Ignoring Head-Trash: Getting a Job with a Degree in Acoustical Engineering

It’s a misconception that a niche degree narrows your career possibilities, and we’re ready to disprove it

Planning for college always leaves parents in this stressful haze fueled by constant research and the direct or indirect consulting of wiser parents. While it’s helpful to read the customer reviews of college planning, doing so can fill your perception of college with head-trash.

Head-trash is what we call the preconceived notions people have about what a successful career is. For example, it’s head-trash to believe that your salary will determine how successful you are because it’s an assumption made by people who haven’t done the proper research to disprove it.

A form of head-trash that we witness on a regular basis is presented when parents think that their child’s dream major will be a bad choice because it won’t leave them with sufficient job opportunities after graduation. Although the parents who relay this idea to their kids think they are helping them in the long run, they might actually be holding their kids back. We’re ready to open the minds of these parents by focusing on the job opportunities for someone with a degree in acoustical engineering.

Citing Our Sources

We were able to sit down last week with Dr. Bob Celmer, AKA Director and Professor of the Acoustical Engineering Program at the University of Hartford. He told us all about what makes his program the best in the business for acoustical engineering whether students are looking to receive their bachelors or masters degree. Click here if you are interested in choosing this major or here if you are interested in touring Hartford! Okay, now back to the topic at hand.

The Complexity of Acoustical Engineering

People might think that the only job prospects available for someone with this degree include a sound engineer or something along those lines, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Acoustical engineering involves anything related to sound and how it can be used to improve a space or help people. There are actually six categories of study within this type of engineering that all have ample jobs for passionate students. Let’s take a closer look into these categories.

Audio Design

Audio design is related to the design of speakers ranging from loud speakers to headphones. This field considers who is using these speakers, how loud they’re listening to things, where they’re listening to things, and more. Those who are interested in this category could work for Bose, JBL, or Apple and develop new or improve existing products.

Architectural Engineering Consulting

Having an architectural engineering consultant on board will ensure that a building is designed right the first time with the perfect acoustics. The constant advancement of audio technology has made it essential that the spaces we use to display this technology are at the standard they should be to get the full effect. Examples include movie theaters or large scale auditoriums.

Additionally, an architectural engineering consultant could be needed for the building of a lecture hall or a restaurant. Larger areas with groups of people all talking at once requires great acoustics so everyone can hear what they are trying to listen to. Someone with this job title will experience a lot of job flexibility because they can work for pretty much any construction company that is looking to hire them.

Musical Acoustics

This category specializes in the physics of music. People within this field look at how sounds come together to create music or the science behind the human voice. Someone who studies musical acoustics could work on the design of musical instruments or in a musical therapy clinic if they are looking to use their studies to improve the lives of others.

Outdoor Acoustics

This category looks closely at the relationship between sound and outdoor settings. It involves everything related to acoustics plus the noise that exists because of outdoor elements. Engineers who work on outdoor acoustics help build stadiums fit for thousands. Jobs related to outdoor acoustics have started to spike during the summers of recent years because of the rise of festival culture.


Bioacoustics focuses on how sound waves can be used to help people in a medical sense or understand the natural elements through sound. A career in bioacoustics could involve work on the advancement of ultrasounds to improve medical procedures or research on the sound waves of wild life. This facet of acoustical engineering is the least related to the music world.

Noise Control

Last but not least, noise control is connected to companies who are looking to make their products quieter. Jet engine and car companies use noise control acoustical engineers to measure the sound that comes from machines and contain it with barriers or lower it altogether. If you’re interested in being a noise control acoustical engineer, you could work for big companies like Pratt & Whitney or Volvo.

In the End…

Having a bachelors degree in acoustical engineering will leave you with many more job opportunities than being a sound engineer. In fact, the sky is the limit when it comes to jobs in this field post-college if you go to the University of Hartford. You will get a taste of every category we discussed because of Hartford’s course load that allows you to dip your toe into whatever you’re interested in. One of the key points of the program is to show students the world of possibility that exists within this “niche” field. As a graduate, you will be well versed in the world of acoustical engineering so you can switch up your career whenever you see fit.

The more we learn about different topics, the more kinds of engineering there will be, so become an engineer! And parents, make sure you do your research about the majors your kids are passionate about. Better yet, become a client and let us dispel any head-trash in your way and help you pay less for college.

Visit our website for more information like this, and reach out to our financial aid and college affordability experts at 610-422-3530 to start your college planning journey today.


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