Engineer (m/f)

Engineer (m/f)

This section contains specific information on procedures and on the relevant legal basis for this occupational group. Also relevant for Consulting Civil Engineers.

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Professional Recognition

DO I NEED TO HAVE MY PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS RECOGNIZED?

The professions "Engineer" and "Consulting Civil Engineer" are regulated in Germany. This means that the pursuit of these professions is linked under government regulations to the possession of certain qualifications. In Germany, the occupational title of “consulting engineer” is a requirement for working as a test engineer or as a recognised expert. In order to earn the right to hold such an occupational title, engineers need to demonstrate an additional three years of occupational experience following completion of a degree in engineering and also need to have completed certain advanced training courses.

If you wish to pursue the profession of "engineer" or "consulting civil engineer" in Germany, the competent authorities must establish the equivalence of your foreign qualifications with German qualifications in the reference profession.

You can use the Recognition Finder to identify the correct competent authority for your occupation.

Certification of equivalence may be useful when practising these professions, but it is not mandatory. This means that you may seek employment as an engineer with foreign qualifications without formal recognition. However, you may not hold or use the German professional title of "Engineer" or "Consulting Civil Engineer" without official certification of equivalence.

As an additional step you can elect to have your qualifications assessed by the Central Office for Foreign Education. The certificate they issue enables employers to better assess your qualifications; however, it does not entitle you to use the German professional title.

The engineering profession is made up of numerous subject disciplines, so there are many and varied options for taking up work as an engineer in Germany. LIFE e.V., a sub-project with the Berlin IQ Network, has developed a website on which you can find all relevant subject disciplines of the engineering profession. It also highlights various employment options for engineers in the renewable energies sector. You can also complete a questionnaire to document your qualifications and competences and save them for later use (e.g. for an application or in preparation for seeking recognition guidance).

Information on the Procedure

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE RECOGNITION PROCEDURE?

If you have acquired your qualification in a member state of the European Union or of the European Economic Area or in Switzerland, you may submit an application for an equivalence assessment procedure.

Non-EU/EEA states
Recognition of qualifications from non-EU/EEA states is subject to different regulations within the federal states and is not possible in some cases. Regulations are currently being reviewed. Ask your competent authority. If your qualification has already been recognised in another EU/EEA state, the qualification will be recognised in Germany if you are able to demonstrate three years of occupational experience in the member state in question.

HOW DOES THE RECOGNITION PROCEDURE WORK?

  • You must apply to your competent authorities for a licence to use the professional title "Engineer" or "Consulting Civil Engineer".
  • The procedure compares your foreign vocational qualifications with German reference qualifications.
  • The competent authorities consider whether there are substantial differences between your foreign vocational qualifications and German qualifications.
  • The basic requirement for recognition is that you gained your qualification at an institution of higher education with a technical focus or an orientation towards the natural sciences. Your qualifications are reviewed as to whether the content and duration of training as an engineer are equivalent to those at a German institution of higher education.
  • In addition to training, professional experience gained in Germany or abroad may also be taken into consideration.
  • As a rule, the procedure is subject to a fee. The competent authorities can provide information on the costs involved.

WHAT RESULTS ARE POSSIBLE?

  • Should the outcome be positive, you may hold and use the German professional title of "Engineer" or "Consulting Civil Engineer". This grants you the same legal rights as someone with the corresponding German qualifications.
  • If the equivalence assessment procedure has shown that there are significant differences between your qualification and the German reference qualification, you will have the opportunity to achieve equivalence by taking part in a compensation measure (test or adaptation period). Such compensation measures may be organised differently according to the specific professional laws which apply in the federal states. Training opportunities for engineers are offered by institutes of higher education and by continuing training providers. The competent authority will inform you of the precise modalities involved.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED WHEN SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION?

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • Proof of your training qualifications
  • Proof of your relevant work experience
  • Other proof of skills (such as continuing vocational education and training)
  • If the profession is not regulated in your country of origin, you require proof of at least two years' professional experience.

The competent authorities will provide details.

Ethnic German resettler
If you are an ethnic German resettler (Spätaussiedler) on the legal basis of the Federal Expellees Act, ask the competent authorities about any peculiarities in the procedure which may affect you.

Legal Basis

The equivalency review is governed by the specialist law valid in each Land.