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Ergonomist

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

  • Avg. Salary $74,121.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.64
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 5,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Human Factors Professional, Human Factors Specialist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

53%
53%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Ergonomist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Ergonomists
NOC code: 4161.1
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 Dec 15, 2016

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

  • biological and life sciencessuch as biomechanics, kinesiology and medicine
  • behavioural and social sciencessuch 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 characteristics and maximizes safety, efficiency and well-being. To accomplish this objective, they may:

  • evaluate human and machine systems by observing, measuring and evaluating how people interact with each other, things such as equipment and work spaces, and environments
  • develop experimental designs, use data collection instruments and procedures, and make comparisons with criterion measures to study system performance
  • collect information by investigating environments and working activities to determine and optimize existing processes and practices
  • analyze the demands placed on workers by assessing physical, postural, physiological, cognitive, stress, job and work attitude parameters
  • assess physical environments by using measuring instruments, subjective assessments, performance and response measurements, modelling and simulations
  • assess the suitability of products and systems in relation to the motor, sensory and cognitive capabilities of operators and users
  • design and implement systems by conducting audits and employing creative techniques such as focus groups, participatory design and follow-up groups
  • teach workers about body mechanics and work practices
  • consult with other specialists concerning design and development problems to gather and integrate data from a variety of scientific and professional points of view
  • advise organizations regarding human factors in personnel management and the specification, design, evaluation, operation and maintenance of products and systems.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Overtime, evening and weekend work may be required to meet project deadlines or to assess systems involving shift workers.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Ergonomists need the following characteristics:

  • an interest in and curiosity about how people interact with their environments
  • creativity
  • the ability to work independently or with a team.

They should enjoy co-ordinating information, developing innovative approaches to problems, consulting with people, taking responsibility for projects, and taking a systematic approach to conducting research.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The minimum education requirement is a bachelor's degree in a related discipline. Increasingly, ergonomists have related certification or post-secondary education such as a master's degree in ergonomics, psychology, human kinetics, human factors, biomedical engineering or a related field. 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 Dec 15, 2016

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, and meet competency and work experience requirements.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Ergonomists work for:

  • government departments concerned with workers' compensation, occupational health and safety, transportation, communication and defence
  • research councils and institutes
  • universities and other educational schools
  • computer and office furniture manufacturers
  • manufacturing or processing companies
  • heavy industrial and construction companies
  • large corporations such as utility or telecommunications companies
  • private consulting firms (for example, 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 in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,900 Albertans are employed in the Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 59 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As ergonomists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for ergonomists. 

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers
NOC code: 4161

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 $18.00 $42.44 $28.94 $27.79
Overall $22.21 $54.87 $38.64 $36.89
Top $27.22 $78.06 $52.05 $46.05

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

53%
53%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

33%
33%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

2015 Vacancy Rate

1%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
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 Dec 15, 2016

Association of Canadian Ergonomists website: www.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, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. 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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