Swiss pri­vate in­sur­ers em­ploy some 50,000 peo­ple in Switzer­land

Context11 February 2019

All over the world, some 120,000 people work for Swiss private insurers. In Switzerland alone, over 46,000 employees hold attractive and highly qualified jobs in this sector of the economy. Both basic and comprehensive training are of prime importance, with some 1,800 people currently in an apprenticeship.

Insurers identify, assess and analyse risks related to the probability, frequency and extent of future losses. Moreover, they assist insured persons in preventing and managing loss events. To do so, expert knowledge and know-how are required. There are but a few industries that unite as many professions as the insurance sector.

Marketing and sales specialists, pension advisers, economists, mathematicians and IT specialists work in distribution and administration, while risks are being assessed and handled by scientists, medical doctors, construction experts, engineers, geologists, physicists, chemists – to name but a few. They analyse loss events and loss scenarios, monitor and research the latest and future developments and elaborate preventative measures. The knowledge and work of these experts support our societies and economies in assessing chances and risks.

A major employer

The financial services industry remains a major employer even after the 2008 financial crisis. Some two thirds of its 210,000 FTEs are employed by banks, a scant third is active in the insurance sector (private and social insurance, pension funds etc.).

In 2016 both banks (-0.8%) and insurance companies (-1.2%) reduced their workforce. Both market environment and the framework conditions demand and enable efficiency increases. This means, that the financial centre has underperformed by comparison with the entire Swiss labour market. However, it remains an important employer as 5.6% of all careers in Switzerland are in finance.

Basic and advanced training as key values

Competent employees are a core competitive driver and a main success factor for insurance companies. The Swiss insurance sector champions the successful dual Swiss education systems and is active at all levels of education – at universities, technical colleges and higher vocational training as well as in offering basic professional training. Trainings in the insurance sector offer major transfer opportunities form one path inside the education system to another as well as being highly relevant in practice. Currently, insurance companies in Switzerland are training some 1,800 apprentices. Cicero, the insurance industry register, is tangible proof of the industry’s commitment to high-quality advice and lifelong learning – beyond the boundaries of any individual company.

Modern working environments

The insurance sector also responds to societal and technological changes by offering a modern working environment. Home offices, agile projects, part-time employment and family-friendly working models and environments are but a few aspects of this response.

Some 20% of the workforce works part-time, with four fifths of the part-time jobs being held by women. The 46,000-strong workforce in Switzerland consists of 26,000 male and 20,000 female employees. Women occupy over 30% of all higher management and executive positions. One in five employees works part-time, and one in four is active as a customer consultant.

DownloadEmployees in the Swiss private insurance industry - statistics 2017 (German)