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Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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Life As a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Job Description Design objects, facilities, and environments to optimize human well-being and overall system performance, applying theory, principles, and data regarding the relationship between humans and respective technology. Investigate and analyze characteristics of human behavior and performance as it relates to the use of technology.

What Do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Write, review, or comment on documents, such as proposals, test plans, or procedures.
  • Estimate time or resource requirements for ergonomic or human factors research or development projects.
  • Inspect work sites to identify physical hazards.
  • Provide technical support to clients through activities such as rearranging workplace fixtures to reduce physical hazards or discomfort or modifying task sequences to reduce cycle time.
  • Integrate human factors requirements into operational hardware.
  • Advocate for end users in collaboration with other professionals, including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist?

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Consultant in Ergonomics and Safety
  • Interface Designer
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Usability Specialist
  • Human Machine Interface Engineer (HMI Engineer)

Job Outlook for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 257,900 jobs in the United States for Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,100 new jobs for Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist by 2026. There will be an estimated 19,700 positions for Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist are Nevada, Utah, and Alabama. Watch out if you plan on working in New Mexico, Vermont, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Make?

The typical yearly salary for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists is somewhere between $56,470 and $132,340.

Salary Ranges for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists who work in Wyoming, Washington, or Texas, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $87,870
Arizona $95,940
Arkansas $77,100
California $107,810
Colorado $100,460
Connecticut $89,830
Delaware $94,590
District of Columbia $88,380
Florida $77,410
Georgia $86,220
Hawaii $95,590
Idaho $94,830
Illinois $88,850
Indiana $74,430
Iowa $82,770
Kansas $79,580
Kentucky $79,170
Louisiana $99,090
Maine $88,020
Maryland $102,200
Massachusetts $102,210
Michigan $89,330
Minnesota $90,580
Mississippi $82,040
Missouri $87,620
Montana $100,640
Nebraska $85,950
Nevada $87,140
New Hampshire $91,530
New Jersey $98,050
New Mexico $102,120
New York $94,700
North Carolina $87,110
North Dakota $79,980
Ohio $84,060
Oklahoma $85,280
Oregon $90,980
Pennsylvania $86,080
Rhode Island $97,610
South Carolina $87,080
South Dakota $82,780
Tennessee $84,070
Texas $109,880
Utah $89,830
Vermont $79,700
Virginia $93,980
Washington $106,980
West Virginia $94,480
Wisconsin $77,260
Wyoming $102,730

What Tools do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash

How to Become a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

Learn what Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist education requirements there are.

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist?

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Work Experience

Where Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Work

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists employed by various industries.

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Industries

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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