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Engineer: tasks, training, salary + application

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"Engineer" is an umbrella term for a profession in which the practitioner plans and develops. These can be technical products, machines as well as buildings and much more. One of the most varied jobs there is hidden behind the job description of an engineer. Even before starting their studies, interested parties have a number of opportunities to specialize. What areas are there for engineers, what salary you can expect and what you can expect during your studies ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Engineer areas + tasks

Engineers are, in the truest sense of the word, the foundation of the economy. There are several areas, so that depending on the orientation, an engineer has the following tasks:

  • Civil engineers
    oversee the expansion of the road and rail network as well as industrial and building construction projects. Planning, technology, statics and functionality are the focus of their work.
  • Mechanical engineers
    Similar to development and electrical engineers, they take care of the development, modernization and maintenance of new machines, systems, production or construction processes. Depending on the industry, the boundaries can be fluid here.
  • Development engineers
    For example, they tend to deal with long-term trends and perspectives, while mechanical and electrical engineers tend to deal with the practical implementation of specific orders.
  • Industrial engineers
    are considered the generalists in engineering. They have both the economic and the technical side in view and are versatile because they have extensive knowledge. You can be used as a consultant, controller or project manager. The choice of specialization options in this area is almost unlimited.
  • Sales engineer
    can be used in a similarly wide range. In addition to the technical and organizational perspective, they also bring marketing knowledge to their work. You are considered to be the link between engineering and sales.

So there is little that unites the individual engineers. For this reason, the activities at this point can only be summarized in general terms and are only intended to give a first impression, without claiming to be complete. For example, the daily routine of an engineer can be characterized by the following content:

  • Customer meetings
  • Planning and design
  • Static calculations
  • Project management in the implementation of development projects
  • Coordination of the teams involved
  • Acceptance and handover of the results
  • Obtaining permits from authorities
  • Registration of patents
  • and much more

The engineering profession is usually very heavy on mathematics and technology. At the same time, the job is creative and varied, as new parameters apply to each new order. It takes a lot of imagination. The job often involves a lot of travel. As companies increasingly think globally, the engineer can experience significant work peaks at peak times that require overtime. The workload is therefore extremely high for many engineers and their job is characterized by stress and time pressure.

Engineer training

Engineers must either complete a degree at a technical college or university or a dual course of study. In the past, engineering graduated with a diploma; today, the bachelor's degree or, based on it, the master's degree largely replaces the diploma. A degree in engineering is possible in the following areas:

  • Civil engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Sales engineer
  • Development engineer

As different as the later professions are, the contents of the courses are just as different. Depending on the specialization, the following content can be on the timetable, for example:

  • mathematics
  • Manufacturing and materials
  • Construction engineering
  • Project management
  • quality assurance
  • statistics
  • Statics
  • Technical mechanics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Business process management
  • Construction theory
  • Computer science
  • Construction and occupational safety
  • Geotechnics
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting
  • logistics
  • Micro and macro economics
  • Controlling
  • thermodynamics

Furthermore, practice-related projects, excursions and internships are an integral part of the courses offered. At least one practical semester is also planned.

Engineer salary

The salary of engineers is generally considered to be quite attractive. However, salaries depend heavily on the industry, degree, area and place of work. The starting salaries as a Bachelor graduate range from 2,500 euros in civil engineering to 4,200 euros as an industrial engineer. Compared to other, similar professions, the income is very good:

As an engineer, you have promising development opportunities. After a few years of professional experience, gross salaries between 4,500 and 6,000 euros are not uncommon. Engineers who have climbed further steps on the career ladder through specializations and further training earn even more.

The individual career also plays a major role: the higher you climb and the more you specialize, the more leeway you have in salary negotiations.

Engineer jobs: career opportunities + prospects

The fields of application of engineers are just as varied as the development opportunities. Budding engineers don't have to worry about their future careers. According to current statistical surveys, job prospects are excellent. Although the number of students has risen sharply in recent years, many engineers will reach retirement age in the near future, so that the professional profile will continue to be future-proof.

Engineers are always needed. There are numerous job vacancies to be found in the construction sector in particular. In addition to traditional tasks such as building houses, roads, bridges and office complexes, they are also responsible for the planning and construction of major projects such as airports, wind farms, sustainable power plants or water treatment plants. Trained engineers find work in the following areas:

  • Specialized architectural offices
  • Construction and construction offices
  • Authorities
  • Energy and electrical engineering
  • Vehicle technology
  • Machine technology
  • research
  • Production control
  • Plastic manufacturing
  • Raw material production
  • Energy Technology
  • production
  • environmental engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • economy

Engineers can quickly become team or project leaders, sometimes even managing directors or board members. In the public service, career goals can range from office manager to building mayor. Particularly in the fields of electrical engineering, automobile construction and mechanical engineering, the demand for labor is currently significantly higher than the supply.

This is not only true at the national level. The demand for engineers has also grown enormously internationally. Advanced and advanced training can pay off extremely quickly for an engineer. Especially in the field of industrial engineering, he can position himself well through a specialization. For example in:

  • Energy management
  • Property management
  • Hygiene management
  • Logistics and production management
  • Human engineering
  • distribution
  • marketing

Application as an engineer: tips + templates

Graduates need to combine certain talents and skills in order to be successful as engineers. For example:

These should be reflected in your application. Concentrate on special focuses that were part of your studies and are particularly in demand in the job advertisement. You can also earn points with internships and projects that you already completed during your studies. Highlight your soft skills in the cover letter by providing appropriate evidence. For example, they can be formulated as follows:

In many projects, I was able to find creative solutions for difficult assignments together with my team. My eye for the overall context was always extremely helpful.

I was able to demonstrate my analytical skills and assertiveness both in Germany and in various foreign projects in the Far East. Please note the reference from Mr. Dipl-Ing. Winkelmann.

Free templates with sample text

Benefit from our free templates to the application letter. You can download these individually as a Word file by clicking on "Cover letter", "Cover sheet" or "CV" - or as a complete application set by clicking on the preview image. You will then receive all three Word templates combined in one zip file.

➠ Template / sample: cover letter, cover sheet, curriculum vitae

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