A forklift certification proves that you know how to safely operate a forklift, following all safety standards and best practices. Even if you have never used a forklift, your certification program will provide all the knowledge and hands-on experience you need. But getting certified costs time and money. Is it really worth the trouble?
Here are three reasons to go ahead and get that certification.
Not all employers require their forklift operators to be certified, however, most insurance coverage requires some minimal review education, and certification.
Some provide extensive training, while others offer only the basics. So it’s a bit of a gamble as to what type of training you will receive, and how much of that training will focus on safety. When you get your certification, you can be confident that you know how to safely manage a forklift, even under unusual circumstances.
Most certification programs require completion of a written or oral test, followed by a driving test, and a site specific safety review. Some employers require certification on a specific brand or model and certification at the job site.
The three largest and most common brands are Atlas, Toyota, and Honda. They can be battery or natural gas powered and can be in a variety of models – sit down, stand up, cherry picker, low lift, high lift, scissor lift, narrow aisle trucks, and heavy-duty, all terrain, “walki”
The Forklift operator is a position with extreme crossover potential and generally falls under the “material handling” category for most companies.
If you’re not exactly sure what industry you want to be in, becoming a forklift operator can open a lot of doors. From steel mills to warehouses to construction sites, forklifts are essential pieces of equipment. The additional skill set and certification not only broadens you abilities, it can also help avoid boredom at work. You might start as a forklift operator and try out several different types of worksites, and then ultimately move into a different position in the industry you choose.
Because forklifts are essential across so many different industries and types of worksites, certified forklift operators will likely always be able to find work. If a recession hits or there is a downturn in a particular industry, you can easily move to another position. In 2023, forklift operators are in especially high demand – even for companies that have cut back on staff. Take a look at the in-demand industries.
With the rise in U.S. manufacturing, e-commerce, and the expansion of distribution centers (DCs), and logistics, material handlers and forklift operators are in demand and getting top pay and it’s a great job if you like to be active and enjoy working with your hands.
If you’re ready to become a certified forklift operator, you’ll need to meet a few basic requirements. You must be at least 18 years old, and you must be able to see and hear well enough to safely operate the forklift. There are no hearing or vision tests, so use your best judgment.
You’ll want to find a course that is approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You can either take a class directly through OSHA or find an approved course through your employer or a local community college or vocational school. Your course will include both classroom training and hands-on practical experience, and you’ll need to pass the certification exam at the end.
Forklift certification is simple to obtain, and it can provide a great deal of both stability and flexibility and increases your chances for a promotion. If you’ve been thinking of getting certified, now is a great time to make it happen!
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