You’ve been searching for a job, and you’ve noticed lots of ads for forklift operators. That sounds interesting. But, most of the positions require experience. So, how do you learn to drive a forklift?
Step #1 – Meet the Requirements
- You must be 18 years old;
- You will probably need a high school diploma or GED;
- You should be able to lift at least 50 lbs.
Step #2 – Find an Industry-Related Job
- Apply for an entry-level position in a warehouse or construction site;
- If you are having trouble finding work, call a local staffing agency and ask for help;
- Once you are employed, let your supervisor know you are interested in forklift training.
Step #3 – Get Certified
- Take the six-hour forklift training course either online or in a classroom;
- Receive a passing grade on the written test;
- Complete hands-on training with a certified instructor;
- Earn a satisfactory rating on your driving evaluation.
Top Dos and Don’ts for Forklift Training
- DO make sure your program is OSHA certified;
- DO train on the type of forklift (counterbalance, order picker) you would like to drive;
- DO try to complete training through your employer. Some companies will cover the cost;
- DON’T forget to renew your certification every three years;
- DON’T sign up for an online-only course! To be OSHA certified, you MUST receive hands-on as well as classroom training.
Interesting Facts About Forklift Operators
- Training usually costs $100-$200 (plus supplies) and takes a few days;
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for industrial truck and tractor operators was $34,750 in 2018. Experience and multiple certifications lead to higher pay;
- Forklift drivers also may need to know how to operate cargo handling equipment, how to track inventory using computer software and how to make small engine repairs;
- Overnight shifts and extended hours are standard for forklift operators;
- A regular driver’s license is NOT required to operate a forklift;
Would You Like to Become a Forklift Operator, but You Don’t Know Where to Start?
Halpin Staffing Services finds work for warehouse, construction, and light industrial employees. We can help you find a position with a company that is looking for forklift drivers and willing to train. Learn more about working with us today!