forklift license IowaIn the state of Iowa, if you want to become a forklift operator, you must be licensed first. A licensed operator can demand more salary than those uncertified. The employer can save money and effort hiring certified drivers that means you will become more attractive and have a greater chance of getting a job offer.

Forklift certification both benefits the employee and employer. A certified employee works better and commits less mistake boosting his efficiency and minimizing the cost associated with production. A licensed operator is usually productive and can complete the job at a lesser time without posing risk to other people or merchandise. 

If you are one of the individuals who want to enter this career, you have to go through the formal training. It is just a short course that could take up a day or two. The duration or length will depend on the type of forklift you want to operate, your skill level and the number of trainees in a class. When you completed the training, you will be ready to work in many industries like manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics. 

If you do not how the process of certification, here’s a readied step by step tutorial to walk you through.

Getting Your Forklift License

  1. Determine what forklift certification suits your requirements. There are many types of forklifts and certification must be specific to the type of forklift you will be operating. 
  2. Find a training school or provider that offer a training course which meets OSHA standards. Enroll for the course.
  3. To ensure that you have the proper training, you must take the formal and practical training. The formal training encompasses classroom lectures and instruction. At the end of this part, you must take an examination. To pass the tests, you can browse these topics: how to pass the written exam and pass the practical test.
  4. You must be competent to drive the forklift and it will be taught during the practical training. You must complete a set of tasks the trainer will give to you. Your performance will be assessed likewise by the trainer.
  5. If you pass both the practical and formal training, you will receive a certificate of completion and wallet size license card. If you failed the tests, you can retake it. Here's how to Retake to Pass the Tests.
  6. The certification or license is only valid for three years. To renew it, you can READ this topic: How to Renew Your Forklift Certification?

Here are the important topics that you help you in your career:

Forklift Training Schools and Centers in Iowa

Below are the forklift training providers in Iowa, before you talk to them, I would like to read this article: How to Choose the Best Forklift Training School.

  • Hupp Toyota Lift - 285 33rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, 319.362.0098, 1.844.552.7216
  • MH Equipment - 1711 Second Avenue, Des Moine, has other locations in Iowa
  • The Greater Iowa City Area Home Builders Association - PO Box 3396 • 11 S Gilbert Street • Iowa City, IA 52244-3396 • Phone: 319-351-5333 • Fax: 319-358-2443
  • The University of Northern Iowa - 1227 W 27th St, Cedar Falls, +1 319-273-2311
  • Herculift - Des Moines, IA 50313, +1 515-964-9273
  • Riekes Equipment Co. - 712.233.1494, 3306 Northbrook Drive, Sioux City, IA
  • Contractor Sales & Service - 2020 NE Broadway Ave. Des Moines, 844-CSS-BOOM, 515-266-4449
  • Torrance - 1495 Hawkeye Dr., Hiawatha, 319-247-6039
  • Iowa Laborer's Education and Training Trust Fund - 3400 E Euclid, Suite C, Des Moines, IA 50317, Phone: 515-270-6965, Fax: 515-270-6962
  • Environmental Health & Safety - 122 Grand Ave. Court, Iowa City, Phone: 319-335-8501
  • Iowa State University - 2408 Wanda Daley Drive, Ames, (515) 294-5359
  • Iowa Valley Community College District - 3702 S. Center Street, Marshalltown, 641-752-4645
  • Eastern Iowa Community College - Davenport, IA 52801, 1-888-336-3907
  • Northwest Iowa Community College - 603 West Park Street, Sheldon, (712) 324-5061 • (800) 352-4907
  • Southeastern Community College - 1500 W Agency Rd, West Burlington, +1 319-752-2731
  • Hawkeye Community College - 844 W 4th St, Waterloo, +1 319-296-2320
  • Iowa Central Community College - One Triton Circle, Fort Dodge, (515)574-1900
  • Kirkwood Community College - 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA, +1 319-398-5411

Requirements To Become a Licensed Forklift Operator

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Must not be minor, 18 is the legal age
  • You must have a forklift license before operating any machine
  • Forklift operation requires long hours of work, the operator must be fit and in good health.
  • Must have the organizational skill to correctly monitor stocks and materials.
  • Must be able to stand the high temperature inside the warehouse.



Salary of a Licensed  Forklift Operator

If you will work in this state as a forklift operator, you can make an average yearly salary of $38,874. In Illinois, the wage is higher. 

According to the latest report (February 27, 2023) of, below are the cities and towns of Iowa that offer the high salary for forklift drivers:

$39,058 - Ackworth $38,681 - Kirkville
$38,817 - Alburnett $37,876 - Lewis
$39,228 - Ankeny $38,768 - Lisbon
$38,863 - Ames $38,503 - Long Grove
$39,009 - Bevington $38,866 - Marion
$39,131 - Booneville $38,887 - Maxwell
$38,863 - Bridgewater $37,896 - Mediapolis
$40,357 - Buffalo Center $37,880 - Miles
$38,744 - Center Point $38,960 - Mingo
$36,62 - Cedar Falls $38,793 - Mount Vernon
$38,866 - Cedar Rapids $38,500 - North English
$38,404 - Council Bluffs $38,866 - Palo
$38,888 - Cresco $38,960 - Patterson
$38,500 - Durango $38,681 - Pulaski
$38,381 - Durant $40,357 - Riceville
$38,552 - Eldridge $38,500 - Riverside
$39,106 - Elkhart $37,560 - Rutland
$38,866 - Fairfax $37,944 - Saint Anthony
$37,728 - Forest City $38,500 - Thornburg
$38,681 - Fremont $37,876 - Thurman
$37,930 - Grand Mound $38,193 - Underwood
$38,369 - Halbur $38,622 - Urbana
$39,082 - Indianola $38,500 - Webster
$40,357 - Joice $38,863 - Williamson


Here's the salary matrix of forklift operator by state and city.

The demand for forklift operator continuous to rise. An employer can pay more depending on the experience and knowledge level of the operator. Likewise, you have certifications to drive many types of machines, you can ask for higher salary.

If you want to  work for other company, country or state, READ these topics to help you:

Governing Authorities

If you have issues you want to clarify regarding occupational safety and health, wage and benefits, you can nearest offices about your concerns:

Iowa Division of Labor
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319-0209
Phone: 515-281-5415

Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Agency

Cities and Towns of IA

Adel, Albia, Algona, Allison, Anamosa, Atlantic, Audubon, Bedford, Bloomfield, Boone, Burlington, Carroll, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Chariton, Charles City, Cherokee, Clarinda, Clarion, Clinton, Corning, Corydon, Council Bluffs, Cresco, Creston, Dakota City, Davenport, Decorah, Denison, Dubuque, Dyersville, Eagle Grove, Eldora, Eldridge, Elkader, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Evansdale, Fairfax, Fairfield, Forest City, Fort Dodge, Fort Madison, Garner, Glenwood, Greenfield, Grinnell, Gruver, Grundy Center, Guthrie Center, Hampton, Harlan, Hawarden, Hiawatha, Hudson, Humboldt, Huxley, Ida Grove, Independence, Indianola, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Jefferson, Johnston, Kalona, Keokuk, Knoxville, La Porte City, Lake Mills, Lamoni, Le Claire, Le Mars, Leon, Lisbon, Logan, Lone Tree, Madrid, Manchester, Maquoketa, Marengo, Marion, Marshalltown, Mason City, Milford, Missouri Valley, Mitchellville, Montezuma, Monticello, Mount Ayr, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Muscatine, New Hampton, Nevada, Newton, North Liberty, Northwood, Norwalk, Oelwein, Ogden, Onawa, Orange City, Osage, Osceola, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Pella, Perry, Pleasant Hill, Pocahontas, Polk City, Postville, Primghar, Red Oak, Robins, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, Rockwell City, Sac City, Sergeant Bluff, Sheldon, Shenandoah, Sibley, Sidney, Sigourney, Sioux City, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Story City, Sumner, Tama, Tipton, Toledo, Traer, Urbandale, Vinton, Walford, Wapello, Washington, Waterloo, Waukon, Waverly, Webster City, Wellman, West Des Moines, West Liberty, West Union, Williamsburg, Windsor Heights, Woodbine

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