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  #21  
Old 29.06.2020, 21:46
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

I guess if you are an experienced lawyer, you might even ask for more. Just saying the things you asked for in your first posting, would be no problem to accomplish with lets say 100'000chf or even less. But I am sure you can make more if what you are saying about your experience is true. So, there is definitely no problem on that side. But as an experienced lawyer you might go up to 150'000chf or even higer.
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Old 29.06.2020, 21:48
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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...From people I know in CH - the salary range I was told was good is 100K - 150K CHF, but I am a lawyer of more than 10 + years' PQE and I was told I should be asking for 150K - 175K CHF!
In your opening post, you made it sound more like "what's a good salary to live on" more so than "what's a fair salary for my skills and experience", so I think that's what has driven the early responses. Sure you can do fine as a single person on 140k. Is that up to scratch for your experience? I don't know.
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  #23  
Old 29.06.2020, 21:48
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

I thought the cinema was expensive. I did hear gigs are expensive.

Are there any cinemas in Zurich that show independent, arty films - in English?

And, are there any English-language theatres?

Sorry if I sound like a numpty.
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Old 29.06.2020, 21:52
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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I thought the cinema was expensive. I did hear gigs are expensive.

Are there any cinemas in Zurich that show independent, arty films - in English?

And, are there any English-language theatres?

Sorry if I sound like a numpty.

Yes, the cinema is expensive in Switzerland. But if you make 140'000chf it still is "notihing". You will maybe 20 - 30CHF for a visit in the cinema with popcorn etc.
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  #25  
Old 29.06.2020, 21:52
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

Fair point. But, I suppose it was just to get an understanding of a good base-line salary would be. I might be worth 200K CHF per year - I have no idea! People can mock me for that, but that is just where I am right now in understanding salary valuations in Zurich.

I want to be able to enjoy the kind of life that I have in the UK. I appreciate there will be some changes, but that is okay, I think I know what most of them will be and I can deal with them.

Thanks.
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Old 29.06.2020, 22:02
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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In your opening post, you made it sound more like "what's a good salary to live on" more so than "what's a fair salary for my skills and experience",

I would say it was neither of those, and that's the problem with this forum - in general it seems very many if not most replies are based upon a failure to comprehend the original post.
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  #27  
Old 29.06.2020, 22:05
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

I apologize for my inappropriate comment.

Still, I find it strange to define what a "good salary" is by going through a wish list of spend but not saying anything about what the job is other than "lawyer". Maybe just the thread title misled me as your question about cost of living rather than whether your salary is good.
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  #28  
Old 29.06.2020, 22:07
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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Defintely yes, I guess some expats have a bit a wrong view of things. 140'000chf is a high salary.
You are aware that "high" and "very high" are not equal?
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Old 29.06.2020, 22:12
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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I want to be able to enjoy the kind of life that I have in the UK. I appreciate there will be some changes, but that is okay, I think I know what most of them will be and I can deal with them.

Thanks.

It's numerically about 2.5 times your UK salary. Even if everything was numerically 2.5 times as much in Zurich, if you have anything left over at the end of the month it's numerically 2.5 times as much as in the UK (which at the moment I guess is about twice as much in GBP)



Whether it's your worth or not I don't know but 2.5 times a UK salary seems to be 'rule of thumb' reasonable.
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  #30  
Old 29.06.2020, 22:13
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

All cool. And please forgive my sarcasm.

I was trying to gain an understanding of what £55K equates to in Zurich. Obviously, just converting the currency is insufficient

The post was to try and gain an understanding of what kind of salary in Zurich I would need to maintain a certain material lifestyle. I then added the amount in CHF I am likely to be offered and I wanted to know if that was sufficient. I feel ridiculous asking, but I am also aware that there are many unforeseen costs.
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Old 29.06.2020, 22:31
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

A few points worth considering when thinking about Swiss salaries:

1) Because Swiss people are anal when it comes to discussing money, it is very hard to get a good idea of what people make if you don't live here. A good way to work out what kind of salary you want is to look for an apartment you would like to rent, take the monthly rent, and divide it by 1/3rd. Generally landlords wont rent you an apartment that costs more than 1/3rd of your monthly income. So if you want a 4k/month new build apartment in central Zurich you would need a monthly salary of 12k (or 145k annually).

2) Swiss companies are trying to lower employee costs and one way they do this is to offer salaries that sound high to foreign workers but are actually below market. The reason they do this is job hoping is frowned upon here so they hope that even if you find out that you are stuck with that employer for at least 3-5 years. You will likely come here, happy on 140k, and find out that the guy you replaced was making 180k and left for a better job paying 200k.

3) Unlike the UK, pay here is not really linked to performance or ability as much and tends to be based more on rank/years of service with the company. Pay increases are almost non-existent and you only really get pay bumps when you change jobs so your starting salary is very important. If you start 15 or 20k below your actual market value you could take years to catch up.

4) I don't know the legal field well but 140k would be a mid-level salary for a banker in his mid 30's (say a VP) and I would expect to be earning between 160-180k if I was working in a corporate environment in my 40s to make it worth living here.
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Old 29.06.2020, 22:35
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

8000CHF net is roughly top 75 percentile in Swiss.
Are you in the same percentile with 55K pound in UK?

if so, that is the first meter of comparison..
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  #33  
Old 29.06.2020, 22:54
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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How come? Elaboration is welcome.
You are a 42 year old lawyer. I don’t expect lawyers to be creative (or fun...), but the one thing I expect them to do is to be able to do a thorough desk research. This forum alone has literally hundreds of threads on income level and expenses of Zurich. What exactly did you not find out on your own?
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  #34  
Old 29.06.2020, 23:02
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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I would expect to be earning between 160-180k if I was working in a corporate environment in my 40s to make it worth living here.

That's because as a Swiss banker in your 40s you've got your non-working shopaholic trophy wife, kids and nanny to support and let's not forget hairdressers aren't cheap.


It was a very long time ago since 1 GBP was worth 2.5 CHF so I don't think that's particularly lowballing a foreigner although of course it's (almost) always a good idea to negotiate as much as you can when you can.
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  #35  
Old 29.06.2020, 23:06
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Treverus, you might want to relax. A good lawyer also knows to discover relevant information quickly. I looked at some of the threads but found that most were filled with sarcastic, presumably bored, people. Plus, most of the information was not giving me a clear idea as to purchasing power. It was all a bit like wading through mud. I thought if I posted what I wanted to know - I'd shortcut to answer. And, lo and behold, most people have been really helpful. You commented on me saying that I liked to buy clothes from the upper-end of the high street, and I think you were inferring that on 140K CHF that was not possible, hence the reason for asking for elaboration on that point. I would still appreciate elaboration.

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That's because as a Swiss banker in your 40s you've got your non-working shopaholic trophy wife, kids and nanny to support and let's not forget hairdressers aren't cheap.


It was a very long time ago since 1 GBP was worth 2.5 CHF so I don't think that's particularly lowballing a foreigner although of course it's (almost) always a good idea to negotiate as much as you can when you can.
I am going to need a massive haircut in a few weeks. The might need something industrial!!

It is a decent salary. A good bit above the national average. But, bear in mind, purchasing power across the UK can fluctuate enormously. In any event, I am okay with it. I am moving to Switzerland for reasons other than the job.

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A few points worth considering when thinking about Swiss salaries:

1) Because Swiss people are anal when it comes to discussing money, it is very hard to get a good idea of what people make if you don't live here. A good way to work out what kind of salary you want is to look for an apartment you would like to rent, take the monthly rent, and divide it by 1/3rd. Generally landlords wont rent you an apartment that costs more than 1/3rd of your monthly income. So if you want a 4k/month new build apartment in central Zurich you would need a monthly salary of 12k (or 145k annually).

2) Swiss companies are trying to lower employee costs and one way they do this is to offer salaries that sound high to foreign workers but are actually below market. The reason they do this is job hoping is frowned upon here so they hope that even if you find out that you are stuck with that employer for at least 3-5 years. You will likely come here, happy on 140k, and find out that the guy you replaced was making 180k and left for a better job paying 200k.

3) Unlike the UK, pay here is not really linked to performance or ability as much and tends to be based more on rank/years of service with the company. Pay increases are almost non-existent and you only really get pay bumps when you change jobs so your starting salary is very important. If you start 15 or 20k below your actual market value you could take years to catch up.

4) I don't know the legal field well but 140k would be a mid-level salary for a banker in his mid 30's (say a VP) and I would expect to be earning between 160-180k if I was working in a corporate environment in my 40s to make it worth living here.
That is really useful information. Thank you.

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that's gonna ruin everything
Hi vladest, care to elaborate on this?

I attributed you to an earlier post. I apologise. But the rudeness - where did it get anyone? (rhetorical question, by the way)

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.06.2020 at 20:47. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #36  
Old 29.06.2020, 23:29
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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Hi vladest, care to elaborate on this?
Shopping on the upper end of the high street in Zürich means joining miljonairs amongst one of the most exclusive shopping trips possible in the world where watches and outfits that are more expensive than what you earn per year are nothing extra-ordinary.
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  #37  
Old 30.06.2020, 00:14
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

Ah right. I will not be doing that! Massimo Dutti is more my style.

Thanks for the elaboration.
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Old 30.06.2020, 00:15
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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Shopping on the upper end of the high street in Zürich means joining miljonairs amongst one of the most exclusive shopping trips possible in the world where watches and outfits that are more expensive than what you earn per year are nothing extra-ordinary.
You are talking about luxury shopping. The OP said 'upper end of the high street' which does not mean designer. I understand something like PKZ, Globus where one can buy quality pieces of clothing without breaking the bank. I don't think the OP meant Yves Saint Laurent.
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Old 30.06.2020, 00:17
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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Ah right. I will not be doing that! Massimo Dutti is more my style.

Thanks for the elaboration.
Funny I was about to add Massimo Dutti to my post above and removed it at the last minute as I don't shop there much.

140K is a good salary and you will live comfortably as a single man. If it is a good salary for a lawyer with experience, I don't know.
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Old 30.06.2020, 00:17
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Re: Good salary in Zurich

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Hi - first-time poster,

I think I might be offered 140,000 CHF - will that be enough? Let me know your thoughts, they will be very much appreciated.

Kind regards.
CHF140K gross is a fine Salary in Zürich.

It's numerically nearly 2.5 times your Sterling salary. This is good.

However the equivalent of M&S or Sainsbury's is called Globus and the groceries there are quite expensive.
Coop would be your best bet, it's basically Tesco's.

Ping me via PM if you want a quick judgement free chat via phone.
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