Human Factors Psychologists May Work in These Five Job Settings

  • Government Offices
  • Industrial Headquarters
  • Research Centers
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • Private Practices

A person who is interested in a degree or career in human factors psychology should know about these five career settings for human factors psychologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not separate this type of psychologist in its labor statistics, but it does include them in its grouping of “other psychologists,” providing information about where these professionals are likely to be employed. Awareness of the career settings for human factors psychologists could make it easier for a person to choose a career path or hone their area of focus when applying for a job.

Related resource: Top 15 Master’s in Human Factors and Ergonomics

1. Government Offices

Human factors psychologists may work in government office buildings. In this career setting, the psychologist likely has an office or cubicle for doing their work, and they spend a lot of their time at a computer. They may spend some time in the field or traveling to and from meetings. Human factors psychologists who work for state and federal government agencies are often responsible for instituting policies and procedures at places like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

2. Industrial Headquarters

Industrial headquarters are one of the top five career settings for human factors psychologists. Large corporations, especially those involved in production, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution are likely to employ these specialists in order to lower their rates of on-the-job injuries and to improve efficiency and production. The human factors psychologists employed by these large corporations might split their time between sitting in an office and using a computer and visiting a production or manufacturing facility and surveying the processes and procedures that take place in that environment.

3. Research Centers

Occupational safety and health research centers, healthcare research and psychology research facilities may employ human factors psychologists. These facilities are usually office suites. They may also include research laboratories within the building. In the case of occupational health and safety research centers, these facilities may also include mock-ups or representations of different types of work environments. Human factors psychologists who work in these places may also travel in order to visit and survey different work environments in action.

4. Healthcare Facilities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many human factors psychologists work in healthcare facilities. Hospitals employ about 6 percent of psychologists, including human factors psychologists. Ambulatory care settings, including rehab centers, physical therapy offices, and occupational therapy centers may also employ human actors psychologists. These professionals might also work in the administrative headquarters of healthcare conglomerates, health research centers or healthcare consulting centers.

5. Private Practices

Human factors psychologists may also work in private practice. They may have their own consulting business or work in a group practice with other psychologists, such as an industrial-organizational psychologist. They might have other professionals as a part of their private practice, such as an ergonomics or occupational health and safety specialist. Those who work in private practice might have an office suite or work out of an office in a room in their house. They may also use the office facilities of their clients.

People who work in human factors psychology may also work for themselves or as consultants. In such cases, their job setting might be split between an office in their home or a shared workspace and traveling to the facilities of their clients. Awareness of these five career settings for human factors psychologists could help a person decide which jobs are best suited to their personal preferences.