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Fork Lift Truck Operator Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Fork Lift Truck Operator. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Fork Lift Truck Operator
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Fork Lift Truck Operator Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Lift truck operators transport heavy goods around depots such as factories and warehouses. They load and unload goods from vehicles, such as lorries and aircraft, or they arrange the goods in warehouses on storage racks. Before lifting a load, the operator must make sure the truck is not overloaded and that the load is secure.

They may perform daily maintenance checks of the truck. Lift truck operators may also help to load and unload trucks manually and perform other warehouse duties such as packing.

Hours and Environment:

Some operators work standard hours, Monday to Friday. However, shiftworking is common. Overtime may be available.

Operators work indoors, in a warehouse which may be light, airy and temperature controlled. They also work outside, in a goods yard or transporting goods to other sites, in all weathers.

Skills and Interests:

To work as a lift truck operator you should:

  • have a responsible and mature attitude to work
  • be able to work quickly and safely, especially during busy periods
  • have good physical co-ordination to operate a truck
  • be able to assess weights and judge distances
  • be able to follow written instructions and keep records.


No formal educational qualifications are required, but basic maths is useful when working out safe loads. Experience of work in a warehouse or stores environment may be an advantage.

To drive a lift truck unsupervised you must be at least 18. Training can be undertaken before then, but work must be supervised until trainees are 18. For this reason, many employers prefer applicants to be over 18. If a truck is used on public roads, traffic legislation applies and you must hold a driving licence.

New entrants or trainees may be asked to undergo a medical examination and aptitude test.

There may be specific training opportunities for adults in some areas for this type of work. You may have to satisfy certain conditions to be eligible. Contact your local Learning and Skills Council (LSC), Local Enterprise Company (LEC), Jobcentre or careers office for details.


Training lasts three to five days and takes place in a training centre or on an employer̢۪s premises. It combines theory with practical exercises, and leads to a standard test approved by the Health and Safety Commission. There are three elements in the test: a theoretical test, a pre-use check of the lift truck, and a practical test which includes laden and unladen manoeuvring, stacking and destacking within an aisle, and correct parking procedures.

The Health and Safety Commission has approved several organisations to monitor and accredit organisations who train and certify operators. They are: the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT), CITB-ConstructionSkills, Lantra National Training Organisation Ltd, National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd, and the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) Ltd.

Newly trained staff work under supervision until fully competent.

There is no specific requirement to provide refresher training at set intervals, but lift truck operators need to be re-assessed from time to time to ensure that they continue to operate lift trucks safely. This might be appropriate if operators have not used trucks for some time, if they are occassional users or if there is a change in their working environment.

There are NVQs/SVQs Level 2 in Lift Truck Operations, or Levels 1 and 2 in Specialised Plant and Machinery Operations. Either can be combined with Distributive Operations Level 1 or Distribution and Warehousing Level 2.


Lift truck operators work in factories, stores, warehouses, goods yards or heavy haulage depots. They may be employed in any industry dealing with heavy or bulky goods.

Promotion prospects are limited, though some operators progress by moving to other related jobs such as supervisors in warehousing or despatch.

Experienced operators may be selected to train as instructors.

Annual Income:

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

New entrant lift truck operators start at around £9,800. Experienced operators earn around £12,600 to £16,200.

Lift truck operators may receive shift or night work allowances and bonus schemes may apply.

Further information:

Association of Industrial Truck Trainers
Unit 20
The Springboard Centre
Mantle Lane
LE67 3DW
Tel: 01530 277857

National Plant Operators Registration Scheme
PO Box 204
Tel: 01606 49909

Road Transport Industry Training Board Ltd
Access House
Halesfield 17
Tel: 01952 520200

Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Skills for Logistics
14 Warren Yard
Warren Farm Office Village
Stratford Road
Milton Keynes
MK12 5NW
Tel: 01908 313360

Other Useful Fork Lift Truck Operator Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Fork Lift Truck Operator job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Fork Lift Truck Operator Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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