Aviation human factors is the science behind the human element of aviation and how humans interface with machines. Students of human factors look at the psychological, social, biological and safety characteristics of a user and the system in which they work. Aligned with the concepts of human centered design and engineering, experts in the field strive to understand the human interaction with aviation technology so they can improve the complex nature of the environment and its user's experience.
The College of Aeronautics' faculty is comprised of professors who are not only experienced commercial, private and military pilots but also recognized thought-leaders in aviation and aeronautics. They have authored textbooks on aviation safety and published considerable research in aviation human factors with topics including human factors analysis and classification, G-Force induced loss of consciousness, haptic feedback in aviation systems and aviation accident investigation. Dedicated researchers themselves, Florida Tech's faculty are actively involved in supporting their students' passion for discovery.
Florida Tech gives students extensive opportunities for research and field-study: it is at the core of every degree at Florida Tech, giving students real-world, hands-on experience. The university's expertise in science and aeronautics provides students with a wide variety of advanced tools and facilities for research. This includes wind tunnels and air quality monitoring systems, high-tech modeling software programs and other technology from our colleges of science and engineering.
The Center for Aviation Human Factors provides modern flight simulators and advanced statistics software that lets students dig deeper into complex aviation data sets to uncover the meaningful trends inside. The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research houses more than 50 aircraft equipped with cutting-edge technology that are available for students looking to go beyond simulations and labs. The Center of Excellence for General Aviation, along with the Center for Excellence in Commercial Space Transportation, provides Florida Tech with research funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for studies in aviation human factors and other topics.
Studying for a master's degree in aviation human factors at Florida Tech provides students with more than 45 years of experience as one of the leading university-based aviation safety programs in the nation. Florida Tech offers all the benefits of a larger school (such as world-class faculty and high-quality course curriculum) in a close-knit academic community with small class sizes and one-on-one time with professors. This level of human factors training in aviation gives students a chance to go far beyond the pages of textbooks to experience-based learning.
Florida Tech's professors have written and co-authored textbooks, journal articles and hundreds of citations on aviation safety. Many professors are not only experienced commercial, private and military pilots, but are also recognized leaders on issues in aviation and aeronautics. In addition, they are also experts in at least one other field such as aviation law or avionics – making human factors training in aviation at Florida Tech unlike any other in the country.
As a national research university, Florida Tech's commitment to making tangible advances in aeronautics ensures students receive the type of human factors training in aviation that includes cutting-edge tools and facilities for high-tech research. The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research is located a few minutes' drive from Florida Tech at the Melbourne International Airport, housing more than 50 aircraft, including a brand new fleet of Piper Archer TX aircraft equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass panel navigation system. These aircraft, along with the Center for Excellence in General Aviation serve as vessels for applied research for students looking to go beyond simulations and labs and get hands-on human factors training in aviation.
The Center for Aviation Human Factors provides high-tech tools for graduate-level thesis work in all areas of human factors training in aviation. In addition, Florida Tech was chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to join an elite team of universities collaborating on a new Center of Excellence for General Aviation. This center, along with our existing Center for Excellence in Commercial Space Transportation, provides Florida Tech with research funding to explore many areas of aviation.
Graduates who have human factors training in aviation are in great demand. Private airline, airport and other aviation organizations are in need of consultants to guide them in designing better technology and systems that consider human factors. Government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board seek aviation human factors graduates to create and fine tune new systems and legislation that improve aviation safety.
Melbourne, Florida is the perfect location to pursue a master's in aviation human factors. Its prime location on Florida's Space Coast puts students near an international airport and other high-tech aviation companies interested in internships and research. If students like to fly, they'll enjoy having over 300 days of ideal flying weather each year. Outside of human factors training in aviation, Florida Tech also holds accreditations from the FAA in aviation management, flight and air traffic control, giving students access to the full realm of aviation expertise.
By studying real aircraft and learning from former and active pilots, students have a greater understanding of the human/machine interface. These experiences enhance a student's research understanding about human factors by providing insight into industry challenges and pinpointing areas that need further study. This is what students attending Florida Tech can expect while earning their degree – the ability to work alongside aviation and aeronautics experts to understand an improve human factors in aviation.
Research helps experts in any facet of aviation learn to predict and prevent the scenarios that cause airline accidents. Florida Tech – one of the country's leading university-based aviation programs for more than 45 years -- prepares students to be one of these experts. Through extensive research opportunities that combine classroom learning and hands-on internships, graduates with a master's in human factors in aviation are well prepared to tackle the type of complex challenges faced by airlines, airports, and aeronautics organizations (and the type of work they will do when on the job).
Built on the highly regarded expertise of the science and aeronautics departments, Florida Tech's human factors and aviation program provides students with a wide variety of advanced research tools and facilities. This includes wind tunnels, air quality monitoring systems, several high-tech modeling software programs and other technology from our colleges of science and engineering.
Located just a few minutes' drive from Florida Tech at the Melbourne International Airport, The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research houses more than 50 aircraft, including a brand new fleet of Piper Archer TX aircraft equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass panel navigation system. These aircraft and the research center serve as vessels for applied research for students in the human factors in aviation program looking to go beyond simulations and labs.
The Center for Aviation Human Factors provides high-tech tools for graduate-level thesis work in all areas of human factors in aviation. Students have access to modern flight simulators, complete with hardware to configure any station for single- or multiengine simulation. The center also offers advanced statistics software for digging deeper into complex aviation data sets to uncover the meaningful trends inside.
Florida Tech was chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to join an elite team of universities collaborating on a new Center of Excellence for General Aviation. This center, along with Florida Tech's Center for Excellence in Commercial Space Transportation, provides Florida Tech with research funding to explore many topics surrounding human factors in aviation, including:
Through research and internship activities, gaining experience in the human factors in aviation is another way students at Florida Tech are better prepared for their career.
Aviation safety jobs are among the most challenging, interesting and exciting jobs available for those in the aviation industry. A Master of Science degree in Aviation Human Factors opens the door to career possibilities in the private sector, commercial airlines and the military.
Florida Tech's College of Aeronautics professors boast diverse backgrounds in aviation, giving students a wide view of many different aviation careers from air transportation, airport planning and management, to business, flight, safety and assurance and even aviation human factors jobs.
Improving human-machine interaction is paramount in reducing airline accidents. Graduates are in great demand by private airline, airport and aviation organizations. As a consultant, graduates guide these organizations in designing better technology and systems utilizing data from study in human factors. Government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board also seek aviation human factors graduates to aid in creating and fine-tuning new systems and legislation to improve aviation safety.
Aviation human factors jobs often involve a combination of skills from product design, computer hardware and software, communication, training, procedure development and more. Titles might include such positions as Human-Computer Interaction & Simulation Director or Usability Expert.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. The handbook does not discuss aviation human factors jobs specifically, but does have information on related aviation careers including aviation management, air traffic control, pilot, airport manager, avionics technician, aerospace engineer, airfield operation specialist, and more.
Information on salary potential can be obtained at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Jobs in aviation human factors might include:
Potential Aviation Safety Employers