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What is forklift certification? And 7 other common questions

A warehouse associate operates a forklift to lift palettes.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A forklift operator uses a forklift to move materials that cannot be lifted manually. Forklifts are typically used in warehousing, ports, construction sites and factories.

If you’re interested in becoming a forklift operator but wondering, ‘what is forklift certification and why is it important?’ keep reading to get all your questions answered.

1. What does it mean to be forklift certified?

Being forklift certified means a person has completed the training needed to safely operate a forklift. The certification shows they have the skills and knowledge to use the equipment correctly.

2. What are the requirements for getting a forklift certification?

There are several qualifications needed to get a forklift certification. Depending on the company you work for, requirements may include:

  • Being at least 18 years old.
  • Having a high school diploma or GED.

  • Passing a drug screen and background check.

  • Passing a written test and performance review.

3. How do I get certified as a forklift operator?

Forklift operators need to complete a thorough training program to become certified. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates formal coursework and hands-on experience.

Certification can be obtained through:

  • Online schooling.
  • Private training.

  • The associate’s employer.

Before operating the equipment, you must finish instructional training and pass a written test. Training covers:

  • Safety procedures.
  • Operating techniques.

  • Forklift maintenance.

Once instructional training is completed, your employer must assess your performance and fill out the necessary paperwork. If you pass, you're officially certified.

The amount of time it takes to get certified depends on whether you do online or in-person training.

4. How much does it cost to get forklift certified?

The cost of certification ranges from about $50 to $200, depending on who provides the training.

5. How long does forklift certification last?

Forklift certification is valid for three years. Once it expires, you’ll need a performance review to renew your certification.

6. Do I need a specific certificate for different types of forklifts?

Forklift operators may need to complete different or further training depending on the type of forklift(s) their employer uses. If your employer doesn’t offer training, ask about any specific requirements needed to get certified.

Some examples of the types of forklift(s) a forklift operator could use include:

  • Clamp trucks.
  • Roll clamps.

  • Double forks.

  • Single forks.

  • Turret trucks.

  • Stand-up Forks.

7. What are the benefits of getting forklift certified?

There are many benefits of getting a forklift certification, including:

  • Having the potential to earn more money per hour than associates who are not certified.
  • Having more opportunities for career advancement.

  • Being able to use specialized skills and knowledge to create a safer work environment.

Are warehouse jobs worth it?

From great wages to solid job security, check out our top reasons why working in a warehouse can be a great career.

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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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