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Forklift Driver Salary (United States)

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Forklift Drivers earn an average of $12.37 per hour. Earnings sit near $9.55 per hour on the lower side but can approach $17.50 on the higher side. This group's pay is mainly influenced by geographic location, followed by experience level and the specific company. While some workers in this profession — just under a third — do not have any health coverage, more than half do receive medical benefits and slightly more than half have dental insurance. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Forklift Drivers — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. Responses to PayScale's salary questionnaire form the basis for this outline.
Forklift Driver Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$19,844 - $54,121
(Median)
20K
25K
32K
45K
54K
MEDIAN: $32,189
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Forklift Driver Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$9.55 - $17.50
(Median)
9
12
15
18
MEDIAN: $12.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$19K$38K$57K
Salary
$19,844 - $54,121  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
Profit Sharing
$43.06 - $5,106  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$20,363 - $42,323  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 57
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$9$18$27
Hourly Rate
$9.55 - $17.50  
   
Overtime
$12.54 - $25.99  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
   
Profit Sharing
$43.06 - $5,106  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$20,363 - $42,323  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,218
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Job Description for Forklift Driver

Forklift drivers operate forklifts and other material-handling equipment to move products from one part of a facility to another. They must be able to occasionally lift heavy items, as they will often rearrange merchandise which is not properly positioned. Forklift drivers must have good hand-eye coordination because forklifts are sophisticated pieces of machinery which require some skill to manage effectively.
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Forklift Driver Tasks
  • Assist the receiving staff by placing the merchandise in the proper location throughout the warehouse using a scanner.
  • Return the merchandise to the proper location.
  • Operate forklift.
  • Assist stockers as needed.

Common Career Paths for Forklift Driver

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While Forklift Drivers do not often become Warehouse Managers, the job usually pays $42K per year. The most common career progression for Forklift Drivers leads to becoming a Warehouse Worker, where pay is typically $26K. However, many Forklift Drivers also opt to become Warehouse Supervisors, a position that pays $40K on average.

Forklift Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Forklift Driver

The biggest paychecks can be found at Costco Wholesale Company — the median salary there is $38K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $29K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $53K. Costco Wholesale Company is also at the bottom of the scale.

Forklift Drivers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Inventory Control, Receiving, Production Support, and Order Inventory are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like forklift. It is not unusual for someone who knows Receiving to be familiar with Shipping as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Forklift Driver

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $26K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $29K. For Forklift Drivers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $31K. Forklift Drivers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $32K. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; a majority of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up close to a fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than two percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining about one in eight.

Pay Difference By Location

Fort Worth
up arrow 16%
Chicago
up arrow 9%
San Diego
up arrow 8%
Columbus
up arrow 6%
Toledo
up arrow 6%
Los Angeles
up arrow 4%
Cincinnati
up arrow 2%
Atlanta
0%
National Average
$28,000
Baltimore
up arrow 2%
Orlando
up arrow 3%
Dallas
up arrow 4%
Houston
up arrow 6%
Charlotte
up arrow 10%
Indianapolis
up arrow 13%
Phoenix
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Forklift Drivers, working in the bustling city of Fort Worth has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Also paying near the top of the field are Chicago, San Diego, Toledo, and Columbus, where Forklift Drivers annually earn 9 percent, 8 percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent more than the national average. The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Phoenix. Employers pay around 13 percent less in Indianapolis and 10 percent less in Charlotte, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Forklift Driver Reviews

What is it like working as a Forklift Driver?
Forklift Driver in Paragould:
"Job u can retire from."
Pros: It is not physically challenging and I can do this job into my retirement years.
Cons: The pay.

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Experience Affects Forklift Driver Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 15%
Experienced
up arrow 9%
Mid-Career
up arrow 3%
National Average
$28,000

Skills That Affect Forklift Driver Salaries

Inventory Control
up arrow 9%
Receiving
up arrow 5%
Production Support
up arrow 2%
Order Inventory
0%
National Average
$28,000
Shipping
up arrow 1%
forklift
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 205 votes.

Gender

Female
9%
female alumni
 
Male
91%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 68% dental benefits Dental: 54%
vision benefits Vision: 44% employee benefits None: 30%