Human factors specialist
Ergonomists help to make sure that equipment and machinery is safe and easy to use.
Salary range: £20,000 to £60,000
How to become an ergonomist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You can qualify as an ergonomist by doing a degree in ergonomics.
You can also complete a degree in a related subject then take a postgraduate course in ergonomics. Related subjects include:
- occupational therapy
- sports science
- design engineering
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors for professional development training, events and networking opportunities.
You’ll find more about careers and training in ergonomics from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of psychology
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- knowledge of English language
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- thinking and reasoning skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your tasks will vary depending on your role, but will usually include:
- speaking with clients to find out more about the issue that needs solving
- designing office layouts and advising on suitable furniture and equipment
- advising on the organisation of production lines and workstations
- designing equipment and improving access for people with disabilities
- developing equipment and systems that are easy to use and less likely to lead to problems
- changing transport design to increase the safety for the driver and passengers
- designing signs that are easy to understand
- carrying out user trials to test new designs, and providing feedback to the manufacturer or client
- acting as an expert witness in cases of industrial injury
You could work in an office or at a university.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress into line management or project management.
You could move into consultancy work, or provide specialist services like workplace design or health and safety.