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Occupation Details

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Ergonomist

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, electricians typically complete four years of training in order to perform the job.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€28k >  
Ergonomist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 -  
Related Information:
Entrants: 28 - 35k
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Designs workplace equipment specifically to ensure the health, safety, and productivity of workers.


The Work header image

Ergonomists use their knowledge of science and technology to improve people's working and living environments. They aim to help people live and work safely, comfortably and efficiently. They achieve this by making sure that equipment, machinery and environment are suited to the people who use and interact with them.  
 
For example, in car design, ergonomists contribute to a reduction in the number and severity of road accidents, by changing vehicle design to improve the safety of the driver and passengers. An ergonomist may study cars and car components that have been involved in an accident to see how they have withstood the impact of the crash. They also study the human body, to see how it responds to different crash situations. This helps ergonomists to design new safety features. They may also study accidents involving children's car restraints.  
 
Ergonomists understand how humans behave and react in certain situations. They apply this knowledge to the design process. There is a strong link between ergonomics, good design and our health and safety. Ergonomics is therefore useful in a wide range of areas.  
 
In business, commerce and industry, ergonomists improve working conditions and make them safe. For example, they may help to design an aircraft's flight deck. They make sure the flight deck is suitable for the pilots' size, workload and general working requirements; they need to be able to reach all the instruments quickly and easily.  
 
Ergonomists might also be involved in changing the design of a computer workstation, so that people who use them are less likely to develop postural and visual fatigue problems. Other ergonomists study how people cope with working in either very hot or very cold temperatures.  
 
Ergonomists also look at the equipment and machinery we use in the workplace, and suggest ways to improve it. They may redesign the layout of an office and help choose suitable furniture. When the office is set up, they may look at the way people use the equipment and suggest some changes, such as altering the height of a typist's chair. In this way, ergonomists help people to avoid problems such as back injuries and injuries through over-use.  
 
As well as working in commerce and industry, some ergonomists design products that people use in their everyday lives. For example, they may design  


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Design or evaluate human work systems, using human factors engineering and ergonomic principles to optimize usability, cost, quality, safety, or performance.

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Collect data through direct observation of work activities or witnessing the conduct of tests.

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Conduct interviews or surveys of users or customers to collect information on topics such as requirements, needs, fatigue, ergonomics, or interfaces.

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Prepare reports or presentations summarizing results or conclusions of human factors engineering or ergonomics activities, such as testing, investigation, or validation.

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Recommend workplace changes to improve health and safety, using knowledge of potentially harmful factors, such as heavy loads or repetitive motions.

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Assess the user-interface or usability characteristics of products.

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Review health, safety, accident, or worker compensation records to evaluate safety program effectiveness or to identify jobs with high incidents of injury.

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Perform functional, task, or anthropometric analysis, using tools such as checklists, surveys, videotaping or force measurement.

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Advocate for end users in collaboration with other professionals including engineers, designers, managers, or customers.

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Conduct research to evaluate potential solutions related to changes in equipment design, procedures, manpower, personnel, or training.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Psychology:  Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As an ergonomist, you will use knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, psychology, mathematics and statistics, design methods, work organisation and industrial sociology. You need good communication skills and an analytical approach to problem solving. You must be able to work as part of a team, because ergonomists work closely with designers, engineers, architects and operational researchers. A creative ability and an imaginative nature are very helpful in this career.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Ergonomist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Ergonomist - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Ergonomics Society
  Address: An Chearta, Runard, Clonlara, Co. Clare.
  Tel: (061) 234 249
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Art, Craft & Design
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