Forklift certification is something I’d never heard of when I was free-wheeling around the warehouse back at Stanley Bostitch in 1986. I was looking for a part-time job, walked in and got hired on the spot. No experience to speak of. Things sure have changed a lot since those days.
Forklift certification is now something required at nearly all warehouses, docks and shipyards across the United States. If you’re not certified, you’re not driving. It’s as simple as that.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who’s responsible for safety in the workplace, has implemented new rules for forklift operators. The rules require certification and recertification on a regular basis. If you’re familiar with OSHA you know just how much they like safety rules.
If you plan of looking for a job as a forklift operator, do yourself a favor and don’t walk in blind like I did! Start the process online before you apply for that new job. Then you’ll have a much better chance of landing that job. Not only that, you’ll know all the lingo and you’ll look like someone who knows their way around forklifts. That alone can improve your chance of getting hired!
There’s nothing worse than walking into an interview and not knowing what the boss is talking about. The certification process will teach you everything you need to know about safety and handling a forklift properly. With this knowledge you’ll be well on your way to a new career or, if you’re like me, a great part-time position at a local company.
Luckily, getting certified is a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure. In fact, you can even get the written part done online. The rest is as simple as having a supervisor or manager certify your safety skills. Here’s exactly how it works:
- First you find a reputable testing website, there are a number of them to choose from now.
- Next, you enroll in the course and download the study material provided to you by the site.
- You then take a few months, usually 2-3 to test your knowledge by using their non-graded quizzes — this will prepare you for the final exam.
- Finally, you take the final exam when you feel ready. The exam takes just a few hours and you do it right online through your browser.
If you pass the test, you get your wallet card in the mail a week or so later. You can then present the card to an authorized supervisor or manager for the testing company who will then monitor the practical “road test” to make sure your skills match your newfound knowledge.
Oh, and don’t worry. If you do not pass the written test, you can usually get a retake after a bit more studying. Just check with the company beforehand to make sure that is the case.
Forklift certification is worth the time and effort if you are serious about landing a great job as a forklift operator. Shop around on the web and find a great certification site and hit the books!