The 10 States With The Highest Forklift Operator Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 1 week ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do forklift operators get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for forklift operators by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for forklift operators by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for forklift operators after this adjustment? That would be Industrial Truck And Tractor Operators.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Michigan
  3. West Virginia
  4. Iowa
  5. Washington
  6. Minnesota
  7. Alaska
  8. Kansas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. North Dakota

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for forklift operators from the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $37940, so our index value would be:

$37,940 * (100 / 135.9) = $27,917

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for forklift operators.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

Detailed List Of Forklift Operator Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Wyoming $44,139 $40,520 91.8
2 Michigan $42,505 $37,830 89.0
3 West Virginia $41,970 $39,200 93.4
4 Iowa $41,703 $37,950 91.0
5 Washington $41,283 $43,430 105.2
6 Minnesota $41,170 $41,500 100.8
7 Alaska $40,869 $53,580 131.1
8 Kansas $40,533 $36,440 89.9
9 Oklahoma $40,515 $36,140 89.2
10 North Dakota $40,160 $39,920 99.4
11 Georgia $40,153 $36,700 91.4
12 Indiana $39,575 $35,420 89.5
13 Missouri $39,546 $35,750 90.4
14 Wisconsin $39,142 $37,890 96.8
15 Delaware $39,082 $39,630 101.4
16 New Mexico $39,015 $37,650 96.5
17 Utah $38,548 $35,850 93.0
18 Idaho $38,490 $35,450 92.1
19 Illinois $38,308 $36,240 94.6
20 Nebraska $38,078 $34,880 91.6
21 Arkansas $38,059 $33,150 87.1
22 Ohio $37,835 $35,490 93.8
23 Tennessee $37,818 $33,810 89.4
24 Virginia $37,599 $37,900 100.8
25 Kentucky $37,546 $33,980 90.5
26 Louisiana $37,510 $35,560 94.8
27 Pennsylvania $37,209 $37,730 101.4
28 Montana $37,202 $37,500 100.8
29 Nevada $37,173 $38,400 103.3
30 Florida $37,090 $36,460 98.3
31 Texas $37,023 $33,580 90.7
32 Alabama $36,754 $33,520 91.2
33 Mississippi $36,670 $31,500 85.9
34 Arizona $36,642 $35,910 98.0
35 North Carolina $35,910 $33,720 93.9
36 New Hampshire $35,333 $41,340 117.0
37 Colorado $35,327 $36,670 103.8
38 South Carolina $35,100 $34,820 99.2
39 South Dakota $33,760 $35,010 103.7
40 Vermont $32,774 $39,690 121.1
41 Maine $32,418 $35,920 110.8
42 Oregon $32,361 $37,410 115.6
43 New York $32,320 $42,340 131.0
44 Maryland $32,262 $40,490 125.5
45 Connecticut $32,090 $40,980 127.7
46 Rhode Island $31,806 $38,390 120.7
47 Hawaii $30,101 $50,540 167.9
48 New Jersey $29,934 $36,490 121.9
49 Massachusetts $29,512 $39,370 133.4
50 California $27,917 $37,940 135.9
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