Why you should study mechanical engineering in Germany


Updated on Feb 03 • 4 minute read

The economic and innovative power of mechanical engineers in Germany are seen as the beacon of hope when it comes to solving mammoth tasks such as resource efficiency, new forms of mobility or the development of new energy sources and climate change. Mechanical engineering truly forms the backbone of the German economy.

To put it in a nutshell: as a mechanical engineer in Germany, you're truly the silent hero of Industry 4.0, indispensable for the German economy.

Getting started: Does mechanical engineering in Germany suit me at all?

It doesn't take much to daydream about the future prospects as a mechanical engineer in Germany: top job prospects, good entry-level salary; as a mechanical engineer, you'll hit the bull's-eye on the career front. Although the future prospects are good enough to butter you up, you have to keep in mind that the road ahead will be rocky.

Students who will be working on complicated machine designs and production in the course of their day-to-day lives won't be able to escape the following modules:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics, numerics and higher mathematics
  • Linear algebra
  • Chemistry
  • Construction theory
  • Strength of materials
  • Materials science
  • Manufacturing science

Efficient, pragmatic, reserved, focused and analytical: that's about what describes you as a mechanical engineer in Germany.

Why is Germany so good at engineering?

As the silent heroes of Industry 4.0, mechanical engineering is responsible for the 'Made in Germany' label; with their development, design and production of highly complex technical machines, they are tinkering with the answers to mammoth tasks such as resource efficiency, new forms of mobility or the development of new energy sources and climate change.

Ernst & Young has taken a close look at the backbone of the German economy:

in 2016, the turnover of the German mechanical engineering industry cracked a record high of a good 228 billion euros.

And also in an international perspective, Germany remains the largest machinery exporting country with a share of 15.4 percent of global machinery exports. The label 'Made in Germany' remains an indicator of quality.

Get a degree in mechanical engineering in Germany in 10 semesters

There's one thing you need to bring with you to study mechanical engineering in Germany: time. As an international student, you can expect to be away from your home country for at least the standard study period of 10 semesters. Mechanical engineering studies in Germany are divided into about 6 semesters up to the Bachelor's degree and another 4 semesters up to the Master's degree.

Top 10 universities in Germany to study mechanical engineering

Now it's down to the nitty gritty: Where can you study mechanical engineering in Germany? You'll find a wide range of choices at universities and universities of applied sciences. You're more of a practical type? Then you can take mechanical engineering in Germany at universities of applied sciences, with close supervision and practical work; for the more theoretical among you, universities are the better choice.

The direct survey of hiring personnel, conducted annually by Universum on behalf of Wirtschaftswoche, gives a somewhat more precise picture of the top universities in Germany for mechanical engineering:

RankUniversityUniversity of applied science
1.RWTH AachenFH Aachen
2.TU MünchenHAW München
3.KIT KarlsruheHS Darmstadt
4.TU DarmstadtHS Esslingen
5.TU BerlinHTW Berlin
6.TU KaiserslauternHS Karlsruhe
7.Uni StuttgartHAW Hamburg
8.Uni DresdenTH Köln
9.Uni DortmundHTWK Leipzig
10.TU BraunschweigHS Mannheim

Future prospect: How much do mechanical engineers earn in Germany?

After ten semesters full of focus on complex physical relationships and higher mathematical equations, you're looking at a hefty entry-level salary.

As a mechanical engineer,

you earn an average starting salary of 46,391 euros gross per year with a Bachelor's degree

and almost 48,749 euros with a Master's degree. Add a doctorate or an MBA and you can easily reach the salary mark of 60,000 euros.

Good to know: The top industry for mechanical engineers is automotive engineering. You will find the big car manufacturers in the south around Stuttgart as well as VW in Wolfsburg.

Future prospect: Is mechanical engineering in demand in Germany?

Yes, as a graduate of mechanical engineering in Germany your chances of starting a career after graduation are among the highest. The demand for good mechanical engineers is very high, which means that the transition from education to working life is usually very quick and smooth.

In 2018, the Federal Employment Agency counted around 130,000 engineers employed on social insurance, while just 3,600 were unemployed. Due to the shortage of skilled workers in Germany and also the range of operations of engineers, it is rather easy to find a job in the professional field.

Up until 2029, the Association of German Engineers (VDI) expects that around 700,000 of their colleagues will have to be replaced due to age. That's almost 42 per cent of the workforce! This doesn't even take into account the demand from possible new fields of business.

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