Want to become an engineer? From training to growth; everything you need to know
Engineers play a significant role in our world. They make the modern world possible and improve our quality of life by making everyday tasks more convenient and comfortable. Engineers deal with "special" technologies, which makes their work interesting and challenging.
Moreover, it is a profession with a future, as digitalisation, in particular, is radically changing the professional world. So what are the educational requirements for becoming an engineer, what kind of training or qualifications are necessary, and what career opportunities are available in this field?
What requirements do you have to meet?
A completed engineering degree is a mandatory requirement to start a career as an engineer. To be admitted to an engineering degree programme, you will need a general higher education admission qualification, a subject-specific higher education admission qualification, or an engineering college admission qualification. Some universities may also have other admission restrictions, such as university-specific entrance tests, a numerus clausus, or a completed pre-study internship.
Personal motivation also plays an important role. Prospective engineering students should have a strong interest in scientific subjects (biology, chemistry and especially physics) and technology, as well as mathematical expertise, analytical, conceptual skills and a good knowledge of English (knowledge of another language is always an advantage). They should also be team-oriented, creative and good at communicating.
An engineer focuses mainly on research, development, design and production of products and technical processes. As an engineer, you do this for both existing and new projects. You are also involved in the practical implementation, production and construction of various technologies, products and services. But the economic aspects are also important. Think of production planning under various qualitative and economic factors, as well as coordination in the field of financial controlling.
No single type of engineer
There is no single type of engineer; rather, there are architects, civil engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, mechatronics engineers and many more. Each direction and sector offers its own interesting and exciting challenges.
When you start studying engineering, you can choose from different fields of study. The most well-known of these are:
- Factory construction
- Civil engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Process technology
- Business information technology
- Industrial engineering
For those who know early on what specific field they want to work in later, some universities have specialised directions to follow, such as:
- Aerospace engineering
- Geotechnical engineering
- Automation technology
- Media informatics
- Medical technology
Bachelor's or master's degree
It takes a few years of training to graduate as an engineer. To do this work, you need at least a bachelor's degree. The duration of this is usually 6-7 terms, and graduates are given the title Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Bachelor of Engineering (BEng.). If you do not want to start your professional life immediately after graduating from this programme, you can choose to do a master's degree. For this, you need to study for another 2-4 semesters.
You can consider a dual programme to gain theoretical and practical experience during your studies. In such a programme, you combine working and studying and receive a salary from the start. This allows you to combine the practical and theoretical parts. However, it is important to note that this does not always result in an academic degree.
High dropout rate
But whichever university you choose, engineering studies should not be underestimated. They are demanding and, at 50%, have the highest dropout rate of all studies. But it is worth it! Upon graduation, you will be rewarded for your efforts because, with the current shortage of skilled employees, a job is almost guaranteed after graduation. Nowhere else unemployment is as low as in this profession (less than 3%). In addition, an engineering degree is highly regarded nationally and internationally, opening up the world to engineers, regardless of their field.
Career and salary
Regarding career prospects, the outlook is similarly positive in this field. With a bachelor's degree, opportunities for advancement to the top of the business world are favourable. A master's graduate usually qualifies for higher positions and enjoys even faster career progression.
Becoming an engineer is a challenging and rewarding career goal! It is an exciting and varied career field with good prospects for the future. More and more school leavers decide to start a technical education. Women are also increasingly opting for this training. The main reason is business, politics and educational institutions, which have been working for several years to inspire women to pursue careers in technical and scientific fields.
Engineers typically earn a good salary, with starting salaries ranging from €40,000 to €50,000 gross per year. Salaries can increase by approximately €20,000 over a 6-8 year period, depending on the sector, region, company size, and level of qualification.
Are you also looking for a technical job? Progressive's consultants can guide your entire application process from start to finish. They will introduce you to exclusive positions, prepare you thoroughly for the job interviews, inform you about everything important for the respective company, and take care of the contract and salary negotiations.
Whether you are a professional looking for a job or an organisation looking for talent to join your team, Progressive's specialists are here for you.