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Working as a Material Handler/Forklift Operator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a material handler/forklift operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $13.83 an hour? That's $28,757 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 32,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Material Handler/Forklift Operator Do

There are certain skills that many material handler/forklift operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed listening skills, mechanical skills and visual ability.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a material handler/forklift operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.7% of material handler/forklift operators included forklifts, while 9.1% of resumes included pallet jack, and 8.0% of resumes included unload trucks. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the material handler/forklift operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most material handler/forklift operators actually find jobs in the professional and transportation industries.

How To Become a Material Handler/Forklift Operator

If you're interested in becoming a material handler/forklift operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 5.9% of material handler/forklift operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.5% of material handler/forklift operators have master's degrees. Even though some material handler/forklift operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a material handler/forklift operator. When we researched the most common majors for a material handler/forklift operator, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on material handler/forklift operator resumes include associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a material handler/forklift operator. In fact, many material handler/forklift operator jobs require experience in a role such as forklift operator. Meanwhile, many material handler/forklift operators also have previous career experience in roles such as material handler or machine operator.

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Average Salary$28,757
Job Growth Rate4%

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Jobs

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Material Handler/Forklift Operator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Material Handler/Forklift Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Material Handler/Forklift Operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Material Handler/Forklift Operator

Top Careers After Material Handler/Forklift Operator

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Material Handler/Forklift Operator

Material Handler/Forklift Operators in America make an average salary of $28,757 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $33,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average Salary
$28,757

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range29k - 35k$32k$32,419
Salary Range28k - 34k$31k$31,106
Salary Range26k - 35k$31k$31,011
Salary Range28k - 34k$31k$30,958
Salary Range27k - 33k$30k$30,487
Salary Range27k - 33k$30k$30,390
$24k
$35k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$32,87010/27/2020
$32,870
Forklift Operator and Material Handler
Forklift Operator and Material Handler
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$33,91410/27/2020
$33,914
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Onesource Staffing Solutions
Onesource Staffing Solutions
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$27,42310/27/2020
$27,423
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Material Handler/Forklift Operator
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/26/2020
10/26/2020
$39,65310/26/2020
$39,653
NOW Material Handlers & Forklift Operators
NOW Material Handlers & Forklift Operators
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/24/2020
10/24/2020
$22,95710/24/2020
$22,957
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

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Material Handler/Forklift Operator Demographics

Gender

male

81.8%

female

12.7%

unknown

5.6%

Ethnicity

White

60.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

16.0%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

79.3%

French

3.7%

German

3.4%
See More Demographics

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Education

Majors

Degrees

High School Diploma

61.5%

Diploma

12.6%

Associate

11.4%

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Material Handler/Forklift Operator

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Material Handler/Forklift Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.7% of material handler/forklift operators listed forklifts on their resume, but soft skills such as listening skills and mechanical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Material Handler/Forklift Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a material handler/forklift operator. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Minnesota, Washington, and Wyoming. Material handler/forklift operators make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $35,654. Whereas in Minnesota and Washington, they would average $34,735 and $34,341, respectively. While material handler/forklift operators would only make an average of $34,221 in Wyoming, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Minnesota

Total Material Handler/Forklift Operator Jobs:
691
Highest 10% Earn:
$41,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Wisconsin

Total Material Handler/Forklift Operator Jobs:
844
Highest 10% Earn:
$38,000
Location Quotient:
1.79
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Iowa

Total Material Handler/Forklift Operator Jobs:
476
Highest 10% Earn:
$37,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a material handler/forklift operator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless material handler/forklift operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Material Handler/Forklift Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless material handler/forklift operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Material Handler/Forklift Operator Employers

1. Ryder System
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$45,432
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
211+
2. FedEx
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$34,049
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
183+
3. XPO Logistics
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$34,572
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
174+
4. Randstad USA
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$30,637
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
145+
5. ManpowerGroup
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$30,043
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
140+
6. The Home Depot
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$34,371
Material Handler/Forklift Operators Hired: 
136+

Material Handler/Forklift Operator Videos

Recently Added Material Handler/Forklift Operator Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020