Becoming A Forklift Operator In New York Can Lead To A Successful Career
Forklift operators in New York State usually find consistent and stable employment. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New York ranks 14th among the 50 states when it comes to employment opportunities for forklift operators.
However, training is not only a wise and prudent choice, in New York it is the law. The Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all forklift operators are certified by an individual or school qualified to offer such type of specialized training.
Certain Requirements Must First Be Met
The minimum age for obtaining a forklift operator certification in New York State is 18.
In order to obtain this certification, an individual must undergo approved training following federal mandated legislation through OSHA Safety legislation in section 1910.178 entitled “Powered Industrial Vehicles.”
There is no need for the individual to have a valid New York State driver’s license in order to operate a forklift. This is because a forklift is what is termed as a “special purpose material handling vehicle.” Yet, many employers do require a forklift operator to have a valid New York State driver’s license.
The training required can be provided by an employer, an individual qualified to conduct such training or an occupational training school specializing in forklift operator training.
Typically, in order to qualify to become a forklift operator an individual has to be in good health possessing the right type of physical flexibility in order to operate any controls. Usually if an individual can operate an automobile, there should be no challenge operating a forklift.
Training Costs Can Vary Based On Situation
In order to obtain forklift operator certification, individual must have a sufficient amount of practical experience driving the machine and operating its various functions. Therefore, training can take place in one of two methods:
- On-the-job training can help qualify an individual for certification where a qualified forklift operator instructs the trainee about how to operate the machine. Typically, this can take a few hours or up to an entire day. The trainer will then inform OSHA that the trainee has sufficient experience and knowledge to operate the forklift on their own. Certification will then be granted.
- Any individual who is not employed can attend either a full or half day of forklift training in one of many private facilities available throughout New York State. The typical cost for full day of training is approximately $200. The advantage in this situation is having certification on your resume when applying for a job at an industrial complex or warehouse. This will help you stand out from all the other applicants who do not receive such training.
License Renewal Is Every Three Years
Forklift operators in the state of New York must renew their license every three years.
There may be certain situations where license renewal takes place at a different frequency in the event of logging several accident near misses, documented unsafe operation or possible introduction to a new type of forklift machine that requires additional training. This may require additional forklift operator refresher training.
Typically, employed individuals suffer no added costs for this training since it can be conducted on the job. Always check with an employer to be sure.
New York is ranked in the top 1/3 of earning potential across all US states.
Typically a forklift truck driver in NY will expect to earn $16.28 per hour or $33,860 pa. That is slightly better than Pennsylvania which is ranked 15th.
Check out how you compare against all 50 US states HERE.
If you still have questions or would like additional information about labor rates for forklift operators in New York, you can contact the Department of Labor located:
Visit the Office
State Office Bldg., # 12
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12240
Main Switchboard: (518) 457-2741
Main Fax: (518) 457-6908
Visit the Website: