Job prospects for an Engineer and an Architect

33 posts in this topic

Posted

My partner and I are both qualified European citizens and we are trying to find a place to settle, where both of us would feel satisfied professionally.

I have a Licence in Mechanic Engineering and a Master Degree in Thermal Energy, and my partner has a Licence in Architecture. We have been trying to find a place where we could both have a job in Europe and one of the options that we are considering is Germany.

I know that due to its industry demands and my EU citizenship I think I wouldn’t have much problems finding a job, but I have some concerns for the career of my partner since I don’t know how difficult it would be for an Architect to find a job there.

She has three years of experience, great soft skills which includes AutoCAD, Photoshop and 3DMax, and she is artistically very talented.

I am looking for the opinion of persons who know the job market situation in Germany and that could give an advice.

Thank you for your time.

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Posted

There is a glut of architects in Germany as it is a very popular course and there is nothing really to stop you studying it. The population is in decline and the building boom in the East which created a bubble is now long history. Even if you find a job salaries are low, as in any job that 20 people are competing for.

She would probably find another kind of job quite easily though as the overall job market is still good, especially seen from southern Europe or France.

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Posted

Thank you for the feedback LeChamois,

I understand the situation, the other jobs you mentioned would they be related to arts or design at least?

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Posted

I have an italian friend who managed to get a job as an architect fairly easily (obviously a sample size of 1 is not very representative of the overall situation, but the point is it is not impossible...). However, she made sure she could speak fluent german before even beginning to apply for jobs.

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Posted

the other jobs you mentioned would they be related to arts or design at least?

How well does she speak German?

I have to agree with LeChamois, the job market for architects in Germany is terrible (and the outlook is not good either). The only employed architects I've met are either working 60 hrs/wk for low wages or employed as Project Managers/Consultants.

I'm not sure if it is still true, however, until last year there was still a demand for architects in Canada. It might be worth looking into the opportunities there.

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Posted

I have an italian friend who managed to get a job as an architect fairly easily

That's a little vague. What are they paying your friend? You can find work in any profession in Germany if you are prepared to do it for free.

My bet is she is "freelancing" for €15/h, which of course might even sound attractive to some people these days.

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Posted

Yur partner may be able to leverage her Autocad knwoledge by applying to one of the big engineering service providers who often have CAD prople on their books. She may also be quite in demand by temping agencies, but with not very exciting pay.

Yous shouldnt ahve any issues with and Engineering degree, if thats what you have. the first thimng you have to do is stop calling it a "License" and call it by whatever its proper or equivalent name is. If it is a strange qualificatiopn, the ylu need to do some research in to what the equivalent is, despite your masters. You shoudl also check taht your masters is actually valid here (should be if its from the EU, but check).

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Posted

i was just visiting with an old friend who is a junior partner in a very successful architecture firm in Seattle and he said they regularly use Germans architects on big projects for outsourcing drafting work b/c they will work so cheaply.

just giving you some perspective.

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Posted

the first thimng you have to do is stop calling it a "License"

License

A license is an academic degree. Originally, in order to teach at a university, one needed this degree which, according to its title, gave the bearer a license to teach. The name survived despite the fact that nowadays a doctorate is typically needed in order to teach at a university. A person who holds a license is called a licentiate.

(...) In Portugal, before the Bologna process, students would become licentiates after 5 years of studies (4 years in particular cases like Marketing, Management, etc.; and 6 years for Medicine). However, since the adoption of the Bologna Process engineering degrees in Portugal were changed from a 5 year license to a 3 year license followed by 2 years for the MSc: Not having the MSc doesn't confer accreditation by the Ordem dos Engenheiros)

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Posted

Just a thought. does AutoCAD have a forum for its users? Why not ask there?

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Posted

Do you have a link to any examples of your partners Photoshop & 3dsmax work?

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Posted

That's a little vague. What are they paying your friend? You can find work in any profession in Germany if you are prepared to do it for free.

My bet is she is "freelancing" for €15/h, which of course might even sound attractive to some people these days.

No she is not freelancing, she has a bachelor and masters degree in architecture and is working for a company for a good salary (I can try to find out the exact amount, but not sure when I will see her next)

I can understand your cynicism, but maybe it depends where geographically you work: we are not in a big city. And maybe she is very good at her job...

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Posted

I can understand your cynicism

I wasn't being at all cynical. The job market for architects in Germany is really not very good. That's all. You haven't provided any numbers or other facts to alleviate that impression.

Also, I suspect we have different ideas of what a "good salary" is. Architects in Germany don't earn good salaries.

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Posted

Don't know much about the architectural job market, but for an Engineer with thermals experience the gas turbine/aeroengine market is very strong in Germany just now and that could give a good choice of locations

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Posted

You haven't provided any numbers or other facts to alleviate that impression.

I refer back to the original post:

obviously a sample size of 1 is not very representative of the overall situation, but the point is it is not impossible

i.e. I wasn't trying to alleviate any impression or rigorously back up my anecdote with precise figures. My suspicion why it was easy for the person in question to find a job is 1)luck (i.e. being in the right place at the right time) 2) good qualifications and 3) able to speak fluent german

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Posted

getting applying and try out some interviews before making the commitment of moving country and all the hassle involved, make sure it's something you want. Try spending a summer in Germany, house swop, try applying then?

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Posted

I'd say that they're actually pretty good right now - in Munich, at least. I continually hear from colleagues that they have difficulty finding qualified architects.

If you have a look at some of the standard job listing sites then you'll see that there are plenty of positions - see, for instance, Bauwelt, World Architects (search "By Country"), Competitionline or the BYAK website (check out the local chamber of architects for whichever state you'd be interested in moving to).

AutoCAD is not bad to know here; has your partner worked with AutoCAD Architect as well? Even better, she should take the time to learn Revit - BIM is a hot topic now. Visualization (3D Max + Photoshop) will also be useful - especially in offices where competitions play a central role in acquisition.

Start out looking for offices with international work – in Munich, for instance, Henn, Auer + Weber, Obermeier, Nickl –, Behnisch (still ?) has an office here and any number of lesser known firms also have international projects - Spatial Solutions has a lot of work in Africa (Rwanda, I think).

Good luck!

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Posted

If she doesn't mind being project manager (projekt/bauleiter), there are tons of work. It's very demanding job though, with tight deadlines and budget responsibility and long hours.

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Posted

I'd say that they're actually pretty good right now - in Munich, at least. I continually hear from colleagues that they have difficulty finding qualified architects.

Difficulty finding qualified architects? In Germany??? Pull the other one.

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Posted

Many German architects go across the border to Switzerland to work,try there.

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Posted

@rockfisher - ok, I'll qualify my use of the word "qualified" - I didn't mean to imply that there are not enough trained/licensed architects in Germany, rather, that offices are currently having difficulty finding employees with sufficient experience or with appropriate skills.

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Posted

Peter, I dont think Rockfisher is talking about the qualifications, but rather the vast numbers of underemployed Architects that Germany (at least Berlin) is famous for having. This is also the point LeChamois was making.

Architects in Germany tend to be paid poorly and be underemployed.

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Posted

Agreed - traditionally too many architects and too few jobs in Germany; however, right now in Munich there are jobs (see the links I posted, esp. the BYAK). Whenever I discuss this with colleagues who are hiring, I am told that they have trouble finding architects with the right skills or experience. This is, of course, just anecdotal – based on friends and acquaintances in Munich (and at least one office in Berlin).

This is, relatively speaking, a pretty good time to be an architect in Germany. When I first moved (back) here in the early 00’s there were almost no openings. Since 2005-6 or so, there has been much more work and, though we keep expecting this exceptional situation to end, it hasn’t yet. Pay, of course, is an altogether different issue.

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Posted

Same here and that's why our older son decided not to study architecture. If things are looking up he could perhaps reconsider.

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