Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Chief Engineer
  • Consultant in Ergonomics and Safety
  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Ergonomics Consultant
  • Ergonomics Engineer
  • Ergonomic Specialist
  • Ergonomist
  • Human Factors Advisor, Lead
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Human Factors Ergonomist
View All

What They Do

  • Design or evaluate human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance.
  • Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests.
  • Conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.
  • Prepare reports or presentations summarizing results or conclusions of human factors engineering or ergonomics activities, such as testing, investigation, or validation.
  • Recommend workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.
  • Assess the user-interface or usability characteristics of products.
  • Review health, safety, accident, or worker compensation records to evaluate safety program effectiveness or to identify jobs with high incidents of injury.
  • Advocate for end users in collaboration with other professionals including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.
  • Perform functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.
  • Conduct research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Ohio was $83,150 with most people making between $54,230 and $120,510

Outlook

0.20%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 11,710 people in Ohio. It is projected that there will be 11,940 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 23 openings due to growth and about 347 replacement openings for approximately 370 total annual openings.