You may want to consider a career in Ergonomics. A typical professional fee for an ergonomic evaluation can range from $75 to $250 per hour, depending on the geographical location of the work site (Opp). Not bad for a day’s work if you’ve got say 3-4 evaluations to do.
So what is Ergonomics? According to Jill J. Page, it is …
… the science of matching work environments to fit the physiological, psychological, and cognitive capabilities of the worker.
The Role of OTs in Ergonomics
Occupational therapy practitioners apply their ergonomics expertise in workplace environments ranging from white-collar offices to hospitals to manufacturing plants. “Ergonomics really crosses all aspects of employment,” says Page, from workstation design in an office setting to the physical demands of industrial work. The recommendations that occupational therapy practitioners make in these work environments are equally varied and extensive, and could include advice on minimizing auditory distractions, changing the lighting, or helping a worker organize tasks so that he or she can complete a job with less stress.
One reason occupational therapy practitioners are so qualified to perform ergonomics consultation is that the core of their education is task analysis. “We are taught to break activity down to its very basic nature,” says Page. “We could look at a worker shoveling and break that down into the physical demands of that task, such as standing, stooping, reaching, lifting, and handling.” Post-graduation, occupational therapists specializing in ergonomics usually acquire additional training in the field.
Although adept at breaking down activities, occupational therapy practitioners don’t just reduce everything to its components. “Occupational therapy practitioners are excellent for this type of work because we look at the broader spectrum of the person,” says Page. “We have a holistic approach to addressing the person rather than just a job or process. That helps everybody, from the employer to the individual.”