Best paid jobs in Switzerland

We've all heard the story about the ultra-rich Swiss bankers. However, from what I've heard, the IB/PE scene is quite small, and the salaries are below NYC (similar at the start, but much lower at the Principal/Partner level), and taking into account the cost of living, slightly below Frankfurt. So what sector in Switzerland do you think would allow a graduate of a bachelor's degree in economics at one of the best European universities (with German and French at C1) to earn the most over the entire career?


No idea where you get your information from. Let's go through the facts.

1) Starting salaries in Zurich are above NYC. Especially if you take taxes into account. 

2) Indeed, senior salaries are below their US peers.

3) Net salary/COL is above Frankfurt. Net salary is 2x, costs are about 1,5x (some goods such as tech products are actually cheaper, + holidays are the same)

4) On average, you'll earn the most in IB/PE. HC pays well, too.

The only difficulty I see is if you are not from Switzerland or didn't graduate from St. Gallen, it'll be difficult for you to land one of the very few spots. Also, banks are very picky and prefer people with a master's in finance (not a bachelor's in economics).

Good luck though


As a first year student at HSG who has friends in both Frankfurt and Zurich and has been to both cities plenty of times (and once to NY, but has family there), I can say that: a) The gross salary in Zurich is lower than in New York in most cases, however, as an Analyst and Associate, the net salary is at a similar level (and sometimes even slightly higher). b) You will earn approximately 40% more gross in Zurich than in Frankfurt, but 75% more net. I don't have exact numbers for NY, but the net would be close to Analyst and Associate at an international IB/PE in Zurich. c) Costs in Zurich are about 70-80% higher than in Frankfurt (and about 10% lower than in NY). Bottom line is, if you want to save/invest the majority of your salary, you'll probably be able to save more early in your career in Zurich than in New York and Frankfurt, and you'll pay no capital gains tax (only a small wealth tax above a certain amount). However, I believe that Frankfurt has much more exit options (more PE) and is growing much faster (more offices are moving there after Brexit) and is also more international/global. Therefore, it is difficult to decide which city is better. I have friends in both Frankfurt and Zurich. Even I'm wondering in which city I should work in after graduating.

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"Ultra rich Swiss bankers" reputation comes from bankers working on wealth management and private banking.

Switzerland used to have banking secrecy laws that protected clients from banks disclosing information to third parties, this was a huge advantage for people avoiding taxes or committing money laundering. At some point a lot of businessmen and politicians had secret accounts in the country to protect their assets. 

In terms of IB, Switzerland is a small local market. 


Thanks! Do you know how much WM/PB pays compared to IB/PE in Switzerland? From what I've heard, it's less than IB/PE (but I could be wrong).


On average, salaries are substantially below IB. However, the upside is unlimited. Your worth is determined by your relationships and your relationships only. If you are the private banker for Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani who just got an extension for his $9bn credit line, believe me, you'll earn more than your colleagues in IB. But as soon as he dislikes you or something, you are on the street. 


I'm also interested, which sector in Switzerland creates the most ultra-wealthy (UHNWI)?


Why does this thread still have no concrete answer?


Switzerland is more relevant if you want to do Wealth Management. As a comment above pointed out, the reputation of ultra-rich Swiss bankers is because of the banking history of Switzerland, but calling them "ultra-rich" is too much. IB market is smaller, if you want to do IB/PE then London, if not, then Paris/Frankfurt/Zurich.

Check this and decide for yourself:…

Notice that everything is in CHF, so for example, M&A Advisory: 170k CHF = 192k USD. I'm not sure from what years is this, but if it's from 2020-2022 then maybe add a range of 2-4% to everything


So, what career path do you think in Switzerland gives you the best chance of accumulating the most wealth? PE, WM, or something else?


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