What Do Human Factors Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Human Factors Engineers

Human Factors Engineers 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.

Salary
$93610
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Human Factors Engineers 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. They also design or evaluate human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance.

Other tasks include:

  • 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 incidence of injury.

We asked Human Factors Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

70%

How meaningful is this job

60%


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Human Factors Engineers design or evaluate human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance. They recommend workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.

  • Conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.
  • Assess the user-interface or usability characteristics of products.
  • Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests.
  • Provide technical support to clients through activities such as rearranging workplace fixtures to reduce physical hazards or discomfort or modifying task sequences to reduce cycle time.
  • Develop or implement human performance research, investigation, or analysis protocols.

We asked some Human Factors Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 50% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 38% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 46% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 13% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 13% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Human Factors Engineers also prepare reports or presentations summarizing results or conclusions of human factors engineering or ergonomics activities, such as testing, investigation, or validation. They may also conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Human Factors Engineers Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests. They might also Review health, safety, accident, or worker compensation records to evaluate safety program effectiveness or to identify jobs with high incidence of injury.

In addition, they Integrate human factors requirements into operational hardware.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Analyze complex systems to determine potential for further development, production, interoperability, compatibility, or usefulness in a particular area, such as aviation.

To some Human Factors Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Develop or implement research methodologies or statistical analysis plans to test and evaluate developmental prototypes used in new products or processes, such as cockpit designs, user workstations, or computerized human models.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Human Factors Engineer and Ergonomist, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Human Factors Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Once a week
43%


Every day
43%


Do Human Factors Engineers work outdoors?

Once a year
43%


Never
30%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Human Factors Engineers

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Related to Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists Job Description

Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists job description, what do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists do, typical day for Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists, what is it like to work as a Human Factors Engineer and Ergonomist, how many hours do Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists work, day to day work of a Human Factors Engineer and Ergonomist

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineers.htm
http://www.iienet2.org/Default.aspx
http://www.asee.org/
http://ncees.org/


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