How much do forklift jobs pay?
On average, a forklift operator in the UK makes £23,400 per year or £12 per hour. Those just starting out in their career make around £21,450 per year and the most experienced workers can make up to £31,200 per year.
Despite this, there are rare circumstances where you can make £27 an hour, possibly more. Those with the higher rates will be associated with unique roles that could require using multiple styles of forklifts or are asked to work during unsociable hours.
Are forklift jobs easy?
A forklift driver’s job is not an easy one. They are responsible for lifting and moving heavy objects, often in tight spaces with little room for error. This means a driver requires a high level of coordination and attention to detail.
It’s much more than just driving from one location to another. In fact, the occupation has some of the highest accident rates. Therefore, the main concern of being a forklift operator is making sure that you are doing your job in a way that doesn’t put others at risk.
In this industry, there are over 1300 forklift truck accidents a year. This means across the UK, there will be at least 3 accidents today alone. These accidents can be very serious leading to life-altering complications or even result in death.
Because of this, it is important that if you are looking for a role that involves operating a lift truck you need to be trained. Being a forklift driver requires no academic qualifications, but you will need the correct level of training your workplace requires.
How to get a forklift license in the UK?
In all honesty, there’s no such thing as a “forklift license”. Although the job does not require a license, it does require being forklift certified. To become forklift certified, you will need to complete a course for a certificate showing your ability to handle and use a machine with care. You must also be at least 16 to drive a forklift.
There are a variety of different courses you can take based on the type of truck you are looking to handle. Here are some of the more popular vehicle courses available:
- Reach truck
- Pivot truck
- Rough terrain masted
- PPT (Power Pallet Truck)
Typically these courses will run at three levels. The first level is the “Novice Course”, this is for beginners who have no experience. Next is “Experienced”, this is for people who have used the machine but never received formal training. The final level is “Refresher”, which is for people who need to renew their certification.
A certification is usually valid for up to three years and employers are unlikely to hire an employee with a certification older than this. Additionally, health and safety standards are constantly being amended to reduce the high number of accidents. This means that sometimes a certification can be viewed as outdated despite being less than 3 years old.
How long is forklift training?
A typical course is 3-5 days long. The length of the training course is usually dependent on the level of background training that you have and the size of the class. Those who are booked into smaller classes or have previous experience driving a forklift truck will get their certification faster.
Can you get a forklift certification online?
The “Novice” and “Experienced” courses can not be effectively run through online learning only. Operators with no formal training will need to find a class they can attend in person. The theory and knowledge parts of the forklift can be taught online. Therefore a “Renewal” of a forklift certification can be done online.
How much does it cost to get a forklift license?
The price you pay to get a forklift license depends on how specialised you want your course to be. However, prices usually average between £200 to £700 in the UK. Typically a “Novice” course for a counterbalance forklift, the most commonly used forklift, will set you back £300.
Best forklift trucks for beginners
If you find a job as an operator, you are likely to have access to a wide range of vehicles from different brands. However, there are brands that create models made for new operators which still provide all the essential roles you need. If you are hiring new operators, you may want to consider making these vehicles part of your fleet.
When thinking of specific trucks that are great for beginners the Toyota 5FBE15, Nissan NOIL15HQ and G-Series FB15 immediately come to mind. These three are selected due to them being well-respected electric models. If you are wondering why we have singled out electric models then check out our article on the benefits of electric forklifts. The most important aspect useful for beginners is the absence of a clutch with an electric model. Therefore, you only have to worry about the steering wheel and accelerator when navigating a warehouse. This can take away some of the stress a new driver might experience.
Speak to Premier
Our team can’t tell you whether or not a job in forklift truck operation is for you. However, we can give you expert advice on what model will benefit you or your team. So why not call us on 01254 583 533?