Working in Lugano?

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Working in Lugano

Working in Lugano allows you to experience fast-paced city life, along with all the benefits of outdoor recreation and the excellence of the Swiss social security system. To find out more, from key sectors to health insurance, read on below.
Regular fireworks on Lake Lugano are a testament to the city's thriving tourist economy.

Working as an expat in Lugano can only be seen in a positive light. It is a popular place because of its brilliant rest and relaxation facilities. However, the focus on this tends to eclipse the fact that economically, the city is performing very well, and is the driving force of Ticino.

Add to this the fact that roughly a third of the people working in Lugano are actually commuters from Italy, and the city also takes on a multicultural aspect.

The Key Employment Sectors

If you look for a job in Lugano, it is likely that you will be employed in the tertiary sector. For some time now, business, tourism and finance have been crucial parts of the local economy.

Banking is especially important. Lugano is now the third largest financial center in Switzerland. If you are an expat trained in finance, working in Lugano will therefore be almost as lucrative as working in Zurich. Lugano is not only home to Swiss banks; plenty of private international banks also have offices there.

In total, there are over 100 banking institutions in the city employing a total of about 20,000 people in Lugano’s financial sector.

Alternatively, you might find a job in the tourism industry. The city is the fourth most popular town for tourists in Switzerland. Tourists are attracted both by the historic center and the beautiful scenery, and the industry continues to thrive.

Recently, those working in Lugano have seen an increase in the business sector. This has been matched by improvement in the health sector, thanks to scientific research organizations which support Lugano’s medical facilities. The relocation of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center to Lugano in 2012 has also brought further investment to the city.

General Working Conditions

Working hours are limited by Swiss law to a maximum of 45 hours a week. This applies to anyone working in Lugano as an office employee or in another similar job. This means that you will probably be working in Lugano for longer than in your home country. However, the good news is that all employees over the age of 20 are entitled to four weeks of paid vacation per year.

Looking for a Job in Lugano

In order to successfully apply for a work and residence permit for Lugano, you first need a job offer. Usually, most expats only move to Lugano after securing this job offer and signing the employment contract. The following tools are useful if you wish to search for a job in Lugano.

If you would like some more information about the Swiss workplace, check out our extended guide about jobs and business in Switzerland.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Andrey Vasilyev

"I was able to connect with other expats in Zurich who enjoy cycling as much as I do and organize weekly rides."

Elin Gustavson

"At the first InterNations event that I attended, I met my wonderful partner. We now live together in a flat next to the Limmat."

Global Expat Guide