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Old 26.06.2009, 19:33
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Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Hello,

Calling all teachers...

I would like to find out if a pay scale for teachers exists in Switzerland. I am a qualified Primary Teacher from the UK and am now living and working in Zürich.
In England we have a pay scale which all mainstream school salaries are based on.

I would like to know if there is something similar for Swiss state schools and International schools.

If not, fellow teachers, what salary would you expect to be on with a Bachelors Degree, Post Graduate Certificate in Education and 5 years teaching experience after qualifying (and a total of 8 years experience working with children.)

Would this be lower for Kindergarten teachers?

Thank you for your feedback!
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Old 26.06.2009, 19:47
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Simple answer Yes...

there is a government payscale for government teachers.
Early childhood teachers are definitely paid less than primary school.
International/Privately owned or other systems the salaries will vary.

Teachers in Switzerland some of the highest paid in the world - Early childhood around 60K chf per year before tax, and primary school between 70-100K...

The Canton Zurich this year has made an exemption on language for primary school teachers - before this exemption, you would need German, French or possibly Italian to a fairly decent fluency to be recognised as a teacher...

Almost exactly the same question was asked here:
How much money should I ask for?

Have a read through, I posted the procedure for getting the salary estimate.
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Old 26.06.2009, 22:36
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Hi,
Thank you , that is very interesting information. Just what I was looking for.

Do you have a link to more information on what you said about the exemption on language in Zürich? A year ago I tried to get into teaching English in Swiss primary schools but found that unless I had "mother tongue level German" I could not be considered. This did seem silly, as in that case hardly any native English speakers would be able to teach! I used to teach Geman full time in British primary schools and my specialism lies in early language learning. I would be very interested to know more.

Thanks again for the link and info'
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Old 26.06.2009, 23:56
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

my suggestions would be:

- network through people you know to find someone who works in a local school and see if they can find out through unofficial channels
- contact the cantonal authorities and ask (phone, email, friendly letter).
- look for advertised positions and apply anyway.
- find a good position in an international or other school, rather than a government school.

Although you might be able to teach English without fluent German, to survive the work environment, communicate with colleagues, handle the curriculum requirements and other administrative issues (compliance with school procedures, communicating with parents)....it would be doubly hard without at least a conversational and reasonable technical fluency in the local language...

Is there a reason in particular why you want to work in Government schools, as there are plenty of international schools that are screaming out for good experienced teachers who have a commitment to staying long-term in Zurich, especially teachers who are native english speakers...
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Old 27.06.2009, 12:49
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Hi,
Thank you again for your suggestions. I am actually already teaching here in an establishment but am not happy with the pay which is why i wanted to find pay rates of other employers. I don't want to be taken advantage of and felt I needed to inform myself. I wondered if there was a published payscale such as this for england and Wales: http://www.teachers.org.uk/resources...fringe-new.xls
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Old 27.06.2009, 13:34
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

I don't know about the Swiss schools but my understanding is that each international school has their own scale (although I assume that they are all similar). I don't know how willing international schools would be to share their pay scale with someone who is not being offered a job.
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Old 27.06.2009, 14:34
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

I am also a teacher, suitably qualified with a Masters and from Australian. I have found the salary issue for teachers a point of disdain here in Switzerland. No one will tell you what the scale is. I have rang cantonal offices, who just keep giving you another number to ring. Even something equivalent to a department of education will not tell you what salary scales are. i have found out however, through teachers in the private system, that teachers are paid a base amount of about 75,000 chf a year. if you are from overseas and apply to work in an international school, and are offered a position, they may offer you 10 percent less of that, or offer you 75,000 regardless of your qualification or amount of years of experience (which can be quite discouraging). The canton of Zug pays quite well for international teachers if you work in an international school. It is not quite so attractive for the canton of Lucerne. I heard that the pay in Zurich is better than Lucerne, but not as good as Zug. But I do not know if this statement is really true. There are also not as many international schools here in Zug and Luzerne, Zurich has more options.
Local teachers, Swiss, are paid the best. their starting salary is between 70,000 to 75,000. they also get paid more for qualification and years of experience. Because we are not Swiss, we do not get the same acknowledgement. Be careful with your work of agreement with your school. There is a sense here that you will do what they need because you need a job, so the passive abuse can be prevalent, particularly if they can see you are an obliging teacher. If you are feeling suspicious of what the school is offering, then you are right to try and find out what you really are "worth". Just be wary that in this country, because you are not Swiss, a hundred and one things differ, depending on this and that.
You can ring "Fabia - Luzern" if you are interested. This office helps migrants with questions related to living and work here in CH. They may be able to redirect you to another department connected to Zurich. You can ask to speak to someone who speaks English. If you speak slowly, they will understand you. They were the most willing to help of all the places I rang.
041 360 07 22 ( Mon - Fri: 9 - 12, 2 - 5pm).
In the end i was unsuccessful in finding a confirmed salary scale from any cantonal office. I gained more information from inside sources from this forum.

All the best.
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Old 27.06.2009, 19:37
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

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I am also a teacher, suitably qualified with a Masters and from Australian.
Oh dear. I take it teaching English is not your strong point?

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Old 27.06.2009, 20:16
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

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i have found out however, through teachers in the private system, that teachers are paid a base amount of about 75,000 chf a year. if you are from overseas and apply to work in an international school, and are offered a position, they may offer you 10 percent less of that, or offer you 75,000 regardless of your qualification or amount of years of experience (which can be quite discouraging).
If I have read this correctly then you are suggesting all the teachers in an international school are on the same salary. Certainly the schools I have been involved with have pay scales and you are placed on it according to your qualifications and experience. There is also additional payments for taking on certain responsibilities.
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Old 27.06.2009, 20:24
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

There are some forums where international school teachers discuss these topics:
http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/64.aspx
http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com (Click "forum" at the top)

Last edited by Editor Bob; 09.11.2009 at 00:14. Reason: Removal of quote of removed post
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Old 27.06.2009, 20:38
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

I work at an international school where all teachers (including KG teachers) are paid on the same scale. With 5 years teaching experience, you'd be earning around 77000 CHF.

Pepper's right though - each international school has it's own scale so other schools could be very different.
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Old 27.06.2009, 21:56
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Hi
I work at a private school where teachers are paid according to the Kanton Zurich state teacher's salary scale.

The link below includes all the salary scales with definitions:
http://www.vsa.zh.ch/file_uploads/bi...pstsst2009.pdf

Category 1: Kindergarten
Category 3: Primary

The link below provides information for gaining acceptance/approval of foreign teaching qualifications through the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK).

http://www.edk.ch/dyn/12933.php
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Old 27.06.2009, 23:38
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Would Kanton Zurich be considered one of the highest paying kantons? Would some kantons with smaller towns have (possibly considerably) lower salaries because perhaps the cost of living is lower in other kantons? Just curious.
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Old 30.01.2011, 21:10
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

Can anyone let me know the fringe benefits paid by Education Directorate Canton Zurich for elementary teachers?

I know that the Directorate as employer pays half of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (8.4%, half is 4.2%), the Disability Insurance (1.4%, half is 0.7%), the Loss of Compensation Insurance (0.5%, half is 0.25%) and the Unemployment Insurance (2%, half is 1%). I also know that the basic health insurance premium is the total responsibility of the employee.

Beyond those compulsory benefit payments, does the Directorate pay for other fringe benefits; such as life insurance, supplemental health insurance, dental insurance, pension, teaching supplies, etc.)? If so, can you tell me how much the benefits are in percentage of pay or in CHF terms?
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Old 30.01.2011, 22:20
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Re: Primary Teacher Salary Zürich

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Can anyone let me know the fringe benefits paid by Education Directorate Canton Zurich for elementary teachers?

I know that the Directorate as employer pays half of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (8.4%, half is 4.2%), the Disability Insurance (1.4%, half is 0.7%), the Loss of Compensation Insurance (0.5%, half is 0.25%) and the Unemployment Insurance (2%, half is 1%). I also know that the basic health insurance premium is the total responsibility of the employee.

Beyond those compulsory benefit payments, does the Directorate pay for other fringe benefits; such as life insurance, supplemental health insurance, dental insurance, pension, teaching supplies, etc.)? If so, can you tell me how much the benefits are in percentage of pay or in CHF terms?
How about contacting the employer's HR for this? Each school will vary, each canton will vary. I can only give you VD data:

life insurance no, supplemental health insurance no, dental insurance no, pension a part of it, teaching supplies depends

Now, welcome to the ef. If you go and introduce yourself, people will more likely actually answer, it would also help if you said why you need the data.

Last edited by MusicChick; 31.01.2011 at 11:13. Reason: typos
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