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Employment in material moving occupations is projected to increase by 3 percent between 2014 and 2024. A relatively high number of job openings will be created by the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or retire.
Wages vary according to experience and job responsibilities, and are usually higher in metropolitan areas. Seasonal peaks and lulls in workload can affect the number of hours scheduled, which in turn affects earnings. Median hourly wage in material moving occupations in 2015 was $16.18.
Forklift operators move materials around warehouses, storage yards, factories, construction sites, or other worksites. A typical forklift has a hydraulic lifting mechanism and forks for moving heavy and large objects. Forklift operators also may operate tractors that pull trailers loaded with materials, goods, or equipment within factories and warehouses or around outdoor storage areas.
Forklift operators use machinery to move construction materials, earth, petroleum products, and other heavy materials. Generally, they move materials over short distances—around construction sites, factories, or warehouses. Some move materials onto or off of trucks and ships. Operators control equipment by moving levers, wheels, or foot pedals; operating switches; or turning dials. They also may set up and inspect equipment, make adjustments, and perform minor maintenance or repairs.
Completers satisfy and are certified through OSHA’s 1998 revised Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standard. Students must pass a written and practical test.
Total approximate cost is $400. Total instructional hours are 8.
This program takes one day to complete and is offered on Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM, about once a month from April through October.
Occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Material Moving Occupations.
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