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Forklift Operator Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Forklift Operator, or Material Handler, is an individual who moves stock around a warehouse using a forklift or other types of loading devices. Their main duties include operating forklifts, winches , and other devices, loading and unloading equipment, and storing or relocating materials within the warehouse or factory.

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Forklift Operator duties and responsibilities

A Forklift Operator has many duties and responsibilities that are essential to maximizing the factory or warehouse workflow. Here are some of the common duties and responsibilities that a Forklift Operator should be able to perform:

  • Load, unload, pack, and unpack materials.
  • Label and sort incoming and outgoing shipments.
  • Relocate items within the warehouse or factory.
  • Operate a forklift, winch, or other machinery used for transporting or shipping materials.
  • Track inventory of incoming and outgoing items.
  • Carefully handle and dispose of hazardous waste materials whenever necessary.
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What does a Forklift Operator do?

The Forklift Operator is in charge of loading and unloading materials, both incoming and outgoing of the facility. They are responsible for maintaining the workflow in the factory or warehouse by preparing orders for shipment, storing materials, assisting in taking inventory, and operating the machinery required to safely handle and transport items . They may also be required to operate machinery to transport materials between factories, transportation vehicles, or shipping and loading docks.

Forklift Operator skills and qualifications

There are several skills and qualifications that make for an excellent Forklift Operator candidate. Here are some of the common skills and expertise to look out for in a candidate:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good digital processing skills for inventory tracking
  • Strong organization and time management skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Attention to detail

Forklift Operator experience requirements

A successful candidate does not necessarily need previous experience as a Forklift Operator, but they should have experience working in a factory or a warehouse setting. A successful candidate will have an in-depth knowledge of how the day-to-day operations in these facilities take place and how they could apply their skills and techniques in a new setting to improve the efficiency and workflow of the company.

Forklift Operator education and training requirements

A good Forklift Operator will have a valid driver’s license, and the physical ability to lift and carry heavy materials as needed. In addition, they must have a license to operate a Forklift and other heavy machinery needed for the job. In Quebec, British Columbia, and the Yukon, Forklift Operators are required to have specific training from the governing bodies of their province to be eligible for the position.

Forklift Operator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Forklift Operator is $18.20 per hour . Salaries may vary based on geographic location, type of industry, and the level of experience.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Forklift Operator job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Forklift Operator and a Material Handler?

A Forklift Operator is very similar to a Material Handler in that both positions require the individual to store, load, unload, and pack materials. The difference is in the machinery that they use to conduct their work. A Materials Handler usually does not need any heavy equipment to relocate materials, while a Forklift Operator will need to operate a forklift or other relevant machinery to transport palettes and other materials that cannot be carried by hand.

Do Forklift Operators have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes. While many duties remain the same across the board, specific industries may require Forklift Operators to perform unique tasks. For example, a Forklift Operator in the mining industry will be required to dispose of coal, or handle petroleum products. Depending on the size of the factory or warehouse, a Forklift Operator may also be required to set up equipment or operate conveyors.

What makes a good Forklift Operator job description?

To attract the best candidates, a Forklift Operator job description will need to be clear, concise, and provide details about the job requirements. A good job description will outline all the necessary training and experience requirements, as well as the work schedule and vehicles to be operated. If knowledge of managing hazardous materials is required, it should be stated in the job description. A brief description on the salary or other company benefits is also useful.

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