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Forklift driver

Also known as -

Forklift operator, forklift truck driver

A forklift driver is responsible for delivering, moving, loading and unloading a variety of goods in warehouses and on construction sites.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become a forklift driver

There are several routes to become a forklift driver. You could do a college course, an apprenticeship or apply to an employer directly.

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


You could complete a Level 2 Award or Certificate in Forklift Truck Operations to gain the necessary certificate to become a forklift driver.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


An apprenticeship with a building supplier, warehousing or manufacturing company is a good way into the industry.

You could complete an intermediate apprenticeship in supply chain warehouse operations to become a forklift driver.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

Find out what the entry requirements are where you live.


If you have some basic experience, you could apply directly to a building supply company or off-site manufacturing company to gain experience as a forklift driver. Many companies offer training, so you may not need to have any prior qualifications.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a forklift driver. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a forklift driver include: 

  • Good spatial awareness
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Ability to operate and control equipment
  • Understanding of health and safety.


To become a forklift driver, you could complete a: 

  • Level 2 NVQ in Construction Plant Operations
  • Level 2 Construction Plant Operative Apprenticeship

To become a forklift driver, you could complete a: 

  • SVQ at SCQF Level 5 & Level 6 in Plant Operations - where you would normally learn one piece of plant equipment such as an excavator
  • Modern Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at SCQF Level 5 & Level 6 (Plant Operations) where you would normally train on one piece of equipment such as an excavator

To become a forklift driver, you could complete a: 

  • Level 2 NVQ in Plant Operations
  • Level 3 Apprenticeships in Plant Operations

What does a forklift driver do?

As a forklift driver, you will be responsible for the transportation of goods and pallets around a warehouse or building site.

The role of a forklift driver involves the following duties: 

  • Loading and unloading materials from a variety of vehicles
  • Moving pallet-packed materials around the site or storage facility
  • Checking loads are secure
  • Performing equipment checks and basic maintenance
  • Following written instructions and keeping records
  • Adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Completing physical tasks quickly and accurately.

How much could you earn as a forklift driver?

The expected salary for a forklift driver varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained forklifts driver can earn £17,000 - £22,000
  • Trained forklift drivers with some experience can earn £20,000 - £30,000
  • Senior forklift drivers can earn in excess of £30,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest forklift driver vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a forklift driver, you could transfer your skills to a role such as a plant operator, crane operator or plant mechanic.

With experience, you could progress into a more senior role as a team leader or supervisor or a construction manager.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

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