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Ergonomist

Ergonomists study the relationships among people and their tools, equipment and working environments. They apply their knowledge to enhance well-being, performance, comfort, and safety.

  • Avg. Salary $92,250.00
  • Avg. Wage $47.99
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Human Factors Professional, Human Factors Specialist, Injury Prevention Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Ergonomists (4161.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (E031) 
  • 2011 NOC: Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4161) 
  • 2016 NOC: Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4161) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

49%
49%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Ergonomist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Ergonomists
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to evaluate working and living environments

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with clients to ensure that the design, configuration and use of equipment, procedures and environmental conditions maximize safety, productivity and comfort

METHODICAL

Interest in handling equipment to conduct research

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Ergonomics is about ensuring a good fit between people and the tools, equipment, and products they use where they play, travel, and work. It is a multi-disciplinary field that includes:

  • Biological and life sciences such as biomechanics, kinesiology, and medicine
  • Behavioural and social sciences such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology
  • Technical sciences such as systems design, mathematical modelling, and operations research

Ergonomists ensure that the design of products, tasks, and work methods is compatible with human performance. They evaluate human and machine systems by observing, measuring, and grading how people interact with each other and their equipment and workspaces. They do this to maximize safety, efficiency, and well-being. To accomplish this they may:

  • Develop experimental designs, collect data, and compare it with pre-set criteria to study system performance
  • Analyze the demands placed on workers by studying physical, postural, physiological, cognitive, stress, job, and work attitude parameters
  • Assess physical environments by using measuring instruments, subjective analysis, performance and response measurements, modelling, and simulations
  • Rank the suitability of products and systems in relation to the motor, sensory, and cognitive abilities of users
  • Design and put in place systems by doing audits and using creative techniques such as focus groups, participation-based design, and follow-up groups
  • Teach workers about body mechanics and work practices
  • Consult with other specialists about design and development problems to integrate data from a variety of scientific and professional points of view
  • Advise organizations on human factors in personnel management and the design, evaluation, operation, and maintenance of products and systems
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Ergonomists work in diverse settings including laboratories, industry, offices, and teaching environments. They work with a wide variety of people including workers, union officials, managers, other professionals, students, and the public.

They may work overtime, evenings, and weekends to meet project deadlines or to assess systems involving shift workers.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Ergonomists need:

  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • An interest in how people interact with their environments

They should enjoy:

  • Co-ordinating information
  • Finding innovative approaches to problems
  • Consulting with people
  • Taking responsibility for projects
  • Bringing a systematic approach to their research
  • Working independently or with a team
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

The minimum education requirement is generally a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. Increasingly, ergonomists have certification or post-secondary education such as a master’s degree in ergonomics, psychology, human kinetics, human factors, or biomedical engineering. Those working in systems design may have a master’s degree in industrial engineering. For more information, see the Industrial Engineer occupational profile.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Certification is voluntary in Alberta. Ergonomists may belong to the Association of Canadian Ergonomists and be certified through the Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists. To qualify for certification, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with specified course content or an equivalent combination of education and experience. They must also meet competency and work experience requirements.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Ergonomists work for:

  • Government departments concerned with workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, transportation, communication, and defence
  • Research councils and institutes
  • Schools
  • Computer and office furniture manufacturers
  • Manufacturing and processing companies
  • Heavy industrial and construction companies
  • Large corporations such as utility and telecommunications companies
  • Private consulting firms in areas such as health care and engineering

Self-employed ergonomists may contract their services to a variety of employers.

Advancement opportunities vary depending on the size and nature of the organization and the ergonomist’s qualifications.

Ergonomists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4161: Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the E031: Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 59 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.70 $52.51 $35.70 $35.83
Overall $27.47 $89.03 $47.99 $46.49
Top $32.97 $97.72 $59.05 $50.38

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

49%
49%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

29%
29%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Association of Canadian Ergonomists (ACE) website: ace-ergocanada.ca

Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists (CCCPE) website: www.cccpe.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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