in Switzerland are the highest in the world. The Gross Median Wage there is 6,354CHF per month.
Of course, Switzerland is a bit more expensive in terms of product prices, but your salary will most definitely be enough for your day-to-day expenses.
Work culture in Switzerland
Swiss people value punctuality, workmanship, and craftsmanship. They raise their children with these values so they can fit in the Swiss environment. Sloppiness is unacceptable, and quarrels between management and workers never get out of hand.
In Switzerland, a typical working week lasts 41 hours and 10 minutes on average. Swiss companies are flexible with their arrival and departure times; however, most of the workers begin their day early, at 7 or 8 a.m.
Labor laws in Switzerland
Labor laws in the Swiss country are very detailed and extensive. These laws protect all workers; there is no division for any type of worker. Some of the laws are listed down below:
- There is no minimum wage.
- All employees have four weeks of guaranteed holidays.
- Most contracts are in written form.
- Employees get fourteen weeks of paid maternity leave.
- Workers are offered protection against all forms of discrimination in the workplace.
How To Get a Job in Switzerland as a Foreigner
Looking for work as a foreigner in a new country might seem challenging and difficult at first, but with the right mindset and essential information, you’ll be getting calls in no time.
Foreigners make a good chunk of Switzerland’s total number of workers, and your qualities and experience could be exactly what Swiss employers seek.
Job websites in Switzerland
Some of the websites you can find job opportunities while in Switzerland are listed down below:
Public employment services in Switzerland
Work.swiss is the provider for public employment services in the country. It is one of the best ways to find work in Switzerland for foreigners. You can get all sorts of information for both employees and employers there. And you’ll find all you need to know to start working in Switzerland, including searching, applying, consulting, and getting the benefits.
There are also plenty of tips for young people and more senior citizens to understand what they’re good at and what they need to do to improve. Public employment services such as this help you get a head start in the job market and improve your skills in presenting yourself as a viable option.
Recruitment agencies in Switzerland
Recruitment agencies or private employment services in Switzerland are abundant, with ManPower, Adecco, and Swisslinx leading the way. These agencies assist people in finding permanent or part-time positions and help employers research the job market to identify and assess the candidates which suit their vacant positions best.
When looking for a job, you won’t go wrong by asking around and seeing if any of your contacts have heard of any vacancy. This is why networking is important; knowing the right people can be the key to landing that job position. While in Switzerland, there are many ways to network:
- Executives International
- American International Club
- British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce
- Junior Chamber International
Specialist jobs in Switzerland
If you’re a highly-skilled person and have focused a large portion of your time on a specific career, Switzerland has plenty of opportunities for you. Some of those you can find at:
- Robert Walters – for accounting and finances, banking, sales and marketing, legal services, and consulting
- Alpha – for managers, CEOs, heads of departments
- Diversity – medical research and pharmaceuticals
IT jobs in Switzerland
With the development of technology and the increasing importance of information technology specialists, IT jobs are some of the most abundant ones worldwide. Switzerland is no different, and you can see some of your possible job positions below:
Teaching jobs in Switzerland
As far as important professions go, a teacher is one of the most crucial ones. They bring entire generations into the world and are partly responsible for how a whole country’s future will be shaped. If you’re interested in being part of this enormous path, opportunities await you at:
Jobs for English Speakers in Switzerland
How to get jobs in Switzerland from the US? If you’re an English speaker trying to find work in Switzerland, you won’t go wrong with some of the options at:
Jobs at international organizations
There are plenty of international organizations that have headquarters or offices in Switzerland. You could find yourself working at the World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations (UN, International Red Cross, and many other institutions.
Applying for a Job in Switzerland
Applying for a job anywhere is quite a stressful period. You have to be prepared for the application process and the big interview if you get accepted.
It is important that you calm yourself down during this process and not overthink. The pressure might try to get to you, but it won’t because we have all the information you need to apply for a job in Switzerland.
In Switzerland, primary education and higher education last 12 years and are mandatory. Before applying for a job, you’ll need to make sure your foreign educational qualifications are recognized in Switzerland. For more information on verifying your qualifications, visit here: enic-naric.net.
Your CV is the first thing that you’ll need to wrap up in order to begin your application process. When applying for a job in Switzerland, you have to make sure that the language of your CV is the same as the language in the job description. Here are some important tips on writing a CV for a Swiss company:
- Include personal information; full name, date of birth, gender, contact information (phone number, email).
- Mention your higher education and university qualifications, degree certificate, and the location where you received it.
- List your past work experience and all the tasks you were given in each position.
- Make sure to tailor your CV according to the job position you’re applying for; the information in the CV has to be relevant to the company that will be reading it.
- Include references with contact information.
- Be as concise as possible.
- Briefly mention your skills, hobbies, and language proficiency.
The cover letter is an essential part of the application process. It’s a personalized love letter written for a specific company, and it’s where the people who will be hiring you will try to find out if you really did your research.
When addressing the company, try to find out who is the head of the department who’ll be going over the applicants. That will make you seem much more informed and interested.
In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and what you’re applying for while also telling the company how you found out about the open position.
Then, the second paragraph is where you’ll be showing off all your attributes and experiences, both during your educational specialization and your past job positions. It’s good to mention anything that is relevant to the company; if it’s an IT company, they’ll want to know anything IT-related and will not be interested in your politics classes.
And finally, in the concluding paragraph, you’ll tell the company why you want to work for them. Make sure to mention your commitment and desire for work and why the company in question is going to bring the best out of you.
Swiss job interview
A job interview in Switzerland is just as stressful as a job interview in any other place in the world. It’s understandable, though, and that stress is easily avoidable with just enough preparedness.
Do your research
Before the big day, make sure you know all you can about what the company actually does, its competitors, their structure, and the industry they work in. You’ll have to understand what the interviewee is talking about, and if you’re aware of the latest developments, you’ll have a lot of things to talk about.
Be honest and positive
The first thing that companies will ask for during the application process is honesty, and it’s the same during the interview. Don’t be shy to tell the interviewee that you don’t know how to do a certain thing; assure them that you’ll work hard to learn to do it with your eyes closed.
Be positive about all your achievements and possible “failures” in the past, and always try to have a smile on your face.
Even if you feel you know the job description and all the company’s ins and outs, ask questions. The people interviewing you will feel you’re not just there to get a paycheck but that you actually care about your work.
Support While Looking for a Job in Switzerland
The Switzerland government offers unemployment benefits for foreign nationals if they have a settlement or residence permit. With a short stay permit, you can stay in Switzerland for up to 6 months as you’re looking for a job.
The bottom line is that you will need to either be working or have enough savings before beginning life in Switzerland in order for the transition to be as smooth as possible. For more information on unemployment support, please visit the government website here.
Requirements To Work in Switzerland
Being eligible to work as a foreign national in a new country is a process in itself. Although finding a job and starting work in Switzerland is the exciting part, you will first need to be qualified through a quite rigid procedure to be able to begin your new life.
Work visas in Switzerland
Can EU citizens work in Switzerland? If you’re a citizen of the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA), you can work without a work visa in Switzerland for up to three months. After that, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit that allows you to work.
How hard is it to move to Switzerland, though? Non-EU or EFTA citizens have a more troublesome application process because you’ll need your future employer to prove that he could not find a qualified EU/EFTA citizen to hire, and that’s why he chose you.
For more information on work visas in Switzerland, please visit the official guide of the government here.
Qualifications to work in Switzerland
Some of the things you’ll need to prove in order to work in Switzerland are as follows:
- You’re a skilled and qualified worker in your field, with years of studies and experience.
- No other EU/EFTA citizen can take your job.
- You’ve already found your job and future employer.
- The quotas for foreign workers allow you to work in Switzerland.
Language requirements to work in Switzerland
Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Although many workplaces use English for day-to-day communication, it’s also helpful to have a little bit of knowledge of the other four languages. This is to make your job easier and have a better connection with your colleagues and the city you’ll be living in.
Tax and social security numbers in Switzerland
Foreigners in Switzerland with a residence permit have to file a tax return annually. If you still do not have a residence permit, you’ll have to go through the process of withholding tax, meaning that your employer will deduct a certain amount of money from your monthly payment.
Social security numbers in Switzerland are called the Alters-und Hinterlassenenversicherung (AHV) number. AHV numbers in Switzerland are given to anyone employed in Switzerland. You give contributions, and in return, you’re entitled to certain benefits in your work environment and in case of any health issues.
Starting a Job in Switzerland
After all of the hard work you’ve been through, you’ll reach the point of starting your new job in Switzerland. In the meantime, you’ll get signed up for pension benefits from the social security system and into health insurance provided by the company. You will also most probably get called by your colleagues to have a drink or two, after working hours, of course.
Finding work in Switzerland as a foreigner might have seemed exhausting at first, but as you’ve seen throughout this article, it is totally possible.
The hardest thing about finding work overall is simply understanding what your passion is and what you’re good at. When you’ve got that covered, the rest of the process is simply following a set of rules which might seem a bit too much at first but are completely worthwhile.
And know that when you finally get a job in Switzerland, there won’t be anything else that will hold you back.