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Working as a Usability Specialist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a usability specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.21 an hour? That's $77,403 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 23,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Usability Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many usability specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, speaking skills and mechanical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a usability specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 20.5% of usability specialists included user interface, while 16.5% of resumes included usability, and 5.9% of resumes included web services. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the usability specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most usability specialists actually find jobs in the technology and professional industries.

How To Become a Usability Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a usability specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 44.1% of usability specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 42.4% of usability specialists have master's degrees. Even though most usability specialists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a usability specialist. In fact, many usability specialist jobs require experience in a role such as human factors engineer. Meanwhile, many usability specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as project manager or user interaction designer.

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Average Salary$77,403
Job Growth Rate8%

Usability Specialist Jobs

Usability Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Usability Specialist

Top Careers After Usability Specialist

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Usability Specialist

Usability Specialists in America make an average salary of $77,403 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $120,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $49,000 per year.
Average Salary
$77,403

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Santa Clara, CA
Salary Range79k - 148k$109k$108,865
Natick, MA
Salary Range80k - 134k$104k$104,229
Dearborn, MI
Salary Range71k - 119k$92k$92,077
Saint Louis, MO
Salary Range70k - 117k$91k$90,758
Murray, UT
Salary Range64k - 116k$87k$86,555
Reston, VA
Salary Range66k - 110k$86k$85,564
$58k
$148k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Usability Specialist
Usability Specialist
Washington State
Washington State
01/04/2020
01/04/2020
$53,90401/04/2020
$53,904
Senior Usability Specialist
Senior Usability Specialist
The Mathworks, Inc.
The Mathworks, Inc.
04/06/2018
04/06/2018
$109,00004/06/2018
$109,000
Usability Specialist
Usability Specialist
Epitec, Inc.
Epitec, Inc.
01/15/2018
01/15/2018
$86,71501/15/2018
$86,715
Staff Usability Specialist
Staff Usability Specialist
Newell Rubbermaid Development LLC
Newell Rubbermaid Development LLC
09/03/2016
09/03/2016
$80,00009/03/2016
$80,000
Usability Specialist
Usability Specialist
Epitec, Inc.
Epitec, Inc.
05/19/2016
05/19/2016
$86,00805/19/2016
$86,008
See More Recent Salaries

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Usability Specialist Demographics

Gender

male

53.7 %

female

42.1 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

70.2 %

Asian

14.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

40.0 %

Russian

20.0 %

French

20.0 %
See More Demographics

Usability Specialist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

44.1 %

Masters

42.4 %

Doctorate

11.9 %

Top Colleges for Usability Specialists

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

2. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

3. University of Washington

Seattle, WA

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

4. Duke University

Durham, NC

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

In-State Tuition
$7,796
Enrollment
27,125

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

7. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039

8. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

9. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

10. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Usability Specialist

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Usability Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.5% of usability specialists listed user interface on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Usability Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a usability specialist. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, New Jersey, West Virginia, and California. Usability specialists make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $104,041. Whereas in New Jersey and West Virginia, they would average $101,607 and $98,459, respectively. While usability specialists would only make an average of $97,047 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. West Virginia

Total Usability Specialist Jobs:
43
Highest 10% Earn:
$157,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Michigan

Total Usability Specialist Jobs:
342
Highest 10% Earn:
$148,000
Location Quotient:
1.58
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Usability Specialist Jobs:
296
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Usability Specialist Employers

1. MathWorks
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$98,900
Usability Specialists Hired: 
8+
2. Nationwide Mutual Insurance ...
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$47,912
Usability Specialists Hired: 
4+
3. Epitec
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$89,265
Usability Specialists Hired: 
4+
4. Monsanto
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$56,758
Usability Specialists Hired: 
3+
5. Edward Jones
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$59,664
Usability Specialists Hired: 
3+
6. Human Factor
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$65,626
Usability Specialists Hired: 
3+

Recently Added Usability Specialist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020