How to Get Forklift Certified

How to Get Forklift Certified

April 16, 2024 | By: holtlift

How to Get Forklift Certified

The profession of being a forklift operator is projected to grow by 4% from 2022 to 2030. To pursue this career, you first need to become a certified forklift driver. The certification process requires special training that takes several days. It involves hands-on training, learning in a classroom environment and passing an exam. Learn more in this guide on how to become forklift certified, including the requirements and process.

How to Become a Forklift Certified Driver

To become a certified forklift operator, you need to know the basics. You must be familiar with the role, why certification is so important and the training modules where you’ll learn how to become forklift certified.

What Does a Forklift Operator Do?

A professional forklift operator is in charge of handling, transporting and carrying heavy materials through the use of heavy machinery. Warehouse managers, foremen on construction sites and supply chain managers will supervise forklift operators. Moving construction materials, tools and debris is what forklifts are typically used for on construction sites.

Here are some of the responsibilities of a forklift operator:

  • Moving materials from different locations, sites and areas within a warehouse.
  • Loading, unloading, shipping and receiving wares using a forklift.
  • Securing loads onto machines before transport.
  • Inspecting the forklift for damage.
  • Managing and operating technical equipment.
  • Picking up and wrapping shipments.
  • Identifying hazards in the workplace.
  • Following production schedules and maintaining high levels of productivity.
  • Managing inventory using RF scanning equipment.
  • Complying with safety and operating standards.

Why Do You Need to Be Certified?

Your certification is an important requirement for a forklift operator. Forklifts are powerful machines that need to be used responsibly. When carrying large loads, driver safety and the safety of others becomes even more important. A well-trained and focused operator is more skilled at preventing accidents and injuries.

The main qualification that companies look for is forklift operator certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Their training and standards teach you how to operate the machine and reduce associated risks.

Benefits of being certified include:

  • Safety training: Reduce the risk of injury and know how to avoid accidents and mistakes.
  • Trained proficiency: The course will teach you how to operate various types of equipment skillfully.
  • Job stability: Being certified improves job stability and makes you a more attractive candidate.

OSHA Training Modules

This course covers six modules that will teach you everything you need to know to become an OSHA-certified forklift driver. All modules will be included in the final written exam, so knowing what will be covered beforehand can give you an advantage.

Module One

This module covers the basics of powered industrial trucks, including when you should and should not use them. The learning objectives in this module include the seven classes OSHA uses to define different levels of powered industrial trucks. This part of the course also explores safe and dangerous ways to use forklifts. Students will learn two important sources of power for these trucks by the end of the module.

Module Two

The topics in this module will teach you how to operate an industrial truck and include right-of-way, safe loading techniques and procedures, and how to drive in hazardous conditions. Learning objectives include familiarizing yourself with the best operating practices when using powered industrial trucks in a busy worksite. It will demonstrate the importance of safe and proper load  handling procedures. Finally, you must memorize a list of safety tips when operating an industrial vehicle in hazardous conditions.

Module Three

This module covers accidents, workplace hazards, how to report incidents and case studies. The objectives of this module are learning how to name and identify hazardous work conditions. You will also learn how to connect operational errors to the accidents and hazards you might encounter in a powered industrial truck. It will cover the safety procedures and preventative measures that will reduce or prevent hazards while operating a forklift.

Module Four

Module four is about maintenance and inspection and covers what to do before, during and after the operation of a powered industrial truck. You will learn how to maintain your forklift and about the importance of consistent maintenance and inspections. By the end of the module, you will be able to list the issues that indicate a powered industrial truck must be retired and is no longer fit for use.

Module Five

The main topics covered in this module are OSHA and powered industrial truck regulations and their related resources. It also addresses when additional training might be needed. You must understand OSHA regulations regarding powered truck safety and be able to list the government and OSHA resources that enforce regulations and educate workers about workplace safety.

Module Six

The sixth and final module focuses exclusively on forklift information and operation, including data plates, stability, how they tip over and how to operate them. By the end of this module, you must be able to identify the different safety features of a forklift. You will need to understand the necessity of following safe load handling protocols, list safety tips for conducting forklift maneuvers at a crowded worksite, and describe how to stop and start a forklift.


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about forklift certification.

How can I get a forklift license?

Many companies offer OSHA-compliant certification training for businesses to train their operators. Completing the modules of the course you take is how to get forklift certification.

How long does it take to get forklift certified?

A forklift certification course can be completed in around two days. Courses last 6-8 hours including classroom exercises and hands-on training with the equipment.

How much does it cost to become forklift certified?

The cost for OSHA training will depend on the specific company. Call Holt of California at 916-373-4100 to inquire about coordinating a training class for your operators, including pricing information.

Contact Holt of California for Forklift Training

Holt of California provides forklift and aerial equipment operator training for employers who want to train their operators. Well-trained forklift operators ensure safer and more efficient worksites. Certified operators can also reduce costs by having more skills, causing less damage and making fewer mistakes.

Holt of California is proud to offer top-quality classes that meet or exceed OSHA standards. The classes we offer are only available to businesses. If you have forklift operators that need training, contact us to learn more.

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