It’s in the top ten of Canada’s most in-demand jobs for 2018. Just a glance at the job ads will tell you that many companies are looking for workers who can operate a forklift. With more Canadians shopping online, companies who accommodate them are storing goods in massive warehouses, and forklifts are needed to move the merchandise in and out of them.

Currently, you can expect to receive between $16.50 and $19.50 per hour. And even though forklifts could conceivably be automated in the future, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. High up-front costs, such as revamping the entire layout of these warehouses for self-driving forklifts, means human operators will be required for quite a while.

If you’re thinking of applying for one of these openings, you’ll need to prove that you are an exceptional candidate. Here are some of the skills and qualities employers will be looking for:

Experience driving the type of forklifts the company uses

There are different types of forklifts of varying sizes and controls. So, if you can operate the kind of forklifts that your prospective employer uses, you will have the upper hand. If you haven’t used them before, don’t fret. Most of the forklift operator’s skills are transferable, and you should be able to pick up the rest with a minimum amount of training.

Math abilities

Forklift operators must have the necessary math skills. You’ll need to show that you can calculate loads and freight quotes while understanding the amounts on a bill of lading. The more proficient you are with numbers, the more efficient you’ll be as an operator.

Solid communication skills

Forklift operators must be able to read delivery lists, labels, signs and safety notices, manuals and much more. You may also be required to write work orders, fill out forms and time sheets, write various reports, and communicate effectively with supervisors and co-workers. Excellent oral and written communication skills will be critical to your success.


You could be working in a fast-paced environment where everyone has a vital role. The forklift operator is no exception. If an operator is late, leaves early, or doesn’t come to work at all, the entire supply chain suffers. If you can show a potential employer that you have a long history of reliability, you could gain the upper hand in getting hired.

Commitment to safety

As a forklift operator, you must take safety seriously. Careless forklift operators are a danger to others and themselves. You will need to convince a hiring manager that you are well aware of standard safety procedures and have always had high regard for them. If you have not been safety conscious in past employment, it will show up on a reference check.

Let us help you find that job as a forklift operator

We can also help you find other light industrial positions. Get in touch with HCR Personnel Solutions, a leading manufacturing recruitment agency in Canada that recruits top professionals for exceptional career opportunities.


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