Top 10 Forklift Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top forklift certifications available and their benefits for employers and employees.
Published 16 min read
Certifications for a forklift are important in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that an individual has been trained and is qualified to operate a forklift safely. Forklift operators must be certified by a reputable training organization, such as OSHA or the National Safety Council, in order to be considered for most positions. Employers want to ensure that their workers can safely and effectively use the equipment, so having proper certification is essential for job seekers looking to work with forklifts. Additionally, having certifications may help workers stand out from other candidates, as it shows a commitment to safety and excellence.
The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Forklifts and explain how they can help a forklift operator advance their career.
What are Forklift Certifications?
Forklift certification is a process that ensures an operator has been adequately trained and is qualified to use a forklift safely and efficiently. It involves both practical and theoretical assessments, usually performed by an accredited instructor, which can range from basic operation to more complex tasks such as loading and unloading materials. The certification process helps to reduce workplace accidents as it ensures that operators are familiar with the safe operation of their forklift equipment. It also helps employers to meet their legal obligations under health and safety legislation. Forklift certification can also help companies improve productivity by ensuring operators are proficient in the use of their machines. Furthermore, having certified operators can help improve the morale of employees as they feel more confident in their ability to operate the equipment correctly.
Pro Tip: Make sure your forklift certification is up-to-date and renewed regularly. Most certifications are valid for three years, so it's important to stay on top of renewing them to ensure you remain compliant with safety standards.
Related: What does a Forklift do?
Top 10 Forklift Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Forklifts today.
1. OSHA Forklift Certification
OSHA Forklift Certification is a certification program that ensures operators of powered industrial trucks (forklifts) are properly trained and qualified to operate the equipment safely. The certification is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The certification process typically takes two to four hours, depending on the size of the group and the complexity of the training material. It includes classroom instruction, hands-on training, and an evaluation. During classroom instruction, topics such as safety rules, operating procedures, load capacity limits, maintenance requirements, and other related topics are discussed. Hands-on training involves driving a forklift around an obstacle course while following all safety protocols. Finally, an evaluation is conducted to assess each operator’s performance in both classroom instruction and hands-on training.
To obtain OSHA Forklift Certification, individuals must complete a certified forklift operator training program from a qualified trainer or instructor. This can be done through a variety of sources including community colleges, trade schools, private companies offering professional development courses, or online programs. The cost of these programs varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $50-$500 per person.
Once certified by an authorized instructor or trainer, individuals will receive a wallet card that serves as proof of their certification for three years. After three years have elapsed since receiving their initial certification, individuals must renew their certification through additional training or refresher courses provided by OSHA-approved trainers or instructors.
2. Powered Industrial Truck Operator (PITO) Certification
Powered Industrial Truck Operator (PITO) Certification is a certification program that provides workers with the knowledge and skills to safely operate powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, and order pickers. The certification is designed to help employers meet OSHA standards for safe operation of powered industrial trucks.
The certification process typically takes about one day to complete, depending on the individual's prior experience and understanding of the material. To get certified, individuals must attend an approved training program or take an online course. The training program covers topics such as basic safety principles, types of powered industrial trucks, pre-operation inspection and maintenance procedures, proper loading techniques, and operating procedures.
The cost of PITO Certification varies depending on the provider; however, most programs range from $150-$250 per person. Additionally, some employers may offer reimbursement for PITO Certification costs if they are required by OSHA standards.
3. International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Certification
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is an international trade association that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment. It provides training, certification, and other resources to help operators, owners, and employers use powered access equipment safely and efficiently.
IPAF certification is a globally recognized qualification that demonstrates an operator’s knowledge of the safe operation of powered access equipment. The certification is valid for five years and requires renewal every five years.
To get IPAF certified, you must first complete an approved training course. Courses are offered by IPAF-approved training centers around the world. Once you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate of completion which will allow you to take the IPAF Operator Test. The test consists of multiple-choice questions about safety procedures and regulations related to powered access equipment. Upon successful completion of the test, you will receive your IPAF Operator Certificate.
The cost of IPAF certification varies depending on where you take the course and how many people are taking it at once. Generally speaking, courses range from $150-$400 per person depending on location and number of participants.
4. National Safety Council (NSC) Forklift Certification
The National Safety Council (NSC) Forklift Certification is a program designed to ensure that all forklift operators have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate a forklift. The certification program consists of a comprehensive online training course, which covers topics such as forklift safety, operating procedures, and maintenance. The course typically takes about four hours to complete and can be accessed at any time from any computer with an internet connection.
Once the online training course has been completed, participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their NSC Forklift Certification. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering the topics discussed in the online training course. Upon successful completion of the exam, participants will receive their official NSC Forklift Certification card.
The cost of the NSC Forklift Certification varies depending on the provider, but typically ranges from $50-$100 per person. Once certified, operators must renew their certification every three years by completing additional online training courses or attending refresher classes provided by an approved provider.
5. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Forklift Certification
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Forklift Certification is a program designed to provide a comprehensive training and certification program for individuals who operate powered industrial trucks, commonly known as forklifts. The ASME Forklift Certification program is designed to ensure that operators are trained in the safe operation of these vehicles.
The ASME Forklift Certification Program consists of two parts: an online course and a practical skills evaluation. The online course covers topics such as workplace safety, forklift operation, maintenance, and inspection. After completing the online course, participants must pass a written exam in order to receive their certification.
The practical skills evaluation consists of an instructor-led test where participants must demonstrate their ability to safely operate a forklift in various scenarios. This portion of the program typically takes about two hours to complete.
In order to become certified by the ASME Forklift Certification Program, individuals must successfully complete both the online course and the practical skills evaluation. Once certified, individuals will receive an official certificate from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
The cost of becoming certified through the ASME Forklift Certification Program varies depending on which training provider you choose. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $50-$200 USD depending on your location and provider.
6. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Forklift Certification
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Forklift Certification is an industry-recognized certification program that is designed to ensure the safe and efficient operation of forklifts. The certification program requires operators to demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to the safe operation of a forklift, including pre-operational checks, loading/unloading cargo, maneuvering in tight spaces, and other tasks. The certification is valid for three years and must be renewed prior to its expiration date.
To obtain ANSI Forklift Certification, individuals must complete a training course that covers the topics outlined by ANSI. Training courses can be completed in person or online and typically take between 8-16 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate indicating they have met the requirements for ANSI Forklift Certification.
The cost of obtaining ANSI Forklift Certification varies depending on the provider of the training course. Generally speaking, it can range from $100-$400 per person for in-person courses and $50-$150 for online courses.
7. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Forklift Certification
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) Forklift Certification is a program designed to ensure that operators of forklifts in Canada are properly trained and certified. This certification is required by most employers in order to operate a forklift safely and efficiently. The program includes classroom instruction, hands-on training, and an exam.
Classroom instruction typically takes about 8 hours. During this time, participants will learn about the different types of forklifts, their controls, safety procedures, and other related topics. After completing the classroom portion, participants will be required to demonstrate their knowledge through a practical skills test. This test will involve operating the forklift in a variety of scenarios while following all safety protocols.
Once both the classroom instruction and practical skills test have been completed successfully, participants will receive their CCOHS Forklift Certification card. This card must be renewed every three years in order to remain valid.
The cost of the CCOHS Forklift Certification varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically ranges from $200-$300 CAD per person.
8. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Forklift Certification
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Forklift Certification is a certification program that provides training and certification for individuals who wish to operate powered industrial trucks, commonly known as forklifts. The program is designed to ensure that operators are knowledgeable about the safe operation of these vehicles and understand the risks associated with their use.
The BCIT Forklift Certification Program consists of two components: classroom instruction and practical evaluation. The classroom component is typically completed in one day and covers topics such as safety regulations, operator responsibilities, vehicle inspection, maintenance requirements, and operating techniques.
The practical evaluation component requires the operator to demonstrate their ability to safely operate a forklift under various conditions. This assessment usually takes two to three hours to complete and involves driving around an obstacle course while performing tasks such as loading/unloading pallets, stacking boxes, moving materials from one location to another, etc.
The cost of the BCIT Forklift Certification Program varies depending on the type of forklift being operated and the number of participants enrolled in the course. Generally speaking, it costs between $200-$400 per person for a full-day course.
To obtain BCIT Forklift Certification you must first complete both the classroom instruction and practical evaluation components successfully. Upon successful completion of both components you will receive your certification card which is valid for three years from date of issuance.
9. The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Forklift Certification
The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Forklift Certification is a nationally recognized certification program that provides training and assessment for individuals who wish to operate a forklift. The certification covers the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, including the use of safety equipment, vehicle maintenance, and other related topics.
To get MSSC Forklift Certification, individuals must complete an approved training program and pass an assessment. The training program typically takes between 8-10 hours to complete and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice. Upon successful completion of the training and assessment, individuals will receive their MSSC Forklift Certification card.
The cost of the MSSC Forklift Certification varies depending on the provider; however, it typically ranges from $150-$300 per person. Additionally, some employers may cover all or part of the cost for their employees.
Overall, obtaining MSSC Forklift Certification is an important step in ensuring safe operations in any workplace that uses powered industrial trucks. With proper training and certification, operators can confidently perform their duties while reducing potential risks to themselves and others.
10. The National Training Center for Professional Drivers, Inc. (NTCTPD) Forklift Certification
The National Training Center for Professional Drivers, Inc. (NTCTPD) Forklift Certification is a comprehensive forklift training and certification program designed to meet OSHA standards and ensure that operators are properly trained and qualified to operate forklifts safely. The program covers topics such as basic forklift operation, safety procedures, load handling, maintenance, and more. It also includes a written exam to assess the operator’s knowledge of the material covered in the course.
It typically takes around 8 hours to complete the NTCTPD Forklift Certification program. This includes both classroom instruction and hands-on practice with a variety of different types of forklifts. The program can be completed online or in person at a facility approved by NTCTPD.
The cost for the NTCTPD Forklift Certification varies depending on whether it is taken online or in person. Online courses typically cost between $50-$100 while in-person courses can range from $200-$500 depending on location and other factors.
Once you have successfully completed the course and passed the written exam, you will receive your official NTCTPD Forklift Certification card which must be renewed every three years in order to remain valid.
Do You Really Need a Forklift Certificate?
The short answer is yes. If you are operating a forklift, it is important that you have the proper certification. This ensures that you understand the safety requirements and can operate the machine safely and efficiently.
Forklift operators are responsible for carrying heavy loads in a safe manner. A forklift certificate provides proof that you have been trained to use the machine properly and can handle its weight capacity. Without proper training, an individual may put themselves or others at risk of injury or property damage.
Having a valid forklift certificate also means that employers will be more likely to hire you for positions requiring this type of machinery. It shows that you have taken the time to learn about how to safely operate the equipment, which makes you a desirable candidate for job openings involving such tasks. In addition, employers may require that their employees hold valid certifications prior to being hired on in order to protect their business from potential liability issues related to improper use of equipment.
Overall, obtaining a valid forklift certificate is beneficial both for your own safety as well as your career prospects. It demonstrates that you understand how to use this type of machinery responsibly, which is a valuable skill in many industries involving materials handling and heavy lifting.
Related: Forklift Resume Examples
FAQs About Forklift Certifications
1. What is a forklift certification?
A forklift certification is a document issued by an employer or other qualified authority that certifies that an individual has the necessary training, knowledge and skills required to safely operate a forklift.
2. How long does a forklift certification last?
A forklift certification typically lasts three years from the date of issuance. However, some employers may require more frequent recertification.
3. Who can provide a forklift certification?
Forklift certifications are typically provided by employers or other qualified authorities such as OSHA-approved trainers or safety organizations.
4. Do I need a license to operate a forklift?
No, you do not need a license to operate a forklift; however, you must have the proper training and certification in order to do so safely and legally.
5. What types of tests are included in the forklift certification process?
The tests included in the forklift certification process vary depending on the employer or organization providing the training but generally include written and practical exams covering topics such as safety protocols, vehicle operation, load handling and maintenance procedures.