Professional title

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Professional titles are state awards in Austria . They are awarded as “job-specific honorary titles” to people who have made special contributions to the republic over many years in their profession . The award is made by the Federal President .

The proposals for the award of a professional title must be addressed to the relevant federal ministry and are usually introduced by the respective interest groups. In the period 2010 to 2014, over 10,000 professional titles were awarded in Austria. Most of the awards came from the Ministry of Education, from which there were 7,745 appointments to school councils, high school councils, senior lecturers, government councilors or professors.

Professional titles are also sometimes referred to as professional titles , such as commercial master's titles and titles that are acquired through certification. These are to be distinguished from the professional honorary titles awarded by the Federal President.

Basics and award practice

Legal basis

According to Article 65 Paragraph 2 lit. b of the Federal Constitutional Act (B-VG), the Federal President is entitled to “create and award professional titles”. On the basis of this legal provision, the Federal President has passed a resolution in which the professional titles he has created are listed (see lastly the resolution of the Federal President on the creation of professional titles , Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria, Part II, No. 261/2002). Accordingly, the professional titles serve to "honor people who have rendered services to the Republic of Austria over many years in their profession".

There is no legal entitlement to an award.

The function and rank designations in the Viennese Spanish Riding School are also designated by law as “professional titles” and are awarded by the Austrian Federal Minister for Agriculture and Forestry.


As with the badge of honor, everyone is entitled to suggest the award of a professional title (except for themselves or close family members). For the suggestion, an informal letter is sufficient, with a curriculum vitae and the reason for the suggestion (description of the services to the republic that prove worthy of the award).

The Federal Chancellery also provides a corresponding form on its website.

The suggestions for awarding a professional title must be addressed to the Federal Ministry responsible (for the examination). This forwards those proposals that were positively assessed to the presidential office (application).


The following requirements must be met:

  • it must be an outstanding representative of his or her profession.
  • there must be proven achievements in the respective field or excellent success in use by public employees.
  • the award should only take place from the age of 50 (exception: the award of the professional title of university professor can take place from the age of 45).
  • the application should be submitted no later than one year after the end of the work to be recognized.
  • There must be a period of five years between awards and awards by the federal government (decorations and professional titles) (“intercalary period”). This is reduced to four years in the event of retirement.
  • A minimum of 15 years of the work to be recognized or at least a similar activity is required (for public employees, the length of service actually completed counts).

In addition, for public employees, a professional title with the same wording as any official title is not awarded. The recipient of the award must also be willing to accept in all cases - they must therefore declare in advance that they are ready to accept the award.

The award does not involve any additional services (such as an "honorary salary", etc.).

Awarding and presentation

After the suggestion has been assessed positively in the responsible federal ministry , the respective federal minister submits a request to the federal president. After the final positive examination by the presidential office, the Federal President's legal act, the resolution, takes place . With this, the professional title is awarded to the person to be honored .

The final step before submission is the countersigning of the resolution by the requesting Federal Minister. The decree is then usually presented by the responsible federal minister, often as part of a festive ceremony. In contrast, the decrees for the professional title of commercial councilor are usually presented by the presidents of the economic chambers (federal or regional chambers).

Possible occupational titles according to occupational groups

  • Councilor / Councilor (abbreviation: HR ) for staff of the authorities (federal, provincial and municipal) and other legal persons governed by public law as well as for those in the teaching profession with public law are engaged equipped private schools. Typical use cases: civil servants in the higher service (“A career”, academics) who do not already have the official title “Hofrat”, directors (L1) of higher schools, archives, libraries and museums, etc.
  • Government Councilor (abbreviation: RegR or RgR ): for employees of the regional authorities (federal, state and local authorities) and of other legal entities under public law as well as for persons who teach at private schools with public law. Typical applications: civil servants in the upper service (“B-career”, matriculation examination, Matura), department heads at higher technical institutes, directors (L1 and L2) of middle schools.
  • Local councilor (Abbreviation: AR ): for employees of regional authorities (federal, state and local authorities). Typical applications: Civil servants (“B-career”, matriculation examination, Matura) in management positions (application group A2 to function group 2).
  • Chancellery (abbreviation: KzlR ): employees of regional authorities (federal, state and local authorities). Typical use cases: civil servants in the middle service ("D career"), predominantly in managerial secretarial functions.
  • Kommerzialrat / Kommerzialratin (Abbreviation: KmzlR or KommR or KomR , sometimes just KR ): for members of business life.
  • Ökonomierat / Ökonomierätin (abbreviation: ÖkR ): for members of agricultural professions.
  • Medizinalratin (abbreviation: MedR): for members of the medical profession.
  • Obermedizinalratin / Obermedizinalratsin (abbreviation: OMedR or OMR ): for members of the medical profession. In Austria this is awarded by the Federal President.
  • Veterinärrat / Veterinary Councilor (abbreviation: Vetr ) for members of the veterinary profession.
  • Technischer Rat / Technische Rätin (abbreviation: TR or Techn.R ): for members of technical professions.
  • Bauratin honoris causa (abbreviation: BauR hc ): for people who work in the technical-scientific, practical-technical or architectural field.
  • Bergrat / Bergrätin honoris causa (abbreviation: BergR hc ): for people who work in the field of mining and metallurgy.
  • Forstrat / Forsträtin honoris causa (abbreviation: ForstR hc ): for people who work in the field of forestry.
  • Schulratin (abbreviation: SR): for people who work in teaching or educational services. Typical applications: for elementary and secondary school teachers
  • Oberschulratin / Oberschulratin (abbreviation: OSR ): for persons who are active in teaching or educational services. Typical applications: for directors of elementary and secondary schools as well as polytechnic schools, as well as for teachers (L2) for practical subject matter
  • Studienrat (abbreviation: StR ): for people who work in teaching or educational services. Typical use cases: Directors of middle schools as well as teachers (L2a2) for technical-theoretical subjects.
  • Oberstudienrat / Oberstudienratin (abbreviation: OStR ): for people who work in teaching or educational services. Typical applications: Teachers (L1) with a university degree at higher schools (grammar schools, secondary schools, higher technical and commercial schools, commercial academies, higher teaching institutions for economic professions, higher agricultural and forestry teaching institutions, etc.), but also non-academically trained teachers (L2) at primary and secondary schools with the official title of "Professor".
  • University professor (abbreviation: Univ.Prof. ): For associate professors at universities after several years of teaching and research as well as for teaching staff (university lecturers who are not employed by public law) at universities after at least 15 years of service -years of teaching and research.
  • Kammersängerin / Kammersängerin (abbreviation: KSäng ): for people who work as artists at an Austrian art institute dedicated to the care of music or the performing arts.
  • Kammerschauspieler / chamber Actress (abbreviation: KSchausp. ): For those dedicated as an artist or artists at one of the care of the music or the performing arts Austrian Art Institute are active.
  • Professor / Professor (abbreviation: Prof. ): for those who work in the field of adult education, the arts, popular culture and the museum-like collection as well as for those working in the field of science. Typical applications: Members of leading orchestras ( Vienna Philharmonic , Vienna Symphony Orchestra , etc.), presidents of important scientific or cultural associations, institutes, etc. (a positive report from the relevant university is crucial here), journalists, writers.
  • General Music Director : for people who enjoy an excellent reputation in the international music world, who have also worked as a professional conductor at an Austrian art institute devoted to the maintenance of music for at least ten years without interruption and as such have had prominent artistic achievements.

Title leadership

A professional title must follow any official title, but before any academic degree (or the professional title of engineer).

  • Example : The director (= official title) of the Realgymnasium in X., Dr. Y., receives the professional title "Hofrat". Correct title: “Director Hofrat Dr. Y. ”- Oral salutation almost always:“ Mr. Hofrat ”, as the professional title that distinguishes it is considered to be of higher value compared to the official title that was previously due. In written form, double titles “Sg Mr. Director Hofrat Dr. Y. "- or on door panels" Director Hofrat Dr. Y. ”- well preserved.

The same is also observed in the case of addressing clergymen (pater) and church honorary titles (monsignor, prelate, consistorial councilor). In the case of titulatures due to an ecclesiastical function (bishop, vicar general, cathedral capitular, dean, pastor, etc.), this is used like an official title before any professional title.

  • Example 1 : the director of a monastery high school (usually referred to as "Stiftsgymnasium" in Austria), Father Benedikt X., PhD, is awarded the professional title of "Hofrat". The correct title in a letter address would be: “Hwd. Director Hofrat P. Dr. X. ". In the salutation, “(Revered) Mr. Hofrat!” Would be quite common.
  • Example 2 : Prelate X., is awarded the title “University Professor” for his scientific merits. The correct title in a letter address would be: “Hwdst. Univ.Prof. Prelate X. ”. In the salutation “(Most Honorable) Mr. University Professor!” Would be quite common. If Prelate X is later appointed Vicar General of Y., the address changes to “Hwdst. Vicar General Univ.Prof. Prelate X. “With three or more titles there is a tendency to omit the lowest - in the oral address only the highest is used anyway, which is sometimes a bit difficult to find out (and often also depends on the context).
Note: The use of the family name for the title ("Good morning, Mr. Hofrat Mayer!") Is unusual in personal address in Austria and can easily be interpreted as an affront, unless several people with the same "titled" are present and it therefore it is necessary to distinguish. The greeting of a councilor has to be limited to a simple "Good morning, Mr. Hofrat!" The same also applies to the addressing of academics, who in Austria (unlike in Germany) always use their title (“Grüß Gott, Herr Doktor!”, “Auf Wiedersehen, Frau Magister”) and only their title ( i.e. without adding a name à la “Hello, Herr Doktor Mayer!”). The greeting of the aforementioned Hofrat Mayer with a "Good morning Mr. Mayer!" Would be interpreted as an insult.

Several professional titles that relate to different meritorious activities can be used side by side

  • Example : Opera singer X., who has already been awarded the title “Kammersänger”, teaches after his retirement from the stage at a master school for opera singing and receives the title “Professor” for this. Artistic activity is to be distinguished from teaching activity, hence the correct title: "Kammersänger Professor X.". If he then becomes the director of the master school and is to be awarded the title of "Hofrat" for this, it is disputed whether the school management is an activity that is different from the teaching activity. To be on the safe side, the letter address “Sg Herr Kammersänger Hofrat Prof. X.” would probably be recommended, the personal address will probably be “Herr Hofrat” (after all, this title is the last one awarded).
  • If several titles clearly refer to the same field of activity, only the highest-ranking title is used.
  • Example 1 : Dr. X., community doctor in Y., received the title of "Medical Councilor" more than five years ago. Now he will be awarded the title of "Senior Medical Councilor" upon retirement. It is about the same activity, so the new title is only: “Senior Medical Officer Dr. X. "
  • Example 2 : Dr. X., a professor at the grammar school in Y., was awarded the title of “senior teacher” more than five years ago. In the meantime, he has become the director of a grammar school and is given the title of "Hofrat" on his 60th birthday. It is probably the same activity, so the new title is only: “Director Hofrat Dr. X. "

See also

Web links


  1. - Hofrat and Co .: More than 10,000 professional titles awarded since 2010 . Article dated February 3, 2015, accessed February 3, 2015.
  2. - Oberstudienrat and Co: "Professional titles will always be modern" . Article dated February 3, 2015, accessed February 3, 2015.
  3. See e.g. B. FV diploma in communications management
  4. ^ Resolution of the Federal President regarding the creation of professional titles, Federal Law Gazette II No. 261/2002
  5. § 12 Spanish Riding School Act, Federal Law Gazette I No. 115/2000
  6. ^ Republic of Austria: professional title. Retrieved June 15, 2017 .
  7. Form on
  8. ^ Republic of Austria: professional title. Retrieved June 15, 2017 .
  9. Federal Law Gazette 197/1930