Reputable Estonian Architects and Engineers

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Before hiring an engineer or architect from Estonia you’ll want to know about the education system and the necessary qualifications. 

This article will explore the various institutions offering degree programs in Estonia within architecture and civil engineering and the professional accreditations available in the country. 

If your applicant holds a degree from one of the institutions described in this article, then it’s likely that they have the educational background necessary to qualify for freelance work as an architect or engineer. However, if the applicant doesn’t hold one of these degrees, you’ll want to think carefully before hiring them. 

Architecture and Engineering Degrees in Estonia

To become an architect or an engineer in Estonia, you’ll need to undergo a degree program at a university or another higher education establishment focusing on applied sciences. 

Two universities offer architecture degrees in Estonia and one applied sciences higher education institution. 

In addition, there are two universities in Estonia where you can pursue engineering degrees, and those are Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and the Estonian University of Life Sciences. 

Three of the institutions are based in Tallinn, and one (Estonian University of Life Sciences) is based in Tartu.

The four institutions awarding architecture and engineering degrees in Estonia are:

  • Estonian Academy of the Arts
  • Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)
  • Tallinn University of Applied Sciences
  • Estonian University of Life Sciences

In the following section, we will go over each of the courses offered at the universities and the skills that graduates from these courses will likely obtain. 

Estonian Academy of the Arts (EKA) 

The Estonian Academy of the Arts (EKA) is a public arts university founded in 1914. In 2017 the Estonian Academy of the Arts became the only Eastern European arts higher education institution to be ranked within the top arts and design QS world ranking. 

The university consists of four departments: the architecture department, design department, fine arts department, and cultural studies department. 

Estonian Academy of the Arts (EKA)  – Integrated Master’s in Architecture and Urban Planning

This 5-year programme results in a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning. Programme is the only architecture and urban planning programme in Estonia that has been accredited by the European Parliament and the European Council

Obtaining this qualification allows graduates to work all around the European Union. In addition, graduates of this course get a level 7 qualification and become accredited architects and urban planners. 

The 5-year programme allows students to acquire general knowledge and skills in architecture and urban planning and specialise in either restoration, landscaping, or planning. The program is mostly studio-based, allowing students to immerse themselves in an environment like an architecture bureau. The program is also interdisciplinary, and students can participate in classes on engineering, painting, sketching, and other elective courses offered at the university.

The final year of the course entails undertaking a year-long Master’s project either in building design, urban planning, landscaping, or digital tools. The Master’s project is a professional project that must include visuals, materials, and models together with written text.

Students from this course typically go on to work at private architecture firms in project design and planning. In addition, students can also work in the public sector at local municipalities and councils as an advisor or urban planner. Graduates are also well-equipped to be freelance architects or urban planners. 

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) was founded in 1918, and it is the only technical university in Estonia where students can pursue degrees in engineering, maths & sciences, computer science and IT, business and economics, and maritime affairs. 

The campus is located primarily in Tallinn, although there are also courses offered in Kohtla-Järve and Tartu. 

Tallinn University of Technology is the third highest-ranking university in the Baltics, and it ranked between 751-800 in the QS world university ranking. The university also ranks second in Estonia after Tartu University. 

Tallinn University of Technology – Integrated Master’s in Construction and Civil Engineering 

The 5-year programme confers graduates with a Master’s degree in Construction and Civil Engineering. In their third year, students can specialise either in construction planning (Tallinn campus), construction project management (Tallinn campus), renovations and restorations (Tartu campus), planning and architecture (Tartu campus). 

Students acquire skills and knowledge in construction, building materials and construction physics, building technologies, energy efficiency, and construction management. Students also learn about various construction materials such as concrete, timber, metal, and stone and different construction software like FEM, CAD, and BIM. In addition, they are also taught about acoustics, insulation and humidity, and energy simulations. 

The main modules include managing the energy efficiency of buildings, real estate investments and construction management, building information modelling (BIM), construction economics and business fundamentals, and cost planning.  Besides the required courses, students also can take electives and further specialise in construction management, construction materials, construction physics, energy efficiency, or any field they are interested in. 

Students can also have the opportunity to visit various construction sites and to work with construction firms to see how it is to be on the job. 

All four specialisations (construction planning, project management, renovations and restorations, and planning and architecture) have common modules, and upon completion of the 5-year programme, students are awarded a level 7 qualification and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. 

Depending on their specialisation, students can either work in construction and planning firms and in the public sector, as a construction manager or a developer, or in architecture bureaus. Students of this course are also qualified to work as freelance engineers. 

Tallinn University of Technology  – Doctorate in Civil Engineering

Graduates of the integrated Master’s course in Civil Engineering can also continue their studies at TalTech on a doctorate level. 

Tallinn University of Technology – Integrated Master’s in Architecture 

This 5-year program offers a wide-reaching education. The Integrated Masters in Architecture provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue work as an architect both in Estonia and outside of Estonia. The program pays attention to both the creative and the practical skills that working architects must possess. 

The individual modules of the course revolve around three architecture and planning studio modules and a masterclass. These studio-based modules offer students the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice and to work on projects supervised by working architects. 

The three architecture and planning modules include project and building planning, societal buildings, and urban planning. During the last two years, students take specialised masterclasses. 

Students are also required to complete an internship at an architecture firm or institution. During their final semester, students also work on a supervised Master’s project. 

Besides the practical studio-based modules, students take courses in philosophy and ethics, art history, history of architecture, architecture and urban planning theories, and practices on sustainable development. Modules further include visual arts such as photography, 3D models and painting, and modules in engineering like advanced maths and geometry. 

Once students have passed all the required classes, completed their internship, and defended their Master’s project (to a positive grade), they will be awarded a level 7 qualification and a Master’s degree in architecture. 

Graduates of this course are well-equipped to work at architecture firms and public institutions or take on freelance architecture projects.

Tallinn University of Technology – Doctorate Degree in Architecture

Students who have completed a 5-year architecture programme at either TalTech or the Estonian Academy of the Arts can pursue further studies at TalTech as doctorate students. Obtaining a doctorate confers graduates an expert-level qualification, allowing them to work on expert-level projects and be a part of the jury of international architecture projects. 

Tallinn University of Technology – Integrated Master’s in Indoor Climate and Water Engineering

The 5-year programme offers students a master’s degree and a level 7 qualification. The program’s focus is on energy usage, heating, water, sewage systems, and ventilation. Graduates can work on the construction site as advisors, consultants, project managers, local municipalities, or private construction firms. 

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) – Master’s of Science Buildings and Structures 

Tallinn University of Technology also offers a 2-year Master’s degree focusing on buildings and structures where students can specialise within eight subdivisions:

  • Energy efficiency
  • The indoor climate of buildings and technical systems
  • Real estate maintenance
  • Road and bridge construction
  • Water engineering and environmental engineering
  • Construction surveying
  • Building design and planning
  • Construction and building management and overseeing

Students use cutting-edge technical solutions, including BIM, CAD, FED, and construction physics and energy simulation software. Students also work in labs and on test buildings. In addition, the programme cooperates with various construction companies so that students can visit construction sites and learn on the job. 

Upon completion of the course, students are awarded a level 7 qualification and a Master’s degree. If your candidate holds this degree, you can be confident that they possess the necessary knowledge in their specialised field within civil engineering. 

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences is the most prominent applied sciences higher education institution in Estonia. Graduates can obtain an applied sciences degree or a bachelor’s degree. 

There are eight institutes at the college, including architecture, engineering, logistics, technical institute, technology, and circular economy, service economy, maths and sciences, humanities, and economics. In addition, the college focuses on practical education. 

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences – Architecture

Tallinn Technical College offers a 4-year architecture program that confers its graduate a level 6 qualification. The program consists of both theory-based classes and practical studio-based classes, as well as workshops and internships. In addition, practical lessons take place in areas like model practice, and drawing, and painting. 

Graduates of this course work at various architecture firms and bureaus as architectural or planning assistants. Graduates can also work within the public sector at a local municipality as an assistant to a planning or building expert. Furthermore, graduates can go on to obtain a master’s degree. 

If your candidate holds this degree, then they are qualified to work as an architectural assistant. 

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences – Building and Construction

This programme offers graduates a level 6 qualification in the construction of buildings

Students obtain both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The course focuses on using technology in the construction process, construction physics, and economics and management. Students can put their knowledge into practice in studio-based classes, international workshops, or internships.

Upon completion of the course, students can pursue further studies on a Master’s level. Other students enter the job market right away at work at various construction bureaus. 

Estonian University of Life Sciences

The Estonian University of Life Sciences is the only university in Estonia focusing on agriculture and forestry. As a result, the university belongs to the 50 world’s best universities in these areas.  

Estonian University of Life Sciences – Integrated Master’s in Rural Construction

This 5-year programme offers its graduates a master’s degree in rural construction and a level 7 qualification which allows them to work in the field. Students can specialise either in planning and design or in construction site management. 

Students learn about various environmentally-friendly building materials such as clay, lime, and reed. There’s also an emphasis placed on building wooden structures and renovating old farmhouses. 

Students learn how to draw and design buildings by hand and use various software such as AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, and Rhinoceros. Moreover, students are also taught how to put together a budget. 

The program’s focus is on rural construction, and students attend both theoretical lectures and practical workshops and classes. Students also pay visits to different construction sites and have the opportunity to pursue internships in the field. 

Graduates can work either in the public sector as building advisors or in the private sector at construction bureaus. 

Professional Certification of Architects and Engineers in Estonia

Professional certificates are given out by Kutsekoda, the Estonian professional accreditation system. The certificates are often for levels 6 to 8 in the fields of architecture and engineering.

Architects can obtain either a level 6 qualification which means they have received a 4-year applied higher education degree from Tallinna Tehnikakõrgkool. 

If an architect has completed a 5-year integrated master’s programme at either the Estonian Academy of the Arts or Tallinn University of Technology, they will be awarded a level 7 certification. 

The Estonian Architects Association can also give out an authorised level 7 qualification. Lastly, there’s a level 8 qualification which is also given out by the Estonian Architects Association and is reserved for architects who possess a considerable amount of expertise.

Kutsekoda also accredits civil engineers with the same accreditation system. 

Level 6 qualifications are given to graduates of Tallinna Tehnikakõrgkool’s 4-year programme or to individuals certified by the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers. 

The level 7 qualification is awarded either by Tallinn University of Technology or the Estonian University of Life Sciences to graduates of the 5-year integrated Master’s programme. 

Likewise, a level 7 qualification can also be awarded to individuals by the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers. Lastly, the level 8 qualification is reserved for experts in the field. 

When hiring a freelance engineer or architect, you’ll typically want them to have one of these qualifications, whether a level 6 qualification or a level 8 qualification (depending on your projects). 

Professional certification – Estonian Association of Architects

The Estonian Association of Architects is a non-profit organisation for architects in Estonia. The association gives out qualifications and certifications for architects and organises various architecture competitions. 

Other activities of the association include hosting workshops, talks, and seminars and giving out various architecture prizes.  

If your candidate is a member of the Estonian Association of Architects, you can rest assured that they possess the knowledge for their qualification level. 

Professional Certification – Estonian Association of Civil Engineers

The Estonian Association of Civil Engineers is a non-profit organisation for civil engineers in Estonia. The organisation members are all civil engineers who have acquired a degree in civil engineering and who have worked in the field for at least a year after their graduation. 

Therefore, you can be sure that if the candidate is a full member of the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers, they are qualified and can work on freelance projects. 

The association also has youth members who are civil engineering students or people who have not completed their year of experience yet. Hence, if someone is a youth member, you might want to think carefully to determine if they have the skills and capabilities necessary to complete your project. 

Members can also be awarded honorary membership if they have remarkable achievements in the field of civil engineering. Therefore, if your candidate is an honorary member, you can rest assured that they are highly qualified. 

Members of the association have also pledged to follow the Code of Behaviour and Professional Ethics of an Engineer. The association also holds the right to issue certificates for various engineering professions such as civil engineer, water supply and sewage engineer, hydro technics engineer, and many more. 

Architects and Engineers from Estonia – Conclusion

When hiring an architect or engineer from Estonia, you’ll want to ensure that they have a proper degree and certification. 

If the candidate has a Master’s or Doctorate from one of the universities mentioned in this article, you can be confident that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake freelance projects. 

On the other hand, if they have a bachelor’s degree from the higher institution mentioned in this article, they can work as an assistant on various projects. In terms of professional certifications, you’ll want to ensure that they have an accredited certificate from Kutsekoda.

If you’re looking for engineers or architects in Estonia, Workalike can help to connect you with the right professionals