Interested in a job as a forklift operator or industrial truck operator? You can earn a decent wage for doing this type of work and the education requirements to land a job are fairly minimal.

Forklift certification and training is required at most places of business that use forklifts, however many workplaces will train you on the job.

How much do forklift operators earn?

Well, that all depends on where you live…

Forklift operators fall under the Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators category of the U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the site they report the current earnings statistics as well as other stats of forklift operators.

The mean average annual salary for this type of work in the U.S. was $31,000 in 2010. The top-paying geographic area for this industry was as follows:

  • District of Columbia
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • North Dakota
  • Washington

There are also many other areas in the United States where you can earn more than the average annual salary as a forklift operator. Most of the best forklift jobs are located in metropolitan areas, cities, and suburbs of busy cities.

Where to start?

If you’re interested in getting a job driving a forklift in your area, the best place to start is by searching for a job online. Rather than looking in your local newspaper like the old days, head over to or any other job finding site. Most companies in need of forklift operators will post positions at these sites, including salary and benefits information.

Get prepared before you apply

Before you apply, it’s a good idea to take a forklift certification course online. This shows your potential employer that you’re serious about the position and that safety is a high priority for you. This can go a long way and impress the manager who may be making the hiring decisions. It will certainly put you ahead of the pack when multiple people show up trying to land the same position.

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