Human Factors Engineer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Career Video

Designs 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. May also investigate and analyze characteristics of human behavior and performance as it relates to the use of technology.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Engineering and Technology pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Designs or evaluates human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance.
  • Collects data through direct observation of work activities or witnessings the conduct of tests.
  • Conducts interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.
  • Prepares reports or presentations summarizing results or conclusions of human factors engineering or ergonomics activities, such as testing, investigation, or validation.
  • Recommends workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.
  • Assesses the user-interface or usability characteristics of products.
  • Reviews health, safety, accident, or worker compensation records to evaluate safety program effectiveness or to identify jobs with high incidence of injury.
  • Performs functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.
  • Advocates for end users in collaboration with other professionals, including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.
  • Conducts research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Consultant in Ergonomics and Safety --
  • Ergonomist --
  • Human Factors Advisor, Lead --
  • Human Factors Scientist --
  • Managing Cognitive Engineer --
  • PI/Senior Research Associate --
  • Principal Engineer --
  • Senior Research Associate --
  • User Experience Team Lead --