Forklift Operator: Getting Certified

Are you considering starting a career as a Forklift Operator? Perhaps you work in the supply chain industry and want to take on a new role?

Forklift Operators are responsible for loading and unloading goods in warehouses, ports, and airports. They play an important role in keeping things running smoothly in the supply chain industry.

To be suitable for this position you need to get certified, so we’ve put together some information for you to read if you’re considering taking this next step in your career.

Age requirements

 If you’re old enough to leave school you’re old enough to be a forklift truck driver, however, it’s unlikely employers will consider anyone under the age of 18. For that reason, it’s fine to train when you’re 17, but the closer to 18 you are the more chance you have of getting straight into employment when you qualify.

As a forklift licence – like HGV licences – is linked to the weight of the vehicle, the fact that a forklift is heavy and lifts heavy loads means there are age limitations even though they’re smaller vehicles.

Driver’s license

Unless you are going to be driving a forklift truck on a public road, it isn’t essential to have a full UK driving license. You will, however, need to be certified through an industry-recognised accrediting body such as RTITB, ITSAAR, ALLMI, NPORS or AITT. This is crucial so that employers can be assured that everyone operating these machines is properly trained, reducing the chances of workplace accidents or injuries.


The cost of getting your forklift license can vary depending on your previous experience and your location. If you’re starting out from the beginning then you can typically expect to pay around £750 for the course, but for refresher courses or to further your knowledge, you would usually expect to pay around £100-£200. The cost of this can sometimes be partially or fully covered by your employer.


Forklift Operators typically earn around £9.49 per hour to start with, but this tends to increase with further experience and knowledge. The different types of trucks you operate and the weight of the loads you carry can impact your salary too, with some roles paying over £24,000 per year.

Career progression

Forklift Operators can progress in their careers, becoming a Construction Plant Operator, earning up to £28,000 per year. If they want to progress further, they can even go on to become HGV Drivers, who can typically earn up to £40,000 –sometimes even more!

In demand

Forklift Operators are always needed across various industries, from airports to warehouses, so getting certified ensures that you’ll always meet the requirements to work in those roles.

If you’re looking for a job as a Forklift Operator in Northern Island, our team are available to help you in your search. Simply give us a call us on 028 95 219 313 or email us at

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