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Old 21.07.2010, 11:44
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Salary expected in Zurich

Hello everybody.

I'm new to this forum and I want to thank you its existence.

I've been looking around for this information but I have still some doubts. So please shine some light on this.

I'm considering to move to Zurich to work in an important MNC in a position similar to a blend between project manager and product researcher. I have more than 1 year experience in project management. In addition I have a PhD with 4 years experience in research and speak fluently three languages. I'm a computer engineer.

In addition I'm 30 y.o., married with no kids.

My question is how much money could I expect to be paid. This is important due to the fact that I'd like to rent a flat and that my wife will not find a job easily.

I could get a position as postdoc in ETHZ for 90K CHF so I'm thinking using this as the bare minimum to accept the job but I have some questions:

- Could I ask more because I would work in a corporate firm? How much are people with PhDs doing in Zurich? Could I expect to get 120-150K?
- How much is the minimum to live confortably and not far from Zurich with a dependant?
- How much more expensive is the medical insurance when you're married?
- Can I grossly suppose around 25-30% will be deducted due to different taxes/payments?

In fact I was living in Zurich for three months during my PhD so I know how expensive it can be, but then I shared a cheap flat for 450 CHF and I did not spend money on almost anything apart from trams/trains and groceries. In this ocasion I'd like to go out to dinner, to the cinema, travel somewhere and be able to save some money.
I know how difficult is to pose this question but the point of my question is how much is the equivalent in CHF in Zurich for a net salary of 3000 euros in Germany, France or Spain (excluding Paris, Madrid and probably Munich).

Your help will be greatly apprecciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 21.07.2010, 11:46
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

90k? 120-150k?

I presume you are talking per month
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Old 21.07.2010, 11:49
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

I'll just go put some popcorn in the microwave.......
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Old 21.07.2010, 11:50
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

<grabs popcorn and settles down on the sofa>
OP the amount of time you spent typing out that post could have been much more productively spent using one of your special skills: researching. Use the search function - you aren't the first and alas will not be the last to pose these questions.
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Old 21.07.2010, 11:52
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

Nobody really knows the answer to your questions, as you work in a fairly unique area.I suspect you should easily get more than 90 K, am guessing here but could be pushing 100 - 120 K?

Just a guess though. And you should be able to live very comfortably on this salary as a single person.
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Old 21.07.2010, 11:59
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

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And you should be able to live very comfortably on this salary as a single person.
The guy said he's married!
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:03
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

pickaname I see from your post that you have tried to provide as much information as possible however it is fairly vague still to most of the people here... You have to be as specific and concise as possible...

You have already lived here for 3 months and you know more or less the living expenses... regarding everything else I would break it down as follows:

Since you will probably not settle for anything under CHF90 let's not talk too much about anything under that...

so
  • CHF90k-120k you will live very comfortably, You don't have to worry about medical insurance and tax you will just deal with it as it comes and be happy that everyone in a similar situation to you will be paying the same.
  • CHF120k-CHF150: I'd say you will be living a very comfortable lifestyle with lots of room for savigns... or luxury purchases
  • anything above CHF150k is going to be is entirely up to you how to spend it as there are really endless ways to skin a cat.
Noone can tell you in any specific way what the comparative salary is in the cities you mentioned as noone has probably lived in those cities long enough to be able to give you an answer in one sentence and even if they did I probably say they couldn't. I would recommend you look at the UBS living standards report or whatever it's called to get an idea of what it is like compared to other cities... most of these reports tend to take New York as the base and compare everything to that.

Let's hope this is helpful to you and you're not gonna get groaned at too much lol

Last edited by The_Love_Doctor; 21.07.2010 at 12:05. Reason: grammatical errors etc
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:09
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

The love doctor is too kind.

CK
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:13
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

The fact that you have a PhD doesn't tell much, not really, except you liked being in school. Your experience is relevant and what you can actually do. I've got some colleagues with PhDs but I have my own doubts they're better payed.
These being said, I think it is fair should you aim at 90-120 K.
Cheers
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:14
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

Welcome Pickaname.
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:18
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

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The guy said he's married!
OK OK dont have a hernia. He will still live comfortably!
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:44
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

I hope one of the 3 languages is German......
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:53
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

Don't take this the wrong way, but personally, I don't see what is so great about your experience based on what you have written - unless your skills really are unique.

Project manager - pfff - not exactly specialist, is it? Unless you have all those project management degrees and take it very seriously.
Researcher - is this also really that specialist a position?

With a PhD and only 5 year's experience. To me that's only just a step or two above "wet behind the ears" territory, unless you've done something stellar during those 5 years.

Truly, unless I am missing something 150,000 CHF is way off the scale for what - on paper - you have. I'd expect something around 110,000-120,000 CHF absolute max. The benefits of a large MNC would be in other perks rather than salary - e.g. share options, travel compensation (e.g. trips back home), gym memberships, healthy relocation cover and help with tax returns etc.

That said 120,000 CHF is good to very good wage for a couple with no kids. Not lap of luxury, but pretty comfortable if you spend/shop clever.
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Old 21.07.2010, 12:53
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

Thank you for your answers, especially to Doctor Love. By the way, how can I thank any post?
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Old 21.07.2010, 13:07
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

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Thank you for your answers, especially to Doctor Love. By the way, how can I thank any post?
You need 10 posts of your own first.
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Old 21.07.2010, 13:42
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

In another thread I have found this site, which probably you all know:

http://www.numbeo.com/LivingCost/cost-of-living/

It's quite useful because even though I lived there as I said I did not spend much money so I didn't know the price for some things.
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Old 21.07.2010, 14:05
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

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Nobody really knows the answer to your questions, as you work in a fairly unique area.I suspect you should easily get more than 90 K, am guessing here but could be pushing 100 - 120 K?
Can someone explain to me the difference between fairly unique, and other variations of unique-ness....

<can you pass the salt...?>
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Old 21.07.2010, 14:54
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

Welcome to the forum.

Do you come from an EU or non-EU country? This could make a difference with the current limits and difficulties with foreign work permits. Your job doesn't sound so specialized that one of the currently unemployed Swiss couldn't do it.
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Old 21.07.2010, 17:28
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

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Welcome to the forum.

Do you come from an EU or non-EU country? This could make a difference with the current limits and difficulties with foreign work permits. Your job doesn't sound so specialized that one of the currently unemployed Swiss couldn't do it.
The op's profile says Spanish - as such he is on a par with the Swiss unemployed .
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Old 21.07.2010, 17:41
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Re: Salary expected in Zurich

I would not settle for anything less than 250,000/year. I can't imagine how some people get by on 120k, it is simply uncivilized.
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