Forklift Operator Salary
Thinking about a career change? Maybe you've considered driving a forklift? Earning potential is a major consideration to take into account when making any decision about jobs.
Quick Answer: In the U.S. the average hourly rate for a forklift operator is $15 per hour. As with any job, your qualifications and experience level will determine the salary you receive. There are also regulations that must be adhered to with regard to training and certification by law.
To find out more about the salaries associated with this job, read on and learn all about how much a forklift operator can earn.
Well, what exactly do forklift operators do? A forklift operator will load and then transport various types of large goods and materials to a new location.
Forklift operators are required in different types of businesses, typically they work in a warehouse and on construction sites.
Some forklift operators work indoors, for example, a warehouse worker moving a stack of pallets whilst some jobs require operators to work outdoors, for example, transporting material on a building site.
Jobs operating forklifts can be physically demanding and repetitive as well as dangerous. Forklift trucks can be hazardous if not used correctly and safety procedures must be followed when undertaking a job as an operator.
Factors Affecting Salary
How much does a forklift operator earn? There are various factors that affect the salary for this position. If you are still interested in this job, then let us take a closer look at some of these.
Education, Qualifications, and Training
Many employers prefer applicants to have their high school diploma or GED for this job. Companies tend to offer on-the-job training for operators to learn the required skills. The average salary for an entry-level position for a forklift driver is $13.50 per hour which is equivalent to $26,325 per year.
Employers in this type of industry must ensure the safety of their employees. To operate a forklift, be it at a warehouse or building site, the operator must be undergo training and be certified in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard 1910.178 which relates to powered industrial trucks. If the operator has to deal with any hazardous material they must also complete extra training. Employers are responsible for making sure all employees are properly trained so will usually cover the cost of the training required for this job.
The average pay for forklift operator jobs will depend on the applicants' experience level in the industry.
Applicants with more skills and experience in the industry are better paid.
They bring greater value to the workplace as they can also help with training for employees who are new to the job.
The average salary for an operator is $15 per hour which is the equivalent of $29,250 per year. For more experienced operators it increases to an average of $18.47 per hour which is the equivalent of $36,020 per year.
The salary of forklift operators will vary depending on their location in the US. For example, Delaware, Vermont, Hawaii, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Alaska all have higher pay with an average hourly rate of $25.50 which is the equivalent of $49, 725 annually.
Expect lower salaries in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. Here the average salary that a forklift operator can earn is between $15 and $16 per hour which is the equivalent of $29,250 to $31,196 per year.
Overtime and Benefits
These salaries are based on a 40-hour working week. Shifts usually last for 8 hours and depending on the workplace, these shifts could start anytime, for example, jobs in a 24-hour warehouse. In this industry, average earnings for overtime are $5,250 per year. The amount of overtime available would depend on the position and also different companies will have varying policies on overtime.
Forklift operator jobs usually come with benefits, boosting the overall value of the job. The most common benefits include health, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance, 401 (k) matching, and paid time off the job. Check what benefits your employee offers before you sign any contract.
Whether you are just finishing high school or interested in a change of career, it is important to thoroughly investigate your earning potential. If you are an employer it's vital to know what constitutes fair salaries for your employees so you can be competitive in hiring operators.
Several factors can affect the salary that comes with the job of operating a forklift, including education, qualifications, and experience as well as the location. In the U.S a forklift operator's average hourly salary is around $15 which is the equivalent of $29,250 per year.
If you are still interested and in the market for this type of position, there are plenty of online recruitment agencies you can sign up to which will send you job alerts.