Occupations (VET)

The notion of “occupation” is derived from the perception that work is distributed within the economy. New occupations are created to respond to new needs and others disappear under the influence of technical and social developments. When they choose an occupation, future qualified persons commit to acquiring a specific set of knowledge and skills over a fixed period of time. At the same time, they also choose career prospects, a level of income and social recognition.

The Swiss VET sector offers VET programmes for around 230 occupations. Each VET programme is governed by its own VET ordinance and training plan. The various occupations can be found in the “List of Vocational and Professional Qualifications”, which is regularly updated by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

VET ordinances establish the profile of the occupation. Training plans indicate the professional competences and requirements that must be met by qualified professionals in order to work in the given occupation.

In addition, there are other occupations that do not fall within the scope of application of the Federal Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA). These occupations are partly based on other legal provisions or are defined freely by communities of interest or by practitioners.

The Swiss Service Centre for Vocational Education and Training | Vocational, Educational and Career Guidance (SDBB) publishes professional information cards in collaboration with professional organisations (POs). The choice of an occupation (VET) or profession (PET) can be made from an online list of occupations and professions, which is made available by occupational, education and career guidance counsellors. In addition, trade associations provide information about trades both in the form of publications and online.