phd and postdoc salaries

phd and postdoc salaries

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Salaries at universities

In general, salaries at universities in Switzerland depend on the university, the institute, the exact position, age and experience and often also from the source of the money (fellowship, university position etc.). The employment pensum varies, too. PhD candidates e.g. are often employed only 50%. The effectif salary can therefore vary a lot from one place to another.

Salary of PhD candidates

PhD candidates can get salaries between 2500 CHF and 6000 CHF depending on the institution and field of research. PhD candidates in exact sciences (computer science, mathematics, physics, ...) and medecine are usually better paid than PhD candidates in life sciences, chemistry, arts and humanities. However, the salary and the working conditions depend on the exact contract you have. Find more information about a PhD in Switzerland.

Salary of postdocs

Postdoc (postdoctoral position) gross salaries at universities are between 3000 CHF and 8000 CHF depending on the insitute, university, age and experience. We have made a calculation for a foreign postdoc whose salary is subject to tax at source. Find more information about a Postdoc in Switzerland.

Salary of university graduates

Annual gross salary for master graduates at university level (median) 2009, in CHF (all economic sectors, all positions, all regions)

  1 year after master degree 5 years after master degree

Arts and humanities

76 000 88 200
Economy 83 200 102 000
Law 54 000 100 000
Sciences 70 000 84 400
Medecine and Pharmacy 80 800 93 700
Engineering 71 000 90 000


Annual gross salary for PhDs (median) 2009, in CHF (all economic sectors, all positions, all regions)

  1 year after PhD 5 years after PhD

Arts and humanities

95 000 105 000
Economy 110 000 130 000
Law 100 000 136 500
Sciences 84 000 100 000
Medecine and Pharmacy 90 600 100 000
Engineering 94 000 115 000

Source: FOS


  • Usual working time in Switzerland: 42 hours per week.
  • Holidays: Legally 4 weeks per year. Some companies give 5 weeks.