How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make In 2023?

Wherever physical products are on transportation, a forklift driver makes a livelihood transferring them somewhere along the way.

You will be transporting as a crucial element of the contemporary supply chain.

So you are making a positive difference to the end-users of the possibly thousands of commodities.

With more individuals working from home and more enterprises migrating to online delivery, the logistics and also storage industry is likely to continue to develop.

Also, Forklift drivers are one of the most essential occupations in this business. You can see these jobs as FLT drivers, forklift operators, or material movers.

Skilled forklift operators are in great demand across a wide range of sectors, providing you with good job security and flexibility, and this begs the question of how much forklift drivers make and is there pay even enough?

According to Indeed, based on 43,378 ratings, 44% of Forklift drivers think that their salary suffices their cost of living. So what is the hourly pay of Forklift drivers? Keep reading to find out! 


GuideHow Much Do Forklift drivers Make?
Average Income$34,000 per year
Highest Income$45,000 per year
QualificationNot needed

Who Are Forklift Drivers?

A forklift operator is a manufacturing specialist that drives forklifts through warehouses, factories, storage facilities, and construction sites to deliver heavy products.

So typically, forklift operators operate under the supervision of supply chain or warehouse managers.

They put items onto big pallets for the forklift’s prongs to go into and stay while lifting and moving.

Preparing products and merchandise for shipment and safely transporting cargo to and from shipping vessels are among their responsibilities.

They inspect product shipments sent and received for any damaged or missing products, identifying and reporting any deviation from quality standards to a quality assurance manager, and so on.

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How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make?

How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make

The pay scale for forklift operators varies by industry. Companies looking for a forklift operator with experience and certification are likely to pay more.

With extra training and experience, entry-level forklift operators can enhance their pay over time.

The average USA wage for forklift drivers is $34,000 annually. However, not many people get this wage.

Only new starters and those who are just stepping up the ladder spend some time around these wages in their careers but go up way quickly and to other levels in no time.


Highest Salary Of Forklift Drivers In 2023

Highest Salary Of Forklift Drivers

Looking at how much the highest Salary of forklift drivers is, we see different numbers.

However, over the USA average wage for forklift drivers is still confusing for some because the numbers change significantly over time with more experience and rising seniority levels.

According to Glassdoor, the highest Salary of forklift drivers in the United States is around $45,000 annually, about $10,000 higher than the average wage for an average forklift driver.

Although, depending on the company and your rising seniority level within, this might be higher than this number in the future as it all depends on the companies.

1. How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make in an Hour?

Forklift Drivers make a minimum of $9.13 an hour and a maximum of $19.71 an hour.

2. How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make a Month?

Forklift Drivers make a minimum of $1,583 a month and a maximum of $3,417 a month.

3. How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make a Year?

Forklift Drivers make a minimum of $19,000 a year and a maximum of $41,000 a year.

Is Being A Forklift Driver Good Or Bad?

Being a forklift driver is controversial because not many people choose it as a career path since the earning potential is not that much and does not offer other stuff.

It is not a choice for many and is seen as a bad career choice. This is true if you do not like what the job has to offer.

If you like carrying stuff, being in the warehouses, and having the necessary qualifications, being a forklift driver could be a good path for you.

Pros and Cons of Being A Forklift Driver


  • Education degree is not required
  • Can lead to new & better career paths
  • Good work enviroment
  • Low stress job


  • Low pay

How To Become A Forklift Driver?

How To Become A Forklift Driver

Here’s how you can become a Forklift Driver:

  • You should be 18 years or more in age to become a Forklift Driver.
  • A forklift operator is often entry-level employment that does not require any more schooling. But some bigger organizations may demand a high school diploma or GED. Consider acquiring your GED at a community college or online if you don’t have a high school diploma or GED and also want to increase your job prospects.
  • Next, you should take up a full-time or part-time job at a construction site or warehouse to show that you have some kind of experience in this field.
  • The next step would be to enroll yourself in OSHA approved training program. During the program, you will be taught theoretical and will be given practical training.
  • Post this; your trainer will ask you to pass an evaluation; once you pass it, you will get your certification.
  • The last step is to find a position and start applying for the job.


What Does it Mean to be a Forklift Driver?

How Many Hours Does Forklift Driver Work?

Depending on their requirements, forklift Drivers may be put into the night, evening, or morning shifts.

Irrespective of the shift, Forklift Drivers work for eight hours a day, which means they work 40 hours a week like most other professions.

What is the Starting Pay of Forklift Drivers?

The starting pay of Forklift Drivers is $9.13 an hour or $19,000 a year. And even with more experience, Forklift Drivers make a maximum of $41,000 a year only, which is pretty less.

Forklift Driver Training Programs

To operate safely and successfully, forklifts are technical vehicles that require training.

OSHA has established criteria and guidelines for this type of training, which include formal teaching and practical, hands-on training and evaluation, culminating in certification.

A forklift operator cannot lawfully operate one without supervision unless they have done training and have got their assessment.

After the employer hires them, forklift operators receive the majority of their training on the job.

An experienced and trained teacher will demonstrate how to drive a forklift safely and successfully while navigating the space.

So Forklift operators with prior job experience may require less training, primarily if they have worked in a related business.

Several websites provide OSHA-compliant certification training in various machinery operations, which may be useful for forklift operators.

You may take the certification courses whenever it is suitable for you. Although they usually take two to four hours to complete.

You’ll take a test, and then you can purchase a certificate once you’ve completed the course material.

Before being permitted to use the equipment, certified personnel must complete hands-on training in the workplace.

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For most people, being a forklift operator is not a common goal.

It is, however, a fantastic stepping stone if you wish to work in the construction, manufacturing, or shipping industries as a business owner, manager, supervisor, or technician.

Even though there is not much-earning potential, it always creates other opportunities for those who want to step up in their life in some way or another.

It doesn’t require much, and you can also have a career with it if you like what you are doing.


How much do forklift drivers make when they are working in a very small warehouse?

This generally does not determine the Salary you are getting as you are working with the market prices, not the size of the warehouse, but, in certain cases, you might get a wage than your average Salary.

Can forklift drivers work freelancers, and how much do forklift drivers make when they work as freelancers?

This depends. Even though it is not a common practice, you definitely might from small warehouses to small warehouses where carrying stuff is not a daily thing but a weekly thing or takes small amounts of time on a daily basis.

The amount they earn depends heavily on the rates they set for themselves.

How much do forklift drivers make when first starting off?

When you are an inexperienced forklift driver, you start from the very bottom of the salary scale, which is way lower than the average.

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