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Would I earn more in Switzerland?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cakman, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. cakman

    cakman New commenter

    I am on UPS1 and moving to UPS2 next year. I also hold TLR2. I get £48000 gross.
  2. Greeengirl

    Greeengirl New commenter

    Well there are many variables to consider but yes I would imagine you would be taking home more.
    However, I would say life in Switzerland is extortionately expensive, one of the reasons why I am not staying here long term...
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    try numbeo.com to see what it would mean to your standard of living
    576 likes this.
  4. 24hours

    24hours New commenter

    Switzerland is painfully expensive, My wife and I worked out that she would need to be earning in the region of £130,000pa for an equivalent lifestyle.

    I have never understood how you pay £4 for a tiny toblerone bar in Switzerland but can get them in Tesco for a £1
  5. Greeengirl

    Greeengirl New commenter

    YES! I'm constantly asked to bring back Toblerones & Lindt for my friends & family but they are so much cheaper back home. 5CHF for an espresso compared to 1EUR over the border also kills me.

    I honestly don't recommend living in Switzerland unless you are the sort of person who generally doesn't like to spend much money on activities such as shopping, domestic travel, eating out etc.
  6. steluta

    steluta New commenter

    You would, but as others say, it is expensive. Having said that, the turnover in most schools is extremely low, and many people stay longer than 10 years. It must be ok-ish then. It is a bit better if you can get into a non-profit school, but not that easy.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Oh no! Not another argument about how big yours is, whereas mine is a lot smaller, of course. The cost of living usually makes these "big" salaries a bit of a joke.
  8. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    I have spent many happy teaching years in Switzerland. It is a myth that food is expensive; accommodation is expensive - think Greater London prices - but much cheaper to live up in the mountains. Medical care is worth the money. Your salary should reflect these expenses. It is a glorious place to be, trust me.
  9. Greeengirl

    Greeengirl New commenter

    I would love to know where you went food shopping. When one chicken breast costs around 6-10 francs depending on size in the supermarkets (in my experience, I'd like to hope that perhaps it differs in other parts of Switzerland), it is definitely not a myth that food is expensive.
    topgirl1 likes this.
  10. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    Okay, chicken is expensive.....but you can hop over the border to France or Germany for a meat run. The cost of chicken should surely not put you off moving to such a beautiful place, with so many other advantages.
  11. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

    Switzerland is a beautiful place to live in. So if it is the European lifestyle, greenery etc is what you are after then of course go for it. But if you want to chase the money, go to the Middle-east. A lowly teacher with no added responsibility can pocket 40,000GBP in the hand because of no tax, no rents and no bills because if they are lucky, the school provide them with all of that. Good luck with your hunt.
  12. bubblegirl83

    bubblegirl83 New commenter

    I'm with claytie on this one. Very happy to give more details in a conversation but if you are savvy and have a dual income, life is not tough financially (throw in kids and the game changes, of course). Single income, if you don't throw your money around, you can save a lot.
  13. Dannabelle

    Dannabelle New commenter

    I am very curious about Switzerland. Could anyone share via a post or message how they got their teaching role.
    I would love to move there I prefer the idea even though I will need to be careful with expenditure.
  14. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Saw a position - well a few positions, actually - applied for them. Got three interviews, rejected the first one, accepted the second one, cancelled the interview for the third one.
  15. bubblegirl83

    bubblegirl83 New commenter

    Hi Dannabelle, I saw a job on TES, applied and got it, just like Karvol. There's no magic!

    If you want to send me a conversation I'm very happy to discuss Switzerland in more detail.
    srmell likes this.
  16. Greeengirl

    Greeengirl New commenter

    I went to the Search fair in London & got it that way. There's quite a few vacancies up already for this year :)
  17. Wile7

    Wile7 New commenter

    I took a cut in salary to come to Switzerland (from the UK) five years ago to teach from an independent school in the UK (my wife was offered the same salary). The jobs came our way by recommendation from a colleague (but it was advertised on the 'Education Groups' jobs page and via various online teacher boards and the TES).

    My wife and I both teach (and we have two youngsters) so we thought that together we could make it work and it was our choice (although we did discover some weird and wonderful 'international school' traits along the way that we had read about but, well, you know....)

    Thankfully with the both of us earning we got by but it has not been easy at all. Switzerland is horribly expensive - rent (we have a family and are 'mature' in age and experience...) insurance (life/accident/car...), food/drink (thank you Lidl and Aldi!), social feed/beer etc. and other things are costly. It also depends a little on where you are - French part in Vaud or up in the mountains near German/Italian border. Costs vary (accommodation etc.) and if you like snow or ski, fill your boots. My wife and I don't ski but whatever floats your boat...

    What savings we had went quite quickly and both of us have had to do 'extra' work with exam work and online tutoring to get some cash. That said, we took the hit as our school at the time was 'new' and the pioneering spirit (and experienced gained...) from kick starting a new secondary school is just wonderful and you can't put a price on that experience.

    Five years on we are still way behind where we were in the UK financially but bizarrely pension pot is better (the contributions at source here in Swiss are very good - in four years we have made about double what we would have made in the UK re pension pot). It depends on your situation/responsibility/age I guess - and the school of course!

    Our school had a bizarre salary structure where you were paid the same irrespective of age or experience (HOD allowance or responsibility aside). So a new teacher aged 24 with QTS etc. would get the same basic salary as an experienced 54 year old (for example) who arguably has family, mortgage, university fees and other commitments in hand. Weird. as an aside, local state school teachers get paid more than international school teachers on average, and hours are vastly different. We were working 50-70 hr weeks to get things going at school...whereas the expectation is 38/40 hr weeks.

    So, if single, or a young couple, it can be a great way to get some international experience, get some savings together, and travel, providing you earn, I would suggest, around a take home minimum salary 6-7000 chf monthly as a qualified teaching professional. Many schools pay significantly better than ours did (you discover things once you are in the loop...) and some offer housing or school fees etc. and obviously it depends if you are in a boarding environment or a day school. Also, the 'older' you are brings wisdom and experience but also a cost to the school (some schools embrace that need for wisdom as well as youth, others not so).

    Go into it eyes wide open, especially with the management of the school. Remember, you need to vet them as much as they need to see if you are suitable for the role that you are applying for. 'Local hires' are often salaried differently (or perks are different) to overseas employ even if you are already in Switzerland and just changing schools.

    Also, the schools market has changed in the past five years and it is a lot more competitive; expat packages with companies have changed and now rather than getting school fees, car, accommodation thrown in employers give a bigger salary BUT you choose how you spend it. So schools are often an expensive aside...and employment can be erratic with redundancy becoming more widespread. You need two years under your belt in the same job (and a permanent contract i.e. pass probabtion) to qualify for unemployment otherwise.... :)

    The benefits for teaching in Suisse though can, however, outweigh the negatives but be aware of these 'employment fairs' - a bit of a cattle market I've heard and not always transparent regarding what you actually get/sign up for. Never been to one and never will. Good schools, from our experience, will hit the TES, Guardian or other professional journals associated with the subject areas. Many use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook now (it's arguably cost effective) and local Suisse use JOBUP.ch too.

    As i said, good schools will use their own websites or TES because its global and costs money to advertise....schools cutting corners on finances may well not invest in 'proper' ads in seasoned and well known publications (in my opinion of course)..

    Sorry, that post is a bit long! Good luck with your decision and the job hunt - and as others have said above, if you'd like more info. on working in Switzerland send me a message and I'd be happy to answer your questions if I can.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    jordan_8648 likes this.
  18. MayaJones

    MayaJones New commenter

    recently quit Switzerland and the commute from France for a new position in Portugal. I am much happier now and earning the same NET.

    Deductions in Switzerland are considerable and you'll pay 300 euros+ for the compulsory health insurance. Food and everything else are ridiculously expensive and it's generally dull and very cold in winter. Skiing is a hobby for the rich.
  19. steluta

    steluta New commenter

    I think that most non-profit schools (there are quite a few of them around in Switzerland) advertise on search and through schrole actually. Check their websites regularly, they recruit from October to end of January. These schools are either IB, American or have a mixture of both curriculum wise. Job fairs can be good, you don’t have to travel every weekend for interviews. I said it before, it is very expensive but salaries are good and taxes are low. One of the best places in Western Europe to work as a teacher.
    Wile7 likes this.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Skiing is a hobby for the rich? Not necessarly, as it might also be a hobby for those who have a house in Bulgaria.
    yasf likes this.

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