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 users and the system in which they work. Aligned with the concepts of human-centered design and engineering, experts in the field strive to understand human interaction with aviation technology so they can improve the complex nature of the environment and its users’ experience.
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 a 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 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 gives students 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.
Graduates who have human factors training in aviation are in great demand. Private airline, airport, and other aviation organizations need consultants to guide them in designing better technology and systems that consider human factors. Government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) seek aviation human factors graduates to create and fine-tune new systems and legislation that improve aviation safety.
Florida Tech’s location—in the middle of one of the largest high-tech workforces in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby, providing an abundance of internship and employment opportunities—is only one of the many reasons to choose Florida Tech for your master’s in aviation human factors. Add to that a world-renowned faculty, our research centers, and the cutting-edge equipment and software on which to learn, and Florida Tech has no equal.
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 many textbooks and published considerable research in journals on aviation safety, with topics that include 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. 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 that students receive the type of human factors training in aviation that includes cutting-edge tools and facilities for high-tech research.
Located just a few minutes’ drive from Florida Tech at 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, along with the Center for Excellence in General Aviation (see below for more information), 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 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 datasets to uncover the meaningful trends inside.
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 of 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 and 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 prepares students to be just such an expert. 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—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.
Florida Tech was chosen by the 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:
Aviation safety jobs are among the most challenging, interesting, and exciting jobs available for those in the aviation industry. A master’s in aviation human factors opens the door to career possibilities in the private sector, commercial airlines, and the military.
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 and Simulation Director, or Usability Expert.
Information on salary potential can be obtained at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Jobs in aviation human factors might include: