Ergonomists research ways to design products, workplaces or systems to suit the people who need to use them.Job Category:
What you will do:
- visit workplaces and speak with clients to find out about issues that need solving
- work with teams of professionals to develop ideas
- design office layouts and advise on suitable furniture and equipment
- advise on the organisation of production lines and workstations
- design equipment and improve access for people with disabilities
- develop equipment and systems that are easy to use and less likely to lead to problems
- change transport design to increase the safety for the driver and passengers
design signs that are easy to understand
- carry out user trials to test new designs, and provide feedback to the manufacturer or client
- act as an expert witness in cases of industrial injury
- knowledge of psychology
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of English language
- complex problem-solving skills (adaptability skills)
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
As well as:
- analytical thinking skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisation skills)
- thinking and reasoning skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You can qualify as an ergonomist by doing a degree in ergonomics.
You can also complete a degree in a related subject and then take a postgraduate course in ergonomics. Related subjects include:
- occupational therapy
- sports science
- design engineering
You may be able to get into this job by doing a Human Factors Specialist Degree Apprenticeship.
It can take around 3 years to complete this apprenticeship.
If you work in industries like transport, healthcare or health and safety you may be able to complete short courses in ergonomics that will give you an insight into the field.
Working Hours and Environment:
Typical hours consist of 38-40 hours a week. You will usually work between 8am and 6pm and may have to be flexible with working times.
You could work at a client’s business, in an office or at a university.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience, you could progress into line management or project management.
You could move into consultancy work, or provide specialist services like workplace design or health and safety.