forklift license IllinoisJust like any other state in the US, Illinois required all employers and individuals alike to obtain a 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 its 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 pieces of advice for the employer who is seeking certification for their operators, CHECK these useful topics to guide you:

What Do 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. A 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 the company has a large fleet of heavy equipment 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 to the type of machine you will be 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 operators takes longer and you may spend a 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.

A 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 the forklift certification course?

During the forklift training course, the trainer will teach the applicants inside the classroom, lectures to be given that covers areas of safety procedures, OSHA rules and legislation, accident prevention, risk analysis, accident, and near-miss reporting, principles of forklift counterbalance, forklift stability and load, truck characteristics, capacity, types of forklifts and features, and video presentation of accidents so that applicants can learn a 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; the trainer will give a set of tasks to accomplish. The trainer supervises the practical training and gives performance evaluation.

The applicant must pass the theoretical test and the trainer’s assessment to complete the course. Successful applicants will be issued with a certificate of training completion and a 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 retraining should be done to new it.

Who deserved to take the forklift retraining

  • Retraining is given to those operators who operate other types of forklift they have no experience handling.
  • Operators with expiring licenses 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 the forklift in an unsafe way.



Forklift Training Schools 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 - 888-699-4800
  • City Colleges of Chicago - 226 W. Jackson, Chicago, Tel: (312) 553-2500
  • 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
  • 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
  • Joliet Junior College - 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, Phone: +1 815-729-9020
  • 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
  • Forklift Academy - (888) 381-2572
  • National Lift Truck, Inc. - 3333 Mt Prospect Rd, Franklin Park, Phone: +1 800-469-6420
  • McHenry County College - 8900 U.S.Hwy 14, Crystal Lake, Phone: +1 815-455-3700
  • Wolter Group LLC - 490 W North Frontage Rd, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, Phone: (630) 754.4440
  • Bahrns ToyotaLift - 1693 County Rd 2200 East, St. Joseph, IL 61873 Phone: (217) 469-9520, Toll Free: (888) 469-9520
  • Illinois Manufacturing - 620 Dakota Street • Crystal Lake, IL 60012, (815) 893-0895
  • Rock Valley College - 3301 North Mulford Road, Rockford, Call 815-921-3900
  • Kishwaukee College - 21193 Malta Road, Malta, IL, 815-825-2086 TTY: 815-825-9106, call 815-825-9441
  • A Lift Above Inc - 699 Walnut, Unit B, Elmhurst, IL Phone: 630-758-1023
  • Sharp Fork Lift Training - (847) 393-5840, Classes in Chicago & Northern IL
  • DeKalb Chamber of Commerce - 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, Phone: 815-756-4893 x227
  • Equipment Depo - 751 Expressway Dr., Itasca, IL 60143, Telephone (630) 562-4900
  • Danville Area Community College - 2000 East Main Street, Danville, IL 61832, Call 217-443-3222
  • MH Equipment - 111 Carver Lane, East Peoria, Illinois 61611

Who can take the forklift training course

  • An applicant must be 18 years old and older. Employers or training schools cannot and will not accept minors.
  • The 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.
  • Must be able to understand the English language. Proper communication is key during training lectures and practical operation, so the applicant must know English.
  • The applicant must attain high school and possessed a diploma. He can present also GED certificate to prove his educational attainment.
  • All applicants must wear proper and correct personal protective equipment during the lectures and hands-on forklift operation.

Useful Tips When Searching for Job as a Forklift Operator



Salary of a Licensed Forklift Operator in Illinois

In the state of Illinois, a certified operator can make an average wage of $41,7179 per year. If you have more experience and are skilled in driving many types of forklifts, you can demand more. Indiana, the salary of forklift operators is a little lower.

According to the last February 27, 2023 report of, the towns of Illinois that offer high pay for forklift operators are as follows:

$42,704 - Addison $42,834 - Evanston
$39,700 - Alden $42,818 - Evergreen Park
$39,670 - Alhambra $42,851 - Forest Park
$39,800 - Alton $42,300 - Fox Valley
$39,992 - Antioch $42,607 - Geneva
$39,618 - Apple River $42,753 - Glenview
$41,875 - Arlington Heights $42,786 - Golf
$40,358 - Aroma Park $42,517 - Hanover Park
$39,759 - Ashton $42,769 - Hickory Hills
$42,488 - Aurora $40,605 - Huntley
$41,634 - Barrington $42,688 - Itasca
$42,607 - Bartlett $42,786 - Justice
$42,834 - Bedford Park $39,759 - Kent
$42,818 - Bellwood $42,818 - La Grange Park
$42,283 - Bloomingdale $41,791 Lemont
$42,753 - Blue Island $41,482 - Manhattan
$41,920 - Bolingbrook $42,834 - Melrose Park
$42,802 - Bridgeview $41,572 - Midlothian
$42,834 - Broadview $42,607 - Millbrook
$41,625 - Buffalo Grove $41,578 - New Lenox
$39,938 - Caledonia $42,704 - Northbrook
$39,824 - Capron $42,851 - Oak Park
$42,297 - Carol Stream $42,721 - Palos Park
$41,061 - Cary $42,802 - Park Ridge
$41,932 - Channahon $41,596 - Posen
$42,851 - Chicago $41,843 - Prospect Heights
$42,786 - Chicago Ridge $42,851 - River Forest
$39,930 - Columbia $42,737 - Robbins
$39,759 - Compton $42,389 - Roselle
$41,797 - Crest Hill $41,183 - Sandwich
$42,688 - Darien $42,411 - Schaumburg
$41,637 - Deerfield $42,721 - Techny
$42,737 - Des Plaines $42,737 - Villa Park
$41,293 - Elburn $42,143 - Wheaton


If you are intending to look for more details about state legislation, 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

Other Areas of Il

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