Engineer: Permission to use the job title

In order to be allowed to use the professional title "Ingenieurin" or "Ingenieur" in Germany, you need a permit. For the permit, you need the recognition of your foreign professional qualification as an engineer.

The profession of engineer is regulated in Germany. The job title is particularly protected. This means that you must prove a specific qualification in order to be allowed to use the job title "engineer". To prove a foreign qualification, you can apply for recognition of your professional qualification. You can also apply for the recognition procedure from abroad.

In the recognition procedure, the competent authority compares your professional qualification from abroad with the professional qualification in the selected federal state. The procedure is called: Equivalence determination. You will receive a notification of the result of the equivalence determination. The decision will indicate your professional qualifications. If you lack professional qualifications for recognition, the decision also mentions the main differences.

In order to use the professional title "engineer" or "engineer", you must meet other requirements in addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification. You may not need to prove these requirements until a later date:

  • Main residence, branch or predominant work in the chosen federal state. Or: You want to live or work in the chosen federal state soon.
  • Personal suitability

If your qualification is equivalent and you meet all other requirements, you may use the job title "engineer".

  • Application form from the competent authority
  • Proof of identity (e.B. passport or identity card)
  • Marriage certificate (if your name has changed due to marriage)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your professional qualification (e.B certificates, professional certificate)
  • Proof of your professional experience (e.B. job references)
  • Proof of your other qualifications (e.B continuing vocational training, seminars)
  • Perhaps: Certificate assessment of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)
  • Information about an application for recognition that has already been submitted. Then indicate where you submitted the application.
  • You come from a third country and do not yet live or work in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland? Then you have to prove: You want to work in the profession in the chosen federal state (e.B. applications, entry visa for employment, personal declaration).
  • Perhaps: Proof of your personal suitability: Certificate of Good Standing (e.B. criminal record extract, Certificate of Good Standing)
  • If the profession is not regulated in your country of training, then you may need to prove: at least one year of professional experience in the profession in the last 10 years.
  • If the profession is regulated in your country of training, then you may have to prove that you are allowed to work in the profession in the country of training.
  • Perhaps: Registration certificate of your residence in the respective federal state
     

The competent authority will inform you which documents you must show in the original or hand in as a copy. Some copies must be officially certified. We recommend that you do not send originals by post.

You must present your documents in German. Translations must be carried out by publicly appointed or authorised translators.

Forms can be obtained from the competent authority.

Preconditions

  • You have a completed professional qualification as an engineer from abroad.
  • You have your main residence, your branch or your predominant work in the chosen federal state. Or: You want to live or work in the chosen federal state soon.
     

You may also need to meet the following requirements:

  • Personal aptitude: You are reliable and have no criminal record.

Hints

Work without recognition

You can also work without the recognition, e.B. employed in an engineering office.

But: The job title "engineer" or "engineer" is particularly protected. You are not allowed to use the job title. This also applies to a word combination with the job title.
 

Freedom to provide services

You only want to offer services in Germany sometimes and for a short time? Then you usually do not need recognition. You must meet these requirements:

  • You must be established in another EU, EEA or Swiss country.
  • You must prove your professional qualification.
  • You must report or register your activity in writing with the competent authority.
  • You may need to prove: At least one year of professional experience in the profession in the last 10 years.
  • If you work independently, you may also need to have adequate professional indemnity insurance.

Assessment of a foreign university qualification

A certificate assessment can make it easier for you to access the German labour market. The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) evaluates your certificate. Please note: The certificate assessment does not replace the recognition of your professional qualification. You will only receive recognition of your professional qualification from the competent authority.

You can submit the application with the documents to the competent authority or send it by post. Do not send originals. Sometimes you can also send the application electronically. The competent authority will inform you.

The competent authority receives the application. It will confirm that the application has arrived after one month at the latest. Once the competent authority has received all the documents from you, it will process your application.

The competent authority then checks: Is your professional qualification equivalent to the professional qualification in your federal state? For the comparison, e.B content of the training and duration of the training are important. The competent body shall also take into account your professional experience, other qualifications and qualifications.

During the equivalence test, the competent body often also checks:

  • Have you completed your studies at a university? Or did you do an apprenticeship at the same level?
  • Did you mainly take examinations in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology (MINT subjects) during your studies?
  • Did the study last at least 3 years?
  • Are you allowed to work as an engineer in your country of training?

You may need to submit additional documents for this. The competent authority will inform you.

The competent authority then examines further requirements for the use of the professional title. This includes, for example.B. Your place of residence or intention to work in the chosen state.

If your qualification is equivalent and you meet all other requirements, your professional qualification will be recognised. You may use the professional title "engineer". You will receive a certificate of this. Then you have the same professional rights as a person with the German professional qualification.

Are there significant differences between your professional qualification and the German professional qualification? Then your professional qualification will not be recognised. In most cases, you can then take a compensatory measure. This allows you to compensate for the essential differences.

There are various compensatory measures:

  • Adaptation course: You work as an engineer. In doing so, it supervises a qualified person. You may need to do additional training.
  • Aptitude test: In the aptitude test, only those areas in which significant differences have been identified are examined.

Often you can choose between an adaptation course or an aptitude test. If you successfully complete the compensatory measure, you will receive the recognition. You may use the professional title "engineer".

In some federal states, you may not be able to take a compensatory measure with a qualification from a third country. Then you can complete an educational measure. For example.B you can take part in courses or do further training. You must organize the participation in the courses yourself. After that, you can submit a new application. The responsible body will inform you about your possibilities.

Responsible for the content
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training
Chamber of Engineers Saxony-Anhalt

Last update or date of publication
01.10.2021