If you are passionate about improving the interaction of humans with systems and processes, you may look at becoming an ergonomist. Ergonomists are human factor specialists who primarily study the relationship between people, environment and equipment; with the aim to further the safety and efficiency of equipment.
As an ergonomist, your day-to-day tasks may vary and require:
- Designing equipment to be utilized by disabled people
- Finding risks associated with workplaces
- Designing the layout of offices
- Conducting trials to test new patterns
- Analyzing the use of equipment
- Preparing reports of appraisals and recommendations
- Providing feedback to the producer or customer
- Investigating physical capabilities of human beings, environmental factors and body limitations
- Designing solutions to improve work
- Designing user manuals to assist the efficient use of new wares
- Liaising with other staff of the organization to further inquiry
- Behaving as an expert witness in lawsuit of any industrial injury
Working Hours and Conditions
Your working hours are usually standard office hours from Monday to Friday. You may do over time, work evenings and weekends depending upon the type of projects.
You are based in an office, but may move around in the laboratory and to visit clients and sites. You spend most of your time on the computer.
Your earnings may vary considerably depending upon the type of employment.
Mode of Employment
Recently qualified graduates
From £18,000 a year upwards
£30,000 a year or more
To become an ergonomist, you must have one of the following qualifications:
- B. Sc in Ergonomics
- A relevant degree in subjects, like occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, sports science, design, engineering or biology, followed by a postgraduate qualification in ergonomics
To acquire admission to professional development opportunities, networking and operating schemes, you may consider joining the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF).
Once employed, you can enrich your job knowledge and skills by working towards various Continual Professional Development (CPD) courses offered by IEHF.
After gaining a minimum three years of employment experience, you may apply for the registered membership of the IHEF and later for fellowship.
Skills and Interests Needed
To be an ergonomist, it is critical that you establish:
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Deep understanding of peoples’ behavior at different times
- Sound research and analytical sciences
- Impeccable written and verbal communication skills
- Pay attention to every detail
- Technical know-how and experience
- Good IT skills
- Excellent statistical and mathematical skills
- Be capable to play with different types of workplace
- Good interpersonal and organizational skills
As an ergonomist, you may find positions within a variety of organizations such as educational institutes, hospitals, manufacturing units, research institutes, consultancies or government bodies.
After gaining significant experience, you may progress in the areas of line or project management or be able to move into freelance consultancy and provide various services. On that point are numerous research opportunities in this profession as well.
Final Book: This career may suit you only if you enjoy working with people.