Human factors in aeronautics is the science behind the human element of aviation and how humans interface with machines. The study of human factors involves the psychological, social, biological and safety characteristics of a user and the system in which they work. Experts in the field of human factors work to understand the human interaction with aviation technology so they can improve the complex nature of the environment and its user's experience.
Florida Tech's online human factors in aeronautics learning program is highly interactive and brings students and faculty together through discussion boards and live chat sessions with peers and professors for a sense of academic closeness that is sometimes missing in other online programs, or even in traditional classroom settings.
The College of Aeronautics' faculty are not only experienced commercial, private and military pilots but also recognized leaders in aviation and aeronautics, published authors of aviation safety textbooks and research articles on topics ranging from human factors in aeronautics, analysis and classification, to 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.
Students have extensive opportunity for research and field study at Florida Tech. The cornerstone of every degree program, research gives students real-world, hands-on experience. The university's expertise in science and aeronautics helps students fully explore the many facets of human factors in aeronautics through a capstone course at the end of their second year. Research funding from the FAA Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS) provides funding to professors and students to study selected aviation topics.
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 in aeronautics. 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.
Florida Tech provides students with more than 45 years of experience as one of the leading university-based aviation safety programs in the nation. Choosing Florida Tech for aviation human factors training offers a student all the benefits of a larger school (such as a world-class faculty and high-quality course curriculum) in a close-knit academic community with peers and one-on-one time with professors – even in an online environment.
Florida Tech's professors have written and co-authored textbooks, journal articles and hundreds of citations on aviation topics. Many professors are not only experienced commercial, private and military pilots, but also recognized leaders on issues in aviation and aeronautics. In addition, they are experts in at least one other field such as aviation law or avionics, making aviation human factors training at Florida Tech unlike any other around the country.
Student research work comes together in the form of a 3-credit capstone course at the end of the second year. Aviation human factors training encompasses everything from aircraft maintenance to employee training to airport design. With guidance from professors and their academic advisor, students choose the research topic that fits their career goals. Some potential capstone topics include airline safety programs, international safety processes and procedures, safety management systems, airport security and design, and air traffic control efficiency.
As a national research university, Florida Tech's commitment to making tangible advances in aeronautics ensures students receive the type of aviation human factors training that includes high-tech research. Florida Tech was among several elite universities selected to be a part of the FAA Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS). PEGASAS provides participating universities with research funding that faculty and students alike can utilize to improve aviation safety.
Graduates with human factors training in aviation are in great demand. Airline and 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 graduates in human factors in aviation to create and fine tune new systems and legislation that improve aviation safety.
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 experiences about human factors with insight into industry challenges and pinpointing areas that need further study. Students attending Florida Tech work with aviation and aeronautics experts in cutting-edge online platforms to improve their knowledge of 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. Built on the highly regarded expertise of the science and aeronautics departments, Florida Tech's human factors and aviation research program includes a 3-credit online capstone course at the end of the second year.
Aviation safety encompasses everything from aircraft maintenance to employee training to airport design. With guidance from your professors and academic advisor, human factors in aviation students choose the research topic that best fits their career goals. Some potential capstone topics include airline safety programs, international safety processes and procedures, safety management systems, airport security and design, and air traffic control efficiency. Using online discussion boards and chat rooms, students are able to maintain a robust learning environment with personalized attention.
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:
Propulsion and structures
Safety management systems (SMS)
Jobs in aviation are among the most challenging, interesting and exciting jobs available, particularly if working in aviation safety and human factors. 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 exposure to a variety of aviation careers from air transportation, airport planning and management, to business, flight, safety and assurance and even aviation human factors jobs.
Airline and aviation organizations are in need of consultants to guide them in designing better technology and systems that take human factors into account. Therefore, graduates with expertise in aviation human factors are in great demand. Government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board seek graduates for aviation human factors job to improve aviation safety.
Aviation human factors jobs often involve careers in areas such as product design, computer hardware and software, communication, training, procedure development and more. Titles job seekers might expect to see include positions such 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 employment opportunities can be found at the Career Center of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society: https://careercenter.hfes.org/jobseekers/
Aviation human factors jobs might include:
Product Development Team Lead
Human Factors Research Scientist
Potential Aviation Safety Employers
Human Engineering Laboratory – U.S. Army
Air Force Human Resources Laboratory
National Transportation Safety Board
Flight Safety International
Department of Homeland Security
Various International Airports
Federal and State Agencies