What Is a Noise Impact Modeling Specialist?

Nose Impact Modelling Specialists analyze data to examine noise pollution, changes over time, and local and regional trends.

What Does a Noise Impact Modeling Specialist Do?

Data Modeling is a skill set that can apply to almost anywhere. Noise Impact Modelling Specialists use the same methods and data collection methods as any other type of data modeler. Yet they do have specific environmental knowledge about impacts, something that Data Modeling Technicians may not necessarily have or require. They are a type of environmental monitor, although they monitor sounds in the environment rather than the tangible or physical elements such as air particles. Their role involved collecting and compiling large data sets collected through remote sensing and other monitoring equipment. They will then enter this data into modeling software such as a GIS map or a statistics package such as SPSS. Noise Impact Models are useful in environmental planning, mostly, but has uses elsewhere - such as residential impact monitoring. The desirability of a residential zone can drop if it is up-wind of industrial noise, for example.

Noise Impact Modeling Specialists work primarily with database information and produce reports for decision makers regarding only noise pollution and noise impact assessment. This information will attempt to answer such questions as: will putting a new freeway here impact local residents quality of life? How will the noise from this industrial estate impact this new planned residential zone? Will this flight path affect this environmentally protected landscape?

Where Does a Noise Impact Modeling Specialist Work?

This type of data modeler carries out the same job, using the same methods and technologies as any other type of this specialist. For statistical purposes, they are classed as Environmental Specialists & Analysts amongst employment observation organizations. Noise is a major issue for modern environmental health, and one that the public still does not fully understand.

Some 23% work in environmental technical and scientific monitoring. In these roles, they will provide independent data for construction businesses and other developers, and even for government bodies requiring specialist data for decision-making. Sustainability is a major concern with construction in line with EPA regulation and international law. They may also be consulted by international environmental bodies on legal levels of noise pollution for international projects.

Some 22% work for state government advising decision makers, but also providing reports to elected government officials. This data is used to provide guidance and suggestions on developing public land, or permitting (or refusing) developers to build. 13% work for local government fulfilling much the same roles.

10% work for engineering services. They will often work on site, monitoring noise pollution and conducting noise impact analyses while work is ongoing. They may be part of a decision making team on which equipment to use, when and how often to minimize impact on the lives of people and environmental stress.

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What Is the Average Noise Impact Modeling Specialist Salary?

Noise Impact Modeling Specialists, who fall under the broader BLS category of environmental scientists and specialists, earned a median salary of $73,230 as of May 2020. The federal government was among the highest payer with a median salary of $103,180.*

Noise Impact Modeling Jobs & Job Description

A Noise Impact Modeling Specialist is a valuable asset to many companies to determine the impacts of particular noises and vibrations on buildings, infrastructure and humans, such as developing models for railway operations, wind turbines, and automobile engines. Many skills and tasks are required for a Noise Impact Modeling Specialist and can include:

  • A post-secondary degree in the field of acoustics, engineering, environmental science or related field of study
  • Have knowledge and experience of environmental policies, regulations and laws, especially those applicable to noise and vibration
  • Be able to work effectively in a team environment and independently with great efficiency
  • Visualize and design noise models that use measurements to articulate present and future noise and vibration calculations
  • Determine environmental effect of noise and vibration levels on populations and human developments
  • Participate in field studies to collect and analyze noise and vibration measurements
  • Utilize, maintain, and calibrate noise collection and measurement instrumentation
  • Capability to derive technical reports, graphs, charts and models
  • Ability to produce qualitative and quantitative observations and variables of noise and vibrations
  • Communicate with governments, clients and fellow employees
  • Produce exact computer generated models and manipulate databases

A senior level Noise Impact Modeling Specialist combines a management role with many of the entry-level Noise Impact Modeling Specialist skills and tasks. The skills and tasks required for a senior level position include:

  • A Master's degree or Ph.D. in acoustics, engineering, environmental science or related field of study
  • Design and control specialized field studies to measure, collect and analyze noise and vibration data
  • Prepare budget reports outlining costs associated with noise impact modeling projects and field studies
  • Manage, strategize and provide recommendations to team during field studies
  • Oversee noise impact models produced and make changes or give necessary feedback
  • Train staff on various areas of noise impact modeling
  • Hold meetings with clients and management to deliver and discuss noise impact models
  • Ensure that work is completed on schedule and budget
  • Research new methods and derive new models to be used in various industries
  • Research innovative methods for collecting and studying noise and vibration data
  • Communicate research on noise and vibration data, as well as the environmental effects and health concerns of exposure to various levels of noise and vibration

What Is the Job Demand for Noise Impact Modeling Specialists?

Demand for all scientists is expected to grow in the coming decade. STEM is a recognized skills shortage area. As broader understanding of noise impact assessment grows, so will demand for further research in this area. Demand for Noise Impact Modeling Specialists is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2020 and 2030.*

Most of this growth is expected to be in private businesses as consultants and specialists rather than in government. As understanding of environmental impact grows, so too is the need for an increasing pool of diverse specialists.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Noise Impact Modeling Specialist?

At present, no Noise Impact Modeling Specialists degree programs exist - it is simply too much of a niche. However, if you wish to enter into this career, the most sensible course of action as far as studies are concerned is as follows. High School students should take geography, math and physics as essential parts of their studies and should register strong grades in order to get onto their intended degree program. A biology course may be required to study a degree in that subject.

Undergraduates have a number of choices available. Typically, they may want to study environmental science related degree. Their electives and minors should focus heavily on statistics and IT skills, preferably those that will use technology such as GIS and SPSS. Another option would be to study a math degree and take environmental science and statistics as minors. With these skills, most graduates with a bachelor's degree should not experience great difficulty in finding relevant employment.

However, master's degrees are strongly recommended for those who wish to run their own projects or collect their own data and write reports for decision-makers. Advanced data collection and processing will be essential for the better-paid and more responsible job roles. Also, master's programs encourage deeper knowledge and personal research that will be essential to your career. Doctorates are not necessary, but may be advisable for those students seeking high-level government jobs.

Noise Modeling - Related Degrees

What Kind Of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Noise Impact Modeling Specialists Have?

The following environmental health bodies and organizations can provide information for the Noise Impact Modeling Specialist.

  • Institute of Noise Control Engineering: The country's only dedicated organization for noise control, it is for professionals whose research is geared towards noise reduction. Part of an international consortium dedicated to challenging noise pollution.
  • World Forum For Acoustic Ecology: Another global body, they and their affiliates come together to discuss current research at an annual conference. They promote a multidisciplinary approach to tackle this problem.

*2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for environmental scientists and specialists reflect national data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021.

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