Job Description and Educational Requirements for Forklift Drivers
Forklift Operator Jobs: Education, Common Duties, and Employment Options
There are likely some people who think it could be a lot of fun to drive and manoeuver a forklift around a warehouse floor, zipping along at high rates of speed and making sharp 180-degree turns. But if that is what they think forklift operator jobs are all about, they are sadly mistaken.
Forklift driver jobs are a far cry from fun and games; they can be physically demanding and require some formal training as well as intense concentration on the part of the operator to get the work done in a safe and effective fashion. And forklift jobs are much more important than merely moving and stacking materials from one place to another; without the skills and expertise of forklift operators, retailers, warehouses, distribution centres, and manufacturers would struggle to meet their clients’ needs.
The following responsibilities are most often included in forklift operator job descriptions:
- Receiving and storage of incoming shipments
- Daily inspection and maintenance of equipment
- Accurately and competently picking and preparing orders
- Inventory management – rotating stock, precise recordkeeping
- Adhering to procedures re: safety and handling of hazardous materials
In terms of the educational background for forklift driver jobs, most employers require a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED), and the minimum age for the legal operation of a forklift is 18 years (in Ontario). The driver training process includes supervised on-the-job instruction plus the successful completion of separate theoretical and practical certification programs, which are usually supported by an employer as well.
Depending on the specific circumstances of forklift operator jobs, individuals may also be required to undergo specialized training for the handling of hazardous materials and the transportation of dangerous goods; it should also be noted that re-certifications for all of the above are scheduled on periodic bases and are mandatory for all forklift driver jobs.
With respect to finding viable employment, forklift operator jobsites will typically include:
- Construction sites
- Big-box retail stores
- Storage yards/facilities
- Shipyards/shipping docks
- Nurseries/landscape supply yards
Certainly, forklift driver jobs are considerably different than what is often portrayed in an accelerated-pace movie clip produced and aired for comedic effect; in reality, these roles require significant skill, a high level of accountability, and unrelenting attention to safety standards to protect the driver, fellow employees, and the goods that they move/handle.
Staffing Agencies Offers Many Advantages in the Search for Forklift Driver Jobs
Of course, the biggest challenge to pursuing any career, including that of a forklift driver, may come from trying to find entry-level employment in that particular field. Due to the need for skilled forklift operators within any supply chain or product distribution system, the competition for these jobs can be quite fierce, not to mention the fact that available positions are not always made known to the general public.
Consequently, people who are conducting their own searches for forklift driver jobs may become rather frustrated and discouraged by their lack of results or success. Therefore, individuals seeking employment as a forklift driver may find the services and resources available from professional staffing agencies like Winters Technical Staffing in Toronto to be most beneficial.
For more than 45 years, Winters Technical Staffing has been a leading staffing agency in the placement of entry-level and experienced forklift operators within the manufacturing and supply chain sectors. There are several advantages to collaborating with a Winters Technical Staffing consultant on a search for forklift operator jobs, including access to:
- Forklift certification programs
- Health and safety training programs
- An established network of employers/contacts
- Non-publicized or non-posted forklift operator jobs
- Immediately-available job opportunities/apprenticeships
- Coaching/guidance on the preparation of an effective resume
Capitalizing on the knowledge and support available from the Winters Technical Staffing consultants will allow individuals seeking forklift operator jobs to conduct more focused, targeted, and expedited searches in an effort to enter the field or advance their career.
Contact Winters Today
If you are interested in pursuing forklift operator jobs but are uncertain of how or where to get started, call the experienced professionals from Winters Technical Staffing today at 416-495-7422 or contact us to request a no-obligation consultation on how we can support your search efforts.