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


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a 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) 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, 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

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
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work at a port, on a construction site, at an airport building, 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

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

Apprenticeships In England

ATA Apprentice Branch Assistant - Rochester ME2 4AD (MM)

  • Wage : £185.00 - £235.00 Weekly
  • Location: Rochester ME2 4AD

Warehousing Apprenticeship Level 2

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe DL5 6DX

Courses In England

ITSSAR Telescopic Rough Terrain Lift Truck Under 9m (Experienced)

  • Provider: Moulton College
  • Start date: 28 October 2019
  • Location: Northampton

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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