What to Know About Becoming a Forklift Operator

The materials moving and transportation industry is bound to create about 500,00 jobs from now till 2028. This is according to the Bureau of Labour Statics (BLS) that has predicted that the industry will grow by about 4% in that time. The jobs that will be created due to the growth of the materials moving and transportation industry include forklift operators. Today we’re covering what you need to know about becoming a forklift operator.

Employers are more interested in the physical abilities of employees and willingness to learn than educational qualifications. However, some employers require high school diplomas.


Forklift operators, like other heavy machine operators, are trained on the job. The training typically lasts for about a month but differs according to the type of machine. Training for operators of complicated machines will take more time. The length of the training period also differs according to the industry.

Newly employed forklift operators are trained by supervisors or more experienced colleagues. The trainer will determine whether the trainee has acquired the required skills.

An essential part of the training of forklift operators is safety rules. Forklift operators must be familiar with the safety rules instituted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers must certify employees have received the right training as regard to safety. Apart from the basic safety training, specialized training is
required for operators that handle hazardous materials.

The BLS estimates the average earnings of forklift operators to be $35,850 per year. This average earning does not increase much with experience. Forklift operators with extensive experience may just earn a bit more than the newly employed ones.

Extra skills could improve the earnings of forklift operators. Order inventory skills could significantly improve the earnings of a forklift operator.

Forklift operator opportunities are available in California and Arizona with Protech Staffing. With the expected growth of the sector, more opportunities will also become available over time.

Click here to see our list of Forklift Operator job openings!
Apply now! Please call us at 602-666-4442 (Arizona) or 951-823-0023 (California).

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