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How long does it take to get forklift certified? 2 steps to take

A female warehouse worker drives a forklift through a warehouse.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Earning a forklift certification isn’t overly difficult, and it usually only takes one or two days to do so. Not to mention, it’s an easy way to earn higher starting pay and stand out when applying for warehouse job opportunities.

Below we take a closer look at what’s typically included in forklift training programs to provide you with a more complete answer to the question, “How long does it take to get forklift certified?”

Step 1: Receive instructional training

The first step to getting forklift certified is to complete OSHA-approved instructional training either in-person or online. Forklift training is usually formatted as a course that covers safety procedures, driving techniques and maintenance.

A written test is usually given following the training to confirm the person has retained the knowledge needed to properly operate a forklift.

How long does it take to get forklift certified in-person?

In-person forklift training programs usually take about six to eight hours to complete.

You can find an OSHA-approved forklift training program in your area by contacting your employer, talking with forklift dealers or reaching out to local colleges.

How long does it take to get forklift certified online?

It usually takes two to four hours to complete an online forklift training program. Those with prior forklift knowledge may be able complete the coursework in as little as one hour.

Some examples of highly rated online forklift training providers include:

Step 2: Complete a hands-on skills evaluation

Once the in-person or online coursework has been completed, you must demonstrate what you learned by completing a hands-on evaluation.

Regardless of if you received instructional training online, you will need to complete your hands-on evaluation in-person.

Your options to complete your forklift evaluation include:

  • Having a trainer from the third-party organization you received instructional training from assess your skills.
  • Having a leader at your workplace assess your skills while on-the-job.

If your evaluation is deemed satisfactory, you will receive your forklift certification.

How long does a forklift certification last for?

OSHA forklift certification requirements state that certifications must be renewed every three years by passing a skills check, which usually takes about two hours.

In most cases, the person conducting the skills check evaluation will be a leader at your organization and will observe you during normal operating hours.

Interested in a warehouse career at Schneider?

Schneider has warehouse job openings across the country – some of which include operating a forklift as a responsibility. Explore opportunities near you and apply today.

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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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