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Forklift driver

Alternative titles for this job include Forklift operator, forklift truck driver

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

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Forklift driver

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include the Level 2 Award or Certificate in Forklift Truck Operations.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More Information


You can get into this role through a supply chain warehouse operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs. Some employers may ask for GCSEs, including English and maths.

You'll have an advantage if you've got a forklift training certificate, though your employer may put you through training to get one when you start work.

Experience of loading and unloading goods and materials in a warehouse, in freight transport or on a building site would be useful.

More Information


Career tips

Make sure you get a copy of your forklift training certificate so you can use it for job applications. Unlike a driving licence, no forklift licence is issued.

Further information

You can find out more about working as a forklift driver in construction from Go Construct.

You can find details of approved forklift training providers through the Accrediting Bodies Association - Workplace Transport.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • practical skills for repairing and maintaining equipment
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • concentration skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • check equipment daily and use it safely
  • load and unload goods from lorries, ships or aircraft
  • use radio frequency equipment to keep in touch with other staff
  • manually handle goods when necessary
  • stack goods and move them around in storage bays
  • pick and pack orders
  • complete paperwork for delivery notes and stock control

Working environment

You could work at a port, on a construction site, at an airport, in a warehouse or in a factory.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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).

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

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Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a Forklift driver?

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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