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More about forklift jobs
Forklift jobs typically involve loading and unloading goods as required by an employer. For example, it could mean unloading a truck at a shipping yard or transporting merchandise from a delivery vehicle. Forklift certification is typically required to obtain any of the many forklift operator jobs available. Although there is no fixed education requirement to become a forklift operator, some employers prefer candidates with high-school diplomas. Also, many forklift jobs involving cranes and towers require special training and experienced individuals. As per the BLS Outlook, the demand for material moving machine operators is expected to grow by 7% for 2020-30.Most Common Forklift Jobs
Forklift jobs can differ depending on the type of machine and working locations. For example, forklift machines are generally divided into seven (I-VII) classes. The Class I forklifts are the smallest and most basic, while Class VII forklifts are the largest and most complex. Here are some of the most common material moving machine operator jobs across the industries.
Forklift Operator: The Forklift Operator is responsible for loading, unloading, and moving materials for the company at designated sites. This forklift job can involve loading trucks with materials for distribution, unloading trucks at the distribution center, moving materials in the warehouse, and others.
Forklift Warehouse Operator: A typical forklift warehouse operator’s job is to move goods from trucks to storage areas, pick up and place pallets of goods according to warehouse layout, and keep the well-organized working area. Many employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma and who are physically fit.
Dock Operator: A dock operator usually requires the know-how of operating a motorized vehicle to load and unload a trailer.
Apart from these forklift jobs, various other occupations require training in operating electric and combustion engine forklifts. For example, heavy machine operators usually find employment at lumberyards, construction sites, automotive sectors.Average Salary of Forklift Jobs
Material moving machines or forklift operators make $37450 a year on average. However, the annual salary can be different depending on the industry and the type of forklift machine used by an operator.
- An early-career forklift operator earns about $14.50 per hour, whereas an experienced operator with more than ten years of experience can get $15.68 an hour.
- A warehouse forklift operator receives an hourly rate of $14.40. On the other hand, an experienced warehouse operator has a similar payout as general forklift operators.
- Forklift operators working on a dockyard have a similar hourly rate as other forklift jobs.
The earning potential of a forklift operator also depends upon the employed sector. For example, those working in construction and warehouses are the top payers for forklift jobs.Forklift Jobs Qualification and Skills
The educational qualification and training requirements vary for forklift jobs. However, high school education and experience in handling forklift machines are ideal for most entry-level forklift jobs.OSHA Certifications
- It is almost mandatory to get Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) certification before operating a warehouse lift or forklift.
- OSHA defines I-VII classes of powered industrial trucks, and most forklift jobs require at least one of these certifications. Most employers provide on-the-job training, but independent certifications are also available.
Along with OSHA certifications and minimum education, a forklift job can also require physical fitness to work smoothly at a dockyard or warehouse. For instance,
- Good vision to safely transport a product from one point to another
- Ability to lift light to medium weights
- Effective communication skills
- Basic knowledge of forklift maintenance to do minor repairs
- Coordination skills to move a forklift machine on tight or uneven surfaces
The interviewer can ask a broad range of questions to assess the candidate’s suitability for the forklift job. Candidates can expect questions around their skills and safety practices, such as
- What type of forklift machine you’ve operated so far?
- What precautions would you take to avoid being involved in a forklift accident?
- Could you describe what the safety protocols defined by OSHA are?
Preparing these questions in advance will help you remain confident and poised during the forklift job interview. Additionally, research the company you’ve applied for to understand their requirement and present yourself better to enhance your candidacy.