Washington is a big state and you can easily find job as forklift operator. You can find employment in the airports, warehousing and logistics companies. But before you go out there and send your resume, you need to have a forklift license. Having one can definitely be your advantage landing for a job.
Your skill as forklift operator in very in demand in Seattle due to tight storage business operation and you can earn as much as $43,000 per year. In fact, US BLE states that Washington offers the best employment rate for forklift operators and this can be expected until the year 2020.
If you are switching career or planning to be relocated in this state for employment as forklift driver, here’s what you need to know:
Forklift License Application
Washington does not specify standard for forklift training, however, it does follow the OSHA standard that forklift training must be composed of formal education, forklift driving practice test and evaluation must be given to forklift trainees to measure their skills.
- For every operator wishing to enter into this career, you need to make sure the type of forklift truck you want to drive because the training curriculum the trainer will give you will be based on this. See Below the Types of Forklifts.
- Register for forklift training. Where? We’ve listed down forklift training schools in Washington, See Below the Training Schools.
- Attend the in-class discussion. You will be presented with learning materials (computer-based, handouts for reading, etc).
- Complete the forklift driving demonstration. The trainer will supervise you and rate you accordingly. He has checklist with set of task you need to accomplish, he will rate your performance.
- A written test will be given to all students. Pass the exam (the passing rate is 75% but may depend, ask about it) and the trainer will certify you.
- You will then receive your certificate of forklift training and an operator card.
- Your forklift license is valid for three years and you can use when applying for a job in any state.
Employer-Provided Forklift Training
This only applies when you are presently employed, the one accountable for your forklift training is your employer.
Aside from the training, your company can give recertification to forklift operators in cases such as: operator is implicated in an accident, seen driving the truck in dangerous method that endangers the safety of himself and others, when operator assigned to work using other forklift truck other than those he’s trained with, when there’s a change of work environment then retraining must deal with workplace specifics, and license has expired.
Types of Forklift Trucks
- Type One – Electric motor forklifts (counterbalanced forklifts)
- Type Two – Electric motor narrow aisle forklifts (order pickers, reach fork trucks)
- Type Three – Electric motor hand or hand/rider forklifts (pallet jacks)
- Type Four – Internal combustion (IC) engine (Those forklift with solid/cushioned tires)
- Type Five – Internal combustion (IC) engine forklifts (Those kinds of forklift with pneumatic tires)
Forklift Training Schools in Washington
700 S. Chicago St., Seattle, WA 98108, 800.468.3013
Visit website: www.washingtonlift.com, contact: Brian Parris at 206.576.0218
Forklift Operator Certification Services (FOCS)
PO Box 142 Lakebay, WA 98349
The company serves the following cities: Seattle, Tacoma, Redmond, Kent Auburn, Puyallup, Renton, Fife and some other location in WA.
Washington State University - EHS
Pullman WA, contact 99164-1172
Serves Washington and many other states
17300 West Valley Hiway, Tukwila
Puget Sound Training Center
270 SW 43rd Bldg 3, Renton,
Columbia Industrial Training & Education (CITE)
2918 SW 11th St., Battle Ground
Provides on-site training
Forklift Training Center, Inc.
8830 Talon Lane NE, Lacey
University of Washington, Environmental Health & Safety
201 Hall Health Center, Mail Stop: 354400, Seattle
Toyota Lift Northwest
19305 72nd Ave S, Kent
Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation
3500 W. Valley Highway N., Suite 101
Auburn 98001-2436, 253-333-2100
Inland Northwest AGC
4935 E. Trent Avenue, Spokane
P: (509) 535-0391
F: (509) 535-3706
Clover Park Technical College
4500 Steila Boulevard SW
17214 110th Avenue
Training Fee: $195.00
Recertification Fee: $85.00
Serves other states
Mid Columbia Forklift
1007 North 16th Avenue,
2605 North Commercial Ave.,
5534 Industry Lane
4138 B Place N.W.
North West Handling
1100 SW 7th ST Renton, WA 98057
(253) 833-9111 ext. 2535
Statewide Forklift Certification
11002 34th Ave S Lakewood
Salary of Licensed Forklift Driver in this State
As of February 2016, the average salary of forklift operator in this state ranges from $29,956-$38,390 yearly. If you are working in Seattle where forklift operators can make higher salary at an average of $36,076 per year. If you want to work in Idaho, the forklift operator salary is little lower.
I always suggest when making career progress, a forklift train the trainer program must be taken if you want to step up as your company’s safety trainer.
You can promoted as warehouse team lead or supervisor, if you can show sign of work attitude maturity, loyalty to the company, work productivity, so be serious at your job.
For more help and assistance about federal regulations, policies and forklift licensing matters, you can visit concerning offices:
Labor & Industries (L&I), Washington State
OSHA - Washington
PO Box 44600, Olympia, WA 98504-4620