Careers

Whether you’re an A-level student deciding on further education, or a seasoned professional looking to expand on your knowledge and opportunities, we have the information you need to take the next step in your career.

What do ergonomists and human factors specialists do?

Ergonomists and human factors specialists work in a huge range of disciplines, from healthcare to research to energy to transport. They either work independently, as consultants, or within an organisation such as a nuclear facility or university. What they do depends very much on the organisation but their role generally is to look at the processes and systems that companies use to carry out their business to understand if they can be made safer, more effective, more usable or more accessible.

Ergonomics is about making life easier for people. This includes the products you use at home, at leisure and at work, the places in which you live and work, the transport you use to get around, and the systems that keep day-to-day life functioning properly. As an ergonomist, you could:

  • design products to make them easier or more comfortable to use
  • train people to work safely in hazardous places like oil rigs and power plants
  • examine the physical strength and endurance of athletes
  • analyse pilots’ tasks to ensure maximum performance under stress
  • design protective equipment for people working in extreme environments
  • improve accessibility for disabled people

Visit our blog to read about the work our  members do, or read about the paths some of our members have taken to get where they are today.

How can I become an ergonomist and human factors specialist?

Study

Loughborough University is the only university in the UK that runs undergraduate courses in ergonomics and human factors, but many courses in design, computer science and engineering offer modules in ergonomics.

Many other universities run postgraduate courses, ranging from postgraduate certificates right up to PhD level. See our list of accredited courses or look at our jobs listfor PhD opportunities.

Train

While undertaking formal study gives you a great advantage when starting out in your career, you do not have to complete a course in ergonomics and human factors in order to become a recognised professional in the field.

Many of our members have qualifications in other fields such as psychology, computer science, engineering, medicine and design and have gone on to combine their expertise with on-the-job training in order to become an expert in their sector. See a list of short courses or browse our jobs to find out what employers are looking for.

Join us

Anyone with an interest in ergonomics and human factors can become a member of the CIEHF.

By becoming and member you can gain access to our online journals, read the latest issue of our magazine The Ergonomist every month, join our Regional Groups, attend our events at reduced cost and become part of the community.

By working towards Registered Membership and Chartership you can gain recognition of your professionalism and distinguish yourself as the candidate with the right knowledge and expertise for the job.