Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
SOC: 17-2112.01


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
241,100 employed

Projected (2024):
243,200 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Chief Engineer
  • Consultant in Ergonomics and Safety
  • Engineering Psychologist
  • Ergonomic Specialist
  • Ergonomics Consultant
  • Ergonomics Engineer
  • Ergonomist
  • Human Factors Advisor, Lead
  • Human Factors Engineer
  • Human Factors Ergonomist
  • Human Factors Scientist
  • Human Factors Specialist
  • Human Machine Interface Engineer (HMI Engineer)
  • Interface Designer
  • Managing Cognitive Engineer
  • PI/Senior Research Associate
  • President Ergonomic Consulting
  • Principal Engineer
  • Safety Specialist
  • Senior Research Associate
  • Usability Engineer
  • Usability Specialist
  • User Experience Team Lead
  • User Interface Designer

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    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).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Write, review, or comment on documents, such as proposals, test plans, or procedures.
  • Train users in task techniques or ergonomic principles.
  • Review health, safety, accident, or worker compensation records to evaluate safety program effectiveness or to identify jobs with high incidents of injury.
  • 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.
  • Investigate theoretical or conceptual issues, such as the human design considerations of lunar landers or habitats.
  • Estimate time or resource requirements for ergonomic or human factors research or development projects.
  • Conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.
  • Recommend workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.
  • 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.
  • Prepare reports or presentations summarizing results or conclusions of human factors engineering or ergonomics activities, such as testing, investigation, or validation.
  • 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.
  • Perform functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.
  • Operate testing equipment, such as heat stress meters, octave band analyzers, motion analysis equipment, inclinometers, light meters, velometers, sling psychrometers, or colormetric detection tubes.
  • Integrate human factors requirements into operational hardware.
  • Establish system operating or training requirements to ensure optimized human-machine interfaces.
  • Inspect work sites to identify physical hazards.
  • Develop or implement human performance research, investigation, or analysis protocols.
  • 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.
  • Design cognitive aids, such as procedural storyboards or decision support systems.
  • Conduct research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.
  • Assess the user-interface or usability characteristics of products.
  • Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests.
  • 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.
  • Analyze complex systems to determine potential for further development, production, interoperability, compatibility, or usefulness in a particular area, such as aviation.
  • Advocate for end users in collaboration with other professionals including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.
  • Design or evaluate human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Algometers
  • Anthropometers
  • Automated blood pressure measurement equipment
  • Body fat measurement calipers
  • Colorimeters
  • Computer laser printers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Digital force gauges
  • Digital video cameras
  • Electrocardiography EKG monitors
  • Electroencephalography EEG equipment
  • Electromagnetic motion analysis systems
  • Electromyograph processing systems
  • Electronic distance measuring devices
  • Exercise treadmills
  • Flight simulation equipment
  • Goniometers
  • Hand dynamometers
  • Hand sensor gloves
  • Haptic devices
  • Heart rate monitors
  • Heat stress meters
  • Inclinometers
  • Interactive whiteboards
  • Isokinetic dynamometers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser Doppler flowmeters
  • Light meters
  • Lumbar motion monitors
  • Manual blood pressure measurement equipment
  • Microphones
  • Motion capture systems
  • Noise meters
  • Octave band analyzers
  • Oxygen analyzers
  • Personal computers
  • Push/pull dynamometers
  • Sling psychrometers
  • Tablet computers
  • Torsiometers
  • Touch screen monitors
  • Velometers
  • Video goggles
  • Video projectors
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • AEMC DataView
  • AJAX
  • Altia software
  • Apple Safari
  • Bit Debris Solutions Usability Activity Log
  • C++
  • Cascading Style Sheets CSS
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Dartfish ProSuite
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA software
  • Data Translation quickDAQ
  • Dynamic hypertext markup language DHTML
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Mangold INTERACT
  • Mangold LogSquare
  • Mangold Soundalyzer
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Word
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Noldus Information Technology FaceReader
  • Noldus Information Technology The Observer XT
  • Noldus Information Technology uLog Pro
  • Oracle Java
  • Ovo Studios Ovo Logger
  • SAS software
  • Seeing Machines faceLAB
  • Simulation software
  • SPSS software
  • Statistical software
  • TechSmith Camtasia
  • TechSmith Morae
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • The MathWorks Simulink
  • Thought Technology BioGraph Infiniti
  • Triangle Research Collaborative Observational Coding System OCS Tools Software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980