Your Step-by-Step Guide to Become Forklift Certified

If you are interested in working in a factory, warehouse or construction setting, knowing how to operate a forklift is a great skill to have. So, how do you become forklift certified? Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Steps to Becoming Forklift Certified

  1. Meet the Requirements
    According to federal law, you must be 18 years old to operate a forklift. Also, some employers ask their drivers to have a high school diploma or GED.
  2. Decide What Type of Forklift You Want to Drive
    Different industries use different forklifts. For example, order pickers are common in warehouses while rough terrain forklifts show up on construction sites. Make sure you train on the class of forklift you wish to drive.
  3. Find a Training School
    Next, you’ll want to locate a program in your area. Forklift License Guide offers a list of schools by state. However, if possible, talk to your employer. Most companies will connect you with a trainer AND cover the cost.
  4. Attend Classroom Lectures or Take an Online Course
    Before you can drive a forklift, you need to learn the basics including OSHA regulations and safety tips. This training usually lasts six to eight hours. Although online courses are available, BE CAREFUL. Not all classes are OSHA certified. These companies will take your money and leave you without a license.
  5. Pass a Written Exam
    The written exam is like a written driving test. You’ll have to answer questions about forklift operation and safety. In most cases, the passing grade is a 75%.
  6. Receive Hands-on Training
    Now, it’s time for the fun part. You get to drive a forklift. A certified instructor will show you how to inspect the vehicle before use, lift and load, maneuver in tight spaces and more.
  7. Take a Practical Driving Test
    Finally, you’re ready to display your skills. Just like a road test, an instructor will ask you to complete tasks and then evaluate your technique. If you pass, you’ll be the proud owner of a forklift license.

Common Questions About Forklift Certification

Am I allowed to drive a forklift without a license?

Yes, if you are in training. However, a licensed operator must supervise you at all times.

How much does training cost?

Pricing usually ranges from $100 to $200. If you are employed, be sure to ask if your company covers the cost.

Can I become forklift certified online?

No. Online versions of the written test are available, but you MUST receive hands-on training too.

What if I fail one of the tests?

You can retake both the written and practical tests. Keep in mind, this may result in additional fees.

How long does forklift certification last?

Most licenses are good for three years. You may need to repeat the steps above to renew your license or complete a refresher course.

Are You Interested in Finding a Job as a Forklift Driver?

FirstStaff matches forklift operators with top companies in Conway, Arkansas and beyond. We can help you find the right opportunities to build your skillset and grow your career. Search our available openings today!


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