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5 Forklift Jobs That Pay the Bills

February 23, 2022 | Career Blog

One of the most exciting jobs in the warehouse or retail environment involves operating a forklift. There’s nothing quite like picking up and moving bulky items or a large number of items using a great piece of equipment.

To be successful (and safe) at this job, you need the proper training, which can be obtained through on-the-job training or a separate training program for forklift operators. Obtaining this training will help you stand out and position you for a higher-paying job.

If you are looking to find a new job that involves using a forklift or applying your existing forklift experience in a new role, consider our recommended forklift jobs that will set you up for sustained income.

Forklift Jobs to Consider in Your Area

Some companies use the names of forklift jobs interchangeably. One company might call the same position a forklift operator, while another company calls it a forklift driver. Regardless, you should pay special attention to the job description for each forklift job that you apply for.

Here is the basic information about each of the common types of forklift jobs.

1. Forklift Operator

Median Pay: $17-21/hour or approximately $38,000 annual salary.


  • Move products in a warehouse environment using a motor-powered forklift vehicle.
  • Take instructions from the warehouse supervisor on picking up and moving materials.
  • Load materials from one location to move to another location.
  • Unload materials at the designed location.
  • Manually move certain materials at the designated location.
  • Follow warehouse processes and comply with safety procedures.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest OSHA workplace safety recommendations.
  • Receive ongoing training to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

2. Forklift Driver

Median Pay: $15-17/hour or approximately $35,000 annual salary.


  • Use the forklift to build pallets for loading and delivery.
  • Gather materials to load onto the pallet using diagrams provided by a supervisor.
  • Follow the diagram to accurately and efficiently arrange products on the pallet.
  • Move each completed pallet to a designed location until further instructions.
  • Store completed pallets in the warehouse.
  • Use the forklift to load pallets onto a truck for delivery.
  • May be asked to shrink wrap pallets for delivery.

3. Material Handler

Median Pay: $13-15/hour or approximately $30,000 annual salary.


  • Use a forklift to pull materials that will be delivered to a job site or other location.
  • Read an order sheet to handle the exact materials requested.
  • Transport the materials to a requested location.
  • Inform supervisor or other requesting parties when the materials have been pulled.
  • Occasionally perform manual duties lifting materials into position to be loaded onto the forklift.

4. Forklift Merchandising Associate

Median Pay: $13-15/hour or approximately $30,000 annual salary.


  • In a retail environment, support the placement of merchandise.
  • Receive, stock, and organize merchandise.
  • Move merchandise from the storage area to the retail floor.
  • Move merchandise from the floor into storage.
  • Move specific merchandise to higher-level areas of the store.
  • Pull down merchandise from higher-level areas to the floor.
  • Stack boxes onto pallets and move pallets to other locations.
  • Communicate with customers if moving merchandise during business hours.
  • Represent your company when interacting with third parties.

5. Forklift Instructor or Trainer

Median Pay: $35,000 annual salary


  • Provide valuable instruction and training to new forklift operators and drivers.
  • Develop a forklift training program for new forklift operators.
  • Follow recommended best practices when implementing training.
  • Train drivers on how to perform specific duties.
  • Guide drivers on how to use technology and tools to support their role.
  • Provide guidance on how to follow processes and complete orders.
  • Help drivers understand how to troubleshoot problems.

Find a Forklift Job Through Allegiance Staffing

Warehouses are growing in popularity across the U.S. to store large volumes of products that can be easily transported in supply chains. Additionally, retail companies are constantly looking for ways to maximize floor space by moving merchandise, and this means that forklift jobs are in demand to move these bulky items.

We encourage you to check out our Jobs Board to find a forklift job near you. Whether you already have experience or need the training to use a forklift, there’s a job for you!

Not seeing a job that fits your experience or desired location? Contact us today to ask about the availability of forklift jobs that might not be in our database. We’re here to help you find a job that pays the bills!