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Old 19.10.2011, 04:00
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University salary scales in canton of Bern?

Hi all -

I'm being promised an Oberassistenz at Bern University at 50%. At the same time, my wife is being promised a PhD candidature at 100%. We are unable to work out how much this will translate into in Francs.

Can anyone help?

Many thanks.
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Old 19.10.2011, 09:42
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

According to this Site, the salary scales of the cantonal administration apply.

http://www.pers.unibe.ch/content/arb...ehnung/gehalt/

Supposing you have a PHD, my guess is that you would end up in category 20 and your girlfriend in category 18 or 19 on this scale:


http://www.vpodbern.ch/Berufe/Kanton...1%20Kanton.pdf

Page 3 ff.

Please notice that these are gross monthly salaries for 100% positions and have to be multiplied by 13. The minimal salary would be the one on the line entitled Grundgehalt, but the actual salary could be (considerably) higher, depending on know-how and prior experience (the "Gehaltsstufen" of the scale).

My guess is that your GF would get sth. between 85'000 and 95'000 and you (at 50%) about 45'000 - 50'000.

If you guys live together, this would certainly allow you a pretty decent lifestyle although not a luxurious one.
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Old 19.10.2011, 09:51
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

http://www.lohnrechner.bfs.admin.ch/...d.aspx?lang=de
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Old 19.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

Thanks, Sam, for that very helpful reply.

I find it astonishing that PhD candidates earn so close to a post-doc - elsewhere post-docs earn as much as 3 times what a PhD student makes! So, I thought I must have been understanding something wrong. But, it looks like that's just the way it is, eh.

Thanks again.
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Old 19.10.2011, 14:13
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

PhD students earn more here than in a lot of places. It's a lot more like a job than PhD studies in places like the US. My husband used to be a prof at uni bern and the figures he gave me are consistent with what Sam shared.
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Old 19.10.2011, 14:24
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

I would be rather surprised to find a PhD candidate here paid 80 kCHF (indeed even 65 kCHF).

Many PhD students are funded by the SNF and paid according to their wage guidelines, and not those of the university. The figures in this document are for 2012:

http://www.pa.uzh.ch/Vorgesetzte/ma2...erende2012.pdf

This is closer to what I would expect - between 40 and 50 kCHF.

I could be wrong, but I would suggest that you ask the university to clarify this up front.
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Old 19.10.2011, 14:48
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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This is closer to what I would expect - between 40 and 50 kCHF.

I could be wrong, but I would suggest that you ask the university to clarify this up front.
Good point... definitely ask the Uni. I'm wondering though if these salaries are for less than 100% work. But I don't know for sure.
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Old 19.10.2011, 15:02
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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I would be rather surprised to find a PhD candidate here paid 80 kCHF (indeed even 65 kCHF).
I'd second that. There are a few threads on this forum about PhD and Postdoc salaries in Switzerland; use the search function, and you'll find them easily. However I think that in some cases, 65 kCHF for a PhD student is indeed possible in some departments and universities, although I think that these days it tends to be the exception rather than the norm. In the cases I knew about, the salary was made up from SNF funds (research) + university salary (TA work). In any case, definitely ask the uni.
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Old 19.10.2011, 15:38
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

I am a PhD student in Bern and I believe it does depend a great deal on the department (generally the sciences are better off than the humanities). It also helps to be part of research groups that apply for non-departmental funding collectively. As a first year doctoral candidate, funded as an individual, your girlfriend can expect around 43K CHF and much more than that if she's lucky.
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:07
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

As already mentioned, it depends entirely on whether you're being funded by the SNSF or by the department itself or if there's a mixed budget for doctoral students/teaching assistants. The salaries paid by the SNSF for PhD candidates tend to be lower than those paid to university assistants. In some cases the university will make up the shortfall between the SNSF pay scale and the amount that is paid to university-funded doctoral students - it will also depend if the job is entirely research-focused or if you're expected to teach as well.
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:13
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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I find it astonishing that PhD candidates earn so close to a post-doc - elsewhere post-docs earn as much as 3 times what a PhD student makes! So, I thought I must have been understanding something wrong. But, it looks like that's just the way it is, eh.

Thanks again.
Absolutely true, I also share your feelings; and always encourage my post doc friends to find something more decent

though generally speaking academic career is more for people who love research (and being academic) then for those who look at the salaries etc. Also, mostly I see that most people simply want to extend their student lives, and like becoming post docs.

I am not judging anyone since it is about individual choice;
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:32
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

I'm a 4th year teaching assistant (and also PhD student) and get 62K (brut).

Be aware that if it's SNF it's a lot lot less (around 35-40K)
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:46
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

80-100k sounds amazing to me. i thought being in academia meant that it was a life of bread and water...
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Old 20.10.2011, 11:59
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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80-100k sounds amazing to me. i thought being in academia meant that it was a life of bread and water...
this is pre-tax

take home for a phd would be 4K and post -doc 5K per month

but they can also benefit from a cheaper health insurance (100 sfr per month with LAMAL cover)
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:20
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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this is pre-tax

take home for a phd would be 4K and post -doc 5K per month

but they can also benefit from a cheaper health insurance (100 sfr per month with LAMAL cover)
4k take home for a PhD? At 50k in Bern for a single person it's closer to 3k than 4k.

For post docs take home would be about 5500.

Both are quite nice compared to the UK
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:33
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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I find it astonishing that PhD candidates earn so close to a post-doc - elsewhere post-docs earn as much as 3 times what a PhD student makes!
Although full-time salaries of Post-Docs and PhD students are close, in most places it is 'normal' that PhD students are on 50-60% contracts (of course, working 100%+) and Post-Docs 100%. Also, Oberassistents are usually paid more than 'normal' Post-Docs (often called 'assistents II', a PhD student is 'assistant I') as these positions are typically offered to those with 5+ years of Post-Doc experience. There are many exceptions though to this 'rule' as explained by others here so you really have to ask your bosses and administration what to expect.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:39
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

http://phd.epfl.ch/page-19722-en.html

These are the salaries for PhD students at EPFL
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:42
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

It depends on the institution where you do the PhD, and the amount of % you are hired. In ETH Zurich 100% hired means 68K gross salary the first year. This increases every year. If the professor wanna pay less, he simply hires you 80% or 60%.

Every year salaries are incremented.
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Old 20.10.2011, 12:46
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

But don't be fooled by the 60% tag. You will be working 120%
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Old 20.10.2011, 13:51
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Re: University salary scales in canton of Bern?

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But don't be fooled by the 60% tag. You will be working 120%
Oh yes, I second that !
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