How much do forklift drivers make? It varies. For example, in Australia, the average wage is $30.68 (AUD), while in the U.S., the amount is $18. In Canada, it is $19.85 (CAD) and £12.35 in the UK. The amount depends on several factors, including geography, industry and more, as we outline below.
Introduction: Exploring How Much Forklift Drivers Make
When it comes to career choices, becoming a forklift driver can be an intriguing option. Not only does it offer an essential role in various industries, but it can also provide a stable income. In this article, we will explore the earnings of forklift drivers, considering factors that influence their paychecks and why this profession might be worth considering. So, if you’re curious about how much a forklift driver makes, let’s dive in!
How much does a forklift driver earn? Depending on where you live and how much time you work, you may need a part-time or full-time job. The forklift is a heavy-lifting machine that moves loads from one point to another. It is common to see them at warehouses, factories, construction sites, etc.
These vehicles are operated by forklift operators who ensure that they are safe and efficient. According to their location, forklift drivers earn between $13 and $30 per hour. You should start looking into the job now if you wish to become a forklift operator.
Understanding the Role of a Forklift Driver
Before we delve into the salary details, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of a forklift driver. Forklift drivers, also known as forklift operators, lift truck operators or forklift truck drivers, play a crucial role in warehouses, factories, packing sheds and construction sites. Their primary task is to operate forklifts to move materials, products, and equipment safely and efficiently. This involves loading and unloading goods, transporting items within a facility, and stacking items on shelves or pallets.
How Much Does a Certified Forklift Driver Make?
Several factors come into play when determining how much a forklift driver can earn. Let’s explore these key factors:
The geographical location plays a significant role in salary differences. For example,
Forklift drivers in urban areas or regions with a high cost of living generally command higher wages than those in rural areas.
2. Experience and Skill Level
Experience matters in any profession. Forklift drivers with more years of experience and advanced skills tend to earn more than beginners.
The industry you work in can impact your earnings. Forklift drivers in industries like manufacturing, logistics, and construction typically receive higher salaries due to the demanding nature of the work.
4. Type of Forklift
The type of forklift operated can affect earnings. Operating specialized forklifts that require additional training often results in higher pay.
5. Shift and Hours
Forklift drivers who work night shifts or overtime hours often receive higher wages. Shift differentials and overtime pay can significantly boost their income.
Average Salary Range for Forklift Drivers
Now that we’ve considered the factors at play, let’s look at the average salary range for forklift drivers in the United States as a reference:
- Entry-level forklift drivers can expect to earn between $12 to $15 per hour.
- Experienced forklift drivers with several years in the field may earn between $16 to $20 per hour.
- Highly skilled forklift operators, especially those with certifications, can earn upwards of $25 per hour or more.
ZipRecruiter pegs the average rate for a forklift operator in the U.S. as $18 per hour. According to Salary.com, the average wage for a lift truck operator in the United States is $20. ZipRecruiter also lists 14 states where the typical salary for a Forklift Operator job is above the national average, with New Jersey in the lead. It is followed by Wisconsin, Wyoming, and New Jersey.
For Canada, Indeed, a job posting site, identifies the average Canadian wage as $19.85. Payscale, another Canadian site, identifies the average wage as $19.60. It’s important to note that these figures can vary widely depending on location, industry and experience. There may even be differences between manufacturing plants and distribution centers and between unionized shops and unionized shops.
Benefits of Being a Forklift Driver
Aside from competitive wages, there are several benefits to pursuing a career as a forklift driver:
1. Job Security
The demand for forklift drivers remains relatively stable, ensuring job security in various industries.
2. Quick Entry
Becoming a forklift driver doesn’t typically require a college degree, making it accessible for those looking to enter the workforce quickly.
3. Opportunities for Advancement
Forklift drivers travel throughout the facility and get a more holistic view of operations than assembly line or work cell employees, giving them an advantage for potential promotion. They often can climb the career ladder by obtaining additional certifications and taking on more responsibilities, which often come with higher pay.
4. Varied Work Environments
Forklift drivers have the chance to work in diverse settings, from warehouses to construction sites, keeping the job interesting.
How Much Forklift Drivers Make: Conclusion
In conclusion, the salary of a forklift driver can vary widely based on location, experience, industry, and other factors. However, it offers competitive wages, job security, and opportunities for advancement. If you’re considering a career that doesn’t require a college degree and provides a decent income, becoming a forklift driver might be an appealing choice.
1. How do I become a certified forklift driver?
To become a certified forklift driver, you typically need to complete a training program and pass a certification exam. These programs are often offered by vocational schools or employers.
2. Are there any age restrictions for forklift drivers?
In most cases, you must be at least 18 years old to work as a forklift driver due to safety regulations.
3. Can forklift drivers earn more with additional certifications?
Yes, obtaining specialized certifications, such as OSHA forklift certification, can lead to higher-paying opportunities.
4. What are the typical working hours for forklift drivers?
Forklift drivers may work various shifts, including day, night, and weekend shifts, depending on their employer’s needs.
5. Is it essential to have a driver’s license to operate a forklift?
A separate driver’s license is not required to operate a forklift. However, you may need a driver’s license for jobs that involve transporting goods on public roads.