Switzerland: 15 Most Wanted Professions for Foreign Job Seekers in 2024

41 occupations in Switzerland are grappling with shortages, according to the 2023 EURES report on shortages and surpluses.

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Healthcare emerged among the most affected sectors, followed by engineering, IT, education, and justice, Schengen.News reports.

In addition, the report shows that Switzerland is one of the EU countries with the highest reliance on foreign-trained doctors and foreign-trained nurses.

Among the EURES countries, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland show the highest dependency on foreign-trained doctors, and Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria show the highest dependency on foreign-trained nurses.

European Labour Authority

This means that foreigners who belong to these professions or other shortage occupations are more likely to secure employment along with a work visa in Switzerland. According to the latest EURES report, some of the professions facing labour shortages in Switzerland are as follows:

  1. Nursing professionals
  2. Generalist/Specialist medical practitioners
  3. Dentists
  4. Physiotherapists
  5. Health professionals not elsewhere classified
  6. Applications programmers
  7. Software developers
  8. System analysts
  9. Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified
  10. Environmental engineers
  11. Civil engineers
  12. Lawyers
  13. Special needs teachers
  14. Other language teachers
  15. Accountants

Nursing Professionals Emerged as Most Sought-After Job in Switzerland in Q1 of 2024

With nearly 6,400 vacancies in the first quarter of 2024, nursing professionals emerged as the most wanted profession in Switzerland, according to the latest Jobradar of x28 AG, which collects and provides data about the Swiss labour market.

The list of most wanted jobs during this period also includes electricians (6,337), sales consultants (4,056), carpenters (3,377), project managers (3,256), and software developers (3,187).

Consequently, the sectors with the highest number of job advertisements during this period were healthcare, construction, retail, gastronomy, and IT.

Number of Vacancies in Switzerland Could Reach 400,000 by 2030, Study Reveals

A study by the University of St. Gallen and Advance in September 2023 found that there is a severe shortage of skills in the country, and it may get worse as Baby Boomers retire.

As per calculations from the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), even with a moderate influx of 50,000 skilled professionals annually, up to 400,000 positions could go unfilled by 2030.

This may translate into more employment opportunities for foreign workers. Additionally, the number of foreign workers in Switzerland has surged over recent years, as revealed by the Federal Statistical Office. In 2023, foreigners represented almost 34 per cent of the workforce in Switzerland, the highest number recorded since 1991.

Do You Need a Visa to Work in Switzerland?

Non-EU/EFTA citizens are required to obtain a visa in order to work within Switzerland. To apply for a Swiss work visa, individuals must be skilled and qualified workers with a university degree, years of experience, and specific expertise.

They should secure a job offer in advance, and the employer must confirm that no EU/EFTA citizen is available for the position.

Furthermore, qualified workers from third countries who wish to apply for a Swiss work visa might find it valuable to know that in 2023, Switzerland announced its plans to ease work permit procedures, making it easier for this category of workers to obtain a work permit.

As Swiss authorities announced back then, qualified workers from third countries can obtain a work permit if there’s a need and it aligns with Switzerland’s economic interests.