Share your salary progression

2022: 165k - promotion (+10k), same job incl. 10k extra bonus
2023: 185k - next promotion is pending over summer, no base raise from 2022, but incl. 16k bonus + 15k stock options over 5 years

Still only working at 80% (above figures would be at 100% workload) so I kinda achieved what I wanted - same ~150k salary as 3 yrs ago, but in 4 days a week. I can say that I’m a happy camper. :partying_face:


People in the Zurich area earn way too much money :sweat_smile:. The disparity between the Romandie and German-speaking regions seems completely insane to me!
I don’t mind that Zürich is full of startups and (fin-)tech, however I find the gap completely aberrant.

Far be it from me to start a political debate between regions. I rather look at these amounts with admiration and a certain jealousy, even if it is always difficult to compare situations.


Would you mind sharing what was your Big4 level? Manager? Senior Manager? In Zurich?


Manager level (total comp), yes Zürich

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You might be interested in the salaries in Geneva then…

Yup, but it seems to me that Zurich is more represented here than Geneva :smile:.
But as someone coming from the “Romandie”, if I had to chose I’ll chose Zurich over Geneva as working place.

Commodity trading compensation in Geneva can be bonkers. More people than you would think receiving 6 (often 7 figure bonuses). It is still the global centre for ags trading and a significant amount of oil, metals, and power too.

Otherwise there is some private banking/wealth management (that can get decent comp if you get the network), NGOs (seniority gets you really solid untaxed comp), some legacy Europe HQs with senior positions from 20yrs ago when the P&Gs etc. moved to Geneva for low corporate tax, and legal/auditing for these businesses and global NGOs. Unfortunately, not much tech/innovation these days compared to zurich.

The biggest problem is that the tax drag of suisse romande is atrocious once you hit good comp…


I’ve recently met a Partner at PwC who disclosed the salary structure… complete nuts. Lowest level Partner base is 1M CHF/year plus all the profits of the company get payed out as dividend/bonus between the partners at year end (usually another 250k+). Highest level Parter base is 5M CHF/year. Really made me wanna go work for them xD

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Put in 20 years licking yourself upwards a very toxic cultural ladder, then it doesn’t look so good anymore. Getting in at a Director level might be a shorter path, though.

Also, Partners have put in their own money and carry the risk of delivery as well, so their salaries are the less risky bits of their business.


That’s true, my friend (who indeed got in as Director) mentioned that you have to bring some X M CHF revenue and buy shares (also roughly 250k CHF) to get parts of the profit. Certainly more stressful than most of the jobs.

Do you have any details to share on this? Is this a specific advisory niche, or partners from an acquired boutique?

Your statement could be read as true for all PWC partners, and maybe even for the big four audit firm partners in general. And this is simply not the case. I’d say equity partners on average earn high six figures, only very occasionally beating the million on average. Commanding a multi-million income is for a few individuals only, or when they sell parts of their business and have a one-off profit (like EY is getting ready to pay out millions with their intended IPO of the advisory arm).


Wow, what a waste of your precious life :sweat_smile:

When I enjoy my free time off my easygoing part-time job, I sometimes see the poor Big4 creatures working late hours and weekends. It’s kind of like looking at the ape cage at Zurich Zoo: makes me feel sorry for them.


I think there is no point in earning a lot if there is no time to spend. I am also convinced that people with such a high level of income are not aiming to be FIRE and that, on the contrary, they are veering towards a materialistic and show-off attitude. How sad life must be for them…

Can I ask why?

From reading your blog, it seems to me that you are already very fulfilled and have time for your family and friends. Why do you want more?


I think it’s only human to strive for more and more, no? After making 250k+ the next natural goal would be to reach the 500k+ spheres. I personally optimize for wealth not for happiness. Also I’d rather be FIRE sooner than later to fully quit the regular work life.

Yes, and so is suffering. You optimise for wealth but I guess it’s not wealth per se that you are pursuing, rather the freedom and time it could buy you (which normally we link to increased happiness but that’s a flaw if you ask me).


for me after making 250k the next natural goal would be to reduce working time to the minimum (80%, then 60%, etc.), trying to maintain the earnings and rather live for hobbies, children, etc.
Slow FIRE or what shall I call it…


+1. I spent years at one of the Big 4 and 1m+ comp is by far not the norm for equity partners (only for ExCom/Managing partners or very profitable ones). From my experience the ballpark would rather be 400k-800k total on average.

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dude, 420k so we can have a chat with Elon


Looks like my friend is an outlier to the norm then. But yeah afaik his boutique was scooped up by them so maybe there’s some “compensation” for that included in his base.

I worked at a Big4 in Zurich and still have quite a few friends there. Unfortunatly your numbers are way off, as already others have confirmed.