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Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists

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.   (O'Net 17-2112.01)

 
Reported job titles:   Chief Engineer, Consultant in Ergonomics and Safety, Engineering Psychologist, Ergonomist, Human Factors Advisor, Lead, Human Factors Engineer   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
  • Related Occupations
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    Career Video
    related to Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
    Industrial Engineers photo Industrial Engineers
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    Wages
    for Industrial Engineers which includes:
                          - Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 24.12   $ 30.38   $ 36.49   $ 44.63   $ 51.25   $ 37.74  
    Yearly $50,170   $63,200   $75,890   $92,830   $106,610   $78,500  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 25.21   $ 30.83   $ 36.29   $ 44.28   $ 52.72   $ 38.31  
    Yearly $52,450   $64,130   $75,480   $92,110   $109,670   $79,690  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 25.16   $ 31.04   $ 36.54   $ 44.22   $ 49.90   $ 37.22  
    Yearly $52,340   $64,570   $76,010   $91,980   $103,800   $77,430  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 21.28   $ 25.62   $ 38.10   $ 46.03   $ 51.33   $ 36.64  
    Yearly $44,260   $53,280   $79,250   $95,750   $106,760   $76,210  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Industrial Engineers which includes:
                                  - Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Industrial Engineers which includes:
                                - Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Transportation equipment manufacturing 17.7%
    Computer and electronic product manufacturing 13.5%
    Machinery manufacturing 8.9%
    Fabricated metal product manufacturing 5.8%
    Architectural, engineering, and related services 5.3%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • 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.
     
  • Perform functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.
     
  • Advocate for end users in collaboration with other professionals including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.
     
  • Conduct research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Knowledge
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
     
  • 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.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Skills
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • 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.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Abilities
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Work Activities
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Interests
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2013
     


    Work Styles
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Engineer Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Professional Engineering
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: 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).
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • Experience: 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.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists  updated July 2012
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Industrial Engineering.
     
    • Manufacturing Engineering.
     
    • Packaging Science. (NEW)
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Industrial Engineers.
  •  
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists :
  • Industrial Engineers
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists
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    No related occupations information for this occupation.
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor