A fork lift operator is tasked with distributing, transporting, and accounting for merchandise, material, and/or equipment in industrial settings. They work in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, construction, food services, and general storage. Using a reference to inventoried items (or as directed by a supervisor), the operator locates items to be gathered, moved, or distributed, and then does so. Although the basic purpose of the job is to move and place items from one location to another (i.e., primarily physical labor), the operator may also be required to sort or perform other processing tasks. The operator may also be required to perform general quality-assurance checks.
The operator must be able to properly manipulate a fork lift (raising and lowering it, safely traveling between start and destination) while adhering to proper procedures, guidelines, and regulations for its safe operation. The operator may also be asked to maintain the cleanliness of the work area or the fork lift. Hours vary for fork lift operators, with many individuals usually performing shift work at various points in the day and evening.
Fork lift operators' tasks require basic mathematical and verbal reasoning skills, such as addition and subtraction, verbal reasoning, and reading comprehension. A high school diploma or GED typically is required. Many employers require applicants to provide proof of certification or other demonstration of ability to successfully operate a fork lift.
Forklift Operator Tasks
- Keep an inventory of product availability and location.
- Operate a forklift to move and stack merchandise.