While Switzerland does not have a national minimum wage/salary law, some cantons and industries have their own regulations regarding minimum wage. For example, Geneva has one of the highest minimum wages in the world, set at 24.32 CHF per hour in 2024. For a 40-hour workweek, the minimum wage in Geneva is 4,215.47 CHF per month. Average wages are significantly influenced by factors such as industry, experience, and location in Switzerland.

Average and Median Salary / Wages in Switzerland in 2024 – and Swiss Minimum Salary / Wage 2024

Swiss Minimum Salary / Wage 2024

While Switzerland does not have a national minimum wage/salary law, some cantons and industries have their own regulations regarding minimum wage. For example, Geneva has one of the highest minimum wages in the world, set at 24.32 CHF per hour in 2024.For a 40-hour workweek, the minimum wage in Geneva is 4,215.47 CHF per month.Average wages are significantly influenced by factors such as industry, experience, and location in Switzerland.

Several Swiss cantons have established a minimum salary / wage, which varies by region. Here are the details for some of these cantons in 2024:

- Geneva: The minimum salary wage is 24.32 CHF per hour, which translates to approximately 4,368 CHF per month for a 42-hour week.

- Zurich: Zurich has set a minimum wage of 23.90 CHF per hour.

- Basel-Stadt: In Basel, the minimum wage is 21.70 CHF per hour.

- Neuchâtel: The minimum wage in this canton is 21.09 CHF per hour.

- Jura: Jura offers a minimum wage of 20.60 CHF per hour.

- Ticino: In Ticino, the minimum wage is set at 19 CHF per hour.


These minimum wage amounts in Switzerland vary depending on the cost of living in each region and are among the highest in the world in international comparison.


Average and Median Salaries / Wages in Switzerland in 2024

Switzerland is known for offering some of the highest wages in the world, despite the absence of a national minimum wage. The wage structure in Switzerland is influenced by various factors such as industry, experience, education, location, and company size.

Swiss Salary/ Wages

In 2023, the gross median monthly wage in Switzerland was 6,788 CHF, with a slight variation between genders: 6,397 CHF for women and 7,066 CHF for men. For the year 2024, the average wage is estimated at around 6,502 CHF per month. Data from 2022 indicates that the average gross monthly wage was 6,126 CHF.

Sector Distribution

Wages vary greatly by sector. The information and communication sector offered the highest wages with a monthly average of 8,724 CHF, while the accommodation and foodservice sector showed the lowest wages, at 4,412 CHF.

Individual Factors Influencing Wages

Work experience and educational qualifications play a major role in determining wages. For example, mechanical engineers earn an average of 96,250 CHF, whileCEOs can earn an average of 406,000 CHF. Additionally, geographical location also influences wages, with urban areas and cantons with large companies generally offering higher salaries.

Minimum Salary/ Wages in 2024 according to collective labor agreements by sector

In Switzerland, the issue of minimum wage is addressed quite uniquely compared to other countries. Instead of a single national minimum wage, Switzerland adopts a decentralized approach where minimum wages are often set by Collective Labor Agreements (CLAs) that vary by sector and region. This approach reflects the federal structure of the country and the economic diversity among different cantons.

Key Points of CLAs and Minimum Salary / Wages in Switzerland

 - Sectoral and regional diversity: CLAs are negotiated by sector and sometimes by region, offering flexibility to adapt wages to local economic conditions and the specificities of each industry. This ensures that wages reflect the cost of living, which can vary significantly from one canton to another.

- Worker protection: CLAs aim not only to set minimum wages but also to regulate working conditions, including working hours, holidays, and pensions. This regulation helps protect workers' rights and maintain a high standard of living.

- Prevention of wage dumping: By setting minimum wages by sector, CLAs help prevent wage dumping, a practice where employers cut costs by underpaying workers, especially those from abroad. This contributes to fairer competition among Swiss businesses.

- Variability and adaptation: Minimum wages in CLAs are often adjusted annually based on inflation and other economic indicators. This ensures that wages remain competitive and fair, thereby contributing to a stable economy and a balanced society.

Here are some examples of minimum wages based on Collective Labor Agreements (CLAs) in Switzerland for the year 2024, by sector:

Hospitality and Catering Sector

- The hospitality and catering sector offers minimum wages that vary depending on the weekly duration of work and cantons. For a standard week, the hourly wage maybe adjusted according to the specific provisions of applicable CLAs for this sector. A professional with a Vocational Certificate of Competence (CFC) has a minimum wage of 24.56 CHF per hour or 4,470 CHF per month.

Cleaning Sector

- In the canton of Geneva, the minimum wage for the cleaning sector is 24.32 CHF per hour. If the right to a thirteenth salary is included, the basic hourly wage is 22.45 CHF. This wage is adjusted annually based on the consumer price index.

- For more specialized tasks such as specific and construction cleaning, wages can go up to 29.45 CHF per hour, while maintenance cleaning has a minimum hourly wage of 20.25 CHF.

Industrial Sector (Watchmaking)

- The watchmaking sector has complex provisions that take into account experience and level of education. Wages in this sector are generally adjusted based on the qualifications and experience of employees. The new CCT will come into effect on July 1, 2024. The median wage for a qualified watchmaker with one year of experience is 5,575 CHF per month.

Here are details of minimum wages for 2024 based on Collective Labor Agreements (CLAs) int he metallurgy and construction sectors in Switzerland:


- Minimum wage: Wages in this sector are generally adjusted based on qualification, experience, and canton. Wages can vary significantly depending on the complexity of tasks and responsibilities involved. For example, for a professional with a Vocational Certificate of Competence (CFC), the minimum wage is 23.55 CHF per hour with two years of professional experience in the industry and 27.70 CHF per hour from the 10th year of experience.

Construction(First and Second Work)

- First work (heavy work): This sector often includes foundational, structural, masonry, concrete cutting, and other essential construction work. Wages can vary but are often determined based on workers' qualifications and standards established in regional or national CCTs. For a professional in the industry with a CFC, the minimum wage is 34.85 CHF per hour or 5,893 CHF per month.

- Second work: Includes finishes such as painting, flooring installation, carpentry, tiling, plastering, and glazing. For 2024, the wage for qualified workers in the French-speaking second work may include a thirteenth salary, adjusted for a41-hour workweek, with variations depending on the canton and specific qualifications. The minimum wage in Switzerland is 26.35 CHF per hour or 4,682CHF per month with one year of experience in the industry and a CFC.

CLAs are particularly important in the construction sector in Switzerland as they ensure not only fair wages but also safe and regulated working conditions. These agreements are negotiated between unions and employer associations and can be extended to include all companies in a given sector, thus ensuring uniformity in working and remuneration conditions.

In each case, it is essential to consult specific CLAs documents for detailed information on wages, working hours, holiday entitlements, and other benefits.This information is often available on the websites of sectoral employer associations.

These examples show that minimum wages in Switzerland vary greatly by sector and region, reflecting local living costs as well as sector-specific factors. CLAs play a crucial role in determining these wages, ensuring that workers receive fair compensation according to the standards of their industry and region. For more detailed information on CLAs by sector, you can consult the resources of sectoral organizations or official publications of the Swiss government. Entrepreneurs can consult the RISTER fiduciary in Geneva.


Salary Outlook in Switzerland

Despite an inflation rate of +2.1% in 2023, nominal wage growth was 1.7%, resulting in areal wage decrease of -0.4%. This dynamic underscores the importance of wage negotiation and understanding bonus structures, which can significantly increase total compensation, especially in high-performance fields such as finance and technology.

Wages in Switzerland remain among the most competitive in the world, although they are influenced by a multitude of factors. Understanding these dynamics is essential for professionals seeking to maximize their earning potential in this highly remunerative job market.


Structure of the Social Security System and Salary / Wages in Switzerland

The social security system in Switzerland is comprehensive, designed to support residents through various phases and challenges of life, including old age, disability, and loss of income. This system is essential for understanding the framework of employee compensation, including the SMIC salary, which does not exist as such in Switzerland, but the concept of minimum wage protection is implicitly managed through extensive social insurance and collective labor agreements incertain sectors.

Overview of the Swiss Social Security System

The Swiss social security system consists of three main pillars designed to ensure comprehensive coverage across different aspects of social well-being:

1. First Pillar: This includes Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (AVS), Disability Insurance (AI), and Loss of Earnings Benefits (APG). These are compulsory schemes managed by the state offering basic coverage to all residents.

2. Second Pillar: This is the occupational pension plan (LPP/BVG), mandatory for employees, aiming to maintain the standard of living in retirement by supplementing benefits from the first pillar.

3. Third Pillar: This includes voluntary personal savings plans that are tax-advantaged and help individuals improve their retirement savings.

Contributions to social security are mandatory and shared between employers and employees.They cover various insurances:

- Old Ageand Survivors'/Disability Insurance (AVS/AI/APG) : Employers and employees eachpay half, with total contributions of about 10.6% of wages.

- Unemployment Insurance (AC): Contributions amount to 2.2%, also divided equally between the employer and the employee.

- Family Allowances (AF): They are usually funded by the employer and vary by canton.

-Occupational Pension Fund (BVG/LPP): Based on coordinated salary, with contributions varying by age group and generally shared between the employer and the employee. Rates can range from 7% to 18% depending on the employee's age.


Additional Deductions and Benefits

- Income taxes: Generally deducted at source for foreigners with a B permit and cross-border workers for the cantons of Geneva and Fribourg, and through tax return for Swiss residents. The rate varies greatly depending on the canton and personal circumstances.

- Health insurance: Unlike other insurances, health insurance premiums are not based on salary but are paid directly by individuals to health insurance providers, with rates depending on the level of service chosen and the insurer.


Work Permits in Switzerland

 In Switzerland, work permits vary depending on citizenship (EU/EFTA or non-EU/EFTA) and employment situation. Here is a summary of the main types of permits:

1. G Permit: For EU/EFTA cross-border workers who live in a neighboring country but work in Switzerland. Valid for five years, renewable, with the obligation toreturn to the country of origin at least once a week.

2. L Permit: For short-term stays (less than a year), linked to the duration of the employment contract. Renewable exceptionally under certain conditions.

3. B Permit: Temporary residence permit valid for one year and renewable, for long-term or permanent employment contracts. This permit is subject to quota and depends on the initial employer.

4. C Permit: Permanent residence permit after five or ten years of continuous residence, offering fewer restrictions than B or L permits.

Each permit requires an application to the competent cantonal authority, with specific conditions depending on the type of permit and the individual's nationality.Procedures include documents such as proof of employment, qualifications, and sometimes, depending on the canton, processing fees.


RISTER, a fiduciary based in Geneva, offers valuable assistance to Swiss and international entrepreneurs establishing a business in Switzerland regarding the administrative management of salaries, especially in the complex context of minimum wages in Switzerland in accordance with cantonal laws and Collective Labor Agreements (CLAs).

Here's how RISTER can assist:

1. Interpretation of Cantonal Laws and CLAs: RISTER and its team of accountants and advisors have in-depth expertise in understanding and interpreting Swiss cantonal laws and CLAs. They can help entrepreneurs navigate the complexity of local and sectoral regulations regarding minimum wages.

2. Compliance with Local Regulations: By understanding the specifics of cantonal laws and CLAs, RISTER helps entrepreneurs ensure that their compensation practices comply with legal and sectoral standards in each canton in Switzerland where they operate.

3. Development of Compensation Policies and Employment Contracts: RISTER can assist entrepreneurs in developing compensation policies and employment contracts that take into account the requirements of cantonal laws and CLAs while addressing the specific needs of their business and employees.

4. Payroll Management: As administrative management specialists, RISTER can handle payroll management, including the calculation of minimum wages, mandatory deductions, and benefits, to ensure accurate and compliant compensation.

5. Monitoring Legislative Changes: RISTER actively monitors legislative and regulatory changes regarding minimum wages and working conditions, advising entrepreneurs on measures to comply with new requirements.

In Switzerland, the minimum salary / wage framework is unique compared to many other countries. Switzerland does not have a national minimum wage; however, some cantons have established their own minimum wages to meet the specific needs of their population. These measures illustrate the flexibility and adaptability of the Swiss model, which can respond to local needs while maintaining a flexible national framework.

Geneva, for example, stands out for having one of the highest minimum wages in the world. From 2024, the minimum salary / wage in Geneva is 24.32 CHF per hour, which translates to a relatively high gross monthly salary, especially for a standard 42-hour work week. Other cantons such as Neuchâtel, Jura, Ticino, and Basel-Stadt have also introduced regional minimum wages, thus reflecting variations in living costs and local economic pressures. For example, in Neuchâtel, the minimum salary /wage is 21.09 CHF per hour.

Minimum salary / wages are often determined by collective labor agreements (CLAs) in specific sectors, where minimum wages are negotiated between unions and employer associations. These CLAs play a crucial role, especially in sectors without cantonal minimum wages, in ensuring that workers receive a fair wage for their work.

In summary, while Switzerland does not have a federal minimum wage, the cantonal and sectoral approach to minimum wage issues allows for some flexibility that may better suit local and sector-specific economic realities.This strategy also ensures that wages remain competitive and in line with the high living standards typical of the country.

In summary, RISTER provides entrepreneurs with specialized expertise and personalized support to effectively manage their employees' compensation in compliance with cantonal laws and CLAs in Switzerland. This allows businesses establishing themselves in Switzerland to focus on their core activities while ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards in compensation.

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