How to Become a Forklift Driver?

How to become a female forklift driver

Are you interested in becoming a certified forklift driver? Here are some things you need to know.

  • The industry demand for certified forklift operators is high and will continue to be high because businesses will ALWAYS need to load and unload trucks and move goods around their warehouses
  • You need to be trained to operate powered industrial trucks safely and effectively
  • There are many different ways you can get trained, depending on your needs and budget

We have pages on our website that provide more detailed information about forklift certification training and the different aspects of becoming a qualified forklift driver.

Overview to Forklift Training

The first thing to realize before embarking on any forklift training is that it is a great investment in your future job prospects. By undergoing proper training and evaluation, you will be raising the bar and separating yourself from the majority of applicants who do not have such qualifications.

In an economy such as the one that we are currently experiencing, where it can be difficult to find employment, becoming properly qualified as a Forklift Driver can be a real boost to your chances of finding a job quickly.

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

So, if you are looking for employment and a career change, then maybe a forklift operator position is right for you.


How much demand is there for Forklift Drivers?

Because there is such a high demand for forklift drivers, it’s critical to get adequate training to obtain a position in this profession.

In the United States, there are thousands of open positions for forklift drivers who have the required skills and qualifications to safely operate a forklift. Hundreds of excellent-paying forklift job openings may be found with a quick search on the major employment sites. So, if you’re seeking a fantastic career chance in this field, then keep reading to find out how you can become a certified forklift operator.

First of all, there are certain requirements one must meet to get this type of training and these prerequisites will vary by state. The most important thing is that you are at least 18 years old to drive and operate a forklift.

If you’re still a high school student, you’ll need to check with your principal about work opportunities and if they allow students to take classes on the side of their study. For those who are not high school graduates or dropouts, you can find out more information about alternative paths for you to get hired as forklift operators.

Training Options

This type of training is usually completed through company training, vocational school courses, or even online courses that focus on forklift safety.

You can find more information about how you can become a certified forklift driver online. But because there are hundreds of companies who offer forklift training, it’s important to select the best one.

Some businesses mention that their programs are approved by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) while others don’t give clear information about this matter. Also, some facilities state that they’re accredited while many others don’t mention this detail.

When learning how to become a certified forklift driver, you’ll find out that there are special guidelines and instructions the operator must follow in order to handle equipment safely.

Some facilities want students to review safety procedures before they take a training course, while others don’t even mention this matter. On the other hand, some businesses provide their program in different languages, and in case you’re interested in this type of forklift training, you’ll notice that it’s offered during days, nights, and weekends.

Do I legally NEED Forklift Training?

Yes. To lawfully operate a forklift in the United States, you must be certified as a forklift driver. This certification is obtained by completing a training course that covers the safe operation of forklifts. The training must be conducted by an authorized provider, and only trained and authorized operators are allowed to operate a forklift.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the Federal agency responsible for administering the relevant legislation. They have produced excellent information relating to powered industrial truck operation, including standards, safe operation procedures including hazards and solutions, workers’ rights, and much more.

What is the legal age to operate a Forklift?

The operator of a forklift must be at least 18 years old. This is not covered by OSHA rules, but it is included in the federal child labor code. Operating a forklift can be dangerous, so child labor laws prohibit anyone under 18 years of age from operating a powered industrial truck.  

Does a forklift operator need a driver’s license?

No, the operator only needs the training required by 1910.178(l). To become a forklift operator, you do not need a driver’s license. If the forklift may be used on a public road, you should inquire with local law enforcement about any restrictions.

So what are the training requirements?

In order to become certified as a forklift driver in the USA, you must have some preliminary training from your employer. This should involve;

  • learning how to operate the forklift truck safely
  • practical forklift operator training which is equipment-specific training

Training programs should consist of a series of questions on safety, legal requirements, and your knowledge about forklifts normally delivered via formal instruction. 

To improve safety, many employers base their training on recent near-miss incidents or forklift accidents

Your employer will then need to assess your ability to drive a forklift and if you are competent as a forklift operator, they will certify you as a driver.

This certification is valid for 3 years. At the end of that time, your employer will need to reassess your driving abilities and issue a new certification.

If you are not currently employed, you will need to take a short OSHA-compliant forklift training program first before taking the online course.

What next?

If you’re looking for more information on forklift operator training solutions and how to get forklift certified, check out the other informative posts. 

Forklift Salaries...

Who Do You Think Pays the Most!

  • Amazon?
  • Costco?
  • McLane Company?
About Forklift Training Zone

Hi, and welcome to This website was set up to provide a useful resource for people interested in obtaining a commercial Forklift drivers license. We’ve tried to create an easy to use website and put all the information you need in one place. provides an overview of the basic training requirements and costs for certifying to drive and operate a Forklift truck, useful information about Forklift job opportunities, job and career potential for people with Forklift certification, and much more. If you have any suggestions about anything you’d like added to, please contact us via our contact page. Alternatively please feel free to check out one of these informative posts.

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