He is Associate Professor of tuba and euphonium at Ohio State University and has been principal tuba of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He is a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, and the Ohio Brass Quintet. Akins is also a clinician/consultant for the Tuba Exchange in Durham, North Carolina and has been a design consultant for various tuba companies including the G+P Instrument Company in Milan, Italy. As a consultant for the United Musical Instrument Company, working with the Conn Instrument Co. division, he collaborates in the development of professional tubas, developing several new designs. As a clinician for these companies, Akins has given tuba masterclasses and recitals for high schools and colleges throughout the United States. He has also presented masterclasses with the Native American flute and is himself a flute maker. He has taught several tubists, including Carol Jantsch as a beginner. His studio at Ohio State University is one of the largest in the country.