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Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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All About Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

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.

Life As a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist: What Do They Do?

  • Inspect work sites to identify physical hazards.
  • Perform functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.
  • Recommend workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.
  • Conduct research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.
  • Develop or implement human performance research, investigation, or analysis protocols.
  • Design cognitive aids, such as procedural storyboards or decision support systems.

Things a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Should Know How to Do

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.

Types of Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

  • Managing Cognitive Engineer
  • Human Factors Scientist
  • Safety Specialist
  • PI/Senior Research Associate
  • Principal Engineer

Is There Job Demand for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists?

There were about 257,900 jobs for Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist in 2016 (in the United States). 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 19,700 job openings in this field each year.

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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.

Do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Make A Lot Of Money?

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists make between $56,470 and $132,340 a year.

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

How much do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists make 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 & Technology do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

Individuals working as a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist have obtained the following education levels:

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

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Where Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Are Employed

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Below are examples of industries where Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists work:

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References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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