Forklift Driver Salary
Job Description for Forklift Driver
A forklift driver often works in a warehouse, at a construction site, or in a retail environment. The forklift driver may place items onto the forklift, so this job sometimes requires the ability to lift heavy items. The forklift driver may also have to climb under and on top of railcars, so it is important to be able to perform this physical duty.Read More...
Furthermore, it is important to understand the logistics of the facility being worked in and to place items in the proper area. Usually, the forklift driver will be assigned tasks for the day and then will perform these tasks independently. Communication skills are still essential, in order to help the workflow and to maintain safety. It may be important to be familiar with the workings of a forklift and to perform routine maintenance and troubleshooting if it is not working properly. The forklift driver may also have sending and receiving duties on the loading dock.
There are usually no specific education requirements to this job, though many employers will require a high school diploma. Some jobs will offer on the job training to become a certified forklift driver, while other positions will only hire those who already have prior experience and certification. Job hours vary widely, and some jobs will require the forklift driver to work late-night or early-morning shifts. This job is sometimes carried out in the outdoors, subjecting the driver to unpleasant weather conditions.
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
As Forklift Drivers transition into upper-level roles such as Warehouse Manager, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Warehouse Managers earn $43K on average per year. Forklift Drivers typically move into roles as Warehouse Supervisors or Tractor-Trailer Drivers, and those positions pay $11K more and $13K more, respectively.
Forklift Operator Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Forklift Driver
Many Forklift Drivers can be found at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, CEVA Logistics Ltd., Genco, Tyson Foods, Inc., and The Home Depot Inc., firms that are at the top of the field. Costco Wholesale Company offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $50K. Forklift Drivers will also find cushy salaries at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (+$41K), Tyson Foods, Inc. (+$27K), and The Home Depot Inc. (+$27K).
Ryder Integrated Logistics Inc, Genco and The Home Depot Inc. are three other employers with a reputation for below-average pay, showing salaries around $26K, $27K, and $27K.
Popular Skills for Forklift Driver
Forklift Drivers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Safety Compliance, Machine Operation, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and Inventory Control are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 12 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Picking, Forklift Operator, and forklift driver. 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.
For many Forklift Drivers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $28K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $30K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $33K. Forklift Drivers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $35K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Forklift Drivers, working in the bustling city of St. Louis has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Forklift Drivers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+15 percent), Houston (+13 percent), Grand Rapids (+11 percent), and Detroit (+8 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Diego, which sits 9 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Fort Worth and Chicago (9 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).