Master's certificate

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A master craftsman's certificate from 1926, issued by the Berlin Chamber of Crafts

The master's certificate is a certificate and is adjacent to the championship diploma after passing the master's examination of the master craftsmen will be given, even the foreman , the agriculturalist and specialist masters awarded. It applies across Europe.

The certificate itself is usually unadorned and serves the purpose of proving that you have passed the master craftsman's examination. The often elaborately designed master craftsman's certificates are usually not a certificate. They have been designed as a decorative sheet in a variety of ways. There is no evidence of uniformity in the German-speaking area. According to the prevailing style, there are historicized sheets, calligraphic variants and modern graphically designed copies. Some chambers of handicrafts honor merited master craftsmen with silver, gold, diamond or honorary master letters. These are also not documents in the legal sense.


The master craftsman's certificate is issued by the examination board of the professional chambers of the relevant profession.

The owner of the master craftsman's certificate can be entered in the craft register in the relevant craft and thus receives the authorization to independently operate a craft that requires approval . Furthermore, the master craftsman's certificate entitles the owner to train apprentices and to use the title of master craftsman in connection with a craft that requires or does not require authorization (cf. § 51 , § 51d HwO ).

According to § 49 HwO, anyone who can prove a journeyman's examination in the craft or another final examination is admitted to the master craftsman examination . Three years of professional experience in the learned profession is no longer necessary since the amendment of the craft regulations.

Master's requirement in Germany

In Germany, the master craftsman's certificate was a mandatory requirement for being able to run a craft business (professions requiring authorization with the requirement of a major certificate of proficiency ), limited to certain professions. In the amendment to the craft regulations, which came into force on January 1, 2004, this was abolished for professions without authorization. The options for practicing the profession independently with alternative qualifications have also been expanded for almost all professions that are still subject to authorization. Since 2004, due to a change in the HwO, a certificate of competence for running a craftsman's business has also been recognized as an exemption according to § 8 or § 9 HwO or an authorization to exercise according to § 7b HwO for old journeyman (at least 6 years of professional experience; at least 4 of them in management positions).

As a rule, the master craftsman's certificate is a prerequisite for admission to the advanced training examination to become a certified business economist according to the craft regulations ; it should prove business management knowledge, optimized for companies with several employees.

Recognition of the master craftsman's certificate

The master craftsman's certificate is recognized within the European Union . This is regulated in the EU directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, in which the master craftsman's certificate is assigned to level three (level 3 - diploma for a short course).

With the receipt of the master craftsman's certificate, the young master has been classified at level 6 in the German Qualification Framework (DQR) since May 2013 . At level 6, for example, there is also the academic degree Bachelor . This is intended to upgrade the master craftsman's certificate. In February 2014, for the first time in Germany, master craftsmen's certificates were handed out by the Dortmund Chamber of Crafts with the following note: "This qualification is assigned to level 6 in the German and European qualifications framework."

The abbreviation me. Is legally protected on the initiative of the Wiesbaden Chamber of Crafts . stands for the master’s degree, which has been awarded by a professional body (chamber) and can be used by masters in the craft as an indication of their acquired professional qualification such as an academic degree in front of the name (e.g. me. Rita Musterfrau, Meisterin in the optician trade).

Holders of a master craftsman's certificate in a training occupation according to §§ 45, 51a, 122 HwO can take up any university course in all federal states , as long as access is not restricted for other reasons (e.g. a numerus clausus ). In this respect, the master’s examination is equivalent to the Abitur .

Web links

Wiktionary: Meisterbrief  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Meisterbrief  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Recognition for the master in Europe. (No longer available online.), formerly in the original ; Retrieved December 28, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  2. Crafts cheer: Master recognized., October 2007, accessed on December 28, 2010 .
  3. Master craftsmen's certificates with DQR notation awarded. Deutsche Handwerks Zeitung, accessed on April 7, 2014 .
  4. a b Deutsche Handwerks-Zeitung of March 4, 2002 (accessed on July 19, 2010)
  5. Examples for the use of the abbreviation me. at the metal guild Gelnhausen-Schlüchtern
  6. The regulations in the higher education laws partly differ in the individual countries. - In addition to the above-mentioned master craftsmen, also qualified technicians (IHK) and other corresponding advanced training qualifications for which examination regulations according to Sections 53, 54 Vocational Training Act (BBiG) and Sections 42, 42a HwO exist, state-certified technicians, business economists, educators and the like. a. with graduation from a technical school in accordance with the framework agreement on technical schools of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, comparable qualifications within the meaning of the Seemannsgesetz, teachers for nursing, care service managers, etc., persons with comparable qualifications under state-level further training regulations for professions in health care and in the field of social care and socio-educational professions (in accordance with the framework agreement on Fachschulen ) admitted to the course.