Friday, December 26, 2008

The status of the engineer in Tunisia

In order to find out the status of the engineer in Tunisia we will try to answer these questions:

Who`s he ? What does he do?

How much does he earn ?

What is his image in society?

What does he suffer from ?

What are the potentials of this career in Tunisia ?


An engineer is a person professionally engaged in a field of engineering. Engineers are concerned with developing economical and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics and scientific knowledge while considering technical constraints. As such, the work of engineers is the link between perceived needs of society and commercial applications. Some consider this profession to be the link between art and science.
wikipedia definition


joblessness and overexploitation :

Some statistics of a study made on 4763 young graduated students in 2005 after 18 months from their graduation

Financial status

  • For newly graduated engineers with no experience the wage is from 800TD to 1200TD.
  • After 5 to 10 years of experience the wage can touch the 1500TD to 2000TD.
  • Earnings mainly depends on years of experience, certifications and of course the engineer himself. Once he proves to his boss his skills and abilities, he can renegotiate his salary.

The gap between Tunisia and Europe in wages

  • In France, the salary of a newly graduated engineer is from 2000€ to 2800€ ( 3600TD to 5000TD).
  • In the end of his career, a well experienced engineer can touch 6000 € (10800 TD).
  • The standard of life is very different. The daily needs are expensive in Europe compared to what is available inTunisia but still an engineer in Europe is better remunerated.
  • The evolution of the engineer in Europe and USA is faster. In fact, occidental companies evaluate talent and take it into consideration.
  • The competition between these companies to have the best members in their crew make the salary negotiation more simple and efficient.
  • In conclusion, Tunisian engineers won`t skip the chance to travel and work abroad . Consequently, Tunisia lose many skilled engineers and this is just a sample of a wider phenomenon called `Brain Brand`.

Social status

57,2% of higher education students are female (

30% of working engineers are female(2004 statistics INS)

  • conclusion : The society consider engineering as a masculine job

To proceed in explaining the social status of the engineer Tunisia we will use a study made by Raoudha Ben Othmen a professor in the university of Tunis:


  • 180 secondary school students aged 15-16
  • 180 primary school pupils

Tools :

  1. Questionnaire
  2. Draw me an engineer test
  3. Teacher led class discussions

N=140 Questionnaires (45% boys and 55%girls)


  • No major difference between children and teenagers’ drawings.
  • None of the drawings contained a picture of a woman.
  • Most drawn engineers have glasses, are middle-aged, look scruffy wear a lab coat and hold some kind of tool.
  • Some pictures contained a working bench

Class discussions

  • Teachers seem to have naive ideas about engineers and engineering.
  • Teachers did not give the children the name of a famous modern engineer. Most of the examples are old (Graham Bell)
  • In leading the class discussions about future careers, teachers allocated more turns to boys than to girls
  • In leading class discussions about studying engineering, teachers seemed to allocate turns equally between girls and boys

Tests conclusions

  • Students and teachers hold naive conceptions of engineering
  • The necessity to enhance the image of engineers and specifically of the working environment
  • Both male and female students are determined to choose other lucrative careers than engineering


  • Many foreign companies choose to invest in Tunisia due to the low taxation and labor cost.
  • The Tunisian government aims to attain 7000 engineers in 2011-2012.
  • Many Mega projects are scheduled in Tunisia as ` The Mediterranean gate` which will host hundreds of companies.


All the figures are showing the fact of the promising future of engineering as a profession in Tunisia. However, many laws and interventions have to be made in order to protect the engineer`s rights and ameliorate his status and his image is society.

Diapositive 1

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