Physical Sciences

An acoustician works in the area of physics responsible for measuring the effects and impact of sound, vibration and noise in the natural and built environment.

Work Activities

Acousticians may work as consultants and engineers using technology and scientific equipment to measure noise and sound and provide acoustic solutions to limit sound and noise pollution for the design and building of schools, hospitals, shopping centres, hospitals, music and concert venues, airports and offices.

Responsibilities may include:

  • the measurement and analysis of sound, noise and vibration levels
  • report writing and presentations
  • acoustic design using modelling software
  • managing and leading projects
  • team working with designers, engineers and architects

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for acousticians

  • strong spoken, written and report writing skills
  • highly numerate and analytical
  • ability to interpret and present data
  • strong technical and design skills
  • leadership
  • creative problem solving
  • strong organisation and project management skills
  • ability to work in a team

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of acousticians

Typical employers include:

  • construction companies
  • environmental, sustainability and energy consultancies
  • engineering companies
  • architects
  • airports and airlines
  • councils and government departments
  • music studios, venues and concert halls
  • theatres and cinemas


England and Wales

Qualifications and training required

Physics forms the basis of acoustics. Excellent GCSE/ Higher Level IB/ Higher results in Maths and Physics are required.

A Level/ Advanced Higher Maths and Physics are required by most universities to study Engineering, Environmental Science, Physics, Computer Science or specialist Acoustic degrees. BTEC Engineering and Science courses may be also be accepted.

Apprenticeships are offered by some employers and usually require GCSE English, Maths and Science.

Many jobs and research positions require postgraduate qualifications at masters and PhD level.

Postgraduate qualifications, such as MSc are required for some job opportunities. Professional membership of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) is required for most jobs.


In Scotland entry to a relevant engineering degree will normally require 4-5 Highers A-C including Maths, Physics or Engineering Science plus a good range of National 5s to include English. It may be possible to enter through a Modern Apprenticeship.

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