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Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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What Do Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Do?

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?

  • Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests.
  • Provide human factors technical expertise on topics such as advanced user-interface technology development or the role of human users in automated or autonomous sub-systems in advanced vehicle systems.
  • Estimate time or resource requirements for ergonomic or human factors research or development projects.
  • Integrate human factors requirements into operational hardware.
  • 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.
  • Train users in task techniques or ergonomic principles.

Qualities of a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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.

Other Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Job Titles

  • Human Machine Interface Engineer (HMI Engineer)
  • Ergonomist
  • Human Factors Scientist
  • President Ergonomic Consulting
  • Ergonomics Engineer

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.

Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist Salary

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.

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

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

Becoming a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist

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

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Human Factors Engineer or Ergonomist?

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Where Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Work

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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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