Forklift drivers move Canadian business – literally. Working in warehouses, distribution, construction and more, these professionals move large pallets of materials, products and heavy objects. They may be responsible for inventory and recordkeeping, as well. Forklift operators are in high demand across Ontario, but certification is required to land a job. Here is what you need to know to obtain your forklift operator certification.
Get Some Work Experience
Warehouses and construction sites are fast-paced and high-pressure environments, and workers must be committed to safety and have a keen understanding of how the workplace operates. While you could land a forklift operator job without much experience, employers want people who understand the ins and outs of the workplace and job site. Most forklift operators actually get their start in entry-level positions that expose them to critical operations.
Get Certified as a Forklift Operator
When people refer to their “forklift license,” they really mean their forklift operator certification. Obtaining certification to operate this type of machinery requires formal education and testing. There are many locations across Ontario that offer forklift operator courses, and many employers also offer training for employees looking to move into the field.
Training starts with classroom learning and moves to hands-on training where you actually learn to operate the equipment. After mastering the hands-on training, operators can sit for the certification exam. That exam is broken into two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. Upon successful completion of the exam, your certification will be issued.
Be wary of online forklift training programs. While some of the classroom learning can be done online, there is no substitute for actually sitting in the forklift and learning to operate the equipment safely and effectively. Fully online courses may not be compliant with Canadian or Provincial law.
Complete Ongoing Training
Forklift operators are legally required to be evaluated and retrained to keep their certification. Operators must complete a practical retraining course every 18 months – or more frequently if the operator is experiencing job performance issues – and must complete a comprehensive classroom and practical recertification every three years. Retraining and refresher programs are available through various training providers in Ontario.
Are You Looking for Forklift Operator Jobs in Ontario?
If you are a certified forklift operator looking for new job opportunities in Ontario, Employment Professionals Canada can help. We will match you with your ideal job at a great employer. Browse our current job openings to apply online or contact us directly to learn more.