Forklift Driver Salary

by Amit

Forklift operators are a very hard working group of people and they make a decent living at it as well. There are many different factors that will determine the amount of money you make annually as a forklift operator. One of these factors, of course, is the amount of training and experience you have as an operator.

Naturally, the more experience you have the better you understand the machine and the easier job becomes for you. This means you can get more things done in the least amount of time, which saves the company money and you get a bigger paycheck.

Salaries of Forklift Operators

Salaries of Forklift Operators

Your place of employment will also determine the amount of money you can make. There are wide varieties of forklifts and they are all geared towards specific job duties. If you are working for a company that uses forklifts for high altitude work like tree trimming or roofing, then you won’t need as much experience as you would in a dock yard or appliance warehouse where you are constantly lifting objects of different weights and size. Some companies pay hourly and some of them pay commission according to the job that you are currently doing.

Most average forklift operators will make anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000 a year. More advanced operators can make upwards of $60,000 and more, but these are in extremely specialized work areas that require a degree of security or experience that takes years to establish.

Moving machinery at a power substation or any government contract work would be a good example of the kind of expertise you would need to be hired for something that pays that much. That shouldn’t mean that you can’t get there. It just means that you will need a lot of skill and have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours working on a forklift with no issues and a clean background check if it has anything to do with government work, including local and state as well as Federal.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michel velazquez October 20, 2011 at 1:27 am

Hi! My name is Michel, I have been working for a company as a forklift operator for 4 years, and since I started I have earned the minimum wage, I would like to know if there is any way or a law that can help me earn what I deserve?..


Cat Alexandra November 9, 2011 at 4:54 am

Hey Amit,

I had no idea forklift drivers could make that much money. Wow. I guess it goes to show you that you really need to go and get the right skills to be able to earn commensurate to your experience level and also be with the best companies. Great info!

Cat Alexandra


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