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Old 16.10.2006, 11:23
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Average Salary

Hi everyone.

I moved to Zurich from Wellington NZLD in July. I am 26 and I have been working in aerospace industry as navigation systems engineer. I am now employed in Zurich as project manager in a telecom company. I made a quite fast decision to move to Zurich without making an intesive research about average salaries, daily life etc. however I have begun to worry about it.

I make 78.000 CHF/ a year. That is 6500 a month and 5275 after tax a month ( I have a B permit so tax is deducted automatically). Okay I making a lot more than what I was making in NZLD but Im still worried about the average income other engineers of my age make in Zurich. Any ideas about the average salaries of auslanders in similar jobs?
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:24
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Re: Average Salary

you might want to develop a poll around this so that people can perhaps give you an idea without giving up what is typically something they don't like to disclose
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:25
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
Hi everyone.

I moved to Zurich from Wellington NZLD in July. I am 26 and I have been working in aerospace industry as navigation systems engineer. I am now employed in Zurich as project manager in a telecom company. I made a quite fast decision to move to Zurich without making an intesive research about average salaries, daily life etc. however I have begun to worry about it.

I make 78.000 CHF/ a year. That is 6500 a month and 5275 after tax a month ( I have a B permit so tax is deducted automatically). Okay I making a lot more than what I was making in NZLD but Im still worried about the average income other engineers of my age make in Zurich. Any ideas about the average salaries of auslanders in similar jobs?
You are in my game so to speak. Assuming you have experience in this area, ie project management you can reasonably expect to earn 90-120K as a project manager. 78K is more the project leader salary. ie you are being paid too little but there is not a lot you can do about it now
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:34
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Re: Average Salary

Hey Richard, how do you know Turkish? I was quite surprised to hear gunaydin efendim from you .

Like I said, my transition from NZLD to CH was soo fast that I couldnt have time to investigate quite a lot of things about life in Switzerland. I always had doubts about the salaries anyway. Im thinking of posting a poll about average income. This might help new comers and new auslanders to develop some ideas too.

I guess I am a bit under waged but I am still making 2x what Id in NZLD )
However we will see what time will bring. What do you do for living since we are in the same game...
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:48
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
Hey Richard, how do you know Turkish? I was quite surprised to hear gunaydin efendim from you .

Like I said, my transition from NZLD to CH was soo fast that I couldnt have time to investigate quite a lot of things about life in Switzerland. I always had doubts about the salaries anyway. Im thinking of posting a poll about average income. This might help new comers and new auslanders to develop some ideas too.

I guess I am a bit under waged but I am still making 2x what Id in NZLD )
However we will see what time will bring. What do you do for living since we are in the same game...
If you seach for average salaries I think you will find such a poll or at least enough info to be able to do some deducing...

I do (possibly used to do) global project management...

Benim hanim Türkçe...
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:53
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Re: Average Salary

Without meaning disrespect, perhaps your position is actually project leader/coordinator, thus you're rewarded accordingly. Titles/status here are important (I'm currently Project Director of the ironing, cleaning, cooking in my Apprtment )

Nobody's a 'simple' team-member with functioning duties anymore and everyone's a manager. I'd guess if you feel there's disparity with your salary, simply ask your boss to ease your mind. I doubt you'd get a straight response, but it's worth a try! However, don't be too influenced by what you may hear from others concerning their salaries: there's a big leap in scale between the average family income and those who work in Banking. It may be discouraging, but even on CHF5000+ a Month, you'll have a nice enough lifestyle.
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Old 16.10.2006, 11:56
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
there's a big leap in scale between the average family income and those who work in Banking. It may be discouraging, but even on CHF5000+ a Month, you'll have a nice enough lifestyle.
To the first point it is no longer so true. CS and UBS are not paying like they once did and that reflects on the whole market. See what happens in June though

To the second point you can indeed live quite nicely without kids on 5K per month. You won't drive a Porsche but you certainly won't go hungry...
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:15
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
Hi everyone.

I moved to Zurich from Wellington NZLD in July. I am 26 and I have been working in aerospace industry as navigation systems engineer. I am now employed in Zurich as project manager in a telecom company. I made a quite fast decision to move to Zurich without making an intesive research about average salaries, daily life etc. however I have begun to worry about it.

I make 78.000 CHF/ a year. That is 6500 a month and 5275 after tax a month ( I have a B permit so tax is deducted automatically). Okay I making a lot more than what I was making in NZLD but Im still worried about the average income other engineers of my age make in Zurich. Any ideas about the average salaries of auslanders in similar jobs?
Hi, I have personal experience about this thingy.

If I read correctly, you are a specialist in Navigation Systems, and with a project manager role.

I strongly believe your salary should be over 100kchf per year (gross), without considering bonuses (vary company to company). Sorry to make you sleepless tonight.

I hope other people will not continue to view me as complaining about the Swiss, but this is what happened to me, and to some other foreigner colleagues. We work in IT line, and specialists not available in CH.
(Hence I say "we")

1. We were solicited for the job/role (was told it is urgent)
2. We were given a salary quote (usually a range, and not a number)
3. We were told to resign and pack up and come here asap (with family)
4. We were told, swiss people/company can be trusted
5. We were told we will be paid according to local ranges and that we will live well
6. We resigned and prepared to move
7. We were shown draft contracts (numbers not fixed)
8. After some time, contract is fixed with lower end of range (we were again told this is correct salary scale)

9. We came, met some other people on the job (swiss people with less skills, less certification, less experience, and go home at 5pm everyday)
10. We realised they live in big house, draw a significantly larger salary, but WHO'S complaining, right? Not me.

11. Some of us asked for revision of salary (a few succeeded in getting 100chf or 200chf more per month), others were told it is company policy not to change the salary range "too much"(so that all employees will not be unhappy).
My manager even hinted that "not everyone can work and live in CH" as the reason I should accept the salary discrepancy.

12. Luckily I negotiated for the high end of the range before I came. Others were not so fortunate.

I learned that once you are in that range, it is almost impossible to get out of it, unless you are promoted to next range (which almost never happens, unless one guy above you DIES) Or you move company (and you have to convince your next company you are worth more than the previous salary range).

13. Til today, (5 years on), I had my actual salary AND benefits decreased, due to switching from Expat terms to Local terms.

14. I accept all these, because I like the fresh mountain air, compared to the dirty Asian Haze. And I am making "more" than in Asia, but my spending power is less in price-high CH. I can save more, really (because shopping is a luxury thing here)

HAT
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:25
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Re: Average Salary

Excellent career choice.
Quote:
Hi everyone.
I moved to Zurich from Wellington NZLD in July. I am 26 and I have been working in aerospace industry as navigation systems engineer.
Not so excellent career move
Quote:
I am now employed in Zurich as project manager in a telecom company.
Without knowing your quals and detailed experience, its a bit difficult to suggest a likely salary range to help, but I would suggest something hovering about the 90s at least.

dave
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:25
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Re: Average Salary

I guess I was fooled too. Ok I am a specialist of my own field and I dont think there is much of a guys of my profession in CH. This I believe because the company got me a B permit right away since the day I came to Zurich because they were able to show that they couldnt find anyone from CH or EU to my position.

Before I came, I was told a margin of about 78.000-91.000 a year. But they told me they wanted to see first if they were happy with my performance. Ofcourse, they hired me with the lowest margin 78.000 a year and promised that they would revise it by the end of this year. So I guess I was abit fooled but if i end up getting 500 increase at the end of the year, then I will probably look for a better job.

In your case, you have good reasons to stay when you left Asia. But I came all the way from beautiful New Zealand with hopes to make better money but ended up in over priced Zurich and lowest margin salary.
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:31
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Re: Average Salary

If they had to go all the way to NZ to find someone to fill the position and you were the only person they could find are you not in quite a good position to renegociate at the end of the year? After all if they will have a really hard time to replace you they will be keen to keep you and may be more willing to give you what you want
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:50
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
In your case, you have good reasons to stay when you left Asia. But I came all the way from beautiful New Zealand with hopes to make better money but ended up in over priced Zurich and lowest margin salary.
Hi again

To be absolutely clear, I departed from SINGAPORE. Anybody knows this place?
This is not 3rd world country. I was also making GOOD money there and then.

In fact now I rent out my flat in Singapore to a Swiss person, whom I met here, and he WANTS to migrate to Singapore. How ironic!

However, the pro-employer policies in Singapore, made me want to leave. Plus there is no chewing gum there.

HAT
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:57
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
Before I came, I was told a margin of about 78.000-91.000 a year. But they told me they wanted to see first if they were happy with my performance. Ofcourse, they hired me with the lowest margin 78.000 a year and promised that they would revise it by the end of this year. So I guess I was abit fooled but if i end up getting 500 increase at the end of the year, then I will probably look for a better job.
Hi again,

500chf monthly I assume you are targetting?
I believe if they are "super-happy" with you, you may get a median or maybe 84kchf (say 6kchf = 500chf monthly).

They will NEVER give you 91kchf (which means you will want to look for new job). Trust me, I can bet my balls on this one.

Please also be kind to them, they have to pay about 150% based on your gross, in total cost of employment, pension funds, insurance, etc.

I am holding a Permit B, but I pay yearly tax( means something to people who know).

BTW, you are typing this during working hours, right? Means you have nothing much to do, or you are "taking a break" like I am?
Also gives them a valid reason to send you packing, if they check their internet logs.

HAT
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Old 16.10.2006, 15:58
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Re: Average Salary

one thing you should note about the Swiss sytem they tend to pay regarding age and marital status, 26 years old is classed as a whipper snapper in Swiss eyes.


DC
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Old 16.10.2006, 16:08
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
So I guess I was abit fooled but if i end up getting 500 increase at the end of the year, then I will probably look for a better job.
If only life was that easy... We are in Switzerland and you are not from the EU. For this reason even though you have a B permit changing jobs is not a given. There is still a drama to go through until you actually get married when the world changes and opportunities and freedom to choose appear. I would therefore suggest staying where you are until that day next summer and then start looking. After all you will then hopefully have a good reference and that counts for quite a lot over here...
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Old 16.10.2006, 16:29
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Re: Average Salary

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To be absolutely clear, I departed from SINGAPORE. Anybody knows this place?
of course, it's the country cleaner than switzerland but with countless rules & fines..
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Old 16.10.2006, 17:00
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
of course, it's the country cleaner than switzerland but with countless rules & fines..
fancy a stick of chewing gum, Brownie?
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Old 17.10.2006, 00:51
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Re: Average Salary

Sorry to hear about this. Oldest trick in the book. Many people get tricked like this. They don't know the local market and think that the salary sounds high in comparison to what they got. Of course when they arrive they discover that there's a REASON why the salaries are higher, and that the upward move they thought they were making was a downward move.

Richard pointed out something very important. Because many skilled professionals get stitched up on L-permits their ability to change jobs is severly limited. The employer knows it so even if they are specialised they'll screw them.

Hat - I'm sorry to hear your story - but it doesn't matter where in the world you are going - never commit to anything which puts you into a vulnerable position before the negotiation is completed - it almost always ends badly.

Anyway - back to the L permit trap. It's not all doom and gloom. The best thing is to look around for another job, and just explain that it is an L-permit. If you are a specialist and already in the country then the new employer will have to apply for a new permit for you - but if they want you then they'll take care of the hassle for you.

For this reason you shouldn't feel trapped, even if you have been lead to believe that you are - try and explore your options and get another job with a much higher salary.
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Old 17.10.2006, 01:12
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:
Before I came, I was told a margin of about 78.000-91.000 a year. But they told me they wanted to see first if they were happy with my performance. Ofcourse, they hired me with the lowest margin 78.000 a year and promised that they would revise it by the end of this year.
How many times have I seen this sad tale. Basically, they sold you the dream and now you know that you are on the very low end of the salary range. And what is more, they probably know that you know and don't really give a sh!t.

Working in banking and IT as a project manager can earn you much more, and there are still jobs around. Ok, so UBS and CS are really trying to squeeze people but thats just normal. Out in the mainstream world you won't be able to get that much higher so your current employers are banking on you staying put.

If you are certified Prince II or IPMA then it should be easy enough for you to command upwards of 120K in either CS or UBS. If you are good. Don't let them feed you any lines about seeing how good you are before giving you more as they all have at least three months to assess you.

It's also going to be very interesting next summer when the much predicted ex-pat migration happens. This won't really impact you if you are considering taking your pension back to New Zealand, but you may be able to cash in on it. As I intend to.
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Old 08.02.2007, 05:28
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Re: Average Salary

Quote:

If you are certified Prince II or IPMA then it should be easy enough for you to command upwards of 120K in either CS or UBS. If you are good. Don't let them feed you any lines about seeing how good you are before giving you more as they all have at least three months to assess you.
Any thoughts on the PMP certification popular in the US? (It's very similar to Prince II.) Would a PMP be sufficient in Switzerland or do I specifically need IPMA or Prince II?

I'm considering a move to Switzerland and am in the early stages of research.
Thanks.
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