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How-To Start a Career as a Forklift Operator

Posted by Eryka Menzies on Apr 3, 2018 11:42:26 AM

Have you considered a career in the manufacturing sector, but you're just not sure how to get your start? We are here to help guide you to a successful career as a Forklift Operator. Businesses of all kinds are constantly seeking Forklift Operators to help move large, heavy objects. So much so, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the growth for forklift operators, will increase by 3% between 2014 and 2024. Follow these simple steps to start on your way to a successful career as a Forklift Operator.



Whether you are a seasoned manufacturing professional or a newcomer to the industry looking to make an impact, there is a Forklift Operator job opportunity waiting for you. 

Step 1: Getting Started

Most businesses hiring Forklift Operators require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered for employment. While post secondary education is not required to excel in this field, often times an additional forklift certification is preferred by employers. Some employers will offer on-the-job training or on-the-job-certifications as the forklift training involves both classroom and hands-on learning experience.

Step 2: What to Expect

In order to qualify as a Forklift Operator, most employers will expect you to have the following skills.

  • High School Diploma or GED required
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment
  • Ability to work any day of the week
  • Ability to work an 8-12 hour shift
  • Ability to sit or stand for 8 to 12 hours, with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs. repeatedly, with or without reasonable accommodation


You will need these skills because Forklift Operators do more than just drive a forklift. Forklift Operators also often times  perform the following duties.

  • Performing picking duties
  • Unloading inbound shipments
  • Pulling and preparing product for shipment, ensuring that the exact number and type of product is loaded and shipped
  • Stacking and storing shipments in appropriate areas
  • Ensuring inbound and outbound shipments are accurate and free of damage
  • Reporting quality variances
  • Loading, unloading, moving, and stacking products and materials
  • Using radio frequency equipment for picking, receiving, putting away, and loading products
  • Keeping appropriate records and reports to guarantee that tight inventory control and security are maintained

Step 3: Do Your Research on…

 the labor market for Forklift Operators. Before applying to a position you will want to do some preliminary research to have a better understanding of the labor market in your area. While pay for forklift jobs does not vary much by experience, starting pay is very different based on location and job availability. For example, payscale.com lists the median wage for Forklift Operators as $13.47 an hour. Without conducting some research you may end up settling for a lower paying opportunity and miss some on the higher paying opportunities - like these!

Forklift Operator (United States)
PayScale
 
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You are ready to start your quest to becoming a successful Forklift Operator! If you are a safety-minded, hard worker you will do very well in this sector. Here's a few job opportunities that can help you get started.

Click on your region to find forklift jobs near you!

Find Forklift Jobs in the Northeast Find Forklift Jobs in the Midwest New call-to-action New call-to-action

 MAU Workforce Solutions is an independent, family-owned company with more than 40 successful years providing staffing, recruiting and outsourcing solutions that connect qualified candidates to companies that need them. More than just a staffing company, we are a partner to clients, enhancing their workforce through an in-depth understanding of their organization, culture and industry. MAU is also a mentor for candidates, helping to define and grow their skills, ensuring the right fit for everyone’s future. We are a company that is dedicated to making people’s lives better by providing the resources, training, knowledge, experience and personal attention needed to get the job done. Learn more at www.mau.com.

Topics: Career Tips, entry-level, forklift, job growth