Average Forklift Operator Hourly Pay

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The average hourly pay for a Forklift Operator is $13.93.
MEDIAN $13.93
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United States (change)
Hourly Rate
$11 - $18
$100 - $3,180
Profit Sharing
$70 - $3,026
$0 - $900
Total Pay
$23,116 - $43,368

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Job Description for Forklift Operator

Forklift Operator Tasks
  • Operate a forklift to move and stack merchandise.
  • Keep an inventory of product availability and location.
The top respondents for the job title Forklift Operator are from the companies XPO Logistics, DHL and The Home Depot Inc.. Reported salaries are highest at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc where the average pay is $18.92. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Americold Logistics LLC and Tyson Foods, Inc., earning around $16.45 and $13.74, respectively. Amazon.com Inc pays the lowest at around $12.32. The Home Depot Inc. and XPO Logistics also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $12.78 and $13.13, respectively.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Forklift Operator. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Forklift Operator
Forklift Driver
Warehouse Supervisor
Material Handler
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Forklift Operator Job Listings

Popular Skills for Forklift Operator

Skills in Shipping, Machine Operation, Safety Compliance and Picking are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Inventory Control.

Pay by Experience Level for Forklift Operator

An entry-level Forklift Operator with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $12.55 based on 159 salaries. An early career Forklift Operator with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $13.26 based on 3,159 salaries. A mid-career Forklift Operator with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $14.06 based on 1,719 salaries. An experienced Forklift Operator with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $14.61 based on 1,923 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $15.
Employees with Forklift Operator in their job title in Chicago, Illinois earn an average of 3.7% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Houston, Texas (1.7% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Memphis, Tennessee (5.9% less), Dallas, Texas (4.2% less) and Columbus, Ohio (2.2% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 8,015 survey responses.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career