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Finding architecture job in Switzerland

noad

just a little bit of background; I am an american citizen with 5 years of expedience in design field in one of the European's stararchitect firm in New York. I don not know German language but intend to start learning quite soon . I have always been fascinated by swiss architects. I just am just wondering what are the chances of someone like me getting hired in Switzerland and also what range of salaries I can expect with 5 years of architecture experience. 

 
Jun 29, 20 11:51 am
gwharton

Not all Swiss speak German. Many of them speak French or Italian, depending on the Canton.

Switzerland is legendarily restrictive on foreign work permits. You will probably need to have an employer sponsor you for a specific job, and even then it's not a sure thing.

Jun 29, 20 12:43 pm  · 
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chris-chitect

Personally I'd love to work and live in Switzerland. It's one of the most beautiful countries with well designed (although sometimes quite conservative) buildings and beautiful nature. I live in British Columbia and although we have got the nature, I wish our cities tried a little harder.

That being said, they have a really high standard and quality of life. Excellent work life balance, lots of recreational activities and loads of culture.

I had a friend that worked in Canada, and left for Switzerland. He's an EU citizen, so he didn't have any challenge with work permits, and his salary probably doubled.

Here are some of the challenges though:

-Some firms won't want to talk to you unless you're Swiss or an EU resident. It's easy if you're European, but immigration can be a pain for North Americans and firms won't want to sponsor you unless there's a shortage or you've got really specific skills.

-The cost of living is absurd. You may make double, but you'll pay double for everything. In fact a lot of Swiss in the north of the country drive into Germany for grocery shopping. 

-The language isn't that straight forward. Some Cantons speak French, or Italian, although German seems to be the most widely spoken. I imagine some firms may operate in English though.

-If you do find yourself in a German canton, beware that Swiss German and Standard German isn't the same. In fact, most Germans speaking High/Standard German, don't understand the Swiss. It's not just an accent, it's loads of different words. And it varies from canton to canton, even valley to valley. To really fit in, you'd have to learn German, and then study the dialect of your particular area. While the government and most writing is in standard German, the average person on the street will speak to you in the local dialect. 

-Finally, the Swiss (at least in the German Cantons) aren't quite as open and easy going as in North America. It takes a long time to make friends and have people warm up to you. While I haven't had too many negative experiences travelling in Switzerland, I would say the entire country feels like one large exclusive country club that you don't quite belong in.


Jun 29, 20 3:28 pm  · 
1  · 
Koww

i would mention my swiss army knife in my cover letter

Jun 30, 20 4:08 am  · 
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justavisual

Go to Berlin if you want to learn German and have more fun.

Jun 30, 20 4:22 am  · 
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