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Old 31.03.2019, 17:21
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Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Hi all,

I have researched quite a lot on the cost of living in and around Zurich and have come up with an estimate of around 4500-5000 CHF/month in monthly expenses. I also have followed attentively "salary" posts on this forum. However, in tech most posts relate to software engineers and some are quite a few years old so I'm afraid the market rates have changed quite a lot due to the valuation of CHF and other factors.

So I would like to ask you guys what is the current going rate for an Electronics Engineer with 5 years experience? My estimate is in around 110K to 120K. Is this realistic?

I guess I am looking for some reassurance/opinions as I have already turned down a 92K offer as I felt it was below market rate and most importantly would put me pretty close to an uncomfortable zone in terms of earnings/expenses ratio .

Thanks
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Old 31.03.2019, 17:57
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

The national statistics office publishes a salary calculator that can give a pretty good estimate, though it can be a bit of a language test.

(This was mentioned in an older thread, but the link there is no longer valid - it took a little searching to find where it went. I have no objection if a mod wants to merge/update as seems appropriate.)

Speaking more broadly, a recent article in The Local suggests that 92K is close to the median wage in Zurich, and 120k is close to the median wage for people with a higher education. But note that in some sense the article is news because this is a new state of affairs.
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Old 31.03.2019, 18:37
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Thanks, very interesting article! I managed to fill out the questionnaire and it returns an estimate of 96K to 110K, which is lower than the 120K the article mentions. It could however be skewed higher since it accounts for management level wages.

Still it seems to point that my target wage is more or less in the right ball park (or at least not outrageous I hope)...
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Old 31.03.2019, 20:10
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Yeah, I don't know your field, and cannot say from personal knowledge, but it sounds like the article and calculator are in rough alignment.

That said, plenty of people live comfortably at 92k, and it sounds like it isn't way out the normal range. So if you had a strong reason to come to Zurich, I think it would be not crazy to accept such an offer and then aim to move or push for a raise after a year or two. But it is certainly not guaranteed to work out, and in particular I don't know what else you have open nor how livly the area market for electrical engineers is.
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Old 01.04.2019, 09:07
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

What kind of electronics engineer are you ? Bachelor, Master, PhD ? Analog or digital ? PCB level or ASIC ? Control, power, or signal processing ?
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Old 01.04.2019, 17:33
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

I have a Masters degree. I'm specialized in system level digital design and I have experience in both control and signal processing. Plus I have quite some background in ASIC testing and CMOS technology
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Old 01.04.2019, 21:34
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

I have a BSEE, moved here in 1987. Salaries were low then (but the CHF bought a lot, I remember a cup of coffee was 2.30 CHF). They slowly rose to about 120-130K for non-management positions. Over the past 10 years they dropped due to the CHF/Euro exchange rate crash, and competition from EU engineers who accepted lower salaries. So now the range is more like 90-110K depending on how much they need your specialty.
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Old 01.04.2019, 21:53
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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I remember a cup of coffee was 2.30 CHF.
It still is.

Tom
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Old 01.04.2019, 22:42
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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It still is.

Tom
Not in Zurich it ain't. And that's where the jobs are.
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Old 01.04.2019, 22:49
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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Not in Zurich it ain't. And that's where the jobs are.
Coffee in the north sucks, and always has, regardless of the price.

Tom
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Old 02.04.2019, 22:15
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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I have a BSEE, moved here in 1987. Salaries were low then (but the CHF bought a lot, I remember a cup of coffee was 2.30 CHF). They slowly rose to about 120-130K for non-management positions. Over the past 10 years they dropped due to the CHF/Euro exchange rate crash, and competition from EU engineers who accepted lower salaries. So now the range is more like 90-110K depending on how much they need your specialty.
Thanks Karl that was the kind of feedback I was hoping for!

By the way, since then how has the job market evolved in terms of job offers in your opinion? Zurich doesn't seem to have the quite the same dynamic as I saw in the UK or Belgium - well at least for Electronics Engineering.
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Old 02.04.2019, 22:43
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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T
By the way, since then how has the job market evolved in terms of job offers in your opinion?

Just the keyword "ASIC" in jobs.ch already gives you 16 hits ?


I still get asked, even though I have not designed a chip in 5 years....


Jos
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Old 03.04.2019, 06:56
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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Thanks Karl that was the kind of feedback I was hoping for!

By the way, since then how has the job market evolved in terms of job offers in your opinion? Zurich doesn't seem to have the quite the same dynamic as I saw in the UK or Belgium - well at least for Electronics Engineering.
Unfortunately, the electronic components / chip industry in Switzerland has atrophied over the past decade due to intense price pressure on consumer electronics. Cost cutting has been the trend for a while.. first manufacturing is moved to Asia, or Eastern Europe followed by testing. A lot of design jobs have moved to cheaper EU countries. What remains is management, quality, finance.... "HQ" due to low corporate tax. I got out of that business a while ago and moved to fintech.
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Old 03.04.2019, 08:38
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

15 Years ago there was a large 400 people Philips Semiconductor site in Zurich, but it has dwindled away to nothing 5 years ago. Now AMS and Ublox are the larger companies, with IDT coming up...
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Old 03.04.2019, 08:41
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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Thanks Karl that was the kind of feedback I was hoping for!

By the way, since then how has the job market evolved in terms of job offers in your opinion? Zurich doesn't seem to have the quite the same dynamic as I saw in the UK or Belgium - well at least for Electronics Engineering.
Would you want to be in the UK the next 5 years ? I would be afraid for the value of my salary and insist on payment in Euro... not that you can buy food because of all the shortages etc...
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Old 03.04.2019, 13:59
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Karl, that makes sense with what I saw looking for jobs online on the other hand there are quite a few ETH spinoffs. But joining a startup always comes with an associated risk.

Indeed BasP72 no I wouldn't, the UK unfortunately stopped being attractive after Brexit. On top of that the grim prospect of a no-deal seems more and more likely by the day
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Old 03.04.2019, 14:57
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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Indeed BasP72 no I wouldn't, the UK unfortunately stopped being attractive after Brexit. On top of that the grim prospect of a no-deal seems more and more likely by the day
After Brexit? It hasn't happened yet.
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Old 03.04.2019, 16:35
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

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After Brexit? It hasn't happened yet.
After the Brexit *vote*
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Old 11.11.2020, 00:38
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Adamastor, I'm planning to move to Switzerland and I've been searching a lot about Electronics Engineering positions and salaries.
It has been more than a year that you posted so I wonder what's the final outcome? What's your current view of the salary expectations around Zurich on that field? What do you find of that industry in Switzerland right now? I see too few companies
I'm a very similar situation, around 5 years experience, analog IC design and willing to relocate from Belgium to Zurich.
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Old 11.11.2020, 21:50
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Re: Electronics Engineer market rate in Zurich

Your feeling is correct, there are not so many opportunities for electronics engineers specially if you are coming from a semiconductor background. I find that Flanders and the Netherlands has a much more lively ecosystem. Then again there are a few options, out of the top of my head I know ams has two sites near Zurich so you may want to lookup their website for openings. In terms of salaries you can expect between 90 and 100k, from my experience.

Hope this helps!
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