You should always ask questions when considering any new job – forklift operation is no exception. For example, if you asked, “What is the best type of company to drive forklifts for?” Most would say the private sector

The sector you decide to work in is up to your personal preference. But the most vital question is, “Do you need a license to drive a forklift?” Potential hires should know as much about their would-be jobs as possible. 

It’s best to know what you’re getting into and how much time and effort getting the job would take. Below, we answer whether forklift driving requires a license.

So, Do You Need a License to Drive a Forklift?

The first thing to clarify is that a “forklift license” doesn’t exist. What you’d need is a forklift certification. The difference between licenses and certifications is the former is verification granted by a government agency.

These verifications tell people that a professional can work in a specific area. A good example is how plumbers and electricians need licenses to work in their home state

A certificate comes from a program or institution. You can earn them from colleges or universities through courses focused on a single topic. These courses are separate from degree programs. 

Lift certifications confirm you understand proper operating procedures and can adhere to forklift safety rules. 

Types of Forklift Certifications

There is a catch to receiving a forklift certification, though. There is no single type. There are different types of these certifications, and each one is only good for certain lifts and environments. 

If you earn a certification at Company A, it’s no good at Company B. It doesn’t matter if you used the same forklift at both organizations. Here are the types of certifications you can earn to become a forklift operator:

  • Standard
  • Order Picker
  • All-terrain

Standard certification covers most variations of forklifts as long as they fall under this category. Standard forklifts include sit-down, stand-ups, narrow, hand-driven, and rough terrain models. 

Other lifts keep you stationary as you move the load. Order picker certification requires safety training for a lift that moves you and the load.

All-terrain forklift certification lets operators drive across all terrain and weather types. 

What Is the Right Kind of Certification for Me?

Which certification you choose depends on the job. Construction sites and unpaved terrain will need all-terrain certification. Working with racked pallets and other materials stored up high requires order picker certification. 

Typical warehouse lifting may not demand more than standard certification. Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re unsure if your company offers forklift training. You may risk safety violations and fines without training.

Want to Become a Forklift Operator?

“Do you need a license to drive a forklift?” The answer is no, but you do need a certification. Superior Industrial Products can give you the training and certification workers need to excel. 

We offer OSHA-certified forklift classes, rentals, and equipment across Indianapolis, Nashville, and Fort Worth. Contact us for more information about our services.