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Old 27.02.2019, 20:13
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Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

I am new to this forum and I seriously need some advice.

We have friends in Geneva and have visited often. However my wife and me have both been offered jobs in St Gallen, the other side of the country, and the wages are 61k CHF each. There is also the option that I can top up the wages with extra work.

Now our friends would say we would really struggle on that combined wage of 122k CHF in Switzerland. Would we struggle? We also have 2 boys aged 8 & 11 so daycare is not a consideration.

I really want to take the job. It’s a dream job for me in a dream location and my career development would be really boosted working there.

My wife is prevaricating and is concerned that money wise it would be really tough.

Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanksbin advance
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Old 27.02.2019, 21:32
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Re: Advice.

Geneva is the most expensive place in CH. But you wouldn't struggle even there on that salary, jesus. I am not sure what royal standards your friends have..Sounds like you want to go for it. St. Gallen is a nice place.
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Old 27.02.2019, 21:45
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

If as a family of 4 people you can't make it on Chf 122k/year then you'll never make it anywhere.


A lot of people, well over 60% of Switzerland live on FAR less and have a good life style, car, holidays, restaurants etc.


Maybe your "friends" in Geneve are living some sort of deluded lifestyle
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Old 27.02.2019, 22:06
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Thanks for your brutal honesty guys. Much appreciated. I really needed it. I thought it sounded off but I know our friends in Geneva pay a lot for rent in Vaud (about 4000 CHF
My wife’s friend gets 120k CHF at JPM and my wife hears about how they struggle and her husband is now doing Uber to top up. She was told we needed $80,000 each to live comfortably. I thought I know Switzerland is expensive but not THAT expensive. I know my wife was disappointed with the wages offered but my expectations were 50,000-70,000 so it sat right in the middle.
I would hope with top up work to get 5000 CHF Net and my wife would get 4300 Net and I found it hard to believe that we would struggle on nearly 10,000 CHF a month.
At present we both get £2000 NET from our work and I think we would be very comfortable on the wages offered in Switzerland. As teachers we are never going to attract the wages of our Geneva friend and I think she has been dazzled by her friends lifestyle. However accommodation wise I know I can get something as good for the fraction of the price.
Will keep you updated.
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Old 27.02.2019, 22:14
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

I'm intrigued as to how come both you and the wife have been offered jobs, on what would appear to be a (very) low salary by EF standards, in CH.

For comparison, it's often lauded that the supermarket cashiers are on chf50k. Not sure is that is correct mind you, could be 35.

It's certainly not much money to change country. What is the relocation package like?

There are threads on here discussing how the employers are taking advantage and offering p1ss poor wages, though I'm not saying that is your case, perhaps it's top dollar. Do you know the employer already?

There are also many threads detailing costs of apartments, health insurance plus all the other intangibles. You can get an idea on Homegate, but approx chf2200 sounds about right.

I think your wife is right to be cautious, but for sure, many/most people get by perfectly happily on approx the same, so it's certainly doable.
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Old 27.02.2019, 22:29
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Thanks. It’s the International school in the city. I’m a science teacher and my wife is a Maths teacher. I know we could rake it in in Middle East but for our first International job I’m very happy in what we got. For our family it would be more comfortable lifestyle wise and better infrastructure. It’s the top of their pay scale but you can top up wages by doing extra activities. So I could top up to 70,000 CHF if I want. There is visa, school and accommodation support but I think the wages reflect the lower cost of living than in Geneva or Zurich. I’ve applied to other schools in Switzerland and like many Western European International schools there is minimal relocation support unless they are the impossible ones for me to get into with my lack of international experience such as EcoLint or Zurich International School. With this school on my CV I know I could get a job there in the future. I said to my wife if this wage was offered in Zurich or Geneva I would be more reluctant. Wages are higher in those schools but right now we wouldn’t stand a chance get a job in those schools.
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Old 27.02.2019, 22:40
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Can I add that I maybe doing a massive disservice to our friends. My wife has already assumed they will say avoid it. She still hasn’t actually told them. She should ask rather than assuming they will say no.
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Old 27.02.2019, 23:33
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

61k is an awful salary for a professional. It's the same as making 25k as a teacher in London. You won't starve but hardly call it comfortable living either.



Search the forum for cost of living and you'll see Switzerland has quite some costs in rents etc


Of course you wouldn't starve but it's not much either when you have 2 kids. And yes, a 61k annual salary is barely better than a supermarket cashier and not fit for an experienced teacher.


If you do it for the experience as you say then fair enough but relocating 2 kids and going through all that is quite dangerous.


What if one of you loses their job (happens A LOT here, like all the time in probation periods) then you definitely won't be able to afford it and will need to dip into savings.


If you were 25 and without kids I'd say go for it but it seems a bit reckless to me financially wise to risk this with a family.
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Old 27.02.2019, 23:54
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

With regards to salary, pretty sure we have teachers on the forum who can comment.
If it’s a means to an end, I see why you are willing to do it.

Get a salary projection off them, with the tax and ahv etc taken out to see what you are left with.
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Old 28.02.2019, 08:36
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Troll
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Old 28.02.2019, 10:15
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Unskilled workers at ALDI (similar to TESCO) get a minimum wage of 55.6K/year (13x4275)


After 2 years of employment, they get at least 58.2K til 67K depending on the region where they work.


https://www.blick.ch/news/wirtschaft...id4652861.html
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Old 28.02.2019, 10:38
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

According to this, secondary school teachers in Switzerland average about CHF 110K pa.

This indicates a pay scale from CHF 90K as a starting secondary teacher rising to a max of nearly CHF 140K.

I've heard that private/international schools pay a little less (there are those on here that I guess can confirm)....but not that much.
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Old 28.02.2019, 11:13
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

I know the school. The wages are insultingly low. It's a shame, because the school is excellent and working there would be a fascinating experience, but 60k for a full time teacher is a joke salary.

You and your wife will enjoy a very comfortable standard of living on a combined salary of 120k, and if you want the experience and the name of the school on your CV, then go for it. But please, don't be under any illusion that this is a fair salary for a job of this nature.

Last edited by Dougal's Breakfast; 28.02.2019 at 11:26.
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Old 28.02.2019, 12:35
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

The girls that wipe babies arses in the Kinderkrippe get paid near enough. Talk about being lowballed...
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Old 28.02.2019, 14:43
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I prepare future health professionals for their career so it heartens me that carers and childcare workers which are considered unskilled and so low paid work in the UK is suitably rewarded in Switzerland.
I also am not worried about what other people make as I only have what is in front of me. This is what we will base our choice on.

As a teacher with no international experience and can only speak English limits my options. I would love to be on 80-100K but right now but no school in Switzerland will employ me with my lack of international experience. I have to be realistic and I know right now I can't get a job in Le Rosey, ISB or Brilliamount with my current experience.
I can go to really really bad school in Spain or even Italy. Get paid even less and have more stress. I can go to an average school in Germany or Denmark, Sweden, get paid less, pay more taxes and pay a ransom in school tuition taxes. Boys education would be sorted but we would really struggle. I can go to Eastern Europe get paid more but have no pension and poor welfare or ME which is a lottery on which school you get and although get paid more lose more work life balance and as somewhere to live it doesn't appeal. I get sunburnt in Scotland We have to balance what we want. We wanted a place with an excellent education system, excellent infrastructre, safe and well paid. Well paid is relative. If we are comfortable and we have everything else we wanted we will be happy. I love Switzerland, fell in love with the place on our first visit and I can see us living there. It ticks most of our boxes, not all, but no job ever will

So while the wages are a dissapointment for us the fundamental question for us is will we be a) comfortable and b) more comfortable than we are here. The consensus appears to be yes. I also plan to get my wages up to 70,000 CHF + with my extra duties. For my first international post I think we have done very very well and in 2 years if we want to we can chase the Ecolint and ZIS mega salaries with our experience we can get them

With regards to risk of losing the job, that is a risk for any international teacher when they relocate but I believe we would be much more insecure in the ME and Spain as these places have a bad reputation for doing this. As said it's an excellent school and I think we could make a sucess of it.
Many thanks again. Much appreciated
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Old 28.02.2019, 15:02
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

There's a reason some schools don't advertise locally.
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Old 28.02.2019, 18:44
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

When I read stuff like this I really wonder why anyone would send their kids to a private school? Surely when you’re forking out for a private education you’d expect your kids to have a better than decent teacher? How are private schools supposed to attract decent “talent” (I hate using that word) when they’re offering peanuts in terms of remuneration? Or am I missing something?

As a comparison, kindergarten teachers in Zurich in their first year get 86k.
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Old 28.02.2019, 18:51
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

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When I read stuff like this I really wonder why anyone would send their kids to a private school? Surely when you’re forking out for a private education you’d expect your kids to have a better than decent teacher? How are private schools supposed to attract decent “talent” (I hate using that word) when they’re offering peanuts in terms of remuneration? Or am I missing something?

As a comparison, kindergarten teachers in Zurich in their first year get 86k.
Most pay a decent salary, comparable with the state system.

Some of the more exclusive ones seem to be more interested in recruiting people who don't need a living salary, if you get my drift. A bit like the way NGOs sift out the right kind of interns.

It's bloody annoying if you're just a common pleb trying to support a family, though.
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Old 28.02.2019, 18:56
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

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Most pay a decent salary, comparable with the state system.
My mother worked in public, parochial, and private scools in the US, the pay didn't vary much.

Must work differently here.

Tom

P.S. I have heard of similar salaries at private schools around here, despite 30k/year tuition.
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Old 28.02.2019, 19:22
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Re: Advice [a job option in St. Gallen]

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My mother worked in public, parochial, and private scools in the US, the pay didn't vary much.

Must work differently here.

Tom

P.S. I have heard of similar salaries at private schools around here, despite 30k/year tuition.
Yep, the same with some private schools in the UK.
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