Forklift license in California

forklift license CaliforniaForklift safety training is essential because operators without proper certification can become an immediate danger to others.

With proper training, both workers and employers can benefit from it. If you’re someone who is looking for a new career in this field, having such certification can dramatically increase your chance of landing a job. If you’re an employer, the training can significantly reduce accidents in the workplace.

Taking the certification is a very straightforward approach, it only takes a small amount of your time and money to complete the training.

At the end of the successful training, the students will be given an operator card, which is also referred to as a forklift license. It is your proof of competence. The license is something you would want to obtain before commencing work with the forklift.

If you are asking how the course is being conducted to get a forklift license, here is a step by step guide in taking it:

 

 

How to Get Your Forklift License

If you are an employer, you can send your workers to school. You can also hire a trainer to conduct the course at your own workplace. Doing so, it allows the trainer to modify the program to match your workplace's needs.

If you are an individual, you can enroll in a course offered by a training school in California. You must complete the training course and pass the tests in accordance with the standard. Particularly, OSHA requires you to undergo training specific to the type of forklift you want to operate and pass the assessment.

Here's how you need to do to receive the training:

  1. Choose a school where you want to take the course.  As mentioned, the directory of training schools is below for your reference. You can read this article on how to choose the training school.

  2. Attend the classroom training. As part of the certification course, attending classroom training is a must. It only takes 4-5 hours to complete depending on the school's standard. 

  3. Take a written test. The trainer will then administer the written test. The test will assess how much knowledge you’ve gained from the classroom lectures. To help you pass it, here's an article to read.

  4. Attend the driving exercises. To get you familiarized with how the forklift works, driving exercises are performed. The trainer will supervise you on this while you do the exercises.

  5. Get your performance evaluated. The performance evaluation or the practical test is an important part of the certification course. This is where you will exhibit your skill driving the forklift. The instructor will give you instructions to do. If you make the instructor satisfied with your performance, you will be assured of receiving your forklift license. Here's an article to help you pass the practical test. Here's another guide on what areas you are going to be evaluated during the practical test

  6. Receive your credentials.  You will receive your training certificate and operator license at the end of the course. These are your evidence that you are successful in taking a training course. 

Here are some of the related guides you can browse through:

 

 

Different Forklift Training Courses You Can Take

For New Operator

Training schools usually offer courses for students who do not have prior knowledge driving forklift. it usually runs for 8 hours and it is composed of two parts. The classroom training tackles topics on workplace safety and health, current OSHA requirements, basic machine functions, hazard identification, inspection and maintenance, safe operation, and many other topics, while the actual driving is an exercise to perform a set of tasks such as a pre-operational check, starting, maneuvering, picking laden pallet, load calculation, transporting materials, storing goods at an elevated rack, post-operational check, refueling/recharging, parking in designated place, etc. 

Train the Trainer Program

If you are an employer, you can make an arrangement with the training school to provide your representative with the Train-the-Trainer program. There are two ways to receive this either by sending your representative to the school or by conducting the training at your own facility. The latter option is the ideal way because the trainer can customize the curriculum to suit the type of forklifts you're using and the condition of the workplace.

Refresher Course

The four (4)-hour refresher course can be done at the employer’s facility or at the training school, just like the previous option. The refresher course is designed for experienced operators who want to get updated with the latest regulations and programs. Refresher course is also given to operators who are involved in an accident or incidence such as in near-miss or property damage.

Forklift Training Schools in California

Prior to getting hired by a company you need your training conducted by a qualified trainer. Likewise, if you’re the owner of the business, you need to apply your operators for the OSHA-standard forklift training. Here are the training centers/providers in California:

 

  • American Forklift Training Centers, Inc.
    7250 Bandini Blvd #108, Commerce, CA 90040
    Phone: (323) 620-7000

  • Coast to Coast Forklift Training Certification
    13600 Imperial Hwy Suite 5 Santa Fe Springs, CA. 90670
    Phone: (562)229-1908

  • Superior Forklift Training
    1235 East Francis Street Suite #G, Ontario, CA 91761
    Phone:1-866-992-7774 or 1-909-474-2418
  • Allstate Forklift Training
    2025 Chicago Ave. Suite A8, Riverside, CA 92507
    Phone: 909-313-8068

  • Forklift Academy
    21947 Plummer St., Chatsworth, CA 91311, (818) 998-3277
    3400 Unicorn Rd. Unit 105, Bakersfield, CA 93308, (559) 890-0282

  • Certified Forklift Training Center
    4934 E. Lansing Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727
    Phone: (559) 325-8097

  • AAA Forklift Inc.
    1271 Columbia Ave F-6 Riverside, CA
    Phone: (951) 200-4272

  • Atlas Forklift Training
    464 S. Pershing Ave., San Bernardino CA 92408
    Phone: (909) 888-4088

  • Coast To Coast Forklift Training
    10423 Atlantic Avenue, South Gate, CA 90280
    Phone: (323) 996-5108

  • United Forklift License
    12401 Slauson Ave, Suite # B, Whittier, CA 90606
    Phone: 1-562-945-5565

  • USA Forklift
    1701 S Mountain Ave Ontario, CA 91762
    Phone: (909) 717-6946

  • American Forklift Training Centers, Inc.
    266 San Lorenzo St. Pomona, CA 91766
    Phone: (909) 418-4286

  • Career Development Institute
    1335 N. Plaza Drive, Visalia, CA 93291
    (559) 651-1425

  • E & E Industries
    4931 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92102
    Phone: (619) 262-8693,

  • LiftSafe
    Danville, California
    Phone: (925) 838-8859, (925) 831-9747 (FAX)

  • Hi Desert Forklift
    15603 10th Street, Victorville, CA 92392
    Phone: 760-241-4575

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  • All Star Safety Training Inc.
    575 College Commerce Way, Upland, CA 91786
    (800) 260-4391, (877) 594-9347

  • Sierra Safety Training
    11768 Atwood Rd., Ste 11, Auburn, CA 95603
    Phone: (530) 278-8080

  • Creation World Safety
    Vermont Ave. Suite A-108 Torrance, CA 90502
    Phone: (310) 538-1297

  • Interstate 80 Forklift, Inc.
    70 Union Way, Vacaville, CA 95687
    Phone: (707) 451-5100, Fax: (707) 451-5101

  • Cromer Material Handling, Inc.
    4701 Oakport Street, Oakland, CA, Phone: 510.534.6566
    1813 Moffat Boulevard, Manteca, CA, Phone: 209.465.8987
    3939 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A
    West Sacramento, CA 95691, Phone: 916.371.2004
    6131 South Lincoln Court, Fresno, Phone: 559.268.6621

  • Interstate 80 Forklift, Inc.
    70 Union Way, Vacaville, CA 95687
    Phone: (707) 451-5100, Fax: (707) 451-5101

  • Creation World Safety
    19401 So. Vermont Ave. Suite A-108 Torrance, CA 90502
    Phone:(310) 538-1297

  • Sierra Safety Training
    11768 Atwood Rd., Ste 11, Auburn, CA 95603
    Phone: (530) 278-8080

  • San Jose Forklift
    888 Stockton Ave, San Jose, CA 95112
    Phone: (408) 287-1816

  • Toyota Material Handling Northern California
    2660 Port St, West Sacramento, CA 95691
    Bay Area: (510) 675-0500, Sacramento: (916) 376-0500, Fresno: (559) 834-9500, Salinas: (831) 757-1091

  • Equipment Depot, Inc.
    12393 Slauson Ave, Whittier, CA 90606
    Phone: (562) 949-1000, Fax: (562) 949-5984

  • All Valley Safety
    20222 Gifford St, Winnetka, CA 91306, USA
    Phone: 805 587-6133

  • Fidelity Safety and Training LLC
    (805) 434-5687 Central Coast; (559) 738-6015 Central Valley; (661) 387-8001 South Valley; (209) 431-3030 The Sierra
    Phone: 800-429-7110

  • Globe-Bay Area Forklift
    San Francisco: (415) 647-6990; So. San Francisco: (650) 872-2203; Oakland: (510) 839-3115; Santa Rosa: (707) 568-0410; San Jose: (408) 294-4098

  • ROI Safety Services
    22600 Savi Ranch Pkwy, 92887 Suite A28, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
    Phone: (714) 520-1608

  • Big Joe Handling Systems
    25932 Eden Landing Rd, Hayward, CA 94545
    (510) 785-6900, (800) 835-1133, Fax (510) 785-0908

  • Environmental Outsource
    5932 East Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90040
    Phone: (323) 728-4492

  • Accurate Forklift
    85 Scenic Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95407
    Phone: 707.585.3675, Fax: 707.585.9734

  • Eldorado Forklift Co.
    3582 Haven Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063
    Redwood City: (650) 361-1666, Sacramento: (916) 368-1666
    Fax: (650) 361-1944

  • Select Equipment Sales
    6911 8th Street, Buena Park, CA
    Phone: 714-868-8000

  • National Lift Fleet Leasing and Sales
    9520 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Unit 201, Chatsworth, CA 91311
    Phone: 888.580.5438

  • UniShield
    599 4th St., San Fernando, CA, 91340
    Phone: 800-480-5855

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  • Westec
    P.O. Box 1210 5801 E. Lerdo HWY, Shafter, CA 93263
    Phone: (661) 387-1055

  • Madland Toyota-Lift
    4485 Buck Owens Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93308, 661.393.2491
    322 N. Aviador St., Camarillo, CA 93010, 805.485.7778

  • Central California Safety Council
    6004 N. El Dorado St., Stockton, CA 95207-4349
    Phone: (209) 472-7233 Ext. 6

  • Training Resource Center
    4999 E. Bardsley Ave., Tulare, Ca 93274
    Phone: 559.688.3130

  • E & E Industries
    4931 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92102
    Phone: (619) 262-8693

  • University of California
    One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616
    Phone: 530-752-1011

  • Northwestern Polytechnic
    10726 106 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 4C4, 780-539-2911
    11235-98 Avenue PO Bag 3000, Fairview, AB T0H 1L0, 780-835-6600
    1 Research Road PO Box 1118, Beaverlodge, AB T0H 0C0, 780-357-7737

  • Toyota Material Handling Northern California
    6999 Southfront Rd Livermore, CA, (510) 675-0500
    2660 Port St. West Sacramento CA, (916) 376-0500
    5809 Toyota Ave. Fresno CA, (559) 834-9500
    773 Vertin Ave. Salinas CA, (831) 757-1091

  • USA Forklift Certification
    201 N Palomares Street, Pomona, CA 91767
    10134 Sixth St. Suite B, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
    5800 S Eastern Ave Suite 511, Commerce, CA 90040
    1100 E. Orangethorpe Ave. suite 200R, Anaheim, CA 92801
    738 S. Waterman Ave., Suite B29, San Bernardino, CA 92408
    1525 3rd Street, Suite K, Riverside, CA 92507
    Contact: (909) 717-6946, (323) 597-8483, (714) 853-4515

 

 

It’s the employer’s obligation to train their forklift operators

  • The employer is responsible to test the operator’s skill driving the forklift, the employer can designate a trainer to train them.
  • The employer must strictly adhere that forklift training must meet or exceed OSHA standards.
  • OSHA inspectors can make a surprise visit at businesses, if forklift operators were found to be untrained, OSHA can impose $8,000 fine for each operator without proper certification.
  • OSHA requires the employer to conduct workplace-specific training for a new operator.
  • Visit the governing offices below for more details about certification, wages, legislation, and current rules. 

 

 

How Much Can You Make as a Licensed Forklift Operator in CA?

A forklift operator employed in California can make as much as $43,439 on average per year. The salary varies depending the location of assignment. As of February 25, 2022, Here are the towns or cities in California with high paying wages for forklift operators:

$43,458 - Anaheim $43,402 - Norwalk
$44,481 - Antioch $46,278 - Oakland
$41,252 - Apple Valley $42,028 - Oceanside
$41,650 - Bakersfield $41,541 - Ontario
$46,278 - Berkeley $43,361 - Orange
$43,983 - Burbank $41,689 - Oxnard
$41,734 - Carlsbad $43,691 - Palmdale
$43,361 - Carson $43,983 - Pasadena
$39,690 - Chico $43,602 - Petaluma
$41,967 - Chula Vista $43,365 - Pomona
$43,361 - Compton $41,400 - Rancho Cucamonga
$43,610 - Concord $41,430 - Rialto
$43,361 - Costa Mesa $46,166 - Richmond
$48,596 - Corte Madera $41,603 - Riverside
$48,611 - Daly City $41,926 - Roseville
$43,564 - Downey $42,035 - Sacramento
$48,456 - El Granada $43,087 - Salinas
$43,936 - El Monte $41,430 - San Bernardino
$41,973 - Elk Grove $41,967 - San Diego
$43,139 - Elmira $48,611 - San Francisco
$43,579 - Fairfield $48,806 - San Jose
$41,603 - Fontana $43,400 - Santa Ana
$48,712 - Fremont $41,891 - Santa Barbara
$38,687 - Fresno $48,806 - Santa Clara
$43,458 - Fullerton $48,790 - Saratoga
$43,458 - Garden Grove $43,256 - Santa Cruz
$43,983 - Glendale $41,272 - Santa Maria
$46,200 - Hayward $42,467 - Santa Rosa
$43,361 - Huntington Beach $42,643 - Simi Valley
$43,983 - Inglewood $41,567 - Stockton
$43,361 - Irvine $48,806 - Sunnyvale
$43,749 - Lancaster $41,828 - Temecula
$43,361 - Long Beach $42,320 - Thousand Oaks
$43,361 - Los Alamitos $43,361 - Torrance
$43,983 - Los Angeles $43,703 - Vallejo
$41,277 - Modesto $41,689 - Ventura
$43,180 - Monterey $41,268 - Victorville
$41,572 - Moreno Valley $38,453 - Visalia
$42,413 - Murrieta $43,365 - West Covina
$43,431 - Newhall $41,734 - Vista

 

If you can prove your value and worth to the company and you can deliver superior quality to your job, an employer can give you a higher wage, the same applies to an individual who can show skills driving many types of forklifts. In Oregon, CA's neighboring state, the wage is considerably lower. 

 

 

Governing Offices:

If you have further questions and matters you want to clarify, contact these offices:

California Department of Industrial Relations
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Fl, San Francisco, CA 94102-7004
(415) 703-4810, www.dir.ca.gov

Cal/OSHA
2000 E. McFadden Avenue, Suite 214, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 558-4411 | (800) 963-9424
https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/stateprogs/california.html

Other Locations in CA

San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Alameda, Orange, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Bakersfield, Inglewood, Irvine, Jurupa Valley, Azusa, San Benito, Huntington Beach, Atwater, Merced, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Solano, Blythe, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Burlingame, Calexico, Imperial, Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Clara, San Diego, Stanislaus, Butte, Madera, Sacramento, Humboldt, Fremont, Fullerton, Monterey, Laguna Beach, Kingsburg, La Habra, Garden Grove, La Mesa, La Mirada, La Quinta, La Verne, Lafayette, La Puente, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Fortuna, Tulare, Lake, Fresno, Kings, Yolo, Lawndale, Kern, Placer, Tulare, San Bruno, San Carlos, Rosemead, San Francisco, Solano, Laguna Niguel, Lemon Grove, Laguna Hills, Lake Elsinore, Lake Forest, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lemon Grove, Lincoln, Livermore, Lodi, Santa Clara, Los Banos, Lynwood, Yuba, Marin, Butte, Perris, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Pomona, Porterville, Poway, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Cucamonga, Red Bluff, Redding, Redlands, Rialto, Richmond, San Gabriel, San Jacinto, San Jose, San Leandro, San Marcos, San Pablo, San Rafael, San Ramon, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Saratoga, Shasta, Lassen, San Joaquin, Waterford, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westminster, Mendocino, Sutter, Woodside


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