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Forklift Truck Training and OSHA Certification

Forklift training programs provide students with both classroom and hands-on training and courses can be used to obtain forklift certification. If you want to work as a forklift operator, you will need to complete an OSHA training program, undergo an evaluation from an employer or future employer, and get your official license. Many training programs are available at vocational schools, dealerships and by construction companies, but you can also get your forklift certification online.

Where to Complete a Forklift Training Program

If you are interested in forklift certification you can complete a professional training course or evaluation training program online or offline. Training programs teach students how to drive and operate a forklift, follow safety protocol and standards, and how to get their license. You can complete a training program at a:

  • Vocational or technical school
  • Forklift dealership
  • Professional trucking school
  • Forklift and construction equipment rental facilities
  • Online

If you need a flexible schedule because you are currently working at a job or because you are a stay-at-home parent, an online training program could be the best match for you. These programs are typically fairly short and can provide you with all of the classroom training you need to get your forklift certification. After you complete an online training program, your employer will need to test your forklift driving abilities and skills, and certify that you are compliant with all OSHA standards. Your certification will expire three years after your evaluation and you must undergo a re-evaluation every three years.

Types of OSHA Forklift Training Courses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations sets the standards and requirements for training programs and courses, so it's important to make sure that you are registering for OSHA forklift training classes at your school of choice. Some courses cover basic safety protocol while others are part of a certification program. Some of the most common OSHA courses include:

  • Powered Industrial Truck Training
  • Industrial Fork Lift Truck Training
  • Narrow Aisle Forklift Operator Safety Training
  • Beginner Operator Forklift Driver Training

Types of Hands-On Forklift Driver Training Courses

Most forklift driver training programs require the completion of classroom instruction and hands-on training so that students learn how to operate and maneuver forklifts and also learn how to inspect and maintain equipment. Some of the hands-on driver training courses required include:

  • Driving Forklift Equipment
  • Steering and Maneuvering a Forklift
  • Hazardous Locations and Rough Terrain Operation
  • Road and Warehouse Simulations
  • Stability, Inspection and Maintenance Protocol
  • Forklift Engine Operation
  • Forklift Controls and Instrumentation
  • Fork and Attachment Limitations
  • Load Manipulation
  • Pedestrian Safety

Benefits of Completing a Forklift Certification Program

If you are interested in becoming a forklift operator for the long-term, you can get certified through a professional driver training program. Certification programs are available both online and offline, and some can be completed within a few hours. Being a certified forklift operator allows you to earn a better living and build your skills.

Some of the top benefits of completing a forklift certification program include:

  • Holding a permit to operate
  • Obtaining a forklift license without a job
  • Forklift certification is valid in all states in the United States, in Canada, and in countries that comply with OSHA safety protocol

Getting a Forklift License

In order to get a license, you will need to have a good driving record and complete a training program. You will also need to meet the following requirements:

  • No vision problems unless these can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses
  • No hearing problems unless these can be corrected with a hearing aid
  • No physical impairments that would prevent you from operating the forklift safely at all times
  • Not taking any prescription medications or drugs that could impair your forklift operation abilities
  • Not have any neurological problems that could affect your sense of balance, coordination or state of consciousness

Career Outlook with Forklift Certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, forklift operators fall under the operating engineer and construction equipment operator category, and can advance to the supervisory level with additional training and experience. Employment of construction equipment operators is expected to increase about 12 percent through 2018. As of May 2008, the median annual wages of construction equipment operators were $18.88 per hour. Being able to drive a wide range of forklifts is a lucrative skill set to have.

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