One of the world’s wealthiest cities and most important financial centers, it is no surprise that Zurich perennially reigns atop most global quality of life rankings. Switzerland’s largest city is known to have been inhabited for thousands of years ever since its establishment under Roman jurisdiction, and throughout much of this history it has thrived as a prosperous urban hub on the continent. Finding work abroad in Zurich today is your ticket to living in one of the most storied and successful cities in the world.
Jobs in Zurich
Zurich is a leading global city that hosts the headquarters of many multinational companies and organizations, meaning that the opportunity for international workers to find employment here is quite broad. While it may be competitive to find work abroad in Zurich at the highest levels, opportunities certainly do exist within globally-oriented fields such as finance, communications, and international trade.
If your ambitions lay instead with more casual work abroad in Zurich, then there are a variety of jobs abroad programs out there that can also help you find short-term employment within fields such as education and hospitality. While obviously not as lucrative as the aforementioned fields of work, these temporary jobs abroad in Zurich can be a great way to do something rewarding while experiencing life in one of the world’s most livable cities.
As is typical of most wealthy cities around the world, the vast majority of jobs abroad in Zurich are to be found in the service sector. The presence of the Swiss stock exchange and many global banks have made Zurich a magnet for international investors, so there is a lot of money to be made and a there are a lot of jobs to be had!
Life in Zurich
Settled around a beautiful lake of its namesake just north of the Swiss Alps, it is hard to imagine any more beautiful scenery than you will enjoy while you work abroad in Zurich. Nearly 2 million people live in the Zurich metropolitan area, making it the largest city in Switzerland and home to nearly a quarter of the country’s total population. The local language is German, though because it is such an international city, many citizens are multilingual (English and French are very commonly spoken as well).
The actual city of Zurich is fairly small, with only 400,000 people living in its central urban area (the vast majority live in the surrounding residential areas). Public transportation, encompassing a system of busses, trams, and ferries, is very accessible throughout the metropolis; nearly 70% of Zurich’s population utilize these means of getting around on a daily basis.
Zurich’s wealth, scenic beauty, and public efficiency aren’t even all that make it such a livable place; the city is also a major center of culture and scientific research, with institutions such as the Swiss National Museum, Kunsthaus, and University of Zurich adding a great degree to its cultural depth. Safe to say you will never run out of fun and enriching activities while you work abroad in Zurich!
Salaries & Costs
While Zurich is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live abroad in as an expatriate, the good news is that it is also one of the best-paying. Obviously your salary will vary heavily depending on what type of job in Zurich you end up taking, but as an employee in the city you can still generally expect to be making enough to get by. The local currency in Zurich is the Swiss Franc, which is roughly equivalent to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
Housing is understandably quite an expense in Zurich, so it might be a good idea to begin by living with flatmates or finding a single room to rent out. You’ll generally have the best luck finding an affordable apartment further away from the city center; take into account factors such as commute time and proximity to public transportation while searching. Zurich is densely populated, so expect most living quarters to be comfortable but not overly spacious
The visa situation can complicate finding work abroad in Zurich. While short-term jobs abroad programs can usually secure work permission for temporary employment, you will need to find a company willing to endorse you for a work and residential visa if you plan on making a more permanent career move to Zurich. For more information on the details of Switzerland’s visa policy, be sure to check out our Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Quality. The people behind world livability rankings know what they’re doing; there are many reasons why Zurich sits atop their list, and working abroad is the chance to come discover some of your own.
Nature. Lake Zurich and the Swiss Alps are both in your backyard while you work abroad in Zurich. For nature lovers and fans of adventure travel, there are few more enticing destinations in the world to set up a home base.
Cultural Diversity. Because Zurich is a leading global city, it has retained many influences coming not only from Europe, but all over the world. The sheer diversity of languages spoken in everyday conversation is a testament to the multiculturality of the city.