Healthcare & Medical

Ergonomist

Ergonomists designing equipment, devices and environments to be healthy, safe, and comfortable to use or work in.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor's degree + post-graduate qualification / training

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Ergonomist do?

Ergonomists designing equipment, devices and environments to be healthy, safe, and comfortable to use or work in.

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Work activities

As an ergonomist, you would:

include personal behaviours, physical capabilities and environmental factors when designing equipment. Typically you would:

  • analyse how people use equipment and workplaces
  • undertake workplace risk assessments and assess work environments
  • write reports on findings and recommendations
  • advise on office layout including furniture and equipment
  • design equipment for people with disabilities
  • create manuals, signs and other documentation to ensure the best use of new systems or products
  • advise on the design of workstations and production line equipment
  • providing advice, information and training to colleagues and clients
  • trial new designs and provide feedback to manufacturers
  • visit a wide range of environments in order to assess health and safety standards or to investigate workplace accidents
  • act as expert witness in cases of industrial injury.
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Key skills and interests

To become an ergonomist, you would need:

  • a good knowledge of anatomy, physiology and psychology
  • an understanding of design methods
  • an interest in people’s behaviour in different settings
  • an ability to work with all levels of people
  • numeracy and IT skills.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As an ergonomist you would work a standard number of hours per week, but you may be required to visit clients outside of standard business hours.

Conditions

You would be based in an office but spend much of your time visiting client sites and workplaces. You would use computer aided design (CAD) systems extensively.

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How to become an Ergonomist?

Entry Level Education

To become an ergonomist, you usually have to complete a degree in psychology, industrial design, information technology, engineering or a related field, followed by a postgraduate qualification that specialises in human factors and ergonomics. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry, physics or biology would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australasia (HFESA) is a body for the ergonomics profession in Australia. Students and graduates may be eligible for membership of HFESA.

www.ergonomics.org.au/

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of occupational health and safety specialists, including ergonomists, is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

roles will continue to be available for ergonomists because insurance and workers’ compensation costs have become a concern for many employers and insurance companies, and working safely and healthily is a growing priority for many companies. An ageing population is remaining in the workforce longer than past generations, and older workers may have greater ergonomic needs.

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