How Much Do Forklift Operators Earn?
Forklift operators are very much in demand. It’s a very particular skill to have, and once you have the proper license, you should be able to find work easily.
However, you might be hesitant to get into this profession because you’re unsure how much forklift operators make. We’ll talk about that in detail in the following article.
What Exactly Does a Forklift Operator Do?
Before we jump into how much you should expect to make as a forklift operator, we should first explain what your days will be like if you choose this as your niche. Once you get your forklift operator certification and find gainful employment, you’ll probably spend most of your time organizing, stacking, or moving heavy merchandise. You might also be called upon to pull inventory and prepare it for shipment.
Unloading or loading shipment trucks or similar vessels might be on the agenda. You should also be ready to perform equipment maintenance for the forklift, such as lubrication and other minor adjustments.
What Kinds of Industries Need Forklift Operators?
You might be curious about what kinds of industries regularly need forklift operators. The food service industry often uses forklifts in various capacities. The retail sector usually needs forklift operators as well. You might also get hired as a forklift operator to work in construction, manufacturing, shipping, or in a warehouse.
How Old Should You Be to Operate a Forklift?
You should also know that you’ll need to be at least 18 to operate a forklift. The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act stipulates that you have to be 18 or older before you can operate a powerful industrial truck.
There’s some good news for would-be forklift operators, though, which is that you do not need a college degree to get your license. That might appeal to you if you want to get a job in this niche right out of high school.
What is the Standard Hourly Rate for Forklift Operators?
As for how much a forklift operator can reasonably expect to make, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average going rate for this profession or job group is $18.06 per hour. That equates to $37,560 per year, assuming you work forty hours every week.
If you’re thinking about going into this field, you should know that the more experience you have, the more cash you can expect to make. If you start out at the salary we’ve described, it’s possible you might be able to make more once you have a few years of experience under your belt.
Also, if you take on one of these jobs, you might be able to work overtime, which is usually good for time-and-a-half pay. Other perks are possible as well, such as health insurance, bonuses, a 401K plan, etc. That all depends on the company for which you work.
If you don’t plan on going to college, and you have good driving skills and spatial awareness, forklift operator might be the job for you.