forklift license michiganThe Michigan state’s forklift licensing requirement is governed by OSHA. All operators in public and private sectors must take the proper training to be allowed to drive forklifts. The regulation is designed to protect operators from harm and employers from lawsuits and severe fines.

If you planning to get forklift certification, we’ve prepared this instruction for you to follow so you can get your license in no time.

Getting Forklift License in Michigan

For Employed Individuals

The best location to get your certification is through employer-sponsored training on-site. The OSHA stipulates that employers are in charge of the training for their forklift operators. The employer will schedule a day and can hire an approved trainer or assessor from the training school to conduct the training at their workplace. During the training, all operators are required to have their competencies assessed by the trainer by taking written tests and actual operation evaluation.



For New Operator with No Prior Knowledge

  1. You can enroll at the training school (we’ve provided the list below) to undergo training. When enrolling, the training course must be specific to the type of forklift you are intending to operate.
  2. The training is composed of three parts. You must take the classroom discussion that usually consumes 4-5 hours where you can learn truck controls and handling, OSHA regulations, federal guidelines, you’ll be presented with Powerpoint or video presentation, safety awareness, proper operational practices, and many other important aspects. The actual operation or practical test follows next. In this part, you are given several instructions such as starting the forklift, maneuvering, loading, unloading, transporting of loads, and proper parking for you to accomplish. The trainer will oversee your operation and then your performance will be evaluated accordingly.
  3. If trainee has been evaluated satisfactorily, the trainee will be given certificate of course completion and forklift license. Bring those documents when applying for a job.
  4. Re-licensing can be done every three years where you need to prove that you maintain your competency driving forklifts.

In this state, an additional permit is required from Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for forklift operators to be obtained through an employer.

I strongly suggest to You to READ these important subjects to help you assist getting your certification:



If you are an employer and seeking training for your workers, here are the matters you need to know, READ these:

Forklift Training Centers in Michigan

  • Bell Fork Lift, Inc. - 34660 Centaur, Clinton Township., Michigan 48035. Toll Free: 888.404.2575
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce - 600 S. Walnut St., Lansing, MI 48933; 1.800.748.0266
  • Detroit Training Center - 5151 Loraine St, Detroit, Phone: 313.221.5876
  • Fraza Forklifts Corporate - Headquarters - 39550 Schoolcraft, Plymouth, MI 48170, T: 800.954.5553
  • Forklift Training USA – 34659 Nova, Clinton Township, Michigan 48035, Tel: 888-404-2575
  • Morrison Industrial Equipment - 1825 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505, 888-928-1610
  • Hull Lift Truck, Inc. - Grand Rapids, Phone: 616-949-4500; Benton Harbor: (269) 849-0701, (888) 284-0364
  • Alta Equipment Company - 2470 W Columbia Ave, Battle Creek, (269) 965-1269, Several more offices in MI
  • Northern Michigan University - 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855-5301, 906–227–1000
  • Fairchild Equipment - (800) 289-9253
  • KMH Fleet Solutions - 633 11th St., Plainwell, MI 49080, Ph: 616-222-0612, Fax: 937-890-2392
  • Macallister Rentals- 6190 Clyde Park Ave SW, Byron Center, (616) 530-2233, (866) 848-2675
  • Integrity Lift Services - 13455 Stamford Ct, Livonia, MI 48150, (734) 838-1970
  • Quantum Lift, Inc. - Toll Free: (855) 249-7163, 21300 MacArthur Blvd Warren MI 48089,
  • Great Lakes Safety Training Center - 1900 Ridgewood Midland, P: (989) 837-2332, Toll: (800) 675-7599
  • Andersen Material Handling - 30575 Andersen Court, Wixom, MI 48393, (877) 960-6800
  • Eastern Michigan University - 203 Boone Hall, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, 734.487.2259 or 800.932.8689
  • Northern Michigan University - 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette, MI 49855-5301, 906–227–1000
  • AIS Training Center - 3600 N. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906, Phone: 517.321.8000, Fax: 517.321.9686
  • Michigan Forklifts - 30880 Industrial Road, Livonia, MI 48150, Phone (734) 744-4855, Fax (734) 795-4656

Importance of the Forklift Certification

The role of the forklift operator in the business is very important. They are tasked to move heavy materials from one location to the next, thus certain elements of danger and risk are at the forefront of the job. Getting the operators trained and certified in compliance with OSHA legislation will sure have its benefits.

A well trained and very competent individual can demand higher salary. The employer will be obliged to give what you may ask because they know the importance of having a skillful operator like you.

Reduced accidents – When the skilled and competent operator performs work, the probability of accidents decreased because they are aware of the risk involved with the job. They’ve been given safety awareness, it is the top priority. Also, they’ve been taught to how to calculate risk with people around in the workplace.

Productive and proficient – certified operators can perform long hours of operation more efficiently without sacrificing work quality. Productivity can only be done by a trained operator who knows how to handle the machine.

Decreased in property damage and loss – With the skills and competency forklift operators gained at the training, you can assure that they’ve been educated to perform their tasks to reduce loss and damage to employer’s assets. A mishandled forklift can lead to huge consequence such as expensive repair of the machine and if such accident will happen - the imposition of fines and penalties by authorities.

Proper maintenance of the machine at the workplace – At the practical training the operators went through, they’ve been instructed to perform basic maintenance and troubleshooting without the help of a mechanic, thus reducing the costly repair and maintenance.



How Much Can You Make as Licensed Forklift Operator

In, Michigan, a certified forklift operator can receive as much as $40,653 per year. In Indiana, the neighboring state, the pay is slightly lower.

If the operator had proven his worth with the company, he can rest assured of promotion and pay increase. If you are wondering how much you would get working in this state, as of February 27, 2023, here are the cities and towns of Michigan that give high pay for forklift operators:

$41,038- Addison $41,146- Highland
$40,333- Adrian $40,526- Howell
$40,747- Algonac $41,050- Huntington Woods
$41,072 - Allen Park $40,755-  Jerome
$40,747- Allenton $41,131- Keego Harbor
$41,916- Ann Arbor $41,808- Lakeland
$41,042 - Auburn Hills $41,072- Lincoln Park
$41,743- Azalia $40,942- Livonia
$41,851- Belleville $40,769- Manitou Beach
$41,028 - Berkley $40,747- Marine City
$40,898- Bloomfiled Hills $40,500- Maybee
$41,895- Bridgewater $40,455- Michigan Center
$41,015 - Brooklyn $40,877- Mount Clemens
$41,851- Canton $41,743- New Hudson
$40,747- Casco $41,721 - Novi
$41,063- Cement City $40,790 - Onsted
$41,786- Chelsea $40,916- Oxford
$41,116- Clarkston $41,072- Pleasant Ridge
$41,721 - Clinton $41,808 - Plymouth
$41,196- Commerce Township $41,028 - Redford
$41,199- Davisburg $41,310 - Romulus
$41,072- Dearborn $41,007- Saint Clair Shores
$41,916- Dexter $41,873- Salem
$40,747- Emmett $40,747- Smiths Creek
$40,855 - Flat Rock $41,078-  Somerset
$40,212- Galesburg $40,942- Sterling Heights
$40,985-  Garden City $39,252 - Temperance
$40,747 - Goodells $40,708- Tipton
$40,749- Grass Lake $40,920- Troy
$41,072- Grosse Pointe $41,159- Union Lake
$41,830 - Hamburg $41,916 - Ypsilanti
$40,836- Hartland  $49,008 - Waldron

If you want to know how much is the salary in every state and city, READ this:



Governing Authorities

If you have questions and you cannot find the answer here, you may contact the governing authorities in Michigan regarding your concerns:

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909

OSHA Area Office
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
315 West Allegan Street, Suite 207
Lansing, Michigan 48933

Cities of MI

Detroit, Warren, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Dearborn, Livonia, Clinton, Canton, Westland, Troy, Farmington Hills, Macomb, Kalamazoo, Shelby, Southfield, Waterford, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, Taylor, St. Clair Shores, Pontiac, Dearborn Heights, Royal Oak, Novi, Ypsilanti, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Kentwood, Redford, Roseville, Georgetown, Portage, Chesterfield, Midland, Bloomfield, Commerce, Meridian, Muskegon, Lincoln Park, Grand Blanc, Holland, Orion, Bay City, Independence, Pittsfield, Jackson, Holland, Eastpointe, Delta, Flint, Brownstown, Port Huron, Southgate, White Lake, Burton, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Van Buren, Northville, Allen Park, Garden City, Plymouth, Mount Pleasant, Wyandotte, Delhi, Inkster, Gaines, Harrison, Blackman, Norton Shores, Romulus, Walker, Summit,

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