Forklift Training

*** This page was last updated on Monday 22nd of August 2016 ***

Congratulations on taking the first steps in becoming a fully qualified forklift driver.

From a career point of view, getting qualified to operate a forklift opens up many and varied employment opportunities.

It is also a job that is not going to disappear like some other types of manufacturing work where labor is displaced by technology.

The fact is that businesses will ALWAYS need to load and unload trucks and move goods around their warehouses.

If you are in any doubt just look at the below Indeed.com job trends graph for “Forklift Operator” roles from January 2006 – present.  There was a major downward spiral from Jan 2007 – Jan 2010 (primarily due to the GFC) but it has all been positive news if forklift driving is your calling.


Forklift Operator - Indeed.com

Take the time to read our Forklift overview below to find out about the industry demand for OSHA certified forklift drivers, why you need to be trained and the basic requirements to becoming a qualified forklift driver.

We also encourage you to browse through our website and take a closer look at different aspects of becoming a qualified forklift driver.

We have pages dedicated to topics for employers, employees and those out of work just wanting to get trained or retrained.

Here are some of the pages that people have found useful:

Overview to Forklift Training

The first thing to realize before embarking on any Forklift Training is that whilst it may seem like a hassle to have to go through a training and evaluation period, is that it is actually great news for your chances of getting a job because it raises the bar and separates off the people who are really serious from those who are not.

In an economy such as the one that we are currently experiencing where there are considerable challenges to getting employed, and a shortage of jobs, then becoming properly qualified as a Forklift Driver can be a real boost to your chances of finding employment quickly.

Also, because this is a skilled occupation it is also quite well paid, with the average salary of a Forklift Driver in the United States being $35,000 in April 2012 according to official Government Statistics.

So, let’s take a look at some of the key questions that you may now be asking about Forklift Training in assessing if this is a potential career choice that is right for you:

How much demand is there for Forklift Drivers?

HUGE! It is worth going to a big job site and doing a search for ‘Forklift’ to start to get a feel for the pent up demand for Forklift Drivers in the US that you will be able to help satisfy once you have received Forklift Training.

A search in April 2012 on CareerBuilder.com (a leading jobs website) brought up 5,327 jobs that were available immediately in the US for properly trained forklift personnel.

And so the good news is that as soon as you are qualified you will be in a great position to land yourself lucrative employment, even in the current stagnant economy.

Do I legally NEED Forklift Training?

Yes! Driving a Forklift Truck is a specialized field because you will suddenly be put in charge of machinery that at the very least costs thousands of dollars, and which can potentially cost many tens of thousands for larger trucks.

In addition to the cost of the trucks, they can also pose a threat to the health and safety of all the people on a building site or factory, especially if the Forklift is not handled competently, and so it is important that the operator has had proper training.

In the United States the relevant legislation that covers forklift trucks came into force on December 1, 1998, and is handled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a Federal Law that covers all States, with the following legal requirement: “Only trained and authorized operators shall be permitted to operate a powered industrial truck.”

So what are the training requirements?

The good news is that getting certified to drive a Forklift Truck is neither particularly expensive nor time consuming.

The process if you are currently working on a building site or in a warehouse and your employer wishes you to get certified is a little different, because your employer should give you some preliminary training in driving the forklift first.

You would then take a short Forklift Training that is available online, which consists of a series of questions that you will need to answer including rules regarding safety, legal requirements and some questions about you personally.

This should take no more than a couple of hours to complete.

Your employer would then have to evaluate your forklift driving ability, and certify that you are in fact competent to operate the companies forklift trucks, and that you are capable of fulfilling the basic legal requirements to drive the truck (age etc).

Once this Forklift Training has been done then a Forklift Certification can be issued to you by the employer, which would allow you to legally drive Forklift Trucks for the next 3 years (it normally takes up to a week for the actual paperwork to be processed and your ‘Forklift Driver Card’ to be issued).

At the end of that 3 years your employer would be expected to re-evaluate you, and renew the certification if you are still competent.

This whole process is available cheaply online for less than $50.

If you are not currently working then the only difference is that you would be expected to undertake a half-day or full day course first to get you up to speed with using a standard forklift truck, and this would typically cost $125 for a half day, or $200 for a full day.

Either way, getting Forklift Training that works for you is far easier, cheaper and simpler then you may have realized, and this time next month you could be filling one of those 5,327 vacancies!

What next?

We recommend you continue to read more in depth information about getting your Forklift qualification. Start by understanding the certification and license criteria.

Check out the following pages for United States forklift training information:

Check out these pages for UK Forklift Training:

United States “State-By-State” Guide – Being updated daily…

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming


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