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Old 15.08.2013, 20:22
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Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Hi everyone, first time on this forum so I may be asking really dumb questions...

I'm an electrician in the U.K looking to move over. I'd like to know if anyone has made the transition successfully, and/or has tips.

So far the agencies have been on a par with the U.K, mainly interested in lining their own pockets and dismissed most of my questions. Perhaps they don't really know much about the industry?

Any help would be gladly received!

Thanks!
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Old 16.08.2013, 08:49
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

You have French so I'd look to move to the Western part of Switzerland, i.e. Romandie area; Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Fribourg, Martigny, Sion and places inbetween. But you're probably going to need to get your qualifications recognised by the relevant Swiss authority (no idea who that would be though), plus you'll need to understand the Swiss rules and regulations for doing electrical work here.

I would look on these websites:

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch

for electrician jobs and/or electrical companies. Again, starting up here as a self-employed is a bit awkward as you need a good business plan/financial funding, etc, to prove to the Swiss authorities that the company will be viable and you can support yourself before they'll grant you a self-employed permit. So starting out initially working for someone else might be the better way to go.

Bear in mind that the Swiss have this year imposed quota limits on EU-17 nationals for getting a B permit so you might end up with an L, once you find an employer.
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Old 16.08.2013, 08:55
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

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You have French so I'd look to move to the Western part of Switzerland, i.e. Romandie area; Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Fribourg, Martigny, Sion and places inbetween. But you're probably going to need to get your qualifications recognised by the relevant Swiss authority (no idea who that would be though), plus you'll need to understand the Swiss rules and regulations for doing electrical work here.

I would look on these websites:

www.jobs.ch
www.jobup.ch

for electrician jobs and/or electrical companies. Again, starting up here as a self-employed is a bit awkward as you need a good business plan/financial funding, etc, to prove to the Swiss authorities that the company will be viable and you can support yourself before they'll grant you a self-employed permit. So starting out initially working for someone else might be the better way to go.

Bear in mind that the Swiss have this year imposed quota limits on EU-17 nationals for getting a B permit so you might end up with an L, once you find an employer.
I don't believe a British person has to prove viability of a self employed venture, they just show up,register & get a permit

If working less than 90 days a year online registration is all that's required, if you still live elsewhere
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Old 16.08.2013, 09:25
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

No, they do fatmanfilms:

Persons coming from the EU/EFTA areas
How to set up a company in Switzerland as an entrepreneur from the EU/EFTA area? This page provides an overview of the most important legal requirements, background information and tips for foreign entrepreneurs from the EU/EFTA area.

Personal requirements
All citizens of EU/EFTA countries - presently still with the exception of Romania and Bulgaria - have the right to live and work freely in Switzerland. They can thus also become self-employed.

According to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, self-employed entrepreneurs can set up their business without a permanent residence permission (C permit). It is sufficient to have a B permit, which is valid for five years. At registration in Switzerland though, the planned self-employed activity needs to be proven. Proof can be provided for example with a valid VAT number, an entry into the professional register, the registration at the social insurance as self-employed entrepreneur, a business plan, accounting figures or the entry in the Commercial Register. For more information, contact the cantonal migration offices.

http://www.kmu.admin.ch/themen/00614...x.html?lang=en


I am an EU national and would like to become self-employed in Switzerland. How do I proceed?

Within 14 days of their arrival and before taking up any gainful employment, self-employed people need to register either with the communal authorities of the place they reside or with the cantonal labor and migration authorities and apply for a residence permit for self-employment. Also required are a valid ID or passport and documents proving that the requirements for self-employment are met (business plan, start-up capital, under certain conditions also listing with the register of commerce. etc.).

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/...10.html#a_0010

This is even more important because the quota limit on B permits also applies to self-employed people so if the quota for EU-17 is filled, he'd get an L and not be able to be self-employed.

http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/...r_schweiz.html

There's more on things like the commercial register here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/becoming-self-employed/
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Old 16.08.2013, 10:00
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Only authorised electricians are permitted to work on circuits behind the fuse box. The job is not very well paid here, after a 4 year apprenticeship these are the minimum wages, http://www.ne.ch/neat/documents/empl...lectriques.pdf

You would have get your qualifications to be recognised before you could be employed http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certifi..._capacit%C3%A9
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Old 16.08.2013, 11:13
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Hi everyone! Thank you very much for your help!
(where's the 'thank you' button? I couldn't find it)

Medea Fleecestealer- I was looking at Romandie to start with, however someone I know mentioned that the German speaking side might be worth a look, despite the fact I know very little German. Can't see it working personally!

Sbrinz, those minimum wage figures are for Neuchâtel, is that roughly the same for the rest of Switzerland?

I didn't think they sounded that bad, £19/hr in U.K money(compared to about £12.50/hr working for a company in the U.K), but perhaps in relation to the cost of living it's not that good? I can only speculate...

The agencies I contacted didn't tell me what they pay, I guess/hope that it's slightly more?

I know that I'd have to get my qualifications translated, I found out how much it cost and wow! Where I am in France it's about 70 euros each, compared to at least 550 chf without all the rest of the notary certified stuff!

Have you done the C.F.C?
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Old 16.08.2013, 11:17
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

That's the minimum wage for employed electricians. I'm sure their employers charge rather more than that!
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Old 16.08.2013, 11:34
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

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Hi everyone! Thank you very much for your help!
(where's the 'thank you' button? I couldn't find it)
I think you only gain that provelege after ten posts.
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Sbrinz, those minimum wage figures are for Neuchâtel, is that roughly the same for the rest of Switzerland?

I didn't think they sounded that bad, £19/hr in U.K money(compared to about £12.50/hr working for a company in the U.K), but perhaps in relation to the cost of living it's not that good? I can only speculate...
20-25 chf/hour is the sort of money you can get for some unskilled jobs, so does indeed seem very low considering the apprenticeship required. Bear in mind that currently skewed exchange rates make Swiss salaries sound better than they really are - factor something like a 2:1 exchange rate as a rule-of-thumb to get a more real-world comparison including cost of living differences.
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Old 16.08.2013, 11:53
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Well, you could try the German part, but everything is going to be in German so not only will you need to talk to your colleagues/clients in German, but instructions, regulations, etc, will be also so you need to be able to read it well too. Not to mention dealing with tax, insurances, etc, if you're going to be self-employed.

If you already have a good command of French then I think starting in a French speaking area would be better. Then you can work on learning German with a view to maybe changing locations later on if you want.
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Old 16.08.2013, 12:56
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

My son qualified 2 years ago in Bern after doing a 4 year apprenticeship, he started at Fr 4'300 a month and now earns Fr 4'800 per month. He is now trying to escape the low salaries by joining Siemens where he might get a company car. I know the work he puts into the job, often in extreme hot and cold temperatures, and 42 hours a week is the norm. He usually sleeps about 10 hours each night! I really think he deserves more pay.

The poverty level in Switzerland is Fr 2'500 for a single person and Fr 4'200 for a family. Those minimum pay figures are for Neuchâtel, but are normal: and Neuchâtel has the highest personal taxes in Switzerland!

You could begin in Fribourg, lower taxes and the canton is bi-lingual.
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Old 16.08.2013, 13:02
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

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Only authorised electricians are permitted to work on circuits behind the fuse box. The job is not very well paid here, after a 4 year apprenticeship these are the minimum wages, http://www.ne.ch/neat/documents/empl...lectriques.pdf

You would have get your qualifications to be recognised before you could be employed http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certifi..._capacit%C3%A9
The part about national qualifications is actually much more important than the wage. You have to have the relevant qualifications for your work to be legal and insurance accepted.
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Old 16.08.2013, 13:28
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

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The part about national qualifications is actually much more important than the wage. You have to have the relevant qualifications for your work to be legal and insurance accepted.
It's very different here, no ring mains. 3 phase in most houses & connecting earth & neutral together is quite common!
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Old 27.09.2013, 12:41
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Quote:
My son qualified 2 years ago in Bern after doing a 4 year apprenticeship, he started at Fr 4'300 a month and now earns Fr 4'800 per month. He is now trying to escape the low salaries by joining Siemens where he might get a company car. I know the work he puts into the job, often in extreme hot and cold temperatures, and 42 hours a week is the norm. He usually sleeps about 10 hours each night! I really think he deserves more pay.

The poverty level in Switzerland is Fr 2'500 for a single person and Fr 4'200 for a family. Those minimum pay figures are for Neuchâtel, but are normal: and Neuchâtel has the highest personal taxes in Switzerland!

You could begin in Fribourg, lower taxes and the canton is bi-lingual.
I cannot thank you enough for all this information!

Sorry for resurrecting a forgotten post, but I'd like to know a bit more if possible!

Sbrinz, is your son re-training to become an engineer, or do Siemens employ electricians?

fatmanfilms, thanks for that bit of info! Sounds similar to the French stuff I've encountered!

Ace1, thanks for the comparison, judging by your estimation I'd be worse off!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 14.03.2016 at 23:02. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 14.03.2016, 22:41
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Re: Foreign electricians in switzerland?

Are you still active on EF? Would be very interested to here how you got on with moving and working in Switzerland.
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