forklift license IllinoisJust like any other state in the US, Illinois required all employers and individuals alike to obtain forklift license to avoid OSHA sanctions and possible penalties for driving heavy equipment without proper certification. Forklift driving is no simple matter, it causes more than 100 deaths each year.

OSHA is very rigorous to implement their regulations and all must comply. If you do not know how to begin, here’s a discussion to guide you through the process.

But before you can continue on, READ these helpful topics that help you get hold of your forklift certification:

Some advices for employer who are seeking certification for their operators, CHECK these useful topis to guide you:

What you need to know to get forklift certification?

Company provided training

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide training for their workers that can be done on-site or at a training facility outside their premises, many schools and centers give such OSHA required training who are needing this certification. List of schools and providers is below for you to check out.

The company can assign a certified trainer to provide the training at own company’s facilities, this type of training usually occurs when company has large fleet of heavy equipments and operators.

The company can also send their operators to training facilities/centers where they can take their course.

It is important to get the training specific only to the type of machine an operator is using.

For New Operator

If you are new to this career and interested to pursue a job in forklift driving, you can undertake a forklift certification course to get your license. There are many colleges in Illinois that provide certification for new operators, check below colleges and centers.

The forklift licensing course for new operator takes longer and you may spend lengthier amount of time finishing the course. It usually more costly as the trainers will intend to give you much information during lectures and evaluate you more keenly during practical training.

New applicant must know beforehand the requirements of training schools and comply with it before submitting their application. The list of training requirements is listed below for your reference.

What covers forklift certification course?

During the forklift training course, the trainer will teach the applicants inside classroom, lectures to be given that covers areas of safety procedures, OSHA rules and legislations, accident prevention, risk analysis, accident and near miss reporting, principles of forklift counter balance, forklift stability and load, truck characteristics, capacity, types of forklifts and features, and video presentation of accidents so that applicants can learn lesson from.

The practical training follows, and this the practice run, this is when you put the knowledge you gained from the classroom lectures into practice. The applicants will be driving the forklifts and trainer will give set of tasks to accomplish. The trainer supervises the practical training and give performance evaluation.

The applicant must pass the theoretical test and trainer’s assessment to complete the course. Successful applicants will be issued with certificate of training completion and small-size license card. The applicant will keep it to submit to his prospective employer to appear desirable for the position when applying.

The forklift license expires after three years and a retraining should be done to new it.

Who deserved to take the forklift retraining

  • Retraining is given to those operators who will operate other type of forklift he’s no experience handling with.
  • Operators with expiring license or certification should get retraining.
  • Those operators involved in severe accidents, near misses, mishaps causing property damage should take the retraining.
  • Those operators who are observed to drive forklift in unsafe way.

Forklift Licensing Colleges and Centers in Illinois

  • Atlas Toyota Material Handling - 5050 N. River Road, Schiller Park, IL 60176, P: +1 847-678-3450
  • IVES IL - 1.800.643.1144
  • Paramount Staffing - Corporate Headquarters, 1200 Shermer Rd, Northbrook, IL; Phone: (847) 559-0676
  • Certify Me Training - 888-699-4800
  • City Colleges of Chicago - 226 W. Jackson, Chicago, Tel: (312) 553-2500
  • Waubonsee Community College - Route 47 Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL; Phone: +1 630-466-7900
  • Yes Equipment and Services - 1151 Bryn Mawr Ave, Itasca, Phone: +1 847-928-9253
  • College of Lake County – 19351 W Washington St, Grayslake, IL; Phone: +1 847-543-2000
  • Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois - 2319 E. War Memorial Drive, Peoria, Phone: (309) 682-1113, (309) 682-8353,
  • Illinois Teamsters Training - 990 NE Frontage Rd, Joliet, Phone: +1 815-773-0700
  • RHI Lifts - 1124 Morse Ave, Schaumburg, Phone: +1 847-447-0700
  • Alta Equipment Co. - 625 District Dr, Itasca, Phone: +1 708-547-7300
  • National Lift Truck, Inc. - 3333 Mt Prospect Rd, Franklin Park, Phone: +1 800-469-6420
  • Voss Equipment, Inc. - 15241 Commercial Ave, Harvey, Tel: +1 866-867-0659
  • Komatsu Forklift of Chicago - 11800 S Austin Ave, Alsip, Ph:+1 708-385-0330
  • Apex Material Handling Corporation - 391 Charles Ct, West Chicago, Ph: +1 630-293-8610
  • Wiese USA - 3500 N. 27th Street, Decatur, Tel: (217) 875-0700
  • Power Connection - 999 Remington Blvd., Suite F, Bolingbrook, phone: 630.679.6899
  • South Western Illinois College - 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, Phone: +1 618-235-2700
  • Joliet Junior College - 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, Phone: +1 815-729-9020
  • Clark the Forklift
  • Park Land College - 2400 W Bradley Ave, Champaign, Phone: +1 217-351-2200
  • Lewis and Clark Community College - 5800 Godfrey Rd, Godfrey, Phone: +1 618-468-7000
  • Occupational Training and Supply, Inc. - 7233 S Adams St, Willowbrook, PH: +1 630-655-3900
  • Safety First Training, Inc. - 807 W. Country Dr. Bartlett, Tel:(630) 880-2083
  • Kotra CDL Kotra Driving School – 35 Old Skokie Rd, Park City, Phn: +1 847-360-1616
  • Forklift Academy - (888) 381-2572
  • National Lift Truck, Inc. - 3333 Mt Prospect Rd, Franklin Park, Phone: +1 800-469-6420
  • RHI Lifts - 1124 Morse Ave, Schaumburg, Phone: +1 847-447-0700
  • McHenry County College - 8900 U.S.Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, Phone: +1 815-455-3700

Who can take the forklift training course

  • An applicant must not be younger that 17 years, 18 and older is the preferred age. Employer or training school cannot and will not accept minors.
  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license. Though it’s not required by all, better to verify with employer or training school if needed.
  • Should speak and write in English. Very common for foreigners taking the course. Proper communication is key during training lectures and practical operation, so applicant must know English.
  • The applicant must attained high school and possessed diploma. He can present also GED certificate to prove his educational attainment.
  • All applicants must wear proper and correct personal protective equipments during the lectures and hand-on forklift operation.

Useful Tips When Searching for Job as Forklift Operator

 How Much is the Salary of a Licensed Forklift Operator in Illinois

In the state of Illinois a certified operator can make at an average of wage of $15.30 per hour. If you have more experience and skillful driving many types of forklifts, you can demand more. Indiana has hourly wage of almost the same.

According to the last March 31, 2017 report of, the towns of Illinois that offer high pay for forklift operators are as follows:

$35,208 - Arlington Heights
$36,367 - Chicago
$36,367 - Cicero
$35,743 - Des Plaines
$36,270 - Evanston
$35,513 - Mount Prospect
$36,072 - Oak Lawn
$36,367 - Oak Park
$35,285 - Orland Park
$35,004 - Schaumburg
$36,260 - Skokie
$35,156 - Tinley Park
$35,099 - Wheaton

If you are intending to look for more details about state legislations, wages and benefits, and forklift licensing guide, you can visit these offices:

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Department of Labor
900 S. Spring St.
Springfield, IL 62704

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