Forklift Operator Salary
February 15, 2012
A forklift operator is the person responsible for piloting hydraulic lifting systems of heavy transport materials such as industrial trucks. The usual employers of these operators are warehouse establishments and docks. As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean forklift operator salary in the country is $31,500 every year. The top-most division of these laborers has a medial annual income of $45,490 while the bottom-most division receives $20,420. The middle salary range is reported to be around $24,390 to $36,890 per annum. This information is based on the salary survey conducted by the BLS in the year 2010. As with all the other careers, the earnings for this career is influenced by a number of factors. The type of industry that an individual works for can make a difference in his or her yearly recompense. Those who are hired in natural gas distribution companies are the highest-paid laborers in this field. They have a median annual wage of $56,810. Wage earners working as forklift operators in electric power generation establishments make an average of $51,550 every year. The industry with the highest number of employees is the warehousing and storage facilities.
The level of expertise is also a determining factor in the forklift operator salary. The break down for this vocational career salary are as follows: The entry-level income for this career is $8.01 per hour. Workers who have 1 to 4 years of work experience get an average of $8.96 per hour while those who have more than 20 years behind them are paid $10.09 or more. The rate would depend on the type of industry that they work for too. Geographic location is another major determinant of the forklift operator salary. Those who are employed in California make a medial annual pay of $27,000 while the ones residing in Alaska receive $21,000. Workers who are situated in Texas have a yearly pay check of $24,000 while those living in New York receive $30,000 on average. The mean forklift salary in North Carolina is $24,000 in a year while that of West Virginia is $26,000. Those who are hired in Alabama earn a median wage of $27,000 per annum while the ones employed in Utah receive $24,000. Employees in Arizona take home an average of $22,000 a year while those in Pennsylvania get $25,000. Washington workers have a medial annual pay of $23,000 while the ones living in Arkansas makes $25,000 on average. The pay rate in each state is calculated based on the cost of living and employment rate in the area.
Other than the basic salaries that these laborers receive every year, they also enjoy health benefits, vacation leaves and annual bonuses. Of course, these will all depend on their employer and years of experience. The BLS stated that 73 percent of these individuals get medical benefits such as vision and dental insurances. However, there are also some who do not receive any company benefit at all. The annual bonuses, on the other hand, range from $288 to $750. The amount will depend on one’s rendered years of service. As for vacation weeks, an employee is entitled to 6 days up to 1 month of paid leaves depending on work experience. The work environment of a forklift operator is determined by the type of industry that he or she works for. There are individuals who work during the day, while others at night. The former are those who are usually employed in construction sites while the latter are the ones hired in large stores. Either way, it is expected from these laborers to always follow the standard safety guidelines for operating such equipment. The BLS has predicted that there will be a positive growth in the employment rate of forklift operators. The demand is expected to increase by at least 3 percent from 2008 to 2018.
A forklift mechanic is considered the expert when it comes to diagnosing, adjusting and overhauling hydraulic equipment. Their typical working day deals with bulldozers, conveyors, graders and large cranes. As of today, there are 108,540 individuals who are working as forklift mechanics in the United States. The medial annual income of these professionals is $46,140 which means that they earn $22.18 per hour. The geographic location of an individual also makes a difference in the forklift mechanic salary. Two of the highest-paying states are New York and California, at $65,000 and $62,000 respectively. The areas of Illinois, Arizona and Florida come in next. A laborer’s work experience also influences the forklift mechanic salary. Those who have 1 to 4 years behind them make $20.94 per hour while the ones with 5 to 9 years of experience receive $25.34. Chief forklift mechanics, with 20 years of service in the industry, are paid a mean hourly rate of $25.67. But some employers do have a higher rate than the ones stated above.
Due to the power of technology, forklift training has been made possible on the internet. There are various technical schools around the world that provide not only campus-based education, but also online programs. Unlike some other careers, this industry deems it mandatory for applicants to undergo the proper forklift training. Although the job description may sound simple for others, the skill needed for this position is not possessed by just about anyone. This is the sole reason why the United States Federal Court has required all forklift operators to be trained and certified. The formal training for this career can be categorized into two parts: lift truck knowledge and operating skills. The classes included in this program will discuss everything that there is to know about forklift equipment and operation. It will also include topics on various types of powered trucks like diesel powered, gasoline powered, etc. The average cost for enrolling in this type of training is around $89, depending on the technical school. One of the highly recommended institutions in the industry is the Forklift University which is located in California, Texas and Arizona. The school aims to help its students pass the OSHA certification exam and land an entry-level position in no time. For further inquiries, interested parties may call these numbers: 602-903-1895 (AZ), 909-740-3647 (CA) and 512-351-4611 (TX).