Performing forklift operation in the workplace safely and securely is the number one priority of every employer in Hawaii. With strong manufacturing, agricultural, logistics and warehousing industries, there’s no shortage of job for skilled forklift operators. But before you delve into applying, you must be licensed first. Having a certification is the top concern before an operator gets accepted for a job
An operator without certification or hadn’t been recertified, must take the training, here’s the steps to do it:
Applying for Forklift Certification
The certification course can either be taken by an operator through employer-sponsored training, the employer utilizes their qualified in-house trainer to provide the program. Or if you are new and no prior knowledge driving a forklift, you can follow this steps to get certified:
- You must adhere to the training requirements before looking for a training provider in your area. The requirements are listed below for your reference.
- Enroll in the forklift training in a school that provides a course that meets or exceed OSHA standards. List of training providers in Hawaii is mentioned below for your reference.
- Attend the formal and practical parts of the training course. The formal training usually lasts for four hours and incorporates video and power points presentations, theory lectures, simple quizzes, and student-trainer one-on-one discussions. At the end of the formal training, trainees will be given the written examination. Here's an article to help you pass the written exam and ace the practical test.
- The practical training follows. The actual forklift operation is done at training center’s facility that simulates actual working condition. The trainer supervises the performance of the trainee to grade and evaluate.
- If the trainee is successful completing the course, the training provider will issue him license card and certificate of training at the end of the course. If the trainee is not successful, he can retake the tests, here's a guide taking the retraining.
- The forklift license is valid for three year. Renewal should be done after this period.
Only certified operator must perform forklift driving job, and license must be specific to the type of forklift truck you are operating.
Your certification is valid anywhere in the state of Hawaii for three years. If you are contracted for employment in another state, your certificate is recognized by any state in the U.S. and Canada.
Forklift Training Course Requirements
- An applicant must be 18 years old and older, you need present an ID to verify your age.
- An attendant must have a high school diploma or GED
- Can speak well in the English language. Class participation is need during classroom lectures. The operator doing the actual job must communicate well with other operators to avoid mishaps and near misses.
- In very good health condition. Taking the training, actual work deployment, and working long hours demand operator to be in perfect shape.
- With a good vision. An operator must see everything in his working area to gauge distance while maneuvering and moving the forklift without risking property damage or injury to the people around.
- A good trainee can easily understand trainers instruction.
For detailed information about the requirements, READ this:
Forklift Training Schools in Hawaii
- University of Hawaii - call 455-0470
- Leeward Community College (OCEWD) - 96 Ala Ike St, Pearl City, Phone: +1 808-455-0011
- Vertical Tech - 1024 Kikowaena Pl, Honolulu, Phone: +1 808-841-4700
- Herc Rentals Inc. - 1176 Mikole St, Honolulu, HI 96819, Phone: 808-848-1016
- Hawaii Transportation Association - P.O. Box. 30166, Honolulu, (808) 833-6628, F: (808) 833-8486
- Crane Hawaii - 2909 Waialae Ave MB 17, Honolulu, 808-781-2152
- simplicityHR - 967 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu, HI, (808) 791-4919
- Commercial Training Consultants, Inc. - P.O. Box 844, Aiea, Phone: (808)-430-6980
- Professional Driving Academy - Kalaeloa Airport, Kapolei, Phone: +1 808-239-1371
- Altres – 967 Kapiolani Blvd. Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 591-4950, (808) 591-1711
- A & E Equipment Rentals - 1019 Ulupono St, Honolulu, Phone: +1 808-847-4267
- Going Home Hawaii - 296 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, Phone: +1 808-935-3050
- Hawaii Island Contractors Association - 494 Kalanikoa St # C, Hilo, Phone: +1 808-935-1316
- Kahuku Training Center (Operating Engineers #3 Training Center) - Charlie Rd, Kahuku, Phone: +1 808-232-2001
- Leihoku Group, LLC - 46-328 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, Phone: +1 808-216-4432
- US Forklift Operator Certification - Serves nationwide, Call (866) 556-8732 (USFC)
- IVES Training Group - Call 1-800-643-1144 for details and to make an inquiry
Before you go out there and enroll in a training course, here's a guide to choosing the right forklift training school:
Attending the Training
- Must have a valid driver's license or government-issued I.D as proof of identification.
- You can bring with you a Xerox copy of the certificate of training and license card that you earned in the past.
- You must wear complete PPEs during the hands-on training: hard hat, safety vest, safety glasses, shoes with a steel toe, and long sleeve shirt, pants.
Expected Salary of Forklift Operator in Hawaii
A certified operator employed in Hawaii earns an average of $42,619 per year. But salary could vary depending on the competency level of the operator, size of the business, location of the company and state economic status.
According to Salary.com, as of February 27, 2023, the towns with a high paying salary for forklift drivers in this state are:
|$42,363 - Ewa Beach||$42,344 - M C B H Kaneohe Bay|
|$42,174 - Hauula||$42,287 - Mililani|
|$42,079 - Honolulu||$42,211 - Schofield Barracks|
|$42,268 - Kapolei||$42,117 - Waianae|
|$42,230 - Kunia||$42,250 - Wheeler Army Airfield|
|$42,079 - Lawai||$42,079 - Pahoa|
|$42,117 - Laie||$42,363 - Wake Island|
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of material moving machine operators, which includes forklift operators, is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth may be due to an increase in the demand for goods and materials, which would lead to a need for more workers to move those items.
In terms of the job outlook for forklift operators specifically, it can vary depending on the industry and location. Some industries, such as warehousing and transportation, may have a higher demand for forklift operators than others. Additionally, the job outlook may differ between different areas of Hawaii.
It's always a good idea to research job openings and trends in the specific area where you are interested in working. You may also want to consider obtaining any necessary certifications or training to make yourself a more competitive candidate for forklift operator positions.
Now that You are Trained, Here are the Guides to Help You Advance in Your Career
- Is Driving Forklift the Right Job for You
- Handling Your Job as Newly Trained Forklift Operator
- How to Develop the Right Workplace Attitude
- How to Find Forklift Job Even Without Experience
- How to Turn Your Job into a Lifetime Career
You may contact Hawaii labor office and OSHA area office for more information regarding wage, benefits, industrial safety and health and licensing.
Department of Labor & Industrial Relations
Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH)
830 Punchbowl Street, Suite 321
Honolulu, HI 96813
OSHA Area Office
Honolulu Area Office
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 5-146
Honolulu, HI 96850
Cities of HI
Urban Honolulu, East Honolulu, Pearl City, Hilo, Waipahu, Kailua Cdp, Kaneohe, Mililani Town, Kahului, Ewa Gentry, Kihei, Mililani Mauka, Makakilo, Schofield Barracks, Wahiawa, Kapolei, Wailuku, Royal Kunia, Halawa, Ewa Beach, Kailua Cdp, Waianae, Waimalu, Nanakuli , Lahaina, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Waipio, Kaneohe, Station, Kapaa, Ocean Pointe, Kalaoa, Waihee-Waiehu, Waimea Cdp, Maili, Aiea, Holualoa, Ahuimanu, Makaha, Hickam Housing, Pukalani, Waikele, Haiku-Pauwela, Ewa Villages, Lihue, Waikoloa Village, Kula, Makawao, Napili-Honokowai, Wailea, West Loch Estate, Waimanalo, Wailua Homesteads, Pupukea, Laie, Whitmore Village, Waipio Acres, Heeia, Kahaluu, Hawaiian Beaches, Waimanalo Beach, Hanamaulu, Captain Cook, Kalaheo, Waialua, Hawaiian Ocean View, Haleiwa, Kahaluu-Keauhou, Hauula , Ainaloa, Iroquois Point, Puhi, Lanai City, Kilauea, Orchidlands Estates, Kaunakakai, Mountain View