Career as a Human Factor Engineer


Summary

Human Factors Engineers develop items such as tools, electronics, and software, factoring in the comfort, safety, and usability of a product during development. While some related software engineering positions may require just a Bachelor's Degree, most positions in this field require a graduate degree with a specialization such as applied research psychology, ergonomics, or human factors engineering. Human factors engineers develop items such as tools, electronics, and software, factoring in the comfort, safety, and usability of a product during development. While some related software engineering positions may require just a bachelor's degree, most positions in this field require a graduate degree with a specialization such as applied research psychology, ergonomics, or human factors engineering.

Human Factors Engineering determines how to best integrate people and the items they use in the design of systems to maximize human well-being. Professionals who work in this field may have a variety of titles, such as human factors professional, ergonomists, information architect, interaction designer, contextual researcher, usability specialist, or user experience engineer. Human factors engineers may work for software and technology companies and the government or in academia as well as independent consultants. In industry and the government, they may assist workers in discovering new ways to do their jobs better or improve a product's usability.

Their responsibilities include designing or evaluating human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance. They collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests and they also conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.

Work Environment

While jobs in academia or the government may have more stable work environments, engineers who work for private companies may be subject to time pressures to complete studies in time for a product launch.

Entry Level Education

Master’s Degree / Bachelor Degree in Industrial Engineering, Product Packaging, Manufacturing Engineering or related field.

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