Who gets paid more geologists or engineers?

How much civil service engineers earn

It is said that money is not everything. Those who opt for a career in the public service may earn less than in the free market economy. In return, there are numerous opportunities for advancement. What is really possible as an engineer in the public service.

What civil service engineers really deserve.

Photo: panthermedia.net/Vadymvdrobot

Engineering knowledge in public administrations is extremely important, for example, in order to allow approval procedures in the area of ​​technical infrastructure to run competently and quickly. Local authorities, states and the federal government should actually have to hire many new engineers, but there is often a lack of money. The income of engineers is not attractive enough compared to the free economy. The economy pays higher starting salaries, as you can read here. The public service scores with a wide range of tasks, long-term and secure employment prospects, flexible working time models and the compatibility of work and family. A lot of employees appreciate that.

Public service: what can I do as an engineer?

Above all engineers from civil engineering, environmental engineering, geology, geodesy, but also chemistry, process engineering, mechanical engineering or agricultural science are employed in the public service or work as civil servants.

In public administrations, they are mostly occupied with accompanying, checking and approving the work and projects of engineers from the private sector - for example by examining applications, issuing permits and approvals or accompanying legal proceedings with their expertise. Environmental protection tasks naturally also belong to the task fields, such as the designation of protected areas for drinking water production or the development of plans for waste and water management. It goes without saying that technical know-how and, ideally, professional experience are necessary prerequisites in order to be able to cope with these tasks well.

The framework conditions for the compatibility of family and work are probably still better in the public service than in the private sector. However, the administrative tasks usually outweigh the purely technical tasks. It depends a lot on the organization in which the engineers work. The technical part of the activity is probably one of the highest in the self-owned companies or special-purpose associations of the local authorities that operate and maintain systems themselves.

The conditions

A few years of professional experience in engineering offices or other companies would therefore not be bad in order to be able to correctly assess what concrete projects are all about. Approval procedures ideally require communication as well as studying files. Legal requirements must be complied with without any ifs or buts, but it is important to inform the applicants in good time about possible difficulties, not in detail, but basically to show alternatives, to simply behave constructively. Conversely, knowledge of professional practice is necessary when public authorities are involved in awarding contracts to the private sector - not least in the self-interest of the public sector, which of course depends on the greatest possible cost efficiency. But switching to administration is not an easy step, especially for experienced engineers who are already earning good money. Conversely, companies are always looking specifically for new employees who have administrative experience and can therefore speak to the officials at eye level.

How much do you earn in the public service?

There used to be only three remuneration systems for all public sector employees. However, there have been various regulations since 2005, so that it is difficult to give a compact overview of the earning potential. The uniform collective agreement for the public service (TVöD) has been in force in the federal government and local authorities since October 2005. A year later, the federal states introduced their own collective agreement for the public service of the federal states (TV-L). Exceptions are Hesse, this federal state has put the TV-H into effect since January 2010, and Berlin, where the TV-L was only introduced in 2010, but salaries are only to be increased gradually to this level. The federalism reform in the summer of 2006 also gave the states the opportunity to determine the salaries of state officials themselves. The respective regulations on state salaries also apply to civil servants in the municipalities.

Here you will find an overview of the collective agreements and salary regulations

According to the salary study by ingenieur.de, specialist and project engineers earn on average according to collective agreements 60,966 euros. There are no tariffs 58,844 euros. The collectively agreed salaries in the associated sectors of mechanical and plant engineering, vehicle construction, energy supply as well as in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry developed almost proportionally. To the salary study.

Remuneration of civil servants

Bachelor graduates and Dipl. Ing. (FH) are assigned to the 3rd qualification level, i.e. the upper level service. This corresponds to salary groups A 9 to A 13. In the federal government, these engineers are assigned to salary group A 10. Engineers with a master’s degree or a diploma from the university work in the higher service or the 4th qualification level, the corresponding grades are A 13 to A 16, whereby, even with the best qualifications, a maximum of salary group A 14 is realistic. In addition to the basic salary, family and child bonuses are paid as well as annual special allowances and capital-building benefits. In addition to the degree, initial professional experience is also a decisive factor when entering a civil service career.

There are 8 levels of experience for federal officials. As a rule, entry is made in level 1, level 2 is achieved after two years of "experience", level 3 after another 3 years, levels 6-8 after another four years. The federal salary regulation, which has been in effect since March 2015, states that in salary group A 10, level 1, a basic salary of EUR 2,763.68 per month is paid; in level 8 it is EUR 3 748.44. In grade A 13, level 1 pays EUR 3,971.66 basic salary per month, and level 8 it is EUR 5,106.41. From grade A 9, the family allowance is EUR 133.04 in level 1, and in level 2 it is EUR 246.78. If there is more than one child, the family allowance for the second child to be taken into account increases by 113.74 EUR and for the third and each additional child to be taken into account by 354.38 EUR.

Here you will find the current salary tables of the dbb for civil servants

Remuneration of employed engineers in the public service

In principle, employees with a scientific university degree (master’s) can be classified in pay groups (EG) 13 to 15. Technical employees who have completed a technical university education (FH diploma and bachelor's degree) and have been working accordingly should be assigned to salary group 10 according to the collective bargaining agreements of the public service (TVöD) of the federal and state governments. The university or master’s engineers are usually assigned to EG 13 at the start. For graduates with a bachelor's degree, a maximum of EG 12 is realistic for the entire career. At present, the engineers in the municipalities are still grouped according to the old BAT characteristics and then transferred to the remuneration table of the TVöD of the Association of Municipal Employers' Associations (VKA). However, since the TVöD came into force, the increases in time, activity and probation no longer apply to newly hired employees, so that the classification and thus the level of remuneration for these employees is reduced. For all engineers transferred from the BAT to the TVöD, the level of remuneration is the same with the states and the federal government.

For federal employees there are only five levels of experience from EG 9a, also in the federal states, with the exception of EG 13Ü. There are six levels of experience in the municipalities.

The pay tables valid from March 2015 to February 29, 2016 state the following:

In the municipalities, level 1 of the EC 10 pays a basic salary of EUR 2,916.44 per month, and level 6 it is EUR 4,284.42. In level 1 of EG 12, EUR 3 129.17 is paid per month, in level 6 it is EUR 5 172.96. The basic monthly salary for EG 13 is EUR 3,489.62 in level 1 and EUR 5,270.33 in level 6.

The federal states pay EUR 2,868.29 in level 1 of EC 10, in level 5 it is EUR 4,112.96. In EC 12, EUR 3,083.48 is paid in level 1 and EUR 4,857.41 in level 5. EC 13 starts in level 1 with EUR 3,438.28 and ends in level 5 at 4,962, 10 EUR.

The federal government pays its employees in the EC 10 2 916.44 EUR in level 1 and 4 174.88 EUR in level 5. In level 1 of EC 12 it is 3 129.17 EUR, in level 5 then 4 929.53 EUR. In EG 13 (level 1) the basic monthly salary is EUR 3 489.62, in level 5 it is EUR 5 039.05. The highest salary for employed engineers of the federal government is paid in the EG 15Ü. In level 1 it is EUR 5,264.23 per month, in level 5 it is EUR 6,840.48.


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A contribution by:

  • Dr. Manfred Bergheim

  • Sarah Janczura

    Sarah Janczura is content manager and responsible editor for ingenieur.de. After an internship with a focus on social media, she worked as an online editor in a digital agency. She writes about technology, research and career topics.