Acoustics Technician

Occupational overview

Acoustics deals with all types of waves in a variety of different situations.  The waves may include sound and vibration in air and water, as well as very low (infra) and very high (ultra) sound waves. A knowledge of how these waves behave in different media has enabled technologies to develop in fields as diverse as architectural, musical and medical engineering. Acoustics is considered in many construction and major engineering projects, such as Crossrail, HS2, and The Sage Concert Hall Gateshead, amongst many others.

Typically, companies that are involved in acoustics include specialist consulting firms for the built environment; planning consultants; construction companies; health and safety practitioners; entertainment and performing arts venues; product manufacturers; engineering, and national and local government.  Due to the specialist nature of the subject, an Acoustics Engineering Technician would commonly be part of a wider project team, focusing on the acoustic aspects of a project alongside fellow specialists such as Acoustics Consultants and Engineers. 

An Acoustics Engineering Technician will undertake tasks in support of practitioners in acoustics, including consultants, laboratories, local authorities, transport authorities and other engineering disciplines in a variety of professional areas. 

Knowledge

  • The principles and responsibilities, imposed law and other regulations in acoustics engineering environments.
  • Scientific principles that underpin acoustics including the transmission of sound through different materials and behaviour and control of sound.
  • Level 4 mathematics for undertaking hand and spreadsheet based acoustic calculations.
  • The range of equipment used to measure sound and vibration including calibration and maintenance techniques.
  • Sound and vibration measuring and recording techniques in laboratory, internal and external environments.
  • Sustainable practices in the design and manufacture of acoustic products.
  • Technical drawing using Computer Aided Design software packages.
  • Acoustic modelling software and methods and their use in the sector.
  • Technical report writing techniques for both internal and external audiences.
  • The standards and guidance applicable to acoustics practitioners (e.g. Approved Document E of the Building Regulations, Control of Pollution Act 1974, Building Bulletin 93: Acoustics Design of Schools).

Skills

  • Identify risk of activities and apply safe working practices both in laboratory and site environments.
  • Plan, measure, analyse and report acoustic data.
  • Operate acoustic modelling software appropriate to their organisation.
  • Operate Computer Aided Design software packages.
  • Calibrate, operate and maintain acoustic equipment to maintain the appropriate British Standards (e.g. BS EN 61672-2: 2014 Electroacoustics, Sound Level Meters).
  • Undertake acoustics calculations manually and using spreadsheets.
  • Apply standards and guidance in the context of acoustics including those related to the built environment, construction, and laboratory/on-site testing.
  • Listen critically and interpret sound correctly.
  • Communicate effectively, contributing to meetings and presenting information in a variety of ways including oral and written.
  • Produce succinct and understandable reports for the end user.
  • Think critically, analyse and clearly present the outputs of acoustic information.

Behaviours

  • Accuracy and diligence in practical work in both laboratory and site contexts.
  • Team working with others in a collaborative and non-confrontational way.
  • Attention to detail in results outputs against standards, guidance and client briefs.
  • Time management
  • Commitment to Equality and Diversity

Entry requirements

Whilst any entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved qualifications equivalent to a level 3 apprenticeship, preferably in the fields of mathematics, science, technology, engineering or design (collectively known as STEM).

Apprentices without Level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end point assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualifications are an alternative to an English qualification for those for whom this is their primary language.

Duration

The typical duration for this apprenticeship is 24 months.

Professional qualifications

It is our intention that successful apprentices will be eligible to register with the Engineering Council, at EngTech level. This will be confirmed before the apprenticeship goes live.

This is a level 4 apprenticeship.

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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