Recent statistics show the median pay for those working in the public sector compared to those working in the private sector in Switzerland. The difference is significant.
In 2020, a median gross monthly salary for a public sector employee was CHF 8,012 compared to CHF 6,361 in the private sector. On average, a full time job with the government was 26% better paid than a full time job in the private sector in Switzerland in 2020.
The gap between public and private sector pay is not new in Switzerland. In 2012, median public sector pay was CHF 7,750, compared to CHF 6,118 in the private sector, a premium of 27%. In 2014, the gap narrowed to 24% before climbing to 28% in 2018.
In addition, the median pay range was wider in the private sector than in the public sector. Private sector pay was also lower at both the bottom and top ends of the range.
In 2020, median private sector pay ranged from CHF 4,482 in the hotel and restaurant sector to CHF 9,756 in the financial sector, a ratio of 2.2. In the public sector median gross pay ranged from CHF 6,320 in forestry to CHF 10,150 in IT and communications, a narrower range and a ratio of 1.6 times.
Other public sectors with high pay were finance (CHF 8,922), teaching (CHF 8,769) and public administration (CHF 8,505). Those working in administrative functions were 21% better paid in Switzerland’s public sector (CHF 6,471) than in the private sector (CHF 5,364).
Private sectors with high median gross pay were IT and communication (CHF 8,990), energy production and distribution (CHF 8,429) and science and technology (CHF 7,840).
In 2019, around 10% of Switzerland’s workforce was employed in the public sector. The OECD average was nearly 18%.