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Old 06.01.2020, 22:27
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job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

Hello to all, this is my first message in this forum. I have read it deeply with many interest.

I have been offered a position as Software Engineer (qml/C++) in the canton of Nidwalden, with 4 years experience and a gross annual salary of 70000 CHF. No bonus, no benefits, no nothing, that is all.

I'm reading incomes of more than 100000 CHF for this position, but in the big cities of Zurich, Bern, Geneva, etc. I don't now if those quantities can be reached in "provinces", far from big cities.

I am very new in Swtzerland and I'm afraid of being fooled, because i read glassdoor and any senior engineer, from any field, appears to be close to 100k CHF in the companies from this canton.

Anyway, on the other hand, I have checked in lohncomputer that this salary is enough to live without problems in this canton or besides cantons. I could rent a flat with parking outside of Luzern for about 1000 CHF/month, which is not bad at all, and still would have around 2000 CHF free per month after discounting taxes and expenses. Of course, this is much more better than my actual job in Italy, no mention to my previous job in Spain which was ridiculous compared with 70K CHF.

Well, my idea is to move to Switzerland accepting this offer, and after several months, with some German language skills learnt and realized about the work panorama, trying to find a better position. As we say in Spain "A seamless plan".

What do you think? Should I press for more money? Would you go on with my plan?

Regards.
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Old 06.01.2020, 23:17
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

You could live on it, I suppose. Nobody can tell you if it's enough for your experience and the job, but it certainly seems a bit low to me. Salaries everywhere seem to have tumbled over the past decade, or maybe that's just a perception based on having started working here when exchange rates were somewhat different.

You're young, you can move around, so if this is a good opportunity to gain experience and get into the Swiss market it might be worth taking it for a a year or two anyway. Only you can really tell.
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Old 06.01.2020, 23:18
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

Are you an experienced Senior? Is the role for a Senior?

If one of these questions is a no than 70K is nothing weird. If both are yes you are underpaid imho. But I doubt if they see you as a Senior.

Two things to keep in mind, surely big cities often pay more, but your rent can also be double or even triple when compared to the countryside, and life in general like drinking a beer in a bar, going to the supermarket etc.. is more expensive here, but 70K will be more than enough for a single person to survive very decently.
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Old 07.01.2020, 00:47
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

70000 in a Senior Role is very low. In Zürich it would be 110-120k, i understand that the Nidwalden salaries are lower, but this difference seems to be too large.

But..If you want to come to Switzerland, this could be a good starting point. After 1-2 years, you will have swiss reference, and can find much better jobs...
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Old 07.01.2020, 08:13
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Hello to all, this is my first message in this forum. I have read it deeply with many interest.

I have been offered a position as Software Engineer (qml/C++) in the canton of Nidwalden, with 4 years experience and a gross annual salary of 70000 CHF. No bonus, no benefits, no nothing, that is all.

I'm reading incomes of more than 100000 CHF for this position, but in the big cities of Zurich, Bern, Geneva, etc. I don't now if those quantities can be reached in "provinces", far from big cities.

I am very new in Swtzerland and I'm afraid of being fooled, because i read glassdoor and any senior engineer, from any field, appears to be close to 100k CHF in the companies from this canton.

Anyway, on the other hand, I have checked in lohncomputer that this salary is enough to live without problems in this canton or besides cantons. I could rent a flat with parking outside of Luzern for about 1000 CHF/month, which is not bad at all, and still would have around 2000 CHF free per month after discounting taxes and expenses. Of course, this is much more better than my actual job in Italy, no mention to my previous job in Spain which was ridiculous compared with 70K CHF.

Well, my idea is to move to Switzerland accepting this offer, and after several months, with some German language skills learnt and realized about the work panorama, trying to find a better position. As we say in Spain "A seamless plan".

What do you think? Should I press for more money? Would you go on with my plan?

Regards.
It's very low for a senior software engineer. I came here in 2009 as an IT support guy on a 70k salary and was underpaid vs my Swiss colleagues. You are MUCH more qualified and experienced than I was at that time and I now know the market reasonably well, so it is clear that they are trying to save money at your expense.

HOWEVER... I fully believe that to make big changes in your life you have to do what is necessary to get your foot into the door... so if accepting a lower salary gets you a position in Switzerland that you can then later use to your advantage to find a new and better job then it is definitely worth it... especially if it is a big upgrade over your quality of life in Spain.

And obviously yes, try to negotiate for more money (firmly and gently, not aggressively)... in the end this employer knows full well that they are underpaying and undervaluing you (and you need to not take this personally), so ask them for 80k+.

With a 1500-1800chf apartment (yes they do exist, be patient while searching and if necessary start by renting a room in a shared apartment) you can live very well and take the time to establish yourself in Switzerland.

Last edited by Chuff; 07.01.2020 at 08:23.
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Old 07.01.2020, 08:59
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

From what you say it would seem that this is step one on your master plan, so why worry about the relative merits of the offer? It is only temporary and if it progresses your plan, then go for it.

As you say, once here you can work on your German, build up your contacts, get to know the market and look for something better.
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Old 07.01.2020, 09:01
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Hello to all, this is my first message in this forum. I have read it deeply with many interest.

I have been offered a position as Software Engineer (qml/C++) in the canton of Nidwalden, with 4 years experience and a gross annual salary of 70000 CHF. No bonus, no benefits, no nothing, that is all.

I'm reading incomes of more than 100000 CHF for this position, but in the big cities of Zurich, Bern, Geneva, etc. I don't now if those quantities can be reached in "provinces", far from big cities.

I am very new in Swtzerland and I'm afraid of being fooled, because i read glassdoor and any senior engineer, from any field, appears to be close to 100k CHF in the companies from this canton.

Anyway, on the other hand, I have checked in lohncomputer that this salary is enough to live without problems in this canton or besides cantons. I could rent a flat with parking outside of Luzern for about 1000 CHF/month, which is not bad at all, and still would have around 2000 CHF free per month after discounting taxes and expenses. Of course, this is much more better than my actual job in Italy, no mention to my previous job in Spain which was ridiculous compared with 70K CHF.

Well, my idea is to move to Switzerland accepting this offer, and after several months, with some German language skills learnt and realized about the work panorama, trying to find a better position. As we say in Spain "A seamless plan".

What do you think? Should I press for more money? Would you go on with my plan?

Regards.
it is significantly low. I would not accept the offer at this level, find either another employer or don't move.
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Old 07.01.2020, 09:03
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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it is significantly low. I would not accept the offer at this level, find either another employer or don't move.
Easy to say when you don't live in Spain on a crappy salary with few other opportunities.

Clearly it is worth considering if his quality of life is significantly improved and it will lead to further opportunities later down the line.
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Old 07.01.2020, 09:09
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

It is low. In my view it's a junior salary - around what a new Computer Science grad would get.

Why aren't they paying a higher rate? Too mean? A start up? A charity? Can easily attract a 4-years experience engineer for that amount? You could tentatively point out that the salary is a little lower, and ask for a rationale.

I've often found that low salaries relates to lack of respect for the workforce - and that's what would worry me. If the salary weren't low, would you want the job - if everything aside from this seems great, then perhaps it's worth going for. Almost any job is better than no job. If there are other niggles, then forget it.
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:07
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Easy to say when you don't live in Spain on a crappy salary with few other opportunities.

Clearly it is worth considering if his quality of life is significantly improved and it will lead to further opportunities later down the line.
Yes it's a fair point, I am assuming the existing status is not desperate. If you are unemployed, really desperate for work or in a difficult place in life, its a different picture.

Under the assumption that the poster has a job in Spain and its an optional move, I am not convinced it would be an improvement on quality of life. An employer that offers very low salaries with zero add-ons has a fair chance of being a hard employer, i.e get it done or get out type of message and given you spend most of your time in life at work, that doesn't normally make for an improvement in your quality of life.

Plus on 70k, you're not going to be loaded in Switzerland, its liveable, but there would not be much disposable income.
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:16
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

The salary is low in my opinion, even for a place like NW . Very low in fact. But I’m not claiming expertise so maybe I’m out of touch .

Are you sure this is a full time position ?

Then on the other hand the software industry has been heavily hit by offshoring , so if it is a job that could just as well be done in Bangalore then that’s what you are competing against .

My advice is to think how badly you want that job. If it is a stepping stone to better things, you may want to bite the bullet and take it now and then hunt for something better . If you thin there are other jobs out there you can afford to be an awkward negotiator and make your demands .
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:23
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

It is an employer taking advantage of a foreigner hoping they are desperate enough to take it, it should be stopped.

OP, you could be easily making at least 20-30,000 CHF more per year. This low offer is a good reflection of your future employer if you were to take it. They are willing to take advantage of you from the beginning & you are therefore probably also considered dispensable...simply because they know another poor naive schmuck out there will easily take your place.
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:42
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Yes it's a fair point, I am assuming the existing status is not desperate. If you are unemployed, really desperate for work or in a difficult place in life, its a different picture.

Under the assumption that the poster has a job in Spain and its an optional move, I am not convinced it would be an improvement on quality of life. An employer that offers very low salaries with zero add-ons has a fair chance of being a hard employer, i.e get it done or get out type of message and given you spend most of your time in life at work, that doesn't normally make for an improvement in your quality of life.

Plus on 70k, you're not going to be loaded in Switzerland, its liveable, but there would not be much disposable income.
I lived fine, well even, on 70k as a single guy with no dependents. With a cheap enough apartment it is easily do-able including going out drinking and also eating out. 80k+ if the OP can push for it with some good negotiation would be fine for a good quality of life.

The problem is that many of the cushioned people on this forum only see the short-term and not the long-term. Switzerland is objectively a hard country to get into, one of the hardest in the Western world. It is a honey pot which, once you are established here, can change the course of your life via the high quality of life and high salaries. The situation in Spain is not great... high unemployment and large surplus of educated and skilled people looking for a job. This drives salaries down.

Sometimes you need to make short-term 'sacrifices' to get where you want to be in a few years. Accepting a job for 70-80k is hardly a "true hardship" as far as real life goes and anyone who thinks otherwise seriously needs a reality check. It's all about assessing what options you have and comparing an offer coldly and objectively vs your current situation without being silly and letting emotions about the principle of a company trying to get cheaper foreign labour cloud your judgement on doing what is best for you (I'm looking at you Susie-Q).

The OP needs to accept that he is being lowballed, get the maximum initial salary he can out of the offer and then use them as a stepping stone to other better things.
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Old 07.01.2020, 10:58
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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It is an employer taking advantage of a foreigner hoping they are desperate enough to take it, it should be stopped.

OP, you could be easily making at least 20-30,000 CHF more per year. This low offer is a good reflection of your future employer if you were to take it. They are willing to take advantage of you from the beginning & you are therefore probably also considered dispensable...simply because they know another poor naive schmuck out there will easily take your place.



Sure he could make Chf 20k, 30k even 40k more, but does he have an offer in hand at these levels ?


Maybe he will get and maybe he won't get one, far too many inponderables to give any estimation on his earning capacities.


As you so clearly state, he is dispensible, like many of of us only we don't believe so, if he doesn't do the job fo Chf 70k, somebody else probably will.


Key thing to remember, the cemetery is full of irreplacable people
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:00
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Sure he could make Chf 20k, 30k even 40k more, but does he have an offer in hand at these levels ?

Maybe he will get and maybe he won't get one, far too many inponderables to give any estimation on his earning capacities.

As you so clearly state, he is dispensible, like many of of us only we don't believe so, if he doesn't do the job fo Chf 70k, somebody else probably will.

Key thing to remember, the cemetery is full of irreplacable people
Precisely. Susie-Q seems to be a very naive and sheltered if she thinks that the vast majority of us are not disposable and replaceable.

You need to use a company to get the maximum benefit from them just as they will use you in turn.
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:11
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

As a recently immigrated Italian who worked as SW Engineer, I agree on these points:

- 70k/y is the salary of a junior in small / family / startup company
- 70k/y can be enough to live OK (as reference, I lived good in Northern Italy with 20k/y)
- even if 70k/y were an exploitment, the actual salary is 70k + the privilege (yes) of setting a foot in Switzerland. It's like an investment, the career outlook gets a big boost. On one side salary dumping is unfair for both the immigrant and the locals, on the other side... once one is aware of the context, he can do his own math.

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Old 07.01.2020, 11:30
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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Sometimes you need to make short-term 'sacrifices' to get where you want to be in a few years. Accepting a job for 70-80k is hardly a "true hardship" as far as real life goes and anyone who thinks otherwise seriously needs a reality check. It's all about assessing what options you have and comparing an offer coldly and objectively vs your current situation without being silly and letting emotions about the principle of a company trying to get cheaper foreign labour cloud your judgement on doing what is best for you (I'm looking at you Susie-Q).

The OP needs to accept that he is being lowballed, get the maximum initial salary he can out of the offer and then use them as a stepping stone to other better things.
How was I emotional and silly? I am speaking from personal experience where I was the foreigner who was lowballed.

I am currently working with lowballed foreign colleagues and see the bitterness and hardships that face amongst their well paid local colleagues who do the same job they do. I understand the OP's situation, but don't make it seem as easy as you do. It is hard to get any offer in Switzerland, but it is also hard to stay in the job market once you are here. Perhaps he won't be able to find better opportunities later and he will be low paid and marginalised in a foreign country. Spain's culture is also very different to Switzerland's. All things he/she should consider...
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:34
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

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How was I emotional and silly? I am speaking from personal experience where I was the foreigner who was lowballed.

I am currently working with lowballed foreign colleagues and see the bitterness and hardships that face amongst their well paid local colleagues who do the same job they do. I understand the OP's situation, but don't make it seem as easy as you do. It is hard to get any offer in Switzerland, but it is also hard to stay in the job market once you are here. Perhaps he won't be able to find better opportunities later and he will be low paid and marginalised in a foreign country. Spain's culture is also very different to Switzerland's. All things he/she should consider...
I agree. It's not that easy to change jobs. As for the offer itself....I don't even know where to start.
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:35
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

One very stupid question not made before: how many hours per week? 70K CHF may be low for 43 hours per week but nicer for 35 hours per week. Asking 5-10K more will not make anyone mad, it's a negotiation. At least free parking at the office

Also, Nidwalden and neighboring canton Obwalden have relatively low income tax, comparable to Zürich.

Bonus: you'd be ridiculously close to ski resorts Engelberg-Titlis and Melchsee-Frut.
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:35
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Re: job offer: 70000 CHF as software engineer, what are your thoughts?

what he said, if you are fine being paid way less then everyone else, even the much less experienced people, to be treated like crap, and lets face it you'll never get a decent pay rise or be made up to the same level as similar colleges then knock yourself out.

you learn the hardway, a company that lowballs you has ZERO respect for you, regardless of any promises they make, been there, done that, couldn't afford the teeshirt.
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