Washington is a big state and you can easily find a job as a 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 of landing for a job.
Your skill as a forklift operator is very in demand in Seattle due to tight storage business operation and you can earn as much as $38,000 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 to this state for employment as a 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 a checklist with a set of tasks 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. If you want to know if you can retry if you failed the test, READ this Article.
- 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 if the 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.
If you are an employer and looking for certification for your workers, READ these topics:
- How to Provide Cost-Effective Training to Save Money?
- Will the Employer Train the Operators to Drive Forklifts?
- Do Employes Need to Provide Forklift Training for Each Type and Model?
- It is Your Obligation to Provide Training for Your Workers
- How are Operators Being Trained to be OSHA Certified?
- Workers are Injured at Work, Are You Liable?
- Why is On-Site Forklift Training the Best Option for You?
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)
Here are some of the related articles that you can READ to help you:
- How Long is the Training to Complete?
- Is Online Training Suits You?
- Where Can I Learn How to Drive a Forklift?
- When Do You Need Forklift Refresher Course?
- How to Become Fully Certified to Operate the Truck?
- Where Can You Take the Forklift Training?
- What are the Requirements For Taking the Training?
- What To Do If You Lost Your Forklift License?
Forklift Training Schools in Washington
- Leavitt Machinery - 17300 West Valley Hiway, Tukwila, 1-888-254-6157
- Mid Columbia Material Handling - Yakima: 509.457.5137; Pasco: 509.547.7413 Wenatchee: 509.663.9009; Auburn: 253.854.5438
- SF Cert - 11000 34th Ave S Lakewood, WA 98499, 855-846-3619
- Norlift - 512 North Fancher, Spokane, (866) 602-3424
- Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation - 6607 S 287th St, Auburn, Toll Free: 1-888-820-8811, Phone: 1-253-333-2100
- Toyota Lift Northwest - 19305 72ND AVE S, KENT, 253-872-7114
- Forklift Operator Certification Services - Lakebay, WA 98349, Phone: (888) 801-9991
- Signature Safety - 606 East Main Suite C4, Puyallup, Phone: 253-904-7244
- Evergreen Safety Council - 12545 135th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034,
- Clover Park Technical College - 4500 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004, 253-589-5800
- Star Rentals - 1919 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, 206-622-7880
- Safety West Coast - 1460 Slater Road, Ferndale, WA 98248, 360-306-3289
- H&E Equipment Services - 8810 S 208th St, Kent, WA 98031, Toll Free: 866-GO-RENTAL, Local: 253-872-8800
- Inland Northwest AGC - 4935 E. Trent Ave., Spokane, 509.535.0391
- United Rentals - 204 S Facnher RD, Spokane VLY, WA 99212-0753, 509-532-1235
- Teamsters Training - 2410 East Saint Helens St., Pasco, WA 99301, Phone: (509) 545-8297, Fax: (509) 546-0196
- OHS Safety Manuals USA - 5132 South Wallace Street, Seattle, WA
- Green River College - 12401 SE 320TH Street, Auburn, WA 98092, 253-833-9111, 253-288-3359 TDD
- Everett Community College - 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201, 425-388-9100
- Washington State University - 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, 509-358-7500
- Skagit Valley College - 2405 East College Way, Mount Vernon, WA, 98273-5899, 360.416.7600
Salary of Licensed Forklift Driver in this State
According to the latest report of Salary.com, as of February 27, 2023 , the average salary of forklift operators in this state ranges from $38,799 and $49,446 yearly. If you are working in Seattle, forklift operators can make a higher salary at an average of $43,383 per year. If you want to work in Idaho, the forklift operator salary is a bit lower.
|$43,178- Allyn||$42,281- Indianola|
|$41,913- Amboy||$44,799- Kenmore|
|$43,241 - Ashford||$44,821- Kirkland|
|$43,870- Bainbridge Island||$43,870- Keyport|
|$44,041- Baring||$43,973 - Langley|
|$43,545 - Beaver||$43,653- Lilliwaup|
|$43,870-Bremerton||$43,862- Maple Valley|
|$43,936- Carnation||$41,938- Neilton|
|$43,870- Chimacum||$43,984 - North Bend|
|$43,350 - Coupeville||$44,604 - Preston|
|$43,692 - Darrington||$44,799- Redmond|
|$43,597 - Dupont||$44,777- Renton|
|$44,180- Duvall||$43,870 - Retsil|
|$43,934- Fall City||$43,756- Sequim|
|$43,684- Fox Island||$43,848- Suquamish|
|$43,952- Freeland||$43,653- Tahuya|
|$43,680- Gig Harbor||$43,692- Twisp|
|$43,936- Granite Falls||$43,723- Vashon|
|$43,869 - Hobart||$44,712- Woodinville|
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 be promoted to warehouse team leader 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 with 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
Cities of Washinton State
Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Renton, Federal Way, Spokane Valley, Yakima, Kirkland, Bellingham, Kennewick, Auburn, Pasco, Marysville, Redmond, Lakewood, South Hill, Shoreline, Richland, Sammamish, Burien, Olympia, Lacey, Bothell, Edmonds, Puyallup, Bremerton, Lynnwood, Longview, Parkland, Issaquah, Mount Vernon, Wenatchee, University Place, Pullman, Walla Walla, Des Moines, Lake Stevens, Spanaway, SeaTac, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Graham, Bainbridge Island, Cottage Lake, Oak Harbor, Silver Firs, Moses Lake, Kenmore, Camas, Union Hill-Novelty Hill, Salmon Creek, Orchards, Eastmont, Mukilteo, Mountlake Terrace, Hazel Dell, Silverdale, Mill Creek, Fairwood, Tukwila, Frederickson, Bonney Lake, Five Corners, Port Angeles, Battle Ground, Covington, Tumwater, Bothell West, Ellensburg, Arlington, North Lynnwood, Monroe, Mill Creek East, Martha Lake, Centralia, Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Anacortes, Sunnyside, Aberdeen, Camano, Washougal, White Center, Elk Plain, West Richland, East Wenatchee, Port Orchard, Lynden, Lakeland South, Artondale, Lake Forest Park, Snoqualmie, Fort Lewis, Ferndale, Lake Tapps, Prairie Ridge, Lakeland North, Kelso, Woodinville, Enumclaw, Klahanie, Cheney, Newcastle, Maltby, Grandview, East Renton Highlands, Sedro-Woolley, Vashon, Poulsbo, Fife, Lake Morton-Berrydale, Shelton, Edgewood, Walnut Grove, Sumner, Snohomish, Minnehaha, DuPont, Alderwood Manor, Port Townsend, Bothell East, Picnic Point, College Place, Toppenish, Lake Stickney, Liberty Lake, Gig Harbor, Burlington, Yelm, Hoquiam, Birch Bay, Midland, Fairwood CDP, Ephrata, Waller, Mount Vista, Othello, Felida, Selah, Duvall, Milton, Summit, Orting, Chehalis, Quincy, Mead, Clarkston, Parkwood, Pacific, Summit View, Lake Shore, Terrace Heights, Sequim, Sudden Valley, Clover Creek and Otis Orchards-East Farms, Stanwood, Fircrest, North Bend, Normandy Park, Brier, Airway Heights, Clarkston Heights-Vineland, Ridgefield, Bangor Base, Hobart, Steilacoom, Tracyton, Barberton, Tanglewilde, Union Gap, Finley, Wollochet, Prosser, Woodland, West Side Highway, Ocean Shores, Woods Creek, Country Homes, Town and Country, West Clarkston-Highland, Connell, East Port Orchard, Manchester, Wapato, Blaine