- Help design and create environments that humans can safely and easily live and work in
- Use a range of skills including research, design, problem-solving and IT
- Opportunities to progress into management or to run your own consultancy
As an ergonomist you'll research and analyse issues including the way muscles and limbs work, the physical capabilities and limitations of the body, the effects of environmental factors like noise, heat and lighting, and how people think and behave and how this influences their use of equipment and systems.
- Speaking with clients to find out more about the issue that needs solving
- Designing layouts and advising on suitable furniture and equipment
- Advising on the organisation of production lines and workstations
- Designing equipment and improving access for people with disabilities
- Developing equipment and systems that are easy to use and less likely to lead to problems
- Changing transport design to increase the safety for the driver and passengers
- Designing signs that are easy to understand
- Carrying out user trials to test new designs
- Providing feedback to the manufacturer or client
- Acting as an expert witness in cases of industrial injury
- You could also be involved in research or teaching.
You could work in an office or at a university.
This role requires maths skills, IT skills including computer aided design (CAD), close attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and the ability to analyse and communicate complex information to non-experts.
You can qualify as an ergonomist by doing a degree in ergonomics.
You can also complete a degree in a related subject then take a postgraduate course in ergonomics. Related subjects include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, sports science or design engineering.
It may be helpful to join the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors for professional development training, events and networking opportunities.
With experience, you could progress into line management or project management. You could also move into consultancy work, or provide specialist services like workplace design or health and safety.