Is Forklift Training for You?

Forklift training sounds like a simple thing to get, and may appear to be an easy sort of job. But, before you leap into forklift certification, ask yourself if your cut out for this line of work. For example, you may think of it as a super simple way to earn a living, but just take the following facts into consideration:

  • Forklift jobs tend to pay around $15 per hour, with advanced operators averaging around $20 per hour.
  • The work is very repetitive, even if it is easy. However, getting distracted is incredibly dangerous as many machines may be operating in a single area.
  • The work is done in many extreme conditions, including temperatures and locations.
  • The work is called “hazardous” according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • You may find yourself working around loud noises, strong fumes and exhaust, moving dangerous goods or chemicals, and having to understand how to move awkward loads.
  • You may be a “shift worker” and work very odd hours.
  • You will need forklift training and forklift certification before you can get a license. You will have to renew that license every three years.

Okay, enough of the not so good news… let’s start looking at the great things about being a forklift driver.

The Work Life of a Forklift Operator

So, if you accept that it is not even close to “easy” work to be a forklift operator, you can then start to look at the reasons that having forklift training is so valuable. For one thing, it is specialized training. That means that your skills and your forklift certification will be in demand in many settings.

You may not even have gotten your forklift license, in order to get a job using this sort of equipment. This is because a lot of people don’t have the proper certification when they first sign on for the work, and their employer uses an OSHA compliant trainer or program to get everyone the forklift license needed.

Even better news is that once you have OSHA certification to use a forklift truck, it is certification that travels with you. This is because OSHA is universal certification and not specific to a single industry. There are paths for construction and general trainers, but if you choose the appropriate training for your need, you can then operate forklifts in a range of locations without pursuing further forklift safety training or licensing.

For example, operators work in warehouses, factories, storage yards, shipping installations, construction sites, train yards and so many other spots. When you get the right certification, you can take it with you from place to place and continually look to improve your earnings or advance in your career.

In many cases, the longer you have been working as a forklift driver the more you are going to earn or be offered. Though skill is a major factor, so too is experience and time on the job.

Additional Training

That is not to say that your initial forklift training is the beginning and end of the training you will need. Even when formally certified, you have to renew the certification every three years. Also, if you are going to be working in a specific site where things like hazardous materials are being handled, you will need further training in the proper handling of them. This holds true for special equipment and more.

However, knowing how to use a forklift safely and having all of the proper certification to start using this machinery is a great first step in a well paying career.