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Old 30.11.2016, 14:08
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Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

Hello, I am new to the forum, I am looking for some guidance regarding a new Swiss adventure I'd like to embark on. After months of research, I have succeeded in getting a job offer, in the field of digital marketing, with 5 years of work experience.

I was offered 68 000 chf yearly gross, which if I calculated correctly would be around 4340 monthly net x 13 salaries.

I know it is not a huge salary for Zurich, but I was wondering if it would be enough to cover expenses if I need to rent a small flat outside Zurich manage other expenses...
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:16
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

It's poverty level. Netto, you'll probably have something like 3500 Fr per month after mandatory deductions and taxes, which means you can only afford 1100 Fr to spend on apartment (1/3 rule). It's not so realistic to find such cheap apartments in Zurich these days, so you'd probably have to live in a flatshare on that salary. It's doable though, students live even on less here
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:21
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

All depends on the kind of lifestyle you live. Apartments are available for 1100 in Aarau and not too shabby.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:24
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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I know it is not a huge salary for Zurich, but I was wondering if it would be enough to cover expenses if I need to rent a small flat outside Zurich manage other expenses...
People will tell you that is poverty, that you can't live with that, that it is not worth moving for so little, that the minimum wage you should accept is 120k+

You know what? It's nonsense.

Yes, you will be able to live on that salary. Depending on your own daily expenses you might even be able to spare some money. You can look for an apartment outside the city. Take into consideration the train ticket when you do your accounts - it was about 2000 chf 5 years ago, when I still bought the year abo.

I was earning 3000 x 12 months when I started in Switzerland. I rented a cheap apartment in the sticks (Zürich Oberland) and cut on superfluous expenses for a while - dinning out, big travels, clothes, etc.

I didn't die of starvation, still managed to meet friends, and have enough money to go back home to visit my parents. But I didn't spend much on clothes and didn't own a car, which some people might not find so attractive.

It really depends on your own lifestyle, and how much you are willing to compromise until a better pay comes along. And your current financial situation, of course.

But yes, the salary is not huge, and you should be aware of that.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:28
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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It's poverty level. Netto, you'll probably have something like 3500 Fr per month after mandatory deductions and taxes, which means you can only afford 1100 Fr to spend on apartment (1/3 rule). It's not so realistic to find such cheap apartments in Zurich these days, so you'd probably have to live in a flatshare on that salary. It's doable though, students live even on less here
Don't talk crap, it's not 'poverty level' for a single guy in a modest apartment... I should know as I started in Zürich 8 years ago on that same salary (I know now that my company screwed me over at the time), had my own modest apartment at 1740chf per month, and things haven't changed that much since then in terms of cost of living.

For a family, yes, it would be tough... but still possible with some good budgeting.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:30
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

I didn't say you can't live on that salary, students totally live on far lower budget than that! But whether you could call it a life is a different question. You need to take into account that how much more expensive everything is in Switzerland. 2000 Fr have far more buying power in EU/Italy than in Switzerland.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:33
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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on that same salary (I know now that my company screwed me over at the time), had my own modest apartment at 1740chf per month
To get an apartment with 1740 CHF rent you need to be making 5220 CHF per month. Else the landlords won't sign a contract.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:33
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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I didn't say you can't live on that salary, students totally live on far lower budget than that! But whether you could call it a life is a different question. You need to take into account that how much more expensive everything is in Switzerland. 2000 Fr have far more buying power in EU/Italy than in Switzerland.
To be fair, you did call it "poverty level" which isn't correct whichever way you chop it.

That's what I understood Richdog was commenting on.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:38
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Hello, I am new to the forum, I am looking for some guidance regarding a new Swiss adventure I'd like to embark on. After months of research, I have succeeded in getting a job offer, in the field of digital marketing, with 5 years of work experience.

I was offered 68 000 chf yearly gross, which if I calculated correctly would be around 4340 monthly net x 13 salaries.
For Zurich it is in the lower range.
You may compare your offer here http://www.salario-uss.ch/

It is slightly more than a cashier at Lidl or Aldi earns.
http://detailhandels-jobs.ch/lohnvergleich-detailhandel
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:40
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

I had an internship at 39k/year (brutto) for one year.

I did just fine. Saved almost zero, not eating much outside, but I did travel a bit in Europe, I did have a car, and I did share rent with a friend and later with my OH.

If someone gave me 70k to start I would be jumping around from joy.


You don't need 30CHF lunches, you don't need an apartment for yourself, you don't need to buy everything at stupid retail prices at a random shop.

If you have reasonable expectations you'll do fine.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:43
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

You may have to live outside of Zurich and/or share accommodation, but you'll survive. Strikes me as a bit low for someone with five years experience, but then again, when they hire people from outside, they tend to offer below market rate.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:47
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

Its not a lot and not enough for the city I think. However this place looks nice http://www.immoscout24.ch/de/d/wohnu...=2t&ci=1&ct=21


I live in Bülach, its a nice town with bars, restaurants and all the shops you need. The train staion is close by and there are regular trains all day to HB, which takes about 20mins. Also you are very close to the airport which comes in handy.


Try and negotiate that your employer will buy you a General Abo or Swisscard as its now called. It costs around 3800chf a year but you can travel all the country on public transport systems, even to the top of the mountain passes.


It is doable for a single person and if you are careful you can live ok.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:48
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Don't talk crap, it's not 'poverty level' for a single guy in a modest apartment... I should know as I started in Zürich 8 years ago on that same salary (I know now that my company screwed me over at the time), had my own modest apartment at 1740chf per month, and things haven't changed that much since then in terms of cost of living.
Totally agree.
There's a gorgeous 85m 3.5 room apartment with lake views currently available a few doors away from me for 1720CHF per month on a limited let until 31 Dec 2017. Imagine how low you could bring your outgoings if you secured that with a flat mate.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:50
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Totally agree.
There's a gorgeous 85m 3.5 room apartment with lake views currently available a few doors away from me for 1720CHF per month on a limited let until 31 Dec 2017. Imagine how low you could bring your outgoings if you secured that with a flat mate.
Except he can't afford it on his salary
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:52
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Totally agree.
There's a gorgeous 85m 3.5 room apartment with lake views currently available a few doors away from me for 1720CHF per month on a limited let until 31 Dec 2017. Imagine how low you could bring your outgoings if you secured that with a flat mate.
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Except he can't afford it on his salary
I think you missed this bit.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:54
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Except he can't afford it on his salary
Ivank, you are messing up a guide line with law. The ⅓ of the salary for rent is only a guide line, and not every landlord looks at it with black and white attitude. It's not a law, it's a suggestion.

I know enough friends paying more that ⅓ of their salary for their accommodations. It's a question of where and with whom you deal with.

The salary the OP is talking about is more than enough to rent a decent apartment even in Uster, which is relatively close to the city. And you can flat share.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:56
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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I think you missed this bit.
Aint gonna happen. Apartment will be probably gone before he finds a suitable flatmate to team up with to apply. Even if not, no guarantee landlord will select them amond many other applicants.

He'd rather have to start looking at existing flatshares instead, e.g. on wgzimmer.ch
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:58
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Ivank, you are messing up a guide line with law. The ⅓ of the salary for rent is only a guide line, and not every landlord looks at it with black and white attitude. It's not a law, it's a suggestion.
I'm not confusing anything. It is not a law indeed, just a guideline. But every landlord you'll be dealing with here most likely will use it to decline your application. There's enough higher earning applicants here, and cheap flats are in high demand.
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Old 30.11.2016, 14:59
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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It's poverty level. Netto, you'll probably have something like 3500 Fr per month after mandatory deductions and taxes, which means you can only afford 1100 Fr to spend on apartment (1/3 rule). It's not so realistic to find such cheap apartments in Zurich these days, so you'd probably have to live in a flatshare on that salary. It's doable though, students live even on less here

Thank you all for your insight. Are you sure 68,000 gross translates to just 3500 net a month. I calculated it would be around 4 340 net for 13 salaries. A bit more with 12 salaries.

Is there a reliable website where this calculation can be performed?

Again, thank you so much

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.11.2016 at 23:06. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 30.11.2016, 15:06
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Re: Is 68k yearly gross a decent salary in Zurich?

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Thank you all for your insight. Are you sure 6800 gross translates to just 3500 net a month. I calculated it would be around 4 340 net for 13 salaries. A bit more with 12 salaries.

Is there a reliable website where this calculation can be performed?
https://www.lohncomputer.ch/en/

Note: Pension Fund contribution is a good guess. And may be different depending on your company's actual pension plan. All other numbers are mostly correct, but w/o any guarantee.
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