Best Forklift Operator Job Description Sample (+ Free Template Download)

A forklift operator is a professional who works within a warehouse or factory, transporting heavy materials. These professionals move, locate, and stack merchandise from one location to another. They are responsible for the process of loading and unloading shipments from trucks and transporting the merchandise to their destinations within the warehouse.

A forklift operator is sometimes referred to as a forklift driver or "fork lift operator."

forklift operator job description

Forklift Operator Job Description Sample

Our warehouse is seeking an experienced and careful forklift operator to assist in the operation of heavy equipment to transport merchandise through our warehouse and loading docks. The forklift operator will unload trucks that are arriving carrying merchandise, transport each pallet to their destination, and account for all goods or merchandise on the powered industrial truck. The forklift operator will take instructions from the warehouse worker, warehouse manager, and other warehouse staff. Previous experience with material handling equipment is preferred.

Forklift Operator Duties and Responsibilities

Sample job duties and forklift operator responsibilities:

  • Unload and load powered industrial trucks.
  • Transport pallets of goods and merchandise to their tagged locations in the warehouse.
  • Track all goods and merchandise that are transported.
  • Ensure all freight trucks are loaded and unloaded according to safety procedures.
  • Assist warehouse workers with general forklift operation.
  • Work closely with the warehouse manager and warehouse associates to manage inventory, goods, and merchandise.
  • Work closely with the warehouse manager and warehouse associates to organize the warehouse and transport goods.
  • Operate a forklift truck.

Forklift Operator Requirements

Qualified candidates should have the following:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Previous warehouse experience and training.
  • Professional training of operating a forklift (Certified Forklift Operator).
  • Any type of forklift certification is preferred.
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery and operate forklift machinery.
  • Ability to practice heavy lifting (25lb’s plus).

A required qualification might change depending on the environment the forklift operator is working within. Be sure to speak with the warehouse associates and warehouse manager regarding the requirements of the role before writing a forklift job description.

Forklift Operator Salary

According to Salary.com, a forklift operator earns $37,603 per year, on average. With the top percentile of workers earning $47,368 per year, on average. And entry-level workers earning $29,579 per year, on average.

Forklift Operator Skills

Top candidates have one or more of the following skills:

  • Stock skills.
  • Pallet jack skills.
  • Warehouse skills.
  • General labor skills.
  • Instruction taking skills.
  • Instruction giving skills.
  • Forklift operating skills.
  • Math skills.
  • Attention to detail skills.
  • Physical fitness skills.
  • Mechanical skills.
  • Reading and writing comprehension skills.
  • Self-motivation skills.
  • Time management skills.
  • Cooperation skills.
  • Coordination skills.

Forklift Operator Certifications

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA 1910.178 (i)(6)) requires all forklift operators to be certified before operating a lift truck or warehouse product. Proper training and evaluation are completed prior to the operation of industrial forklifts.

A forklift operator's license is a certificate. The certificate indicates that the employee has been trained and evaluated by the employer to operate the truck safely. It is required by OSHA that the employer certifies the training. License issuance is used by employers to show the employee is certified to operate a forklift in their particular application.

Forklift Operator Job Boards

An employer posting a warehouse job should consider these top job boards for warehouse workers and forklift operators:

Posting an available warehouse job in local communities can be highly effective for job seekers and employers. Most warehouse associate positions are filled in local geographic areas. Post the available job opening and the warehouse worker job description on a local community Facebook page, community center page, or another local community website.

Forklift Operator Job Description Tips

Follow these best practices when writing a forklift operator job description.

A job title

Have a descriptive, yet specific job title. Avoid job titles that are not "industry standard." For example, a job title like "Forklift Specialist" might sound neat and interesting, but can deter job applicants. It deters job applicants because each applicant might not feel "qualified" for that role.

Work environment

For warehouse and forklift operator jobs, it may require the employer to list work environment variables. For example, lifting heavy boxes (25lb's or greater). Work environment characteristics are responsible for the work environment variables that the job holder will encounter. This includes "long working hours" or "overnight shifts." Be descriptive about the work environment and warehouse environment.

Physical demands of a role can be required for a position. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the described essential functions in the work environment.

Forklift Operator Resources

Those looking to advance themselves in the warehouse forklift operator job title or employers looking to place forklift operator positions may want to consider the following resources. These resources can provide helpful insight on creating an ideal workplace, understanding the role with clarity, and ensuring a healthy work relationship between employee and employer:

Forklift Operator Job Description Template

Job brief
Our warehouse is seeking an experienced and careful forklift operator to assist in the operation of heavy equipment to transport merchandise through our warehouse and loading docks. The forklift operator will unload trucks that are arriving carrying merchandise, transport each pallet to their destination, and account for all goods or merchandise on the powered industrial truck. The forklift operator will take instructions from the warehouse worker, warehouse manager, and other warehouse staff. Previous experience with material handling equipment is preferred.

Duties and responsibilities
  • Unload and load powered industrial trucks.
  • Transport pallets of goods and merchandise to their tagged locations in the warehouse.
  • Track all goods and merchandise that are transported.
  • Ensure all freight trucks are loaded and unloaded according to safety procedures.
  • Assist warehouse workers with general forklift operation.
  • Work closely with the warehouse manager and warehouse associates to manage inventory, goods, and merchandise.
  • Work closely with the warehouse manager and warehouse associates to organize the warehouse and transport goods.
Requirements
  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Previous warehouse experience and training.
  • Professional training of operating a forklift (Certified Forklift Operator).
  • Any type of forklift certification is preferred.
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery and operate forklift machinery.
  • Ability to practice heavy lifting (25lb’s plus).

forklift operator job decription free template and download

Forklift Operator Job Description Template

Download our job description template in Word or PDF format. Instant download. No email required.

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Using a Job Description Template

Follow these instructions to use a job description template:

Job Description Format

Follow the format below when writing a job description.

Job Title:
[Job Title]

[Job Summary/Job Brief]

Responsibilities and Duties:
  • [List 4-5 essential functions of the job role]
Requirements:
  • [List 5+ qualifications including education level, experience level, key skills, and expectations of the job function]
(Optional) Work Environment:
  • [LIst 2-5 characteristics, traits, and other requirements of the role]
  • [If physical requirements are necessary, include reasonable accommodation details]
This role and job position will report directly to [Job Title] who leads [Department Name].

For more information on writing a job description, visit this resource.

Top Job Boards

Consider posting a job description or job advertisement (referred to as a "job ad") on one of the following national job boards:

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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