How to Become a Certified Forklift Driver

Becoming a certified forklift driver requires more than just the ability to drive and operate a vehicle. Operating any type of heavy machinery takes skill and experience to enable safe driving practices. There are a number of ways that you can gain certification to become a forklift driver. Some employers will provide training and can send you to a qualified venue for testing to receive your operator's license. Listed below are the steps that you will have to follow to gain this certification.


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    Know what is involved in operating a forklift. It helps also to know what types of work require this certification in order to gain employment. Tuition for any certification is a wasted expense if you are unsure that this is what you want to do.
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    Find a qualified school that teaches how to operate heavy machinery and offers the type of certification that you need. If you are already employed by a company that requires you to learn how to operate a forklift in order to advance or get a pay increase, they will probably already know of a certification course that will fulfill this requirement.
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    Once you have completed your forklift driver training course and received your certificate, you will need to also enroll in an OSHA-approved safety course. This is to ensure that you not only have the training to properly operate a forklift, but that you also know the safety requirements to operate this piece of equipment to the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Association.
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    After completing the OSHA-approved safety course, you should be all set to become employed as a certified forklift driver.
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    It is also important that the training discuss safety issues and policies at your facility. A general class on line can be used to satisfy some of the OSHA requirements, but specific equipment and site rules should be discussed either in a class designed for the company or by the employer after a general class is taken.
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    Operators must be evaluated on the equipment they will be operating, and a general evaluation at a remote site does not satisfy this requirement.


  • At some point you may need to take a refresher course in safe operation, as OSHA standards and laws can change.
  • Make sure to follow any other licensing and insurance regulations for your state.
  • There are any number of career possibilities once you have received your forklift driver certification. You can work full or part time at a warehouse or on a construction site. You can also work as a temp, fulfilling job obligations on an as needed basis.
  • There are also opportunities in the government sector, or you can become self employed, offering your services on a contract basis.


  • Make sure to take this training seriously. Heavy machinery can be very dangerous to operate, and wrongful use can result in injury or death to you or a co-worker.

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Categories: Tradesman Occupations