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Is a New Forklift Driver Career Right for you? 3 Easy Steps to tell…

forklift driver

Become a professional forklift driver with Millennium Search

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Duties & Responsibilities of a Forklift Driver

  • Unload incoming trucks and stack products in their designated location.
  • Locate and move pallets and crates of products to new locations as needed.
  • Rework and scrap materials.
  • Identify any damaged products on the pallets you are moving.
  • Verify incoming and outgoing orders for accuracy.
  • Inspect machinery to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • Keep an accurate activity and inventory log.
  • Maintain a safe, well organized environment.


  • Must be able to safely lift and move 50 lbs., some warehouses have assisted lifts
  • Familiar with industrial equipment
  • Willing to become certified on the walkie riders, forklifts, handlifts, and pallet jacks
  • Punctual and reliable, Hard working, Excellent communicator

Mid-South Outlook:

  • Growing demand! As fast as expected or more, 7%+.
  • They earn about 3.7x more vs retail workers.
  • Shift work can allow for a built-in work/life balance, but not all warehouses have shift work.
  • Millennium Search competes for market rate, often beating the rate by 10% or more.
forklift driver career seekers find themselves coworkers with great, other types of warehouse associates
Fork lift drivers also work around and with other types of warehouse associates.

Forklift Drivers Wages*

Entry Level: $13 to $15 per hour, depending on local costs of living.

Mid Career: $15 to $17.50 per hour, depending on experience.

Outlook on pay rises over the next 30 years; above average inflation rates but also with growing demand. This job is likely to be safe from inflation if you maintain skills, and increase tenure within a staffing agency or larger business. It may be difficult in the near term to ‘jump-around’ to increase wages.

Pay Increases from Staffing Firms: Firms often raise rates annually, or quarterly, and additionally with new listed client opportunities. Make sure you are not burning a bridge by ghosting on your recruiter, bring up concerns to your recruiter if your work/life balance or pay are not satisfying. They can point you towards steps to increase your value.

How to start working as a forklift driver:

achievable light industrial careers forklift driver

How to become a forklift driver.

First, research the job!

Figure out via public information if becoming a forklift driver is right for you. You may find comments from current operators sharing stories of what makes it a great career. Once you know you want to try, its time to apply.

Apply, and interview.

You can apply right here (see job openings below), and when you interview be upfront with the recruiter by saying “I am new to the career and I want training to be sure I am the best, can you or your client help?” By the way, Millennium Search will always help you expand your career!

Show up to training early!

Arrive 10 minutes before your first shift starts; make sure you write down the time your recruiter says. If you think traffic on the roads will delay you, we encourage aiming to be up to 30 minutes early. Most candidates that show up late to training miss important information and may even be left behind. It’s a great way to meet co-workers and even make plans with them after your done!

Give feedback to your recruiter.

Let your recruiter know how the new job is going, and be honest about your enjoyment of the work. Many people discover that they love the job once they get to know co-workers, so be sure to make their acquaintance, and put your best foot forwards. These are your teammates, and that includes our recruiting staff supporting your employment.

Current Job Openings in the Midsouth Focused on Machine Operation: Forklift

Electric Pallet Jack Operator – MS, Byhalia

Reach Truck/Cherry Picker Operator – NC, Cary

Cherry Picker Operator – TN, Memphis – Job

Or Search Jobs.


What’s the most a forklift driver can make?

A forklift driver in the USA is going to see a variety of rates across various cities. Its important that when looking at the rate, it is not part time or poor working conditions that caused a need to raise rates above average. The most you can make in the Mid-South is about $22 an hour, but various opportunities exist for every level of skill and experience.

Who pays the most for forklift drivers?

Generally businesses that specialize in warehouse or industry operations will pay market rate, or slightly higher, especially if attracting talent is hard in the short term. What’s important to know is if the rate is not a promotion, or short term rate. Make sure it is a consistent pay rate. For example Millennium Search pays a consistent rate, weekly pay, and occasionally offers bonuses for referral or tenure. Always remember if it too good to be true it probably is a scam, and never pay for an interview/application.

Is forklift driving hard?

Not especially difficult to learn! The curve to feel comfortable for most is between 40 and 80 initial training hours and working with a fellow operator or manager with guidance. Safety is everyone priority in a warehouse, this means communication and understanding is key.

Is forklift driving stressful?

When a new shipment comes in, its not usually random or unprepared. There should be limited stress related to business operations. Deliveries are often planned and communicated to the warehouse well in advance. Make sure after work you relax and decompress so you don’t build up stress. We don’t recommend you bottle it up; talk to your recruiter if something is bothering or stressing you.

Are there job similar to these?

Yes! But Millennium may not have all of them listed at one time. Operators, tenders, and truck drivers are all simi-related. Most government organizations call all these “Material Moving Machine Operators” but that doesn’t sound nearly as fun as Forklift, admittedly more whimsical.

Can you get injured on the job?

It is rare but possible. Many workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and this helps make accidents a minor injury or even less. Always follow procedure, and alert your supervisor if you or a coworker are injured.

What’s the one skill that make s an excellent forklift driver?

While its not don’t just one item; communication is key to a good driver. Often you need both hand communication and verbal. You may have ear protection on and need to communicate with someone far away.

The Millennium Search Easy Path to Forklift Work

We think the fastest, most direct way, to get to work as a Forklift Driver is to apply with us! We have 20+ years experience, we have top-employers which operate globally, and nation wide. Our staff are prepared to find you a forklift job in under 30 days. The national average is 8 months. We typically achieve getting your job in under 1 week.

Clients seeking forklift drivers should reach out to your Client Services, or fill out this form here.

Haven’t work with Millennium Search before, but need to find Forklift Driver Fast?

We can find high quality Forklift Drivers for your business:

Our staff has dedicated programs for each client, allowing for a scaled, but small business feel, approach. Select services like extended background checks, and option drug test panels can help your business achieve new heights in safety levels and performance.

The associates we typically higher match 90% to 95% of application requirements, and 99% selected new hires. Our private company data reaches past and extends beyond the Mid South to enable choice and reason in the associates we send to your site. We verify the integrity of the vendors for backgrounds and drugs tests to ensure reliable partnerships.

You can design your labor project how you like; from contracted shifts to fulltime employees. Tell us what your goals are and our Dedicated Service Team can design a quote that fits within a company’s budget. Take a moment to alert us to your needs with this form.

More Information

A Note On Certification

You do not need to specifically have a certification paid out of pocket. Never fall for “Forklift Driver’s License” scams, there is no such thing as a government issued forklift license. However, there are facilities you can train for the use of a forklift, in a safe setting with industry experts (and not a bunch of expensive product to damage). We do recommend showing your recruiter your certification; but keep in mind your final interview will be on a forklift and you will still have to complete vendor training. Often you will be recertified much more often at a new employer than staying with the same client.

Feature Image Attribution: Machine operator photo created by aleksandarlittlewolf

* Millennium Search hires Light Industrial Workers like forklift drivers but payments or wages listed on this page may not match the current market offerings and levels of pay we compete at when posting jobs locally. When reading our job descriptions found in the ‘Current Job Openings’ section, open the page to see current wage rates, which may have been updated. You can find nationwide information here at the BLS.

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