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Old 23.07.2020, 12:00
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2020 Developer Salary discussion

Hey all!

I'm new to the forum, but have been reading threads and using the search button a lot

I am a software engineer, with 6 years experience in the industry. My main expertise is Java.
I got a job proposal in Geneva - and in 2 weeks I'll be negotiating salary + benefits with the CEO of the company.

I'm a EU woman, living with my husband (non-eu, so probably he will be unemployed for a while before he can apply for a job). We are thinking about moving to Nyon and then commuting. We currently live in Ireland.


Based on what I read on this forum, on Numbeo (for cost of living) and on Neuvoo (for taxation), I believe 120K per year would be a fair number to ask, having 110K as the minimum.

Do you think this would be a fair amount for both parties? I've read that in Switzerland there is a big gender gap () so I wonder if I should take that into account (I hope not!).

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 23.07.2020, 23:34
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

While 6 years would make you more or less suitable for Senior roles, it depends on the company and other perks that will be included (company car, gym, daily lunch allowance, new mobile and contract etc)

I know people with five years of experience starting out with 80-90K salary (in Geneva and Vaud) and getting it bumped to 120k after working here for a year or two.

Gender pay gap is also quite real, but not that major to worry about it.
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Old 24.07.2020, 17:05
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Sounds pretty reasonable, good luck 👍
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Hey all!

I'm new to the forum, but have been reading threads and using the search button a lot

I am a software engineer, with 6 years experience in the industry. My main expertise is Java.
I got a job proposal in Geneva - and in 2 weeks I'll be negotiating salary + benefits with the CEO of the company.

I'm a EU woman, living with my husband (non-eu, so probably he will be unemployed for a while before he can apply for a job). We are thinking about moving to Nyon and then commuting. We currently live in Ireland.


Based on what I read on this forum, on Numbeo (for cost of living) and on Neuvoo (for taxation), I believe 120K per year would be a fair number to ask, having 110K as the minimum.

Do you think this would be a fair amount for both parties? I've read that in Switzerland there is a big gender gap () so I wonder if I should take that into account (I hope not!).

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 26.07.2020, 19:17
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

120k is ok-ish, but be aware the Geneva is hugely expensive and almost impossible to find a good flat for less than 2500 CHF.

The gender pay gap is a fact in CH.

Last edited by NikItaly; 26.07.2020 at 19:31.
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Old 27.07.2020, 14:58
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old 27.07.2020, 15:18
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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While 6 years would make you more or less suitable for Senior roles, it depends on the company and other perks that will be included (company car, gym, daily lunch allowance, new mobile and contract etc)

I know people with five years of experience starting out with 80-90K salary (in Geneva and Vaud) and getting it bumped to 120k after working here for a year or two.
Gender pay gap is also quite real, but not that major to worry about it.
Not that I don't doubt what you say is correct, but I don't know anyone with a company car, lunch allowance, gym etc etc.
I've only got a phone off them due on-call.

Also, pay rises are thin on the ground, usually 1% per year, but bonus is good, in my experience anyway.

Perhaps OP you should ask about salary progression during the interview.
Don't forget the moving allowance (rumour has it @10k) and moving costs as well. Also 3 months temp accomodation.
That will take the sting out of your partners salary a tiny bit.

Last edited by CodPeace; 27.07.2020 at 15:18. Reason: formatting
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Old 27.07.2020, 17:20
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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Not that I don't doubt what you say is correct, but I don't know anyone with a company car, lunch allowance, gym etc etc.
I've only got a phone off them due on-call.
Along those lines:

TechG, be aware that perks can, and do, disappear so I would counsel caution in negotiating in perks in lieu of compensation.

Back in the pre-2008 glory days perks such as a car lease, train abos, contribution to health insurance, gym memberships, equipment, etc. were common in IT, the value amounting to something like 10-15% of one's salary. Come the crisis and ensuing belt tightening, some companies cut those perks cut across the board - resulting in a defacto compensation reduction for many people.

As we are on the verge of another economic crisis - were it me, I'd prefer to have cold hard cash, as it's a tad harder to reduce salaries than to take away a benefit.

Just something to think about.

Good luck with the negotiations.
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Old 28.07.2020, 10:59
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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Don't forget the moving allowance (rumour has it @10k) and moving costs as well. Also 3 months temp accomodation.
That will take the sting out of your partners salary a tiny bit.
In my experience the moving allowance is 1 month's salary (paid with the first month), so at 120k it would be 10k gross based on 12 months and 9,200 if the employer has a 13 month pay cycle.

3 month's temp accommodation is sometimes organized by the employer to help with getting settled and finding a place, but they do not pay for it. You still have to pay rent at market rates.
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Old 28.07.2020, 11:06
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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In my experience the moving allowance is 1 month's salary (paid with the first month), so at 120k it would be 10k gross based on 12 months and 9,200 if the employer has a 13 month pay cycle.

3 month's temp accommodation is sometimes organized by the employer to help with getting settled and finding a place, but they do not pay for it. You still have to pay rent at market rates.

That all depends on your employer. I had a fixed amount for relocation and 3 months paid housing. So it is up to OP to negotiate
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Old 28.07.2020, 12:45
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

The employers I am familier with organise 3 months furnished accomodation and pay for it and give the 10k as a default.
Both are taxable benefits.
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Old 28.07.2020, 12:59
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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Based on what I read on this forum, on Numbeo (for cost of living) and on Neuvoo (for taxation), I believe 120K per year would be a fair number to ask, having 110K as the minimum.
Yes, 120k is fair, but here is my advice:
1. Don't say how much you want, let them say a figure. It could be higher than 120k. If you open with "I think 120k is fair", they will not say to you "You're so modest, actually, we'll give you 130k".
2. Don't accept the offer on the spot. Say: "I have to talk to my husband about it, I'll let you know tomorrow". Take some time to reflect on it. Don't worry, the position will not be filled by someone else until next day.
3. Try to bargain. Even if they give you the amount that you want, it could be possible they give you more. Also, keep in mind that the salary you start with will most probably be youe salary for the next years. Salary increases are not that common, and small, when given, so it's better to start with a bigger salary.

Good luck!
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Old 28.07.2020, 14:09
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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Yes, 120k is fair, but here is my advice:

2. Don't accept the offer on the spot. Say: "I have to talk to my husband about it, I'll let you know tomorrow". Take some time to reflect on it. Don't worry, the position will not be filled by someone else until next day.

Good luck!
I would advise against saying 'I have to talk to my husband'. It sounds as if she needs permission from her husband. It is best to say 'Let me think it over'.
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Old 28.07.2020, 14:30
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Also try this tool to calculate a possible salary: https://www.gate.bfs.admin.ch/salari...lic/index.html
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Old 28.07.2020, 15:31
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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I would advise against saying 'I have to talk to my husband'. It sounds as if she needs permission from her husband. It is best to say 'Let me think it over'.
It's a decision which affects the life of the couple, it's normal to talk to the spouse (btw, since most people in IT are male, they would say "let me talk to my wife" ).
Anyway, this is just bikeshedding, the important thing is not to jump at the offer immediately.
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Old 16.08.2020, 18:27
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Hey all, thank you again for chiming in with your ideas and suggestions for my salary discussion.

I decided that 120k was my target/happiest scenario salary, and that 105k would be the minimum offer I would accept.

I wasn't sure on whether the conversation with the CEO would be a negotiation or not, so when he asked me for a figure I asked him if he had one in mind. He told me that he had one, but that this wouldn't be a negotiating exercise: he just wanted to know which figure I was after, so that he could see if they could match my expectations.

I decided to ask for 130k (knowing that it was above my expectations, but hoping it could turn the odds towards the figures I was targetting). He explained that that was above what they were offering, but that he was going to debrief with his team and possibly come back with an offer.

I received one the following day, for 115k per year, which I took. I'm happy with how things turned out (especially with how gender gap didn't seem to play a part here).

Hope this can help someone else. All the best!
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Old 16.08.2020, 18:56
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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I decided to ask for 130k (knowing that it was above my expectations, but hoping it could turn the odds towards the figures I was targetting). He explained that that was above what they were offering, but that he was going to debrief with his team and possibly come back with an offer.

I received one the following day, for 115k per year, which I took. I'm happy with how things turned out (especially with how gender gap didn't seem to play a part here).

Hope this can help someone else. All the best!
Congratulations! I hope your move to Switzerland goes smoothly.
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Old 16.08.2020, 19:17
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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The employers I am familier with organise 3 months furnished accomodation and pay for it and give the 10k as a default.
Both are taxable benefits.
I've specifically been told by the tax advisor that the accommodation following international relocation is not taxable and that part of the relocation package (first 5k of 15k iirc) isn't either.
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Old 16.08.2020, 23:45
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Congrats. Both sides seemed quite reasonable in the conversation, I hope you have a bright future ahead with the company.
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Old 28.08.2020, 12:25
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

Congrats! wishing you a smooth move
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Old 28.08.2020, 13:11
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Re: 2020 Developer Salary discussion

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Thanks everyone for your help!
Switzerland is taxed by Canton (there is 26 in this country). Nyon i have no idea (i work in Zurich, the German part).

But Geneva is one of the most expensive. I think and others can confirm even Lausanne you are really great (30 min from Geneva).

lausanne is Canton Vaud. You can check the tax and rents online.

In Lohncomputer.ch you can simulate your net income by canton.

PS: I checked and Nyon is middle way of Geneva and Lausanne and canton Vaud so Nyon probably is a better choice.

PS2: Also great is at 30 min distance you will have France where prices of going out is similar to Ireland.
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