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Career profile Industrial Truck Operator

Also known as Checker Loader, Fork Lift Technician, Fork Truck Driver, Forklift Driver, Forklift Operator, Lift Truck Operator, Shag Truck Driver, Spotter Driver, Tow Motor Operator, Truck Driver

Industrial Truck Operator

Also known as Checker Loader, Fork Lift Technician, Fork Truck Driver

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$27,390 - $53,720 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Coordination
Knowledge Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Production and Processing
  • Transportation
Core tasks
  • Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
  • Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
  • Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
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What does an Industrial Truck Operator do?

Industrial Truck Operators operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

What kind of tasks does an Industrial Truck Operator perform regularly?

Industrial Truck Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
  • Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
  • Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
  • Position lifting devices under, over, or around loaded pallets, skids, or boxes and secure material or products for transport to designated areas.
  • Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.

The above responsibilities are specific to Industrial Truck Operators. More generally, Industrial Truck Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.

What is an Industrial Truck Operator salary?

The median salary for an Industrial Truck Operator is $37,560, and the average salary is $39,210. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Industrial Truck Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Industrial Truck Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Industrial Truck Operators earn less than $27,390 per year, 25% earn less than $31,570, 75% earn less than $45,570, and 90% earn less than $53,720.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Industrial Truck Operators is expected to change by 7.7%, and there should be roughly 75,000 open positions for Industrial Truck Operators every year.

Median annual salary
$37,560
Typical salary range
$27,390 - $53,720
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.7%

What personality traits are common among Industrial Truck Operators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Industrial Truck Operator are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Industrial Truck Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Industrial Truck Operators typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Industrial Truck Operator tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Industrial Truck Operators moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Industrial Truck Operators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Industrial Truck Operators somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Industrial Truck Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as self-control, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Industrial Truck Operators, ranked by importance:

Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Industrial Truck Operators need?

Working as an Industrial Truck Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Industrial Truck Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Industrial Truck Operators

  • 19.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 50.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 20.5% completed some college coursework
  • 5.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Industrial Truck Operators

Industrial Truck Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mathematics, production and processing, or transportation knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Industrial Truck Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Industrial Truck Operators

Industrial Truck Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Industrial Truck Operators need abilities such as control precision, multilimb coordination, and far vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Industrial Truck Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Industrial Truck Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Industrial Truck Operators frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and coordination to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Industrial Truck Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.