Forklift drivers literally move American business. These professionals work in warehouse distribution and construction, moving materials and heavy objects and are often responsible for inventory and shipment record-keeping, as well. Skilled drivers are in demand all across the country—here is what you need to know to become an expert.
Get Related Work Experience
Employers want forklift operators who understand the ins and outs of warehouse work. Most drivers get their start in entry-level positions that expose them to distribution operations. From there, companies may offer advancement opportunities or in-house driver training for people who want to move up. Most driver roles require a high school diploma or GED.
While you’re working related jobs, learn as much as you can about the business, become known as a team player and don’t be afraid to share your goal of becoming a forklift driver with your supervisor and other managers around the facility.
Get Certified As A Forklift Driver
You will need to find an OSHA-approved training program to become a forklift driver. If your company offers driver training programs, take advantage of them. If they don’t, look for outside opportunities to learn. Often, local career centers offer training as well as community colleges and vocational schools, or even local staffing companies. Do not, however, use an online training program. Online programs do not allow you to actually use the equipment and prospective drivers should be wary of these types of programs, as they are not approved by OSHA.
Training typically consists of both classroom learning and hands-on learning. OSHA offers online versions of classroom training; just make sure to use their official training website to complete the lessons. The certification test will require passing written and practical tests using the forklift in real-world situations.
Conduct Ongoing Training
As part of the OSHA program, you will need to be reevaluated every three years. This ensures your training is up-to-date and keeps your skills sharp. Most employers will pay for ongoing evaluations and any retraining you have to do, so always talk to your HR department before paying for an evaluation.
Are You Looking For Forklift Driver Jobs? Contact The Reserves Network!
The best way to land a great forklift driver job, earn a good living and work a schedule that fits your lifestyle is to work with a recruiter. If you are looking for forklift driver job opportunities, The Reserves Network can help. Browse our current job openings or contact us to learn more today!