August 31, 2017

Why become a Forklift Operator

forklift operator, forklift driver

Why Become a Forklift Operator

Looking into becoming a forklift operator? Check out our guides on becoming one Today!

Here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of being a forklift operator.

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Job Overview

A typical forklift operator is tasked with locating, transporting, and accounting for goods or equipment. Often forklift operators are also asked to do product quality and inventory checks.  This involves them looking through goods to confirm that what it says they have on the computer is what they actually have. This job requires a good amount of focus as it is important forklift operators do not make too many mistakes. Forklift operators are also tasked with counting inventory and updating the computer system with the correct count. This takes very little time and most of a forklift operator’s time will be spent transporting materials.


Forklift operators typically work weekends and evenings. This is when stores are closed and restocking. Warehouses, on the other hand, are open all day and night and have forklift operators working around the clock. Because of this, it is easy to be a forklift operator while going to school or even as a second job for extra income.

Skills Needed

There are not many skills required to becoming a forklift operator. College and even high school is not required to land a good paying forklift operator job.  Most employers will have job descriptions asking for basic skills. These skills include:

  • Understanding English
  • Forklift Certification
  • Must be able to follow procedures
  • Basic computer skills (Word and Excel)
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs
  • Must have good work attendance
  • Ability to add and subtract

There are no other requirements.  This makes this a fantastic job for college students and for anyone looking for a simple career to get into. 


The average pay for forklift operators is $16 per hour. This is fantastic pay for a job with so little entry barriers. Good forklift operators can make up to $25 per hour. Another fantastic perk of this job is the overtime. Forklift operators often have overtime requests and can easily make $22 – $33 per hour. A typical forklift operator who works full time and works 4 overtime hours a week should expect to make $35,000 per year. This is exceptional pay.


Tons of promotions are available for forklift operators. Many positions such as safety specialists, forklift trainers, and warehouse managers are available and often offered to good forklift operators. These jobs often pay $40,000 – $50,000 a year and can be enjoyable.

Job Happiness

Job happiness is a very important factor when considering what career you want to pursue in life. Forklift operators are ranked as one of the happiest group of workers on Earth. This is because the job is mostly stress-free. Another major factor is that forklift operators do not have to take any of their work home with them. Once they clock out they are done until they go back to work. This is a huge factor in job happiness. Forklift operators also do not have periods of little work like a lot of other jobs. There is always merchandise and equipment that needs to be moved or accounted for. This makes the job go by very fast. One last major factor that adds to forklift operator job happiness is the low unemployment rate. The typical unemployment rate for forklift operators is under 5% unemployment.


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