Description of the profession
What are consulting engineers? What services do they provide?
Austrian consulting engineers provide highly qualified services in every area of engineering.
Consulting engineers are not manufacturers or builders. Their activities are restricted to providing consultancy services, preparing plans, and carrying out calculations, studies, inspections and measurements. Consulting engineers also supervise the completion and acceptance of projects, check that they are completed properly and that the necessary calculations are performed correctly, and monitor and check plant and equipment.
A consulting engineer is an independent and neutral agent who is not directly involved in the execution of a project - he is the ordering party's trustee, so to speak.
Consulting engineers are active in every area of engineering that is taught theoretically in an Austrian educational establishment, from in-house systems (electrical engineering, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, sanitation) to water engineering, from mechanical engineering to technical chemistry, and from interior design to mining and metallurgy.
Whichever one of these fields is the consulting engineer's personal speciality, he will be a highly trained expert, because the qualifications a consulting engineer needs before he can open an office are laid down by the most stringent provisions in the entirety of the Austrian trade and industry law.
Each consulting engineer must first graduate from an university or Fachhochschule or pass a Secundary College for Engineering or Agriculture or Forestry. Then he must spend many years working in his field and pass a demanding license examination before setting up an engineering business.
Consulting engineers advise, plan, calculate, inspect and monitor. They are there to support their client throughout a project. Their responsibilities range from examining supplier's tenders to monitoring the completion of a plant and then inspecting and accepting it. Their work may include advising clients, planning, performing calculations, and carrying out studies, inspections and measurements.