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-   -   Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/300299-software-engineer-contract-current-market-rates-zurich.html)

Antek 23.09.2020 11:31

Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Hi IT Contractors,

I have a question for you :). I hope you can help me. I was searching forum but found only outdated threads.

Here is the situation: I am also a contractor with ten years of experience working as a Java/Scala software engineer, developing microservices for banking sector.
I am thinking about moving to Zurich for a year or two.

All job offers I can find have "market rates" in the description so I am wondering what current "market rates" are for Zurich area? 100CHF, 150CHF, 200CHF (or maybe higher) per hour? I don't want to overshoot when negotiate.

Second question is about type of cooperation. Each country have some differences in that area.
As I researched, in Switzerland, an umbrella company would be the easiest/best choise for foreigner (EU), am I right? Setting up some kind of LTD might be tricky. What is your opinion/experience? Are there actually huge tax benefits with LTD schema in Switzerland?
What are your experiences with umbrella companies? Can you recommend or warn from cooperating with some specyfic agencies?

Looking forward for your answers.
Thanks,

NewInSchwyz 25.09.2020 10:37

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
1000 chf a day seems to be the number I have seen

I have no idea what that means after employer and employee tax

If you took a perm job expect 160K plus 15% bonus plus pillar 2 pension

Troublawesome 26.09.2020 00:15

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3220537)
1000 chf a day seems to be the number I have seen

I have no idea what that means after employer and employee tax

If you took a perm job expect 160K plus 15% bonus plus pillar 2 pension

Hahahha...ohhhh...ah yes, hahahhaha!

160k is the new 120k I guess, should have realised it's Friday before reading this.

IndiSwitz 26.09.2020 10:54

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
& 5-7% bonus...750-800 CHF per day is the new term unless the person is dealing with latest technology.

Jaceq 26.09.2020 11:09

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3220537)
1000 chf a day seems to be the number I have seen

I have no idea what that means after employer and employee tax

If you took a perm job expect 160K plus 15% bonus plus pillar 2 pension


Lol, that's quite optimistic (and I do hire / manage software devs ;) )

greenmount 26.09.2020 12:05

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Antek (Post 3219768)
Hi IT Contractors,

I have a question for you :). I hope you can help me. I was searching forum but found only outdated threads.

Here is the situation: I am also a contractor with ten years of experience working as a Java/Scala software engineer, developing microservices for banking sector.
I am thinking about moving to Zurich for a year or two.

All job offers I can find have "market rates" in the description so I am wondering what current "market rates" are for Zurich area? 100CHF, 150CHF, 200CHF (or maybe higher) per hour? I don't want to overshoot when negotiate.

Second question is about type of cooperation. Each country have some differences in that area.
As I researched, in Switzerland, an umbrella company would be the easiest/best choise for foreigner (EU), am I right? Setting up some kind of LTD might be tricky. What is your opinion/experience? Are there actually huge tax benefits with LTD schema in Switzerland?
What are your experiences with umbrella companies? Can you recommend or warn from cooperating with some specyfic agencies?


Looking forward for your answers.
Thanks,

I'm sorry nobody has actually answered your second question. Might not be the best choice for CH, considering the level of taxation is already quite low compared to other countries.

NewInSchwyz 26.09.2020 14:24

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaceq (Post 3220873)
Lol, that's quite optimistic (and I do hire / manage software devs ;) )

I have hired extensively for fx tech Java developers. Mid aged 35 years is around 160k and last years bonus numbers which I handed out were between 10-20%.

I am talking actual numbers in Zurich in banks

Specifically a vp who I mentored was earning 150 plus 8.4 tax free expenses plus 20 bonus. And he was not that happy. That’s pretty much what I have written

saiya-jin 26.09.2020 21:03

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
VP, at least where I work, is a serious management position, backed by vast range and depth of skills. Could be ie smaller team line manager, or the most senior member of some dev team. Must be very good at handling pressure and politics, long term, semi-constantly. Develops way more in MS Office products than actual code, never-ending series of meetings etc.

That's not the skillset OP has, where I work he would get max AVP and adequate compensation.

Maybe other banks are more generous with IT titles, but 10 years chopping code as external at some bank is a senior code monkey in my view. Good for some type of work, but managerial skills aren't typical experience for contractors. Banks don't hire for potential, but proven track record.

NewInSchwyz 26.09.2020 21:17

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saiya-jin (Post 3221022)
VP, at least where I work, is a serious management position, backed by vast range and depth of skills. Could be ie smaller team line manager, or the most senior member of some dev team. Must be very good at handling pressure and politics, long term, semi-constantly. Develops way more in MS Office products than actual code, never-ending series of meetings etc.

That's not the skillset OP has, where I work he would get max AVP and adequate compensation.

Maybe other banks are more generous with IT titles, but 10 years chopping code as external at some bank is a senior code monkey in my view. Good for some type of work, but managerial skills aren't typical experience for contractors. Banks don't hire for potential, but proven track record.

In ubs or CS every other person is a vp. Serious decision making happens at md level and even then group md level. When risk limits and trading limits are set are even higher often and board level

An avp is a few years out of university

Superfast 26.09.2020 21:46

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saiya-jin (Post 3221022)
VP, at least where I work, is a serious management position, backed by vast range and depth of skills. Could be ie smaller team line manager, or the most senior member of some dev team. Must be very good at handling pressure and politics, long term, semi-constantly. Develops way more in MS Office products than actual code, never-ending series of meetings etc.

That's not the skillset OP has, where I work he would get max AVP and adequate compensation.

Maybe other banks are more generous with IT titles, but 10 years chopping code as external at some bank is a senior code monkey in my view. Good for some type of work, but managerial skills aren't typical experience for contractors. Banks don't hire for potential, but proven track record.

This is very debatle. I have seen program managers that i would never hire to build my flats.

Basically they just compile reports and report to senior management.
Some jobs require negotiation, persuasion, vision and faith. I have seen team leads building their own company and growing from 1 to 500 employees.

A VP that works for 20 years in a bank tells me nothing. He just did his job, nothing else.

BasP72 26.09.2020 22:06

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
And meanwhile they're too cheap to give me interest... :msnsad:

Such a high salaries... and software is simple... at least compared to analog hardware.

Landers 26.09.2020 23:40

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Most expat contractors work through a payroll company which the client pays a fee to, so similar to an umbrella except the client pays.

If you get the job through a recruitment company then they'll act as the payroll company and take a larger fee.


Tax saving schemes don't really exist anymore - if you work like an employee you're taxed like an employee (and insured like an employee)


"Market rate" probably means don't expect anything exceptional, although even low rates can seem exceptional when you compare them to home rates. As with anything the market rate can go up or down and these last years they seem to only be going down but part of a good skillset is to be able to negotiate. Some places will pretty much pay a standard rate regardless of the worker's experience. Other places one person can be getting double what they pay someone else. You have to be able to sell yourself.


For a perm job on 160k you probably would have to be something a bit special. These days if your payroll company is getting 1000 a day after client fees then that's considered good. I've known some naive people on 600 but that's considered low and I don't know anyone on less than that.
Also, if the company is a euro-zone company then the market rate can be considered in euros and then converted to Francs, so with a strong Franc that makes the rates relatively low from a Swiss perspective.

Antek 27.09.2020 11:35

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Thank you all for your responses. I found what I was looking for.

About VP, I agree with @LondonPM and @Superfast. Based on my experience with Banks, job title means nothing. If you search ActiveDirectory, 90% of perm employees have VP title ;). And like in no any other sector I was working for, emplees can work for a single company for decades, gaining next hierarhy levels without any skillset improvements. Most likely being just a "proxy" managers as @LondonPM said.
Contractors, on the other hand, works with simple title: "External", "Expert" or "Non Employee" and fill any hole they want to/are able to/was hired for. They can act from simple monkey coder to team leader or architect. Of course rate depends on skills.

@greenmount, @Landers thanks for confirmation. I had the same feeling when I was searching for tax saving schemas in Switzerland. It looks like being taxed as an emploee isn't that big punishemnt, like in any other EU countires.

mmartins 27.09.2020 11:40

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Since Scala is somewhat niche market I think you are in a better position to negotiate. But even then I doubt you will get significantly higher daily rate than 800-900 CHF all inclusive pre-tax.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3220931)
I have hired extensively for fx tech Java developers. Mid aged 35 years is around 160k and last years bonus numbers which I handed out were between 10-20%.

I am talking actual numbers in Zurich in banks

Specifically a vp who I mentored was earning 150 plus 8.4 tax free expenses plus 20 bonus. And he was not that happy. Thatís pretty much what I have written

Would like to know what are these banks. Definitely not CS and UBS.

NewInSchwyz 27.09.2020 12:16

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mmartins (Post 3221134)
Since Scala is somewhat niche market I think you are in a better position to negotiate. But even then I doubt you will get significantly higher daily rate than 800-900 CHF all inclusive pre-tax.



Would like to know what are these banks. Definitely not CS and UBS.

I can tell you it is definitely for UBS/CS. And the figures were 2019 numbers - This years bonus is anyones guess - People expecting half of last years bonus

Sky 27.09.2020 12:32

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
@OP
In response to this question:

ęAs I researched, in Switzerland, an umbrella company would be the easiest/best choise for foreigner (EU), am I right?Ľ

I may be wrong but I believe that all contractors have got to belong to a consulting company now, or create their own company in Switzerland, to be able to work.
There used to be independent contractors but that changed about 10 years ago?

@others please say if this is incorrect? Thanks

fatmanfilms 27.09.2020 12:37

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3221148)
I can tell you it is definitely for UBS/CS. And the figures were 2019 numbers - This years bonus is anyones guess - People expecting half of last years bonus

You are expecting to be fired & getting unemployment pay, you can forget your 2019 no's :D 2021 will be 30-50% less.

mmartins 27.09.2020 13:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sky (Post 3221150)
@OP
In response to this question:

ęAs I researched, in Switzerland, an umbrella company would be the easiest/best choise for foreigner (EU), am I right?Ľ

I may be wrong but I believe that all contractors have got to belong to a consulting company now, or create their own company in Switzerland, to be able to work.
There used to be independent contractors but that changed about 10 years ago?

@others please say if this is incorrect? Thanks

Don't know when it changed but nowadays to work as a contract for LMN in Switzerland you have to do it via consulting agency. And on top of that I know that CS for example work only with a rather limit set of 'preferred' agencies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3221148)
I can tell you it is definitely for UBS/CS. And the figures were 2019 numbers - This years bonus is anyones guess - People expecting half of last years bonus

Interesting. I wonder what skillset puts them in 160k league instead of 120-130k mere mortals league?

Treverus 27.09.2020 17:05

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3221148)
I can tell you it is definitely for UBS/CS. And the figures were 2019 numbers - This years bonus is anyones guess - People expecting half of last years bonus

Could it be that you were working with the ďbusiness sideĒ? Besides the fact that UBS and CS have a different corporate title system... is the key difference that pretty much everyone on the business side is a VP, but certainly not in the IT department. I know for a fact that the entire IT Organisation of one of the two had exactly one MD, the boss, for all of APAC.

I can say for a fact that the banks below the big two have a target rate of 800 a day for an experienced developer. 110-120 perm...

NewInSchwyz 27.09.2020 18:46

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 3221215)
Could it be that you were working with the “business side”? Besides the fact that UBS and CS have a different corporate title system... is the key difference that pretty much everyone on the business side is a VP, but certainly not in the IT department. I know for a fact that the entire IT Organisation of one of the two had exactly one MD, the boss, for all of APAC.

I can say for a fact that the banks below the big two have a target rate of 800 a day for an experienced developer. 110-120 perm...

I can only say what I have seen and I review the salaries and bonus allocation. From across a team of 30 there are about 10vps. The salary range is min 140 and the highest on the list is 165. Then you have the 8.4K and as I said bonus which for some was 15k and for the high earner 40k. Most got 25ish.

These are actual numbers in 2019

The average age of these 10vps is 30-37 and it’s a pure tech role. Indeed they had no knowledge of finance when I interviewed them but wanted to learn. People are from Russia Portugal Romania and Spain and of course Uk

I also have contacts in ubs and I regularly speak about hiring and the war for talent. Actually it turns out that of anything we need to pay more to attract people who would go to google and amazon. So there you have the facts

Troublawesome 27.09.2020 18:55

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Perhaps you're talking about the IB side of UBS and not the rest 90%?

15k-25k bonuses in UBS is for laughs. Salary for Director is 140k-165k + 8.5k expenses sure but not everyone is a director. In fact 50% of IT are from EPAM, code monkeys at 120k. 20% are Directors and 30% AOs or ADs.

UBS and CS pay less than 8k bonuses for the vast majority of their IT employees, with the exception of perhaps IB and not always.

I have direct experience of hiring devs in these banks and their promotion cycles and rewards.

NewInSchwyz 27.09.2020 19:05

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Troublawesome (Post 3221248)
Perhaps you're talking about the IB side of UBS and not the rest 90%?

15k-25k bonuses in UBS is for laughs. Salary for Director is 140k-165k + 8.5k expenses sure but not everyone is a director. In fact 50% of IT are from EPAM, code monkeys at 120k. 20% are Directors and 30% AOs or ADs.

UBS and CS pay less than 8k bonuses for the vast majority of their IT employees, with the exception of perhaps IB and not always.

I have direct experience of hiring devs in these banks and their promotion cycles and rewards.

What do you want me to say other than you must be working in back back office. The numbers I gave you are direct experience from a pool of vps using 2019 data points. Yes really one vp got 40 bonus and the lowest was 15. Most got 25k.

We do not use consultancies but we have a few contractors although most are perm

If epam are paying 120k you can guarantee that those that make the interview direct will get paid more surely? I’ve no clue what epam pays but I do know what the perms get confidently

Phil_MCR 27.09.2020 20:13

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3221252)
What do you want me to say other than you must be working in back back office. The numbers I gave you are direct experience from a pool of vps using 2019 data points. Yes really one vp got 40 bonus and the lowest was 15. Most got 25k.

We do not use consultancies but we have a few contractors although most are perm

If epam are paying 120k you can guarantee that those that make the interview direct will get paid more surely? Iíve no clue what epam pays but I do know what the perms get confidently

Just curious: for these VP positions, how many years of experience post-graudation does this role typically have on starting?

NewInSchwyz 27.09.2020 21:01

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
On average between five and fifteen years experience. The code base is massive and expect to spend 80% of your time debugging profiilikg unit testing and performance tuning code

The working hours are 8 to 6 give or take

Treverus 28.09.2020 09:04

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3221243)
I can only say what I have seen and I review the salaries and bonus allocation. From across a team of 30 there are about 10vps. The salary range is min 140 and the highest on the list is 165. Then you have the 8.4K and as I said bonus which for some was 15k and for the high earner 40k. Most got 25ish.

These are actual numbers in 2019

The average age of these 10vps is 30-37 and itís a pure tech role. Indeed they had no knowledge of finance when I interviewed them but wanted to learn. People are from Russia Portugal Romania and Spain and of course Uk

I also have contacts in ubs and I regularly speak about hiring and the war for talent. Actually it turns out that of anything we need to pay more to attract people who would go to google and amazon. So there you have the facts

Im not saying that your experience isnít true, but I will argue that this does not represent the average in Swiss banking or even the big two. I have left CH three years ago, so I donít have 2019 numbers. But I spent years selling it projects to Zurich banks and I can tell you that day rates had a long, slow decline from around 1200 CHF in 2005 to 800 three years ago. There is no war for talent in banks when it comes to IT. Because unlike Google does a bank not earn their money with developers... they are a cost factor and by now do most managers need to explain why a resource really need to be in expensive Switzerland instead of Poland. So yeah, my experience is different... but if you got more of those 165k jobs will this forum get you a lot of candidate profiles...

Dr Mick 28.09.2020 09:49

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaceq (Post 3220873)
Lol, that's quite optimistic (and I do hire / manage software devs ;) )

Since you hire software devs, you should be able to answer the OP's question :confused:
Why don't you provide a number?, the question is clear.

Gravity 27.10.2020 13:19

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Hi does anyone know how much EPAM chops off from the UBS salary, or just how much do they pay to permanent developers assigned to UBS. I have just heard from them. Is it just a cheap body lending business or maybe lending experts anywhere where the internal politics forbids to hire expensive staff?

newtoswitz 27.10.2020 13:53

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gravity (Post 3231861)
Hi does anyone know how much EPAM chops off from the UBS salary, or just how much do they pay to permanent developers assigned to UBS. I have just heard from them. Is it just a cheap body lending business or maybe lending experts anywhere where the internal politics forbids to hire expensive staff?

I have no idea what cut of the salary they take.

My experience (as a customer, but working closely with the staff) is that they aren't just a bodyshop, they do try to grow their staff and provide support etc.

They also do more complete outsourcing, providing full teams and doing the majority of the organisational work. Plus consulting on various technical topics which is a direction for some of their staff.

On the whole they're one of the better IT resource companies in my experience.

gipfelisturmer 27.10.2020 14:04

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Completely agreed.
EPAM is one of the better ones, and definitely doesn't deserve the moniker of a "body shop".
Coming from knowing a few of their team members within my company.

Landers 27.10.2020 15:21

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gravity (Post 3231861)
Hi does anyone know how much EPAM chops off from the UBS salary, or just how much do they pay to permanent developers assigned to UBS. I have just heard from them. Is it just a cheap body lending business or maybe lending experts anywhere where the internal politics forbids to hire expensive staff?


As you talk about salary, it's not clear to me whether you're talking about becoming an employee of UBS, becoming an employee of a consultancy house, or becoming more like a contractor (contrived to be an employee of e.g. a bodyshop)

Gravity 27.10.2020 16:28

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Landers (Post 3231929)
As you talk about salary, it's not clear to me whether you're talking about becoming an employee of UBS, becoming an employee of a consultancy house, or becoming more like a contractor (contrived to be an employee of e.g. a bodyshop)

becoming a contractor or employee of EPAM which would let me work at UBS

Gravity 27.10.2020 16:35

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by newtoswitz (Post 3231876)
I have no idea what cut of the salary they take.

My experience (as a customer, but working closely with the staff) is that they aren't just a bodyshop, they do try to grow their staff and provide support etc.

They also do more complete outsourcing, providing full teams and doing the majority of the organisational work. Plus consulting on various technical topics which is a direction for some of their staff.

On the whole they're one of the better IT resource companies in my experience.

Cool :msncool: I know that banks tend to develop systems in-house, just for their own use. TBH, developing software for a client (UBS) as an employee of EPAM won't differ much from my past career, except this time the development would happen in their client office. I thought it's called body-leasing.

NewInSchwyz 27.10.2020 17:59

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
luxoft and epam both very good and both at ubs

generally stay away from tata cognisant who are bodyshops

oatcakes 27.10.2020 23:25

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Im on around 110,000 CHF as a software development manager (my title is actually a bit different), permanent role, B permit, been with the company for over 2 years, been promoted, have regularly worked outside 9-5,

NewInSchwyz 28.10.2020 10:28

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by oatcakes (Post 3232086)
Im on around 110,000 CHF as a software development manager (my title is actually a bit different), permanent role, B permit, been with the company for over 2 years, been promoted, have regularly worked outside 9-5,

Is this in zurich or somewhere else?

Dandy 30.10.2020 14:49

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by oatcakes (Post 3232086)
Im on around 110,000 CHF as a software development manager (my title is actually a bit different), permanent role, B permit, been with the company for over 2 years, been promoted, have regularly worked outside 9-5,


looks like you're underpaid or your job title is overinflated

magyir 30.10.2020 15:18

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dandy (Post 3233510)
looks like you're underpaid or your job title is overinflated

Depends on the industry. Media pays a lot less than Financial Services, at least according to the Salarium Median estimator https://www.gate.bfs.admin.ch/salari...urSalaryCode=0

ch2013 30.10.2020 15:24

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Just been offered a Senior BA / PM role in Zurich for a new system implementation at Fr 600 / day! I have over 20 years experience of doing the same thing - the rates have taken a serious nosedive... :msnshock:

BoredToDeath 30.10.2020 15:43

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewInSchwyz (Post 3220931)
I have hired extensively for fx tech Java developers. Mid aged 35 years is around 160k and last years bonus numbers which I handed out were between 10-20%.

What does 'Mid aged 35 years' means?

BoredToDeath 30.10.2020 15:47

Re: Software Engineer contract - current market rates - Zurich
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ch2013 (Post 3233531)
Just been offered a Senior BA / PM role in Zurich for a new system implementation at Fr 600 / day! I have over 20 years experience of doing the same thing - the rates have taken a serious nosedive... :msnshock:

If this is trough the agency then I would say it is not the rate that taken a dive it is agencies that become super greedy. I approve and review IT vendor contractors in pharma all the time and the going rate is 140h for IT developer mid level. However if working through employer or the agent you'd see 85h of it. Agencies in CH lost their mind lately.


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