OFO No: 226303




What is an Ergonomist?

An Ergonomist is an occupational health expert. They study and specialise in designing comfortable and efficient items for offices, home studies and factories.

An Ergonomist studies anatomy to understand how the body (bones and muscles) work. With this information, they then design items like furniture, tools, office environments etc to suit the body so it can work more efficiently and be more comfortable at the same time.

Ergonomists usually work on research and development teams and alongside industrial engineers.

Ergnomists can work for large corporations, furniture companies or work for themselves as consultants to many companies. Some even work for car manufacturers and architectural companies.

What does an Ergonomist do?

  • does market research
  • interviews various staff about tools, piece of furniture or about a building
  • interviews staff about physical problems they may be encountering at work
  • takes measurements and photographs
  • collates the data and makes informed decisions
  • starts designing new and improved solutions for the workplace
  • liaises with engineers and other members of staff
  • makes prototype (a full size example)
  • puts prototype through testing programmes to find any faults
  • solves any manufacturing problems
  • consults to companies and organisations
  • writes reports and advises

Are you . . . ?

  • a problem solver?
  • creative?
  • a person who can think out the box?
  • a person who can think and ‘see’ in 3d?
  • a good communicator?
  • original?
  • hard worker?
  • a people’s person?
  • thorough and systematic?

How do I become an Ergonomist?

You will need a qualification and once qualified be certified.

All individuals wishing to practice as Ergonomists will be required to be certified, effective immediately (2015). Please contact the Ergonomics Society of South Africa for further information.


ESSA sets the minimum standards for qualifications for the recognition of competency in Ergonomics.

Individuals who meet the pre-determined criteria may apply to be certified by the Board.

Registered Ergonomist:

Minimum requirements:

M+3 – BSc Degree in Ergonomics or CLOSELY related field PLUS completion of a course in Ergonomics recognised by the ESSA … OR …

M+5 – MSc Degree in Ergonomics or CLOSELY related field from an ESSA recognised institution

For more info, CLICK HERE

Only some universities offer these courses. Check with your university of choice to see if they do.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Graphic Designer or Industrial Designer

Is becoming an Ergonomist the right career choice for me?


Maths Required Qualification Required