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Old 13.08.2015, 00:13
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What is my profession in Switzerland?

Hi, I am from South Africa and am currently employed as a maintenance planner but am a mechanical fitter by trade. I am having a difficult time trying to find exactly what a mechanical fitter or a maintenance fitter is called in Switzerland. Please could somebody help me with an answer to my job hunting hurdle.
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Old 13.08.2015, 08:23
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Try the online dictionery "Leo" for translations:

Fitter=Monteur, Mechaniker, Schlosser, Installeteur

Maintenance=Wartung, Unterhaltungs

I would think Wartungsmonteur might be about right.

http://www.leo.org/
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Old 13.08.2015, 08:35
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Welcome to the Forum.

You would probably be called a Mechanisches Kundendienst Techniker, Gruppenleiter.

Or simply Kundendiesnttechniker or Leiter Kundendienst

A problem you might come across is there are Kundendienst Technicians (technical service technicians),
and also people working in Kundendienst who are customer service representatives (sales).

http://www.jobs.ch/en/suche.php
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Old 13.08.2015, 08:56
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Hi and thanks for the help and advice.


I tried a few translation apps and came up with some of the names that you have listed for me here so that tells me I am in the right ball park so thanks for the confirmation.


I will try searching a bit with the other terms that you have provided here as I seem to be in a bit of a grey area.


Do you perhaps know off hand if there is a demand for people in my line of work and perhaps what an average salary would be?


Thanks again for the help and feedback.
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Old 13.08.2015, 09:55
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Could you explain in more detail what you do as a "maintenance planner/ mechanical fitter"?
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Old 13.08.2015, 12:21
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Hi Mullhollander, thanks for all the info.

As a maintenance planner, I plan and schedule all of the engineering maintenance, projects and repair work for the department where I work (aluminium hot rolling mill).

As a mechanical fitter, I maintain and repair pumps, gearboxes, hydraulics, pneumatics, bearings etc. basically anything related to mechanical machinery.
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Old 13.08.2015, 12:37
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

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Hi Mullhollander, thanks for all the info.

As a maintenance planner, I plan and schedule all of the engineering maintenance, projects and repair work for the department where I work (aluminium hot rolling mill).

As a mechanical fitter, I maintain and repair pumps, gearboxes, hydraulics, pneumatics, bearings etc. basically anything related to mechanical machinery.
Without fluent German, I think you may have a very tough time getting steady work in a trade as the vast majority of people employed in those kind of manual roles are Swiss or immigrants and will speak very little English.
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Old 13.08.2015, 13:09
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

@Gechoe:
Some thoughts:
1. Heavy industry, such as aluminium extrusion, has mostly left Switzerland. The country still has chemicals, pharmaceutical, medical device, watch industries and probably some others.
2. Much of mechanical maintenance in the country, in my opinion, would involve repairing mechanical systems in buildings and homes and less so in factories. As Richdog notes, you would most certainly need to be able to speak German (or French in the French-area).
3. There are only around 6,000 work permits given to non-EU employees per year, which are given to highly-skilled workers. Although you could be considered highly-skilled, the prospective employer would have to search for one with Swiss or EU citizenship before considering you.
4. If you have a claim on EU citizenship, you could possibly relocate here and look for a job. You should explore "citizenship by descent" opportunities.
5. I would suggest that you search the internet for salary information. Also keep in mind that this country is insanely expensive and, while you might double or triple your income, your standard of living might be lower.
6. You might be better off looking in Germany, or the UK/ Ireland for language reasons.

Added:
7. Switzerland also has many machine tool companies, which mostly export their products. I can imagine that these companies would need to send out specialized monteurs to repair the machines, but you're back to the issues of Swiss/ EU citizenship and language.
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Old 13.08.2015, 13:41
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Sorry guys, I did omit from my previous points that I am a Swiss Citizen by naturalization and am registered with the local Swiss embassy.


I am in the process of looking for work with the intention to relocate to Switzerland as I am rapidly becoming an endangered species in South Africa(Middle aged European decent).
I have also informed the local embassy of my intention to go "home" to Switzerland.


I do realize that there is a language barrier and I intend to learn German when in Switzerland as it is not easy to learn from this side (not a highly recognized language over here)
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:03
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

First, sorry for the erroneous assumption regarding your lack of Swiss/ EU citizenship. You obviously have the right to reside in Switzerland (and in the EU) which makes a relocation fully possible.

If you haven't reviewed th Auslandschweizer-Organisation (ASO) website, you might wish to. It's in several languages including English. This is the page on finding a job in CH:

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/back-t...-to-find-a-job

Possibly this message site, associated with ASO, might also be of interest:

https://www.swisscommunity.org/en/homepage

Although manufacturing in Switzerland is under pressure due to the strong franc, and has been for years, there is still considerable industry here, albeit less than in Germany. Practically every week there is an announcement of another factory closing. Today there was an announcement to close an AFG window factory in the French area with the production to be moved to Slovakia.

Besides the industries mentioned above, there are other companies with production facilities here, e.g., ABB, Alstom, Sonova, Pilatus Aircraft, various suppliers to the German automotive companies, etc., etc. Also, like Germany, Switzerland has many relatively unknown "Mittelstand" companies which makes the thing that goes in the thing that goes in thing. Many grow their own employees through apprenticeships but probably must hire experienced people at times.

Regarding machine tool companies, it might be possible that they would want a mechanic/ fitter with native English skills to send abroad, although the company would likely be run in German.

Something to keep in mind is that Switzerland opened its labor market to the EU in about 2005. This has often meant that young Germans, French, etc. get the job before older Swiss (this was not so pre-2005). To be more positive about this, however, you only need one job.

Last edited by Mullhollander; 13.08.2015 at 14:50.
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:14
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Absolutely no need to apologize for assumptions. I am sure there are more than enough people posting that do not have citizenship, I should have mentioned this from the offset.

I am extremely grateful for all of the advice and assistance that you are all so willing to provide. This is a monumental challenge for my family and I and every bit of information is a great help.

I have heard that a referendum was recently passed to stop migrant workers, but I assume that this will not effect EU citizens.

As a newbie, please an you tell me how I go about thanking a user for a reply to my post? It is not much in comparison to the advice and help rendered, but a gesture of gratitude non the less.
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:25
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

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Absolutely no need to apologize for assumptions. I am sure there are more than enough people posting that do not have citizenship, I should have mentioned this from the offset.

I am extremely grateful for all of the advice and assistance that you are all so willing to provide. This is a monumental challenge for my family and I and every bit of information is a great help.

I have heard that a referendum was recently passed to stop migrant workers, but I assume that this will not effect EU citizens.

As a newbie, please an you tell me how I go about thanking a user for a reply to my post? It is not much in comparison to the advice and help rendered, but a gesture of gratitude non the less.
Just click on the "Thanks" button with a thumb up on bottom right corner of each post...but you might need to make a certain number of posts before you are able to use this function
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:35
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

Hi Gechoe
welcome, and well done for wanting to look before you leap.
Great that you are Swiss... that relieves you of a whole chunk of worries through which many others have to plough.

As you probably realise, many of the "how will it work in Switzerland?"-questions are asked by many others, too, and if, as I presume, you're interested in more info beyond about your job, you might like to look at this recent thread and the other (slightly older) threads to which it links.
Need to know so much!
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:43
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

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I have heard that a referendum was recently passed to stop migrant workers, but I assume that this will not effect EU citizens.
A goal of the referendum was to reduce the immigration from the EU. You are a Swiss citizen, and not EU, so it might actually help you by reducing competition.
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Old 13.08.2015, 14:49
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

You can find all the different titles of professions in the metal industry here:http://berufsberatung.ch/dyn/1203.aspx?id_zihlmann=13
If you click on the different professions you will get detailed descriptions. Unfortunately, the site is only available in German, French or Ialian, but maybe you could try google translate.
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Old 13.08.2015, 15:04
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

The jobs described sound like roles found in the likes of the Royal or Merchant navy back in the UK - fixing big mechanical things.

Big mechanical things still exist in Switzerland - tunnel boring machines for one will require such skills; hydro-electric installations will have people capable of fixing big mechanical things.

The question is how transferrable are your skills - could you work in aircraft maintenance for SR Technics? SBB on train maintenance?

Beyond that: industrial heating engineer (large offices/installations); cable car manufacturing/installation/maintenance.
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Old 13.08.2015, 15:12
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

I am so overwhelmed by the help and responses that you are all so willing to give. I can only say thank you to all of you and I will go through all of the information and links provided by you guys.


This is truly a caring and helpful community, the likes of which I am not quite familiar with but what a pleasure to be part of.
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Old 13.08.2015, 16:00
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

The Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce website lists its members. This would be a partial list of American and Swiss companies operating in Switzerland:

Members list by category:
http://www.amcham.ch/members/p_naics.asp

Manufacturing category:
http://www.amcham.ch/members/p_naics...cs=31%20-%2033
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Old 13.08.2015, 16:33
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

I am normally not the grammar Nazi around here, but when it comes to your title might it be important to spell it right... and I have never heard of a "Mechanischer Kundendienst"... facility management would be something in the line of Gebäudewartung, but many people at least in cities would actually use the English term these days.

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Fitter=Monteur, Mechaniker, Schlosser, Installateur
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You would probably be called a Mechanischer Kundendienst Techniker, Gruppenleiter.

Or simply Kundendiensttechniker or Leiter Kundendienst
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Old 14.08.2015, 18:26
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Re: What is my profession in Switzerland?

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I do realize that there is a language barrier and I intend to learn German when in Switzerland as it is not easy to learn from this side (not a highly recognized language over here)


@Gechoe
you might like to look up any Swiss Club (or German or Austrian, or even Namibian) Club in South Africa, or approach the German Schools, to see whether the might provide a good place for you and your family members to begin learning German immediately. If you (and family) have the time, it would probably be worth going along to any free cultural events there.


I know of a South African family who, before leaving Pretoria, put their children in the German School for a while, so that they were at least fluent in High German before they arrived in Europe. (Of course, that's also a question of being able to afford the fees.)


And another who paid for a language tutor to see the whole family together, on one day per weekend, for several months. Remember, whatever course fees you pay in S.A. will be much less than you'd need to fork out in Switzerland.


You might just ask around amongst all your friends, and find someone whose Granny is German, and would speak to you. Afrikaans, if you have any, will stand you in good stead. And having a head-start, even, say, of the main 10 verbs and 100 nouns, will get you a long way in terms of overcoming the first round of culture shock.


Another thing: as you are Swiss, make sure your daughters are properly registered so they each have all their own Swiss documents before you leave S.A. Much easier than trying to do that once you are here. And get whatever you can for your wife, too.
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