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How To Become Certified To Operate A Forklift

 In Trucking Blog

While you don’t need a CDL license to become a forklift operator, you do need to be properly trained and OSHA certified.

Get The OSHA Forklift Operators’ Certification

Operating a forklift is a skilled trade. Yes, you can learn the basics in a few hours, but there’s a lot more to it than the basics. Because of that, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires all forklift operators to be trained and certified.

OSHA forklift operator certification is good for 3 years from the date issued. After that, you must take a renewal course. Forklift certification is also referred to as a forklift license.

Where Can I Train To Get Certified?

Training for forklift certification isn’t overly difficult, even if you’ve never before operated an industrial truck. Training can be done online or at a facility.

Online: You can attend an online training class to learn and receive a certificate of training completion. Do your research; some sites will say you will be fully certified at the end, but you may still need to complete a hands-on evaluation with your current or future employer to become OSHA certified.

  • You’ll learn by watching videos, driving simulations, and listening to instructors, but you’ll miss out on any hands-on teaching.
  • Courses go over safety and operation, load capacity, and other basics.
  • These courses typically take 1-3 hours to complete.

In-person training institutes: Alternately, if you have a training institution near you, you can attend class in person and learn on the truck. For example, one of our partners, commercial truck driving school Smith & Solomon has an OSHA course that lasts 8 hours.

  • You’ll learn by classroom instruction and hands-on teaching.
  • Courses go over safety and operation, load capacity and maintenance.
  • These courses are typically 1-2 days in length.

Besides warehouse forklifts, many of these online and in-person facilities can also train and certify you on pallet jacks, hand trucks, and the like. However, you only need to be certified by the truck category, not per each manufacturer’s forklift model.

How Much Does Forklift Certification Cost?

Forklift certification cost runs as low as $30 to more than $200, depending on if you are receiving additional training on using the forklift as well. You’ll find many certification courses are well under $75.

If you weren’t able to pass on the first try, you can retake the assessment as many times as needed. You may be responsible for retake fees.

As mentioned earlier, after your 36 months have expired, you will need to complete your license renewal. Renewal certification cost is typically $30-50, and sometimes free at the institute you received your certification. If you do have to pay a fee, don’t forget to ask your employer if the cost can be reimbursed.

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