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Human Factors Engineers & Ergonomists

Also called: Ergonomist, Human Factors Engineer, Senior Research Associate, User Experience Team Lead

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.

Knowledge

Math and Science
  • psychology
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development
  • design
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design

Skills

Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it

Abilities

Verbal
  • read and understand what is written
  • communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems
Math
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Persistence
  • Adaptability/Flexibility

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • SAS software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
Web platform development software
  • Dynamic hypertext markup language DHTML
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
Graphics or photo imaging software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash

Education

Education: (rated 5 of 5)
master's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$78,860
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about human factors engineers and ergonomists.