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Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Human Factors Professional.

Ergonomists consider human capabilities and apply theory, principles, data and methods to design optimal solutions for human wellbeing and overall system performance.

Ergonomists work in a variety of settings, depending on the specific specialisation of their job.

They often work in design, risk management, occupational health and safety, transport safety, patient safety and many other areas.

They may spend time in settings such as offices, laboratories, industrial facilities, teaching environments or retail settings.


    Ergonomists may perform the following tasks:

  • determine the demands placed on people by their activities, equipment, environment and systems in different contexts
  • identify the factors affecting people and their performance in various settings
  • develop and recommend options for ergonomic interventions
  • educate clients in the safe use and maintenance of the specialised equipment or systems prescribed
  • evaluate the quality and outcome of ergonomic interventions
  • conduct audits to gain insight on how to improve systems
  • develop and conduct appropriate ergonomics-related education and training
  • promote the application of ergonomics and contribute to ergonomic research


  • tactful and diplomatic
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • good communication skills
  • good interpersonal skills
  • discretion and respect for confidentiality and privacy
  • integrity and honesty
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Interest Area

Scientific Technical/Engineering Figures/Computational Influencing/Personal Contact


Ergonomists typically specialise in one or more of three main areas:

Physical Ergonomics - is concerned with anatomical, physiological and biomechanical characteristics, such as posture, and how they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomics is also concerned with the impact of environmental factors, such as heat, light, sound and vibration, on physical performance.

Cognitive Ergonomics - is concerned with the affect of mental processes, such as perception, memory, decision making, stress and fatigue, on interactions between humans and their environment.

Organisational Ergonomics - is concerned with the optimisation of organisational functioning, by considering the impact of factors such as communication, teamwork, work-design, fatigue and job rotation.


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

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 HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics or biology are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer relevant degrees. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australasia (HFESA) is the peak body for the ergonomics profession in Australia. Students and graduates may be eligible for membership of HFESA. Visit their website for more information.


Ergonomists generally work in software development, health care, high hazard industries, transport, design, or for government health and safety authorities. Many ergonomists also work as independent consultants.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Ergonomist Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Inc.

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