If you are hiring architects and engineers from Lithuania, but your knowledge of the Lithuanian education and accreditation system is poor, you may not know whether an applicant is fully qualified or not.
This article looks at some of the most reputable universities for architecture and engineering in Lithuania. If an applicant has a degree from one of these institutions, you can be sure they are qualified.
We will also look at some of the professional accreditations awarded to architects and engineers. If an applicant is accredited by one of the organisations mentioned in this article, they are professionally qualified to work in Lithuania.
Lithuania has a long history of developing engineers and architects. In both World Wars, many buildings were destroyed throughout the country, and there was a shortage of professionals to help the country rebuild. Subsequently, Lithuania focused on training engineers and architects to help rebuild, and the country still has a strong focus on these disciplines today.
Today, many architects and civil engineers in Lithuania work as freelancers, so if you are looking to hire employees on a freelance basis, you have many choices. If a candidate has experience working in Lithuania, they are likely qualified. Non-certified engineers and architects cannot legally work in Lithuania.
As in any country, it is not easy to study engineering or architecture in Lithuania. The requirements for admission to learn both disciplines are high, and the work is very demanding. Therefore, you can be sure that the graduates you hire from Lithuania will have the skills you require.
Three Lithuanian universities offer degree programs in architecture and engineering. They are:
The Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) was founded in 1920 before receiving official university status in 1922.
Located in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, it has more than 9,000 enrolled students at any given time and has awarded degrees to more than 153,000 people since 1922.
KTU offers a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in architecture. The Bachelor’s program takes three years to complete, while the Master’s program takes one year. As with degrees in many other countries, the Bachelor’s degree does not lead to professional certification, while the Master’s degree does.
Students learn from architectural practitioners in both the bachelor’s and master’s programs to gain a working knowledge of the craft. So, if you are thinking of hiring an architect from KTU, they are highly qualified for the job.
Graduates receive a certificate of registration from the Lithuanian Chamber of Architects, which gives them the right to carry out architectural work throughout the EU.
Kaunas University of Technology – Civil Engineering studies
KTU also offers two undergraduate degrees in engineering: BA Building Engineering Studies and BSc in Civil Engineering. Both degrees take four years to complete, or six years if taken part-time. Both degrees are practice-based and prepare students to work in engineering, construction, manufacturing and more.
KTU also offers a master’s degree in civil engineering and Building Products Engineering and a Civil Engineering Doctorate. A graduate with one of these degrees is highly qualified in their field.
Founded in 1956, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) has 11,000 enrolled students and is located in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The university’s academic staff includes construction, transportation, engineering, architecture, environmental protection, energy, mechanics and more.
The study of architecture at VGTU lasts five years. Upon graduation, students receive a master’s degree in architecture, which entitles them to continue their studies at the doctoral level.
Any student who graduates from VGTU with a master’s degree is automatically certified to provide architectural services throughout European Union without restriction. Thus, if a candidate has this qualification, he is highly qualified to practise professionally as an architect.
QS World University Rankings has recognised VGTU as the best university in the Baltic States in civil engineering and structural engineering for several years. It is also in the top 150 universities worldwide for engineering. Therefore, you can be assured of quality when you hire graduates from VGTU.
VGTU offers several different engineering courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Nine other engineering disciplines are offered at the undergraduate level, including Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering.
These courses take four years to complete and provide the graduate with a solid foundation in their chosen discipline. However, an undergraduate degree alone does not guarantee professional certification. So, if an applicant only has an undergraduate engineering degree from VGTU, you should ensure that it is professionally accredited before making a hiring decision.
On the other hand, VGTU graduates who have a postgraduate engineering degree, such as a master’s, are qualified to work as engineers in the EU. This is because VGTU offers several different postgraduate courses, including Bioengineering, Automotive Engineering and Structural Engineering.
Each of these courses takes two years to complete and provides graduates with professional accreditation, enabling them to practice as engineers anywhere in the EU. Therefore, you can confidently hire Master’s graduates from VGTU knowing that they are qualified to work as freelance engineers.
Architecture education in Vilnius has a long history. The Department of Architecture of Vilnius University was founded in 1793 in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Since then, it bore several different names and received its current title – Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA) – during the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990.
The VDA offers a five-year master’s degree program in architecture that provides graduates with professional certification upon completing their studies. Upon graduation, they receive professional accreditation that complies with the rules of the EU Recognition Act Regulated Professional Qualifications and a Master’s degree. This professional accreditation is recognised in all EU countries and recognised by European countries outside the EU.
Graduates of this program usually work in Lithuanian and foreign architectural offices, state and municipal planning departments or continue their architecture studies with a PhD.
After two years of professional activity after graduation, graduates of the program can apply for a qualification certificate for project managers, allowing them to start an independent business or become freelancers.
To work as an architect or engineer in Lithuania, one must have a professional license. Without a professional license, it is illegal for anyone to work as an engineer or architect in Lithuania. Therefore, if you received an application from a Lithuanian applicant who is not professionally accredited, they are not fully qualified to practice.
Certification is a necessary precaution to ensure that construction, design and architectural work is supervised and carried out by suitably qualified professionals, avoiding the risk of poorly designed and built structures that could pose a health and safety risk.
Here you can find more information about the professional accreditations available in Lithuania.
Certification of architects is done by the Architects Chamber of Lithuania (LAR). If an applicant is certified by LAR, he is qualified to work as an architect throughout Europe.
An architect who is not a member of LAR cannot work as a freelance architect in Lithuania or abroad. The activity of an architect is regulated by the Code of Professional Ethics, which is following the European architectural standards.
To be certified as an architect in Lithuania, one must have completed five years of study, obtained a master’s degree, and have three years of experience. In addition, a non-certified architect may only work under the supervision of a certified architect, which architecture graduates must do for several years before they can become self-certified.
Previous rules in Lithuania said that a bachelor’s degree was sufficient to work as an architect, but the EU and architects discarded this must now have a master’s degree or work as a non-certified architect for longer to qualify. So be careful when hiring an architect from Lithuania. Some applicants may be permitted under the old rules when only a bachelor’s degree was enough, but that is not enough now to legally work as an architect.
If an architect only has a bachelor’s degree, they must have worked under a certified architect for five years before they can be self-certified.
The certification and recognition of the professional licence of civil engineers is carried out by the state-owned company Construction Products Certification Centre (SPSC). It oversees the certification of engineers and ensures that they are both qualified and able to act within Lithuanian law.
Accreditation itself is performed by the Lithuanian Union of Civil Engineers (LUCE).
If an engineer is qualified to practise in Lithuania, they have professional certification from LUCE.
This gives them the right to work as an engineer throughout the EU. To achieve this, they must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering from a recognised university and meet the certification criteria.
So, if you are planning to hire a Lithuanian engineer and they are accredited by the Ministry of Environment, you can be sure that they are qualified.
On the other hand, some Lithuanian engineers get accreditation through their university education.
As mentioned earlier, many Master’s degree programmes for engineers in Lithuania also provide graduates with professional accreditation. In addition, the Study Quality Assessment Centre (SKVC) assesses eligibility for professional certification upon graduation.
In evaluating university courses, the SKVC assesses how they meet academic requirements, whether they have sufficient lecturers and material resources, how they take into account the needs of students and the professional environment, etc.
The SKVC does not certify architects and civil engineers, but if an applicant has studied an SKVC-accredited course, you can be sure they are qualified for the job. You need to make sure they also have professional accreditation from the Lithuanian government.
When hiring freelance architects and engineers from Lithuania, you need to make sure they have the right qualifications. However, if you see the universities and accreditations mentioned in this article on an application form, you can be sure that the hiring person is qualified for the job.
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