What does a Fork Lift Operator do?

Learn all about Fork Lift Operator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Fork Lift Operator.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A fork lift operator is responsible for the operation of a forklift to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, or factory floor. They may also be responsible for loading and unloading trucks.

Fork Lift Operator job duties include:

  • Operating a forklift to move, locate, relocate, stack, and count merchandise
  • Checking all equipment for safety and proper operation
  • Maintaining warehouse stock and organizing it in a neat and orderly fashion
  • Loading and unloading trucks as needed
  • Communicating with supervisors, leads, and co-workers as needed to complete tasks efficiently
  • Following all company policies and procedures
  • Completing daily forklift maintenance such as charging the battery and checking fluid levels
  • Keeping work areas clean and free of debris
  • Reporting any safety concerns or equipment malfunctions to a supervisor immediately

Fork Lift Operator Job Requirements

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, such as a certificate from a vocational school. Many forklift operators receive on-the-job training, which typically lasts a few days to a few weeks. Some employers may require certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Operators who have experience with the specific type of forklift being used at the job site may have an advantage in the hiring process.

Fork Lift Operator Skills

  • Able to operate a forklift
  • Able to load and unload materials
  • Able to lift heavy objects
  • Able to communicate with co-workers
  • Able to work in a team environment
  • Able to follow instructions
  • Able to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Detail-oriented
  • Safety-conscious
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Flexible

Related: Top Fork Lift Operator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Fork Lift Operator

Forklift operators are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of forklifts in a variety of settings. They must be able to operate the forklift in a variety of conditions and be able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Forklift operators must also be able to load and unload materials onto the forklift and transport them to the appropriate location.

To become a forklift operator, one must first obtain a forklift license. There are a variety of ways to do this, but most often it involves completing a training course offered by a company or an organization specializing inforklift safety. After completing the training, the individual must then pass a written exam and a practical skills test. Once these requirements have been met, the individual will be issued a forklift license which will allow them to operate forklifts in most states.

Some companies may require their forklift operators to have additional certification, such as First Aid or CPR. Most employers will provide on-the-job training to their employees who are new to the position. This training will cover the specific procedures and protocols for operating the company's forklifts safely and efficiently.

Related: Fork Lift Operator Resume Example

Related: Fork Lift Operator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)