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Forklift driver Forklift operator, forklift truck driver

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Forklift drivers load and unload goods in warehouses, airports and ports.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £17,000 to £28,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 to 48 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but practical skills in English and maths will help with your training. Experience working in a warehouse could also help you get a job.

You must be over 18 to work in a port.

You’ll need a forklift licence. Your employer can usually arrange training for this. The Accrediting Bodies Association - Workplace Transport (ABA) has details of members who accredit training.

Some jobs may ask for a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

You could to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills
  • the ability to put things in order
  • accuracy and attention to detail

3. What you'll do

You could work at any site that has goods going in and out. This could be a warehouse, a storage facility, a factory, a construction site, an airport or docks.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • checking equipment daily and using it safely
  • loading and unloading goods from lorries, ships or aircraft
  • using radio frequency equipment to keep in touch with other staff
  • manually handling goods when necessary
  • stacking goods and moving them around in storage bays
  • picking and packing orders
  • completing paperwork for delivery notes and stock control

You'll need to follow personal and protective equipment (PPE) requirements and health and safety regulations.

4. Salary

Starter: £17,000

Experienced: £22,000 to £28,000

You may earn extras like a bonus or shift allowance.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 40 to 48 hours a week. Shift work is common.

You'll work indoors and outdoors.

The job is physically demanding.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a shift supervisor or team leader. With further training, you could work as a forklift instructor or maintenance engineer.

You could also become a warehouse manager.

You could move into industries like construction (construction plant operator) or logistics (lorry driver).

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Last updated: 11 September 2018