What does a forklift operator do?

Forklift operators operate heavy machinery to move goods around warehouses or to unload deliveries from trucks in industrial properties.

They generally work under the supervision of supply chain managers, warehouse managers, and foremen at construction sites.

These professionals need to have good experience in driving industrial vehicles and formal training in handling machinery.

If you are considering getting forklift operator jobs, now is the right time because the job outlook for machine operators is projected to grow 7% by 2030, with an estimated 84,300 job openings every year.

But before you send out those applications and even try to write a resume for forklift operator jobs, you must get clarity on the job description for forklift operators.

Read on to learn more about forklift operator job description and related FAQs like the following:

Forklift Operator Job Duties for Resume

To make an impressive forklift operator resume and excel in this position, you must be familiar with the duties, expectations, and responsibilities that come with this role.

When you have clarity on the same, you can showcase your potential to execute these duties efficiently through your resume and get hired.

While forklift operators can work in a variety of industrial or commercial settings, such as warehouses, construction sites, ports, and airports, their general duties remain the same.

Given below are some of the common duties of forklift operators:

  • Loading and unloading goods and materials from trucks and other vehicles and stacking them in their designated places
  • Locating and moving product stocks to crates or pallets for shipment storage
  • Steering forklifts safely in busy or crowded environments
  • Identifying damages and reporting discrepancies for goods deliveries
  • Inspecting and maintaining machinery to reduce downtime and facilitate longevity
  • Maintaining inventories and updating records and activity logs
  • Complying with company safety policies, and legal guidelines
  • Adhering to standard operating procedures to operate forklifts and maintain a safe working environment

Also read: How to make a machine operator resume in 2022?

Forklift Operator Skills List

If you want to become a forklift operator, you must have the right skill set to qualify for the role.

Since there are several classifications of forklift machinery, you must identify the type referred to by the recruiters in the job listing and accordingly, list your skills in your resume.

Given below are some of the general skills that forklift operators must possess:

Warehouse Forklift Side Loader
Counterbalance Forklift Telehandler
Stocking Packing
Heavy-Duty Forklift Rough Terrain Forklift
Loading & Unloading Pallet Jack Operation
Pallet Jack Walkie Stacker
Order Picker Reach Fork Truck
Forklift Maintenance Safety Compliance
Inventory Control Organization

Apart from the above-listed technical skills, you must also possess soft skills like attention to detail, teamwork, good communication, flexibility, and spatial awareness.

Also read: How to draft an impressive resume skills section?

Forklift Operator Job Description Requirements

Althougyh the minimum educational qualification to become a forklift operator is a high school diploma or GED, you can also get certifications to enhance your skills.

Meanwhile, the following are some of the other requirements that you must meet as an aspiring forklift operator:

Physical Requirements

Since forklift operators need to perform some ‌manual labor, you must be physically fit and have the strength to safely lift 20 kgs unassisted.

You must be able to work long shifts at a time in probably cramped or loud environments, including hazardous industrial workplaces.

Additionally, since you will maneuver the forklift, having good eyesight and a sense of direction is important.

Training and Licenses Requirements

Being a technical role, it is a must for you to receive some formal training or go through a certification course to become a forklift operator.

Depending on where you are located, recruiters might also ask you for accredited state or local licenses for operating forklifts from a recognized body such as RTITB.

Recruiters also look for applicants with level 1 or 2 certificates in forklift truck operations, which are acquired through a college course or formal forklift training, including apprenticeships.

Experience Requirments

Another common requirement that recruiters have when hiring forklift operators is work experience.

You need to have at least 2 years of experience working at a warehouse or a construction site operating forklifts, industrial machinery, or heavy goods vehicles.

Recruiters can also consider their working experience in similar settings, like baggage handling at airports, offloading deliveries, and goods at supermarkets.

Knowledge Requirements

You also need to have a firm understanding of the standard safety regulations & laws for operating a forklift and maintaining a safe working environment at warehouses.

You must be familiar with industrial storage procedures like the correct way of stacking pallets, etc., and have experience in maintaining accurate records and inventories.

Also read: How to get a job fast in 2022?

Forklift Operator Job Description for Resume

As stated earlier, if you want to land good forklift operator jobs, you must build a resume that is tailored to the job description provided in the listing you are targeting.

For your reference, given below is a real-time sample of a forklift operator job description that you will come across in job listings:

Forklift Operator Job Overview

Looking for a licensed forklift operator who is skilled in retail and logistics processes, sops, and tools to join our team at the Amazon warehouse. The candidate must have an eye for detail and be familiar with the Amazon brand, work culture, and organizational structure. They will be responsible for ensuring operational efficiency, managing inventory, and optimizing loads. And since the personnel will be tasked with handling valuable items, diligence and good hand-eye coordination are a must.

Forklift Operator Job Description and Duties

  • Maintaining on-time and accurate execution of assigned flow tasks for stored goods
  • Scheduling machinery for maintenance and repairs to reduce downtime
  • Utilizing RF scanning equipment to manage inventory
  • Adhering to the inventory routine to maximize stock accuracy and facilitate product availability to customers
  • Committing to Amazon health, safety, and security regulations and requirements while executing tasks and operating the forklift
  • Contributing to team goals and action plans in the daily workflow to maximize productivity
  • Transporting goods and materials to various locations within the facility with caution
  • Reporting damaged items and delivery discrepancies to supervisors

Forklift Operator Job Description Requirements

  • 2 years of relevant work experience
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Forklift state license
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination and teamwork
  • Familiarity with RF scanners and tools
  • Good physical condition (must be able to lift 20kgs)
  • Good organizational skills and an eye for detail

Also read: Why is it important to write a good job description?

Key Points from the Blog

  • Forklift operators operate heavy machinery to move goods around warehouses or to unload deliveries from trucks in industrial properties.
  • Forklift operators can work in a variety of industrial or commercial settings like warehouses, construction sites, ports, airports, etc.
  • Pallet jack, walkie stacker, order picker, reach fork truck, forklift maintenance, safety compliance, and inventory control are some forklift operator skills.
  • The minimum educational qualification to become a forklift operator is a high school diploma or GED.
  • Maintaining on-time and accurate execution of assigned flow tasks for stored goods and scheduling machinery for maintenance and repairs to reduce downtime are some of the common forklift operator duties
  • Most recruiters look for candidates who have at least 2 years of relevant experience and a valid forklift state license.

If you need expert assistance with the forklift operator job description, visit Hiartion’s Career Activator Platform which offers round-the-clock chat support. You can also reach us at support@hiration.com.

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