Forklift Driver Salary (United States)

Male Forklift Drivers number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $12.37 per hour in the United States. Pay ranges from $9.55 per hour on the low end to $17.50 on the higher side. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is residency, followed by tenure and the specific company. While some workers in this profession—around one third—do not have any health coverage, more than half do receive medical benefits and more than half have dental insurance. Most people on this career path report moderate levels of job satisfaction. The numbers for this synopsis were furnished by individuals who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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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Though some Forklift Drivers move into positions like Warehouse Manager (where salaries climb a $13,885), this progression is not the norm. A Warehouse Worker role is the most prevalent career advancement for Forklift Drivers, though paychecks actually shrink by $1,938. a Warehouse Supervisor position is another common transition for Forklift Drivers; in this role, salaries typically increase by $12,375.

Forklift Driver Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Forklift Driver

Forklift Drivers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Costco Wholesale Company, where typical salaries come to $38,360, though the large difference in pay between employees at the top ($29K) and those starting out ($53K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.

Pay by Experience Level for Forklift Driver

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Forklift Drivers, experience in the field does not tend to play a major role in salary decisions; in general, pay does not go up drastically with more experience, and earnings grow incrementally instead. Starting out, salaries fall in the $26K range but grow to $29K after five to 10 years. Those who spend a decent amount of time in this profession—one to two decades—usually make about $31K. After 20 years in the field, Forklift Drivers see their salaries growing more slowly, eventually averaging out to $33K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about a quarter of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 2 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 12 percent. More than half of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience.

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, busy Fort Worth offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 16 percent above the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Chicago, San Diego, Toledo, and Columbus, where Forklift Drivers typically earn around 9 percent, 8 percent, 6 percent, and 6 percent more than usual. Phoenix ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 15 percent below the national average. Employers in Indianapolis and Charlotte also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-13 percent and -10 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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