Ready to Drive? Here’s How to Get Forklift Certified

As industrial workplaces continue to rely heavily on forklifts, employers are in need of certified operators who can perform tasks safely and efficiently. In order to operate a forklift, a certification is required by law. Obtaining certification can be a daunting process, but it is necessary to ensure safety in the workplace. In this article, we will guide you through the steps required to obtain forklift certification.

Importance of Forklift Certification

Obtaining forklift certification is of utmost importance for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures the safety of everyone in the workplace, including the forklift operator, other employees, and visitors. Forklifts are powerful machines that can cause serious injury or even death if not operated properly. By undergoing training and certification, forklift operators learn how to operate the machine safely and minimize the risk of accidents.

In addition to safety, forklift certification also has several other benefits. For example, it can increase job opportunities and earning potential for forklift operators. Many employers require forklift certification as a prerequisite for employment, and some may even offer higher wages to certified operators.

Moreover, forklift certification is required by law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees who operate forklifts are properly trained and certified. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in fines and penalties for employers.

Finally, forklift certification provides operators with a sense of confidence and professionalism. They know they have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a forklift safely and efficiently, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and a more positive work environment.

How to Get Forklift Certification: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s world, safety is of utmost importance in the workplace. One way to ensure safety when operating a forklift is by obtaining forklift certification.

Step 1: Understanding Forklift Certification

Before diving into the process of obtaining certification, it is important to understand what forklift certification entails. Forklift certification is a legal requirement that ensures the safe operation of forklifts. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their forklift operators are certified. Certification training includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training, covering topics such as forklift maintenance, proper operation, and safety measures.

Step 2: Determining Your Eligibility

Before you can obtain forklift certification, it is important to determine your eligibility. To operate a forklift, you must be at least 18 years old and physically able to operate the machinery. Additionally, you must have a valid driver’s license and be able to read and speak English.
Don’t Get Left Behind: How to Get Forklift Certification

Discover the necessary steps for how to get forklift certification and ensure safety in the workplace. Get started today with our step-by-step guide.

Step 3: Finding a Reputable Training Provider

The next step in obtaining forklift certification is finding a reputable training provider. There are many providers available, but not all of them offer the same quality of training. It is important to research and choose a provider that is accredited by a recognized agency and has a good reputation in the industry. Some training providers offer online courses, while others require in-person attendance. Choose the option that best fits your needs and schedule.

Step 4: Completing the Classroom Portion of the Training

Once you have chosen a reputable training provider, you will begin the certification process by completing the classroom portion of the training. This portion covers topics such as OSHA regulations, forklift anatomy and terminology, pre-operational inspections, and load handling. Classroom instruction typically takes between 4 and 8 hours.

Step 5: Completing the Hands-On Portion of Training

After completing the classroom portion of the training, you will move on to the hands-on portion. This portion of the training involves operating a forklift under the supervision of a qualified instructor. During this portion of the training, you will learn how to operate the forklift safely and efficiently, including loading and unloading, maneuvering through tight spaces, and lifting and stacking loads. Hands-on training can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the complexity of the tasks being performed.

Step 7: Passing the Written and Practical Exams

Once you have completed the classroom and hands-on portions of the training, you will be required to pass both a written and practical exam. The written exam covers the material covered in the classroom portion of the training, while the practical exam tests your ability to safely and efficiently operate a forklift. Passing both exams is necessary to obtain certification.

Step 8: Obtaining Your Certification

After passing both the written and practical exams, you will be issued a forklift operator certification. This certification is valid for three years and must be renewed upon expiration. It is important to keep your certification up to date to ensure continued employment in the forklift operation industry.


How much does forklift certification cost?

The cost of forklift certification varies depending on the training provider and location. On average, certification costs between $150 and $200.

Can I obtain a forklift certification online?

Yes, some training providers offer online certification courses. However, hands-on training is still required and must be completed in person.

How long does it take to obtain forklift certification?

The length of time it takes to obtain forklift certification varies depending on the training provider and the complexity of the training. On average, the process can take anywhere from one to three days.

Is forklift certification required by law?

Yes, forklift certification is required by law in order to operate a forklift in the workplace. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their forklift operators are certified.

What happens if I operate a forklift without certification?

Operating a forklift without certification is illegal and can result in fines and penalties. Additionally, it poses a safety risk to yourself and others in the workplace.


Obtaining forklift certification is a necessary process for those wishing to operate a forklift in the workplace. It involves completing both classroom and hands-on training, passing written and practical exams, and obtaining certification from a reputable training provider. By following these steps, you can ensure the safe and efficient operation of forklifts in the workplace, while also securing your employment in the industry.

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