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Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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What You Need to Know About Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

Job Description & Duties 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.

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Responsibilities

  • Develop or implement research methodologies or statistical analysis plans to test and evaluate developmental prototypes used in new products or processes, such as cockpit designs, user workstations, or computerized human models.
  • Estimate time or resource requirements for ergonomic or human factors research or development projects.
  • Perform statistical analyses, such as social network pattern analysis, network modeling, discrete event simulation, agent-based modeling, statistical natural language processing, computational sociology, mathematical optimization, or systems dynamics.
  • Apply modeling or quantitative analysis to forecast events, such as human decisions or behaviors, the structure or processes of organizations, or the attitudes or actions of human groups.
  • Develop or implement human performance research, investigation, or analysis protocols.
  • Analyze complex systems to determine potential for further development, production, interoperability, compatibility, or usefulness in a particular area, such as aviation.

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Needed Skills

When polled, Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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 Jobs

  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Human Factors Specialist
  • User Interface Designer
  • Safety Specialist
  • Human Factors Scientist

Is There Going to be Demand 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 19,700 job openings in this field each year.


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.

What is the Average Salary of a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

The average yearly salary of a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist ranges between $56,470 and $132,340.


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 & Technology 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

What kind of Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist requirements are there?


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


Where do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Work?


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.



Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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