As a forklift operator, you will be expected to move resources around storage areas, warehouses, factories, construction and work sites. The machine is equipped with a fork to grab heavy objects and a hydraulic lifting mechanism.
Since not everything can be lifted up with the forklift, you might also need to carry heavy objects and kneel, crouch, and crawl in difficult positions. After all, it is a physically intense job.
As per the environment, it depends on your geography. Vancouver has mild winters, so you don’t have to worry about freezing outside during winter. However, you might be exposed to toxic materials, fumes, odors, and loud noises.
Accidents are possible in this line of work, but can be easily avoided if you stick to the safety rules. Just be sure to pay attention to your surroundings and be on the lookout for your co-workers.
Most lift truck drivers work 8 hours shifts, but again it depends on your company. Some warehouses operate 24/7, whilst other places stick to a typical 9 to 5 schedule.
If you look through indeed postings, it is possible to make anywhere between $14-$25, depending on your experience. The longer you have been on the job, the more likely you are to hit that higher range.
Most lift truck driver positions in BC would require you to be at least 18 years old to start the job. Employers would also prefer workers with high school diploma. Depending on the workplace, you will be asked for additional certifications with toxic chemicals and hazardous goods.
Lift truck operation is a “hazardous occupation” and is regulated by WorkSafeBC. You do not need a formal certification (degree) but are required to do regular training courses up to the CSA standards.
Lift truck instructors are certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and OCR. There is a long list of requirements for the instruction of forklift courses, so only those certified by the organizations above can provide forklift driver training courses. Rob’s Forklift Training goes above and beyond to match those regulations and teach you even more about the proper forklift safety.
Once you get your forklift certification, it needs to be renewed every 3 years.
If you are looking to start from scratch (if you have no experience behind the lift truck), you will need to get more experience as a warehouse associate or spend some time in a material moving position before you can get promoted to a more skilled job. After a few years in a skilled job, you can eventually become a supervisor or a manager.