Forklift Jobs: Forklift Driver/Operator Work and Salary
My Forklift Job In The Summer Time
Operating a forklift was one of the highlights of working at Wal-Mart. I drove and operated one regularly while working my summer job in the Garden Center. Operating heavy equipment was more of a privilege than a full work day.
Although occasionally I tried to accomplish jobs using the forklift that I didn't need a forklift to accomplish, most of the time I unloaded pallets from trucks and hauled heavy loads with the powerful forked vehicle. My job title was sales clerk at the time, so I wasn't technically a forklift operator. I wish I had, because I would have made double what I earned as a sales clerk.
I thought driving the forklift was fun at the time as a new adult, but real heavy machinery jobs are no joke. The forklift can be a dangerous, and forklifts can create dangerous situations that result in death or dismemberment. Fortunately I never had any accidents or injuries with the while operating one. I do believe that operating a forklift is pretty safe if safety procedures are followed and you are trained. Below you will find more detailed information about working conditions and pay for those who choose to sit behind the big steel forks.
Forklift Job Requirements
- High school diploma or GED
- Possess or be able to obtain a Forklift Operator Certification, usually offered as on the job training
- Able to read labels, instructions, warnings, etc.
- Able to write reports
- Able to do basic math in different units of measure and using fractions as well as decimals
- Work as a team member with various employees and customers or independently
- Able to work in a fast paced environment
- Follow all safety policies and procedures
- Pass an initial drug screen test
Reminds Me Of Forklift Fun At Wal-Mart
Forklift Operator Pay
According to the Department of Labor and Statistics the average pay for all transportation and material moving occupations is $15.12 per hour or $31,450.00 annual pay. More specifically, heavy truck drivers' mean hourly rate is $18.62 with a yearly salary of $38,720.
Forklift operator wages will vary some by location, and if you are willing to move to Alaska the mean hourly wage is as high as $22.83, and if you work as a forklift operator in Fairbanks, Alaska you would see an average annual wage over $50,000.00. This pay is nothing to laugh at, especially considering the education requirements to get started in the field. I am glad I have some experience as a forklift operator, as it gives me something to fall back on.
Highest Paying Lowest Temperature Forklift Jobs
States With Highest Forklift Operator Wages
- New Jersey
It should be noted that the higher pay may be due to higher standard of living in these states. For example, you may have to pay more for a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, gas, and beer in these states compared with others.
How To Find Forklift Jobs
Stay Drug Free: One thing that seems to be common among employers seeking forklift operators is a preference for drug free candidates. Don't make yourself worry about whether you are going to have to walk away just because you are going to be drug tested.
Get your high school diploma or GED
Get forklift operator certification: OSHA requirements for certification can be completed by your employer and are explained by, "The employer shall certify that each operator has been trained and evaluated as required by this paragraph (l). The certification shall include the name of the operator, the date of the training, the date of the evaluation, and the identity of the person(s) performing the training or evaluation." If you don't already have this certification from a previous employer, you can also go to a that will train you to be a forklift operator. This may be even more important as the job market gets more competitive.
Write a great resume: Writing your resume is too complicated for this hub alone, so you can watch the embedded YouTube video for help or read more about how to write a resume.
Look for Forklift Jobs Online and/or network: You can check out careerbuilder.com hotjobs.com or indeed.com, which pulls postings from various sources such as the other two. You may find forums on these sites that will allow you to ask questions from others who may be able to give you valuable information about your forklift job search. For example, on indeed.com a forum included several forklift job seekers who told each other what they had tried that did not work. One person said, "come to Chicago, there are plenty of jobs around here." Then submit applications and/or resumes keeping in mind that you will not be called back by every employer.
Picture Of Forklift Working Conditions
Forklift Jobs Working Conditions
Forklift operators may work indoors or outdoors. They may sit or stand for several hours at a time. They may have to be able to lift, push, or pull more than 100 pounds. Since there is so much variation in job environment conditions it is difficult to describe.
Forklift jobs could become boring, depending on what type of person you are. If you get satisfaction from seeing a job done well, then this may be a good field for you. You will be able to see visible results of your work daily, which can be gratifying. If you are good with visual spatial skills, you should feel right at home behind the forks. If you are an artistic, creative type of person, you may feel that your natural skills are underused and eventually move on to something more fulfilling.