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Engineer and technical draftsman with construction plans

Engineer (from French Ingénieur [ ɛ̃.ʒe.njœʁ ], German [ ˌɪn.ʒɛˈnjøɐ ], Swiss Standard German [ ˈɛ̃.ʒe.njœʁ ]; abbreviation Ing. ) Is the professional or status designation (only in Austria) for professionals in Field of technology .

The training to become an engineer and the practice of the profession are sometimes regulated very differently in the countries of Europe. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, engineers are trained at universities , technical colleges and technical colleges (universities of applied sciences); in Germany alone also through a dual course of study at a vocational academy and in Austria alone at higher technical institutes (HTL) as well as comparable vocational colleges (in a technical and commercial, agricultural, forestry or environmental training branch).

The academic university degrees for engineers according to the European Bologna Process are the Bachelor of Science (abbreviated: B.Sc. ) or of Engineering ( B.Eng. ) And the Master of Science ( M.Sc. ) or of Engineering ( M.Eng. ), Which largely replace the previous academic degree Diplom-Ingenieur (in) (abbreviated: Dipl.-Ing. ). The master degree opens the way for the promotion of Doctor of Engineering (abbreviated: Dr.-Ing. ).


The Latin word ingenium means “ingenious invention” or “ingenuity”. The derived Italian word ingegnere (ie. "Zeugmeister", "Kriegsbaumeister") was used in the Middle Ages only in connection with war technology and in German as an equally restrictive loan word engineer . It was not until the 17th century that the French word ingénieur meant “specialist in the technical field with theoretical training”. It came back from there in the 18th century as a loan word engineer in German, but now in the more general French meaning and in the course of the 19th century it also superseded the designation art master , which is common in mining and hydraulic engineering .

historical development

Vauban (right)

The Middle Latin title ingeniarius , which referred to the maintenance and use of military instruments (armor, weapons, artillery), was also used by Leonardo da Vinci in the Italian form of that time . Under Sebastien le Pestre de Vauban , the fortress builder of Louis XIV , the importance for engineers, which goes beyond the military and is still common today, developed.

Since the Thirty Years' War , a group of technical specialists has been recruited into many armies in Europe and integrated into the hierarchy of the army as a more or less independent permanent formation. Artillery and engineering corps were formed. The field of work of these engineers was later expanded from military technology to state civil engineering and mining . The absolutist states organized a technical bureaucracy both in the military and in the civil service. The link between the two services was evident in the fortification system . The fortress builder was a technician in war and peace. He had fortified places to be built. During the war he helped defend them and conquer foreign fortresses.

Engineer training from the 18th century

In the German-speaking area, developments in Saxony play a particularly pioneering role. August Christoph Graf von Wackerbarth , head of the engineer officers since 1702, detached them from the artillery corps in 1712 and thus formed the first engineer corps in Germany. The engineering officers worked in peacetime in hydraulic engineering including melioration , in road and bridge construction, in geodesy and cartography . They were also involved in the great national survey of 1780 and in many areas of infrastructure and regional development. The commanders of the engineering corps were at the same time at the head of the civil construction department until 1745. In December 1743, the engineering academy in Dresden, the concept of which Jean de Bodt had developed, began teaching in the Neustädter barracks - with subjects such as mathematics, fortress construction, geodesy, geography, civil engineering, mechanics and machine science. The early formation of an engineering corps that was independent in the military organization and the establishment of a technical college that also conveyed scientific content were essential contributions both to the development of the engineering profession with a solid professional profile and to the engineering sciences.

In France there was the establishment of the first military engineering corps for road and bridge construction in 1720. The scientific training of engineers began at the civil engineering school opened in Paris in 1747, followed by the École polytechnique in 1794 and the School of Roads and Bridges in 1795 ( École nationale des ponts et chaussées ).

In 1736 the first engineering school was founded in Vienna in what is now the monastery barracks . Since then, engineering schools and later technical colleges have sprung up in numerous other countries, which in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries were put on an equal footing with universities (today technical universities). On the occasion of the centenary of the Royal Technical University of Charlottenburg on October 19, 1899, the title of Diplom -Ing. (Dipl.-Ing.) Was awarded to Wilhelm II , the King of Prussia , on the “Very Highest Decree” ( cabinet order ) at the Technical University of Prussia . introduced together with the Doctor of Engineering ( Dr.-Ing. ).

In subsequent years, was also in other states of the German Empire of Dipl.-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. introduced at technical universities:

In the 1970s, the Federal Republic of Germany began to convert engineering training to a higher level of scientific training. The external sign of this was the dissolution of the previous higher technical schools (engineering schools and academies) and the establishment of technical colleges. For similar reasons, the engineering colleges were created in the German Democratic Republic from 1969, which also became technical colleges after the GDR joined the Federal Republic.

Admission of women to engineering studies, first diplomas and doctorates

The American engineer Kitty Joyner in 1952

The first female engineer in a European country was Cécile Butticaz , who obtained her diploma in electrical engineering from the Lausanne School of Engineering in 1907 , headed an engineering office from 1909, worked on the second Simplon tunnel and obtained a doctorate in physics from the University of Geneva in 1929 .

In the various states of the German Reich between 1900 and 1909 women were admitted to study at technical universities and thus to study engineering. Yet only a few women studied engineering subjects. By 1918 there were 29 architecture students, five electrical engineering students, three civil engineering students and one mining student at the TH Berlin. In the winter semester of 1918/19 there were 75 engineering students in the German Reich, 56 of them studying architecture. In addition to Berlin, the Technical Universities of Darmstadt and Munich also attracted female technology students during the imperial era.

The first female graduate engineer at a German university was Elisabeth von Knobelsdorff , who graduated in architecture from the Technical University of Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1911 . In 1913 Jovanka Bončić-Katerinić and Thekla Schild followed . Bončić-Katerinić passed her diploma examination at the Technical University of Darmstadt and settled in Belgrade as an architect. Thekla Schild obtained her diploma from the TH Karlsruhe. Until her marriage in 1916, she worked, mostly unpaid, in several architecture firms. The first documented mechanical engineer was Elsbeth Steinheil, whose father was an entrepreneur. She studied at the TH Munich from 1913 to 1917. A year after graduating, she married an employee of her father. The first civil engineering graduate known by name was Martha Schneider-Bürger , who graduated from TH Munich in 1927. It published the steel profile tables for many decades.

Marie Frommer , who completed her diploma in architecture in Berlin in 1916, did her doctorate in 1919 at the TH Dresden on the subject of "River Course and Urban Development". It was a woman's first doctorate in an engineering subject. After working in architecture firms for a few years, Frommer opened her own architecture firm in 1925. Frommer was Jewish and had to emigrate to the USA in 1936, where she was again successful as an architect. The first female mechanical engineer with a doctorate was Ilse Essers , who received her engineering degree in Aachen in 1926. Essers discovered the balancing of masses on movable wing flaps and wing rudders to prevent fanned wing vibrations. In 1929 she did her doctorate at the TH Berlin. With her knowledge and inventions she created essential foundations in the field of aviation technology , building construction and mechanical engineering. At the Technical University of Darmstadt , Kira Stein was the first woman to do a doctorate in mechanical engineering.

job profile

Engineers are "the spiritual parents of technical systems ", with whose help scientific knowledge is applied for the practical benefit of mankind. Mainly physical findings are evaluated, others come from chemistry and biology (including medicine). A single system (device, machine, structure, means of transport, means of communication and many others) can be based on knowledge from all three natural sciences. What is certain is that it is seldom based on just one branch of any of the three - predominantly physics. As a result, the individual engineer has to acquire a broad scientific knowledge. When creating complex systems, however, the participation of several specialist engineers and sometimes natural scientists is necessary. The specialist engineers prefer their technical language, which is often not the same between the disciplines. The necessary collaborative work, however, requires the individual engineer to make himself clearly understandable to all those involved - ideally to the general public - also linguistically. The technical drawing is generally easy to understand by everyone involved.

As a rule, when creating systems (products) - even when introducing completely new technical applications - traditional methods and means of production are used. The engineer must master the known manufacturing methods, tools and materials and the standard components available for sub-functions . The relevant instruction is supported by industrial internships in which learning takes place by hand and on site. Anyone who learned a technical trade before studying has made this experience more intensive.

Theoretical teaching of the natural sciences is tailored to the engineers. For example, mechanics , optics , statics and electricity are not taught in general, but as technical mechanics , technical optics , structural engineering and electrical engineering . The engineer, like the natural scientist, uses mathematics to describe and quantitatively evaluate his objects and, in comparison with everyday arithmetic, appropriates it as so-called higher mathematics . The university graduate is theoretically trained more extensively than the technical college engineer, which predestines him to become a development engineer . It is very advantageous if a technical college graduate has learned a trade or completed a skilled worker training before his studies, which will benefit him in his later, mostly application-related activity.

The traditional activity of the engineer in an industrial company, for example in mechanical engineering, is the design or construction of the product. The development engineer has been around for almost as long (mainly theoretical preparatory work for construction). At the same time as the transition to increasingly intensive automatic production, the number of production engineers increased. An equipment engineer works at the interface between the areas of production technology, maintenance and process technology. The increased industrial division of labor led to sales and purchasing engineers as contact persons between the selling supplier companies and the end product manufacturers. Sales or marketing engineers are also employed to work the market for the final product.

Job profiles presented by engineers themselves come, for example, from Max von Eyth ( Hinter Pflug und Vice , 19th century) and Heinz Hossdorf ( The Experience of Being an Engineer , 2002).

The engineer in the public eye

The engineer song

The first two lines of the engineer song are.

Nothing is too difficult for the engineer -
He laughs and says: If this isn't it, it can be done!

It was written in 1871 by Heinrich Seidel , who was himself an engineer and presented his profession as a life motto.

The technology and the engineers as their designers are guarantors for progress and peace. Global action was confirmed to Seidel's engineers as early as the industrial early days .

The last stanza reads:

The engineers should live!
The true spirit of the very latest times revolves in them!
Her heart is devoted to progress,
Her strength and time are dedicated to peace down here!
Work's blessings on and on,
Spread it from place to place,
From land to land, from sea to sea -
The engineer.

The engineer song is thus also evidence of the euphoria that science and technology would lead mankind into a wonder world, and of the resulting high social recognition of the engineering profession.

The euphoria regarding technical progress decreased for the first time after the First World War , in which parts of the world became human slaughterhouses with the help of technical means. For about half a century, there has been a great deal of distrust of technical innovations on the one hand, and a natural appropriation of the increasing number of useful and fascinating products that are created by engineers on the other. The increasing general ignorance of technical matters also affects the engineer in the public image, in whose eyes the investor who has always shaped economic development has come to the fore.

Gyro Gearloose

In the German translation, Daniel Düsentrieb has the first line of the engineer song in the following modified form as the motto:

Nothing is to be sworn to the engineer.

In this comic book story, the American author Carl Barks and the translator Erika Fuchs express their own ambiguous relationship with the engineer. Barks would have liked to have been an inventor, Fuchs was married to an engineer from whom the modification to Ingeniör / Schwör originates, but who took the engineering song to heart in his original statement. The comic figure Daniel Düsentrieb hits the general public's mixed behavior towards engineers. He works hard and is satisfied, even if not all of his ingenious designs succeed or the successful ones are appropriately recognized or rewarded. Nothing is to be sworn to the engineer - it became a winged word - with a bit of mockery behind it . A similar phrase goes:

Wherever you give him a riddle, the engineer stands and thinks.

Engineer and patent

An engineer is often named as the inventor in patent specifications . A single engineer can make a name for himself with good or many inventions. However, he is not necessarily also the owner who reaps the occasional success of a granted patent. The right protected by a patent belongs to the employer, who only has to pay his employed inventor a fee . Self-employed engineers, who are famous for their many patents, usually only afford their registration and running costs at the patent offices of several countries because they are able to do so through economic success based on a single or a few inventions. Examples of independent and economically successful inventors are Thomas Alva Edison and Artur Fischer .

International situation


Engineers employed subject to social security contributions
in Germany
year number
1999 637.935
2001 657.491
2003 647.051
2005 639.119
2007 654.358
2011 639,000

The degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (Dipl.-Ing.) Is acquired by studying at a technical university (formerly a technical university ) or university , which usually lasts five years . The four-year course at a technical college leads to a degree in engineering (FH) . The engineering schools (higher technical schools, engineering academies) that existed before the founding of the technical colleges , but also the technical colleges for a few years, led to the title of graduate engineer ( engineer (grad) ) after a minimum of three years of study . As a result of the Bologna Process , many universities have now also switched their engineering courses to the new Bachelor and Master degrees . Both degrees can be obtained at both universities and technical colleges. The corresponding academic degrees are Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) Or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Or Master of Science (M.Sc.).

The European Engineer (EUR ING) is a special form. It is a quality standard to make the different engineering training courses in Europe comparable. The EUR ING designation is awarded by the FEANI ( Federation of European National Engineers' Associations ) in Brussels. It is not a university degree, but a certificate for qualifications. This is therefore on the business card as a private supplement under the name. The registry stores z. For example, graduates from technical schools with further training also receive the certificates required for professional activity (e.g. in detailed construction).

Another special form is the ship engineer . The person responsible for the operation of a ship in international shipping can become a ship engineer after successfully completing a two-year technical college after completing the ship mechanic apprenticeship. The job title "ship engineer" was announced according to § 3 number 5 of January 7, 1909 (RGBl. P. 210). With the Ministerial Decree of December 17, 2010 the qualification to become a marine engineer was introduced.

In mining, too, Steiger can take a course to become an engineer without studying: Graduates of the operator training course at a German mining school are allowed to use the professional title of engineer in accordance with Section 1 of the engineering law of all federal states.

A course on welding supervision is offered in welding technology. The International Institute of Welding awards successful graduates with a globally valid Diploma International Welding Engineer. In addition to engineers from all disciplines, welding technicians, top climbers and captains in their function as harbor masters are also approved for testing / approval work. The IIW diplomas, as an academic degree, valid for life. With a certification that is valid for three years, the required training and activity as a welding supervisor is certified for the first time three years after the patent has been granted in accordance with international law. The job title is Certified International Welding Engineer .

Job titles and academic degrees

The job title “engineer” has been protected in the Federal Republic of Germany by the engineering laws of the federal states since the beginning of the 1970s and since then has only been awarded to graduates of corresponding educational institutions. Previously, people without an engineering qualification but with many years of relevant professional experience were allowed to (and continue to be) allowed to use the professional designation "engineer".

Graduates of earlier engineering schools are allowed by state law regulating the previously granted state designation "engineer" or "engineering (grad.)" (Graduate engineer) lead and under the Nachdiplomierung the responsible for the underlying education minister of education under certain conditions the state name "Dipl .-Ing. (FH) ”. The state non-academic qualification acquired at vocational academies is given the addition of brackets (BA): "Diplom-Ingenieur (BA)".

Studies at technical universities (formerly technical universities) are traditionally always awarded with the academic degree “Dipl.-Ing.” - more recently with the addition of brackets (TU), (TH) - or as “Dipl.-Ing. Univ. ”(Awarded by the Technical University of Munich, among others) written to distinguish it from Dipl.-Ing. (FH).

After completing a doctorate in engineering at a university, the academic degree of "Doctor of Engineering" ("Doctor of Engineering", " Dr.-Ing. ") Is awarded, but the "Dr. techn. "or the" Dr. mont. ”for technical or mining sciences.

Bologna process

As a result of the Bologna Process , in the meantime (2010) almost all technical colleges and universities have also switched their engineering courses to a Bachelor's or Master's degree. Students who have previously enrolled on a diploma course can also complete their studies with a diploma. In the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, the corresponding academic degrees are Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) Or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Or Master of Science (M. Sc.) Regardless of the university at which the course was completed.

In the Free State of Saxony , the State University Act (as of 2014) explicitly allows the completion of a diploma and undergraduate courses with the degree of Diplom -Ing. Are still offered.

Professional associations and engineering associations such as the accreditation association for courses in civil engineering (ASBau) are critical of the switch to the new degrees and doubt that the bachelor's degree provides sufficient vocational training. You see the new qualifications as an attempt to relocate a large part of training to professional life.

Chambers and professional associations

The professional affairs of engineers in Germany are handled independently by the chambers of engineers . These have public law status and are - since engineering law in Germany is basically a state matter - organized at the level of the federal states . A “ consulting engineer ” must meet certain legally stipulated requirements and enter himself into the “list of consulting engineers” of the chamber of engineers in his respective federal state. The professional title consulting engineer for a freelance engineer is protected by state law ( chamber profession ).

The VDI (Association of German Engineers), which was founded in 1856, has established itself as an engineering association in Germany . With currently around 154,000 members (as of February 2014), it is one of the largest technically oriented clubs and associations in the world.

In particular, the interests of women in the engineering profession represents the German Association of Women Engineers e. V. (dib). With the organization Engineers Without Borders, there is also an association that promotes the worldwide commitment of engineers to humanitarian projects. The Central Association of Engineering Associations (ZBI) has established itself as the umbrella organization for the large number of professional associations .

Engineer degrees obtained in the GDR

The engineers in the GDR were trained at three levels:

  1. Engineering schools (technical schools),
  2. Engineering colleges (IHS) and
  3. Technical colleges, technical universities and universities.
Training at engineering schools (technical schools)
Engineering certificate, Nov. 1990
Certificate of a "postgraduate diploma"

Completion of the 10th grade and vocational training were considered admission requirements. A university entrance qualification in the form of an Abitur or similar was not necessary. The standard period of study for face-to-face studies was six semesters. The student spent the last (sixth) semester in the company to familiarize himself with his future position. The course ended with the state title of engineer (abbr .: "Ing."). The qualification was also considered a subject-specific higher education entrance qualification. Often skilled workers with good and very good performance were delegated from the company to study at a technical college. There were also special forms of study for women (special women's studies) in order to raise the percentage of women in technical professions.

With the accession of the GDR , the school, professional and academic qualifications or certificates of proficiency acquired in the GDR or recognized by the state were reorganized. According to Art. 37 , Para. 1 of the Unification Treaty , the technical and engineering school qualifications, the level of which was between skilled workers and university education, have no equivalent in the West German education system. Some degrees are equivalent to the West German engineering schools and engineering academies until the early 1970s. Equal treatment to West German technical college degrees was not possible. The equivalence to university degrees could only be determined after acquiring additional qualifications (postgraduate studies at a university of applied sciences).

At the insistence of the new federal states, a regulation was also agreed for the acquisition of the FH diploma on the basis of professional experience and without attending the postgraduate course. With this postgraduate degree, some graduates are granted the right to obtain the title of Dipl.-Ing. (FH) to wear. Since this title is awarded by the Ministry of Culture and not by a university, it is a state designation and not an academic degree. This is comparable to the state qualification Dipl.-Ing. (BA) at a professional academy .

The original cut-off date regulation has since been declared invalid by a court ruling. For the postgraduate degree, a fee-based application must be submitted to the Ministry of Culture.

Some years had to complete an additional postgraduate course at a university of applied sciences over three semesters with a thesis to obtain a Dipl.-Ing. (FH).

After the reunification, most engineering schools were closed or converted into technical schools for training as state-certified technicians . Some have been expanded to become departments of technical colleges.

Training at engineering colleges (IHS)

As of 1969, engineering universities were introduced as part of the third university reform in the GDR. Vocational training with a high school diploma (BmA) or a high school diploma from EOS with a pre-study internship were considered admission requirements. One-year preliminary courses were also offered to those interested in attaining the partial high school diploma directly at the IHSen. The standard period of study was initially 3.5 years and was later increased to four years. One semester provided for the large industrial internship. The course ended with the university degree of university engineer (abbr .: "HS-Ing.").

In terms of its tasks and academic level, the engineering college was the east German counterpart to the west German technical colleges. The engineering college should replace the engineering college. Due to a lack of high school graduates, this project failed. Because of the risk of confusion with an engineer, the university degree "HS.-Ing." Was no longer awarded from 1977. The remaining engineering colleges were converted into technical colleges or affiliated to such, or they became engineering colleges with the right to award doctorates and the degree of "Diplom-Ingenieur".

With the reunification of Germany (according to the unification agreement ) the degrees of engineering universities were classified as equivalent to degrees from West German universities of applied sciences . The graduates were able to obtain a new diploma without any conditions or restrictions to the academic degree “Diplom-Ingenieur (FH)”. After the reunification, all engineering colleges became technical colleges.

Training at technical colleges, technical universities and universities

The entrance requirement for engineering studies at a TH / TU or university was the Abitur. The standard period of study was five years, later it was limited to four years by a ministerial resolution. The degree was graduate engineer.

With the reunification of Germany (according to the unification treaty) the degrees at traditional technical colleges and universities were classified as equivalent or at the same level as the degrees at West German technical colleges and universities. Degrees that were taken at technical colleges that emerged from engineering colleges were subject to a content test. If the study period lasted at least nine semesters, they were rated like TH or TU degrees. With 8 semesters of study, they were classified as equivalent to the West German FH degree. Most of these engineering colleges, previously converted into technical colleges, became technical colleges after reunification. Only one achieved the status of a technical university (TU), the TU Ilmenau.


The technical training, the use of the professional title of engineer and the academic engineering degrees, as well as the professional title of engineer based on civil engineering and commercial law are regulated nationwide in Austria. The denomination was legally recognized for the first time in 1917 by Emperor Karl .

Engineering training within the school system

As part of the school system, engineering training takes place at the higher technical institutes (HTL) and the higher agricultural and forestry schools (HLFL) as well as comparable vocational colleges in a commercial or environmental training branch. The training lasts five years (9th to 13th grade) and concludes with the maturity and diploma examination.

Qualification or qualification as an engineer

The prerequisites for being allowed to use the professional designation engineer (Ing.) Were regulated in the Engineering Act 2006 . In addition to the matriculation and diploma examinations at one of the above-mentioned training institutions, proof of having completed at least three years of subject-related practice, which requires advanced knowledge in the subject areas in which matriculation and diploma examinations can be taken, must be provided (§ 2 Z 1 lit. b IngG 2006). With this evidence, the application can be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy . The processing time is usually around two months, after which a certificate is used to confer “the right to use the professional title 'Engineer' ('Ing.')”.

Without a matriculation and diploma examination, but with proven equivalent specialist knowledge, the right to use the professional title can be awarded even after six years of practice. For this purpose, an engineering examination must be taken before a committee. The Federal Ministry of Economics, Family and Youth examines the equivalence of knowledge as an examination requirement.

With the Engineering Act 2017 , which came into force on May 1, 2017, the conditions for the award of the engineer title were tightened. The "status" became the qualification or the educational qualification . In addition to having completed school education, school-leaving exams and practical experience, applicants must now demonstrate to a certification committee in a technical discussion that they have “advanced knowledge and skills according to the descriptors of the National Qualifications Framework”. As a result, the engineering title, now known as the “qualification designation”, as a qualification of level 6 of the national qualification framework, is placed on the level of the bachelor's degree. However, this equivalence relates exclusively to the classification of the acquired qualification level in the National Qualifications Framework and not to academic comparability with a bachelor's degree, which is why the entry requirements (generally a degree from a post-secondary educational institution) for a regular master’s degree at a university or technical college are not are fulfilled.

Dipl.-HTL-Ing. and Dipl.-HLFL-Ing.

In addition, in 1994 the opportunity was created to acquire the title of Diplom-HTL-Ingenieur (Dipl.-HTL-Ing.) Or Diplom-HLFL-Ing. (Dipl.-HLFL-Ing.) For a transition period . For this purpose, after the maturity and diploma examination of an Austrian higher technical institute or a higher agricultural and forestry educational institute, six years of professional practice had to be completed, a written work had to be written and an examination by experts had to be taken. This possibility of re-qualification for HTL engineers was intended as a transition phase after the introduction of the technical colleges. The law passed in 1994 provided for the expiry of the provisions on December 31, 2006; there was a transition period until December 31, 2008 for pending proceedings.

Universities and technical colleges

Engineering training at universities (mostly technical universities) or universities of applied sciences was carried out through diploma courses until the Bologna Process was implemented, whereby the minimum duration of study at universities was usually ten semesters and at universities of applied sciences eight semesters. Graduates of technical diploma courses at universities were awarded the academic degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (Abbreviation: Dipl.-Ing. Or DI - without abbreviations) with 300  ECTS credit points, and graduates of technical diploma courses at universities of applied sciences the academic degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (FH ) (Abbr .: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) or DI (FH)) awarded with 240 ECTS credit points.

With the implementation of the Bologna Process, engineering training takes place at universities (mostly technical universities) as well as at universities of applied sciences through bachelor's and master's degrees, whereby a bachelor's or diploma degree is required to start a master's degree. The duration of a technical bachelor's degree is usually six semesters and that of the subsequent master’s degree is usually four semesters. Graduates of bachelor 's programs are awarded the academic degree of Bachelor of Science (abbr .: B.Sc. or BSc) with 180 ECTS credit points and graduates of master’s programs are awarded the academic degree of Diplom-Ingenieur (abbr .: Dipl.-Ing. Or DI) or Master of Science (abbr .: M.Sc. or MSc) with 120 ECTS credit points (i.e. a total of 300 ECTS credit points).

Graduates of Master’s degree programs are admitted to a subsequent doctoral program, whereby the minimum duration of the doctoral degree can be extended by up to two semesters if the minimum duration of the completed master’s degree is less than four semesters.

The doctoral program in technical sciences, which can only be completed at universities, has a standard duration of six semesters with a total of 180 ECTS credit points. Graduates of this course are awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Technical Sciences (Dr. techn.).

Civil technicians and engineering offices

Access to and the exercise of the profession of civil engineer (architects and engineering consultants) is regulated by the Civil Engineers Act; engineering consultants are represented by the Chamber of Architects and engineering consultants.

The regulated profession of consulting engineer or the entry requirement for running an engineering office is regulated in the ordinance of the Federal Minister for Economy, Family and Youth on the BGBL. II 89/2003 ("Access Requirements Ordinance for Regulated Trades Engineering Offices (Consulting Engineers)").

The professional requirement is given for people who

  • a technical university (university or technical college) and at least three years of professional activity in the relevant subject area, or
  • an HTL (higher technical institute or corresponding special form HFL) corresponding to the subject area and at least six years of professional activity in the relevant subject area, and
  • a qualification test according to the trade regulations 1994, BGBL. No. 111/2002.

Persons who are approved for the regulated trade of engineering offices / consulting engineers in Austria are also allowed to practice this in other EU countries (EU diploma recognition guidelines for regulated professions).

The VÖI ( Association of Austrian Engineers ) and ÖIAV ( Austrian Association of Engineers and Architects ) have successfully established themselves as engineering associations in Austria for many years. The Austrian engineering register is kept by the Federal Ministry of Economics, Family and Youth.

The professional, economic and social interests of civil engineers in Austria are self-administered by the chambers of engineers . These represent the interests of the profession and therefore have public law status. They are organized in four regional chambers, whose nationwide umbrella organization is the Federal Chamber of Architects and Engineering Consultants . In addition to the engineering consultants, the architects are also represented within the chambers, but are organized in separate sections.


In Switzerland , engineering can be studied at the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (in Zurich and Lausanne , Bachelor / Master of Science ETH ) and at universities of applied sciences ( Bachelor / Master of Science FH ).

Before the Bologna reform, an engineering diploma ("Dipl. Ing. ETH") was obtained at the aforementioned ETHs (ETHZ & EPFL); the title "Ing. ETH" could be used after passing the second intermediate diploma.

Furthermore, technical schools and higher technical institutes (HTLs), which have meanwhile been transferred to technical colleges (FHs), trained engineers ("Ing. HTL"). Neither a high school Matura nor a university degree is a prerequisite for basic training , but an (usually mechanical or technical) apprenticeship and an additional professional Matura .

The engineering associations established in Switzerland on the one hand are the " Swiss Engineers and Architects' Association ", founded in 1837, and on the other hand " Swiss Engineering " (formerly the Swiss Technical Association, STV) and the " Swiss Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (usic)". There are no chambers of engineers like in Germany and Austria in Switzerland.


In France , engineering studies take place at “Écoles d'Ingénieurs” (engineering colleges), also known as “ Grande école ”, and at universities. The title and profession of engineer is protected in France.

The “Grandes écoles” are the training centers for the government and business leaders. The training at engineering colleges is geared more closely to the requirements of the job market through projects and internships during the three or five-year course. There are around 240 engineering colleges with around 26,000 students graduating each year. Such a “Grande École” is therefore the size of a medium-sized German grammar school. In order to be able to issue an engineering diploma, the school must be authorized to do so by the university minister. The engineers trained at the “Grandes Écoles” have the title “ingénieur diplômé” followed by the name of their engineering college. Studying at the “Grandes Écoles” does not correspond to any German system. In order to be able to attend such a Grande École in France, a two-year course in a “ Classe préparatoire ” is necessary, in which, especially for the engineering future of the student, the highest mathematics as well as physics, chemistry and systems theory are taught at a very theoretical level. Unlike in Germany, the ECTS at the universities are adjusted to the actual lecture times. Due to the compulsory attendance and homework, the “Grandes Écoles” have a school-like character.

There are also engineering colleges that accept students directly after graduating from high school ( Baccalauréat ). These are called “École post-bac”. The course at such a university then lasts five years, in contrast to the system “Classes Préparatoires” (2 years) - “Grande École” (3 years). Such universities are a little less renowned (what is important in France, many French know the renowned École polytechnique , École des Mines , or Écoles Centrales ), but enjoy a growing popularity with high school graduates, as the " Classes Préparatoires " have a very tough reputation .

In 1992 the IUP (Institut Universitaire Professionnalisé = practice-oriented university institute) were opened at universities. There, after four years of study with the Maîtrise IUP, the graduates received the title of ingénieur-maître . This title has not been awarded since the implementation of the Bologna Process. On the other hand, there were engineers on the job market who had acquired a DESS after five years of studying at a university. Today in France every master's graduate is an engineer.

Unlike in Germany, the individual “Grandes Écoles” are already very specialized. For example, after the “Classe Préparatoire”, a student in France does not choose a special course of study, but rather the university that specializes in one area. There are also general engineering schools that cover large-scale topics.

In the companies, both engineers from universities and ingénieurs diplômés d'École are named for the same post Ingénieur , but the pay scale is different: an ingénieur diplômé generally earns more.


In Italy the title ingegnere is legally protected and tied to a university degree and a state examination.


In Finland engineering studies take place in technical universities, in technical faculties of other universities and in technical colleges. At universities, students first take the tekniikan kandidaatti exam with 180 credit points after about six semesters and then continue their studies up to the diplomi-insinööri exam (graduate engineer). The total duration of the course is 300 credit points, i.e. ten semesters. In an international comparison tekniikan kandidaatti and diplomi-insinööri are translated as Bachelor of Science (Eng.) And Master of Science (Eng.) . Graduates can do a doctorate directly.

At the universities of applied sciences, the degree is called insinööri (AMK) (engineer (FH)) with 240 credit points . As a degree, insinööri (AMK) is comparable to tekniikan kandidaatti , but is translated as a Bachelor of Engineering . After three years of professional experience, the technical college engineers can continue their studies at technical colleges. Then you can take the degree insinööri (ylempi AMK) (engineer (higher FH)) with 120 credit points . Legally, insinööri (ylempi AMK) is comparable to diplomi-insinööri and is rated as a Master of Engineering . The FH engineers also have the opportunity to study at the universities. There it is possible for them to take the diploma engineering exam with studies of 180 credit points.

Before the introduction of the Finnish technical college system in the 1990s, engineers were also trained in technical schools (teknillinen oppilaitos) . The engineering studies in such a technical institute lasted four years and ended with the degree insinööri (engineer). The insinööri and insinööri (AMK) qualifications are almost equivalent by law.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia , engineer is not a professional or professional title for technical specialists. There, the engineer (Ing.) Is an academic degree at the master’s level, not only in technical courses, but also - unlike generally international norms - in studies in economics , agriculture , forestry and military sciences . The Czech and Slovak academic degrees in engineering therefore not only correspond to the German graduate engineer , but also, depending on the field of study, other graduate degrees from German universities ( diploma in business administration , diploma in economics , diploma in agricultural engineer, etc.) or master’s degrees ( MA , M.Sc . , M.Eng. ) .

Other Eastern European countries

In some Eastern European countries such as B. Bulgaria , Hungary and Poland are now awarded the Bachelor or Master according to the Bologna process . The international Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng.) Or Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) Are now also used here .

English speaking states

The term engineer is not a protected term in most English-speaking countries either and is used for a wide variety of job titles. Only titles such as Professional Engineer (PE or Pr. Eng.), Chartered Engineer (CEng) in UK, Ireland, India, Registered Engineer (R. Eng.), Civil engineer (civil engineer) or mechanical engineer (mechanical engineer) are partially (e.g. B. in Canada and some states of the USA ) protected by law.


Well-known engineering disciplines are, for example:

Further subjects can be found in the list of engineering subjects .

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Engineer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Engineers  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Uwe Marx: University degrees: Where the graduate engineer survived . , updated April 25, 2017; accessed: November 22, 2017
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language. Berlin 1948 and 2002.
  3. ^ Günther Drosdowski: The dictionary of origin: Etymology of the German language. Duden Volume 7. Dudenverlag, Mannheim / Leipzig / Vienna / Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-411-20907-0 .
  4. a b Chamber of Engineers Saxony: Engineering services in Saxony , 1998, p. 9ff., ISBN 3-00-002735-1 .
  5. ^ Gisela Buchheim, Rolf Sonnemann (ed.): History of the technical sciences. Springer Basel, 1990, ISBN 978-3-0348-6153-3
  6. Duden, Barbara / Ebert, Hans: The beginnings of women's studies at the TH Berlin. In: Reinhard Rürup (ed.): Science and society: Contributions to the history of the Technical University of Berlin, 1879–1979 . Volume 1. Springer, Berlin 1979, pp. 403-418.
  7. Ulrich Fellmeth (ed.): Margarete von Wrangell and other pioneers. The first women at universities in Baden and Württemberg . Book accompanying the exhibition; an exhibition of the state conference of women's representatives at scientific universities in Baden-Württemberg and the University of Hohenheim. Hohenheim themes, 7, special volume. St. Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae-Verl, 1998.
  8. Marianne Viefhaus: Women at the Technical University of Darmstadt . In: Brigitte Emig (Ed.): Women in Science. Documentation of the lecture series from the winter semester 1985/86 at the Technical University of Darmstadt . THD series of publications on science and technology 38. Darmstadt: President of the Technical University, 1988, pp. 35–61.
  9. Duden / Ebert p. 407.
  10. Duden / Ebert p. 412.
  11. ^ Dietlinde Peters: Women at the Technical University of Berlin. In: Karl Schwarz (Ed.): 1799–1999, from the Bauakademie to the Technical University of Berlin: History and Future . Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2000, pp. 518-530
  12. Viefhaus p. 45.
  13. Despina Stratigakos: Skirts and scaffolding. Women architects, gender, and design in Wilhelmine Germany . Proquest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor MI 1999, pp. 191-192 .
  14. ^ Margot Fuchs: Like fathers like daughters. Studies of women at the Technical University of Munich, 1899-1970 . Factum , Munich 1994, ISBN 3-929391-07-4 , p. 93-96 .
  15. Fuchs p. 37.
  16. Klaus Stiglat (ed.): Civil engineers and their work . Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-433-01665-7 , pp. 316-317 .
  17. Mary Pepchinski: Marie Frommer. Projects between Berlin and exile in New York . In: Mary Pepchinski u. a. (Ed.): Mrs. Architect. For more than 100 years: women in the architectural profession . Wasmuth, Tübingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-8030-0829-9 , pp. 141-145, 292-293 .
  18. ^ Jeannine Meighörner: Flying - mon amour. Dr. Ilse Essers, the forgotten aviation pioneer from Lake Constance . In: Leben am See , Volume 22. Senn, Tettnang 2005, pp. 213–224.
  19. ^ Heinz Hossdorf: The experience of being an engineer , Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2002, ISBN 3-7643-6050-X , ISBN 978-3-7643-6050-4
  20. Text of engineering song on
  21. a b c Georg Ruppelt : The Inscheniers can do everything. With key words from it in: , April 2005 (only with registration).
  22. Professions in the Spiegel der Statistik 1999–2007. (No longer available online.) Institute for Employment Research, archived from the original on February 2, 2008 ; Retrieved April 14, 2009 .
  23. Engineers at a glance. (PDF) VDI, accessed on August 31, 2017 (brochure).
  24. The addition in brackets (FH) is mandatory. In the case of a graduate engineer acquired at a (technical) university, the voluntary addition in brackets (TU) or (TH) is sometimes used to differentiate.
  25. DVS - German Association for Welding (Authorized National Body International Institute of Welding) and related processes e. V., Aachener Straße 172, 40223 Düsseldorf (Ed.): Guideline 1170 .
  26. Certification of welding supervisors according to DVS-IIW / EWF 1107-1. Retrieved July 19, 2020 .
  27. accessed on February 18, 2015
  28. Az .: 2 A 278/09 of the SächsOVG of January 11, 2011.
  29. History of Technology in Graz, accessed on May 19, 2017
  30. Engineering Act 2006, Federal Law Gazette I No. 120/2006
  31. Engineering Act 2017, Federal Law Gazette I No. 23/2017
  32. a b General information on the qualification "Engineer" at
  33. ^ National Council decides to upgrade the title of engineer , on parliamentary correspondence No. 1062 of October 12, 2016, accessed on January 25, 2017
  34. a b Federal law amending the Engineering Law 1990, Federal Law Gazette No. 512/1994
  35. Engineering offices . Engineering offices in Austria, accessed on July 19, 2020 .
  36. Willy Schlachter: Engineering training in Switzerland - many roads lead to the goal. In: Franz Betschon et al. (Ed.): Engineers build Switzerland - first-hand history of technology , pp. 478–491, Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich 2013, ISBN 978-3-03823-791-4
  37. ↑ A brief explanation of the vocational school- leaving certificate., accessed on July 23, 2019 .