I recently graduated with a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Finland. I’m single, have no children and am not part of a church. Even though I haven’t yet worked after graduating, I’ve accumulated about 2 years worth of experience in paper/pulp production during my studies. Most of that experience is from a position as a production supervisor, while 8 months are from standard blue collar work in operations.
I am planning on applying to positions in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Jobs I could imagine working in include process/development engineers in a factory environment, some operational consulting positions, or some R&D work. As it would be my first job in Switzerland, I’m not that picky. I’d just like to get my foot in the door and some relevant experience under my belt.
Anyone working in these fields? I’d appreciate any info on the current job market or tips on searching for positions.
In terms of locations, I’m most interested in Basel, Zurich and Zug as I believe they have the largest number of chemical/pharma companies. Additionally, I’ve studied german for 5 years before and during high school (it’s pretty rusty now though, but I will get back to it if I land a job) so I want to live in a mainly german speaking area.
After comparing the salaries and taxes in different countries, I’ve really grown fond of the idea of working in Switzerland. In Finland, my starting salary before taxes would be around 40 k€ (45k CHF) per year, which would translate to about 28 k€ (31k CHF) net income annually. Marginal tax rates even at that level of income are close to 50%, which means that significantly boosting net income via promotions and job changes is no cake walk. After living costs, I’d probably be able to put aside around 15k€ (17k CHF) per year.
Then to salaries in Switzerland. Based a number or articles and forum posts as well as a couple of salary calculators, I’d expect a starting salary of around 6k CHF per month or 78k per year assuming the monthly wage is muliplied by 13. Based on the tax calculator on the website of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, my total tax burden would be about 6,9k assuming I’m living in Basel-Stadt. Taxes for Zurich showed 8,5k while Zug had a mere 4,8k. This would mean that my monthly net income would be somewhere between 5300 and 5650 CHF .
Is this a realistic estimation or did I miss something?
Even though Switzerland has a notoriously high cost of living, this sum seems large enough so that I could save 2k+ per month. Seeing as I’m single with no kids, I’m planning on getting a small studio apartment and moving by foot, bike or public transportation. Therefore, I’d expect monthly living costs in CHF to be around:
Rent = 1000 (Basel seemed a bit cheaper, Zurich and Zug a couple hundred more)
Groceries = 350, I’m planning on doing some of my shopping in Germany
Healthcare = 350
Public transport = 75
Internet = 40 (Sunrise ADSL)
Phone = 20
Electricity = 35
Gym membership = 70
Total = 1940 CHF
If we assume that I’d land a 78k CHF/year job in Basel-Stadt, these costs would leave me with about 3500 CHF to spare monthly. Even if my rent or other costs would swell up a bit, it seems very plausible that I could put about 2,5k into stocks monthly.
Are there any angles that I’ve missed? Do these numbers seem realistic for a single dude with no offspring?