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Forklift Driver Prerequisites: Here's What You Need to Know

Updated: 3 days ago

There are a few forklift driver prerequisites. Generally, you only need to be at least 18 years of age to operate a forklift at a work site. And, you need OSHA certification to verify you have received appropriate training on how to operate and maintain a lift.

Of course, if you want to succeed as a forklift operator, it helps to learn as much as possible. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you pursue a career as a forklift driver. Plus, you can find ways to put yourself in a great position to land your ideal forklift operator job.

A Closer Look at Forklift Driver Prerequisites and Responsibilities

Now, let's answer three questions about forklift driver prerequisites and what it's like to work as a forklift operator.

1. Are Forklift Drivers in Demand?

Forklift drivers are in demand across the United States. Businesses in construction, manufacturing and other industries hire forklift operators to move large and heavy objects. These companies often look for forklift operators to fill temporary and permanent roles.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out there were 761,400 material moving machine operator jobs nationwide in 2019. In addition, BLS predicts the number of material-moving machine operator roles will increase 2% between 2019 and 2029. As the U.S. economy rebounds from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the demand for forklift operators may increase as well.

2. Why Is OSHA Forklift Certification Necessary?

U.S. businesses cannot hire forklift operators who lack OSHA certification. If they do, these companies can face OSHA penalties.

Ultimately, OSHA-compliant forklift operators know how to safely use a lift. They can also comply with forklift safety requirements and protect themselves and others against lift accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

3. What Skills Are Necessary to Thrive As a Forklift Operator?

Key skills to have as a forklift operator include:

  1. Patience: The best forklift operators won't rush their work. Instead, they work slowly and cautiously as they lift and move large and heavy objects.

  2. Attention to Detail: Top forklift drivers are focused on the task at hand. They do what's necessary to perform their work to the best of their ability, every day, without exception.

  3. Flexibility: Forklift operators are often willing to work flexible schedules to accommodate myriad work projects.

To succeed as a forklift operator, it pays to learn as much as possible about the role, too. This ensures you can build your forklift driver skill set and find ways to continuously enhance it.

The Bottom Line on Forklift Driver Prerequisites and Responsibilities

A clear understanding of forklift driver prerequisites and responsibilities is a must for anyone interested in becoming a lift operator. Once you know these prerequisites and responsibilities, you can decide if a forklift driver career is right for you.

Contact Ascend Staffing Today

If you're ready to pursue a career as a forklift operator, Ascend Staffing can help. We are a professional staffing agency that can connect you with top employers in search of qualified forklift operator candidates.

Our staffing specialists can offer tips, recommendations, and insights to help you land your ideal forklift operator job. If you have any questions or concerns as you search for the right forklift driver role, we're here to assist you. Check out our job board to see what job opportunities are currently available in your area.

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