Forklift Drivers

ANZSCO ID 7213

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
67,900
Future Growth
2%
Weekly Earnings
$1,286
Full-Time Share
86%
Female Share
4%
Average age
42

Summary

Forklift Drivers operate forklifts to move bulk materials, containers, crates, palletised goods, cartons and bales.

Also known as: Forklift Operator or Fork Truck Operator.

Specialisations: Reach Truck Operator.

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Forklift Driver. Some workers have Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in areas such as warehousing operations.

Tasks

  • operating controls to align forklifts and raise and lower forks to stack and unstack items in warehouses, factories, timber yards and shipping terminals

  • operating forklifts which run on rails or use electronic guidance systems to control movements in narrow aisles

  • transporting goods to designated areas in warehouses, factories, timber yards and shipping terminals

  • ensuring goods are stored in correct areas so that they can be easily located when orders are made up

  • monitoring equipment operation visually through gauges and instruments and through computerised monitoring equipment

  • inspecting and controlling equipment to identify wear and damage

  • servicing and performing minor repairs and adjustments to forklifts

  • may operate specialised trucks to carry items beneath elevated frames

Characteristics

Job Type
Machinery Operators And Drivers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Light
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
2%
(or 1,400 jobs)
From
67,000
in 2021
To
68,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 59,500
2012 60,100
2013 53,500
2014 61,700
2015 59,300
2016 57,600
2017 49,700
2018 68,300
2019 72,300
2020 58,200
2021 67,000
2026 68,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 86% of people employed as Forklift Drivers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 20 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 42 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,286 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,077
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,657

    Median hourly earnings are $31, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Forklift Drivers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,286 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
38.7%
2
Manufacturing
25.4%
3
Wholesale Trade
14.6%
4
Retail Trade
8.9%
5
Other industries
12.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.6% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

31.4% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.8% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

9.4% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.4% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.2% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Forklift Drivers All Jobs Average
NSW 31.6 31.6
VIC 31.4 25.6
QLD 17.8 20.0
SA 7.6 7.0
WA 9.4 10.8
TAS 1.6 2.0
NT 0.4 1.0
ACT 0.2 1.9


  • Around 69% of Forklift Drivers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.

    Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    The regions with the largest share of workers are:

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
42
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
4%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Forklift Drivers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 4% of the workforce. This is 44 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Forklift Drivers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.8 5.0
20-24 8.0 9.3
25-34 24.1 22.9
35-44 24.4 22.0
45-54 24.6 21.6
55-59 10.0 9.0
60-64 6.0 6.0
65 and Over 2.0 4.2
Median Age 42 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not usually required to work as a Forklift Driver. Some workers have Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in areas such as warehousing operations.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Transport and Logistics Training Package VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Forklift Drivers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 3.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 4.2 11.6
Certificate III/IV 20.1 21.1
Year 12 26.3 18.1
Year 11 10.8 4.8
Year 10 and below 34.5 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Forklift Drivers who are reliable, work well in a team and are hardworking.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 48%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 43%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 43%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 39%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 34%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 34%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 34%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 34%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 30%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 30%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 29%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 29%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 27%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 27%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 27%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 27%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 25%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 25%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 25%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 44%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 42%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 41%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 38%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 38%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 37%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 37%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 34%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 30%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 29%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 28%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 27%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 25%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 24%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 22%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 22%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 22%

    Food production

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  • 21%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 20%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 12%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 57%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 57%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 57%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 52%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 48%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 48%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 46%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 43%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 43%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 43%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 43%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 43%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 41%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 41%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 39%

    Spatial orientation

    Know where things are around you.

  • 37%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 36%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 77%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 66%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 61%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 61%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 61%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 59%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 59%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 58%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 57%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 55%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 54%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 53%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 52%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 51%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 50%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 49%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 48%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 44%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 42%

    Leading and encouraging a team

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  • 40%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 67%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 43%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 62%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 43%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 36%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 94%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 93%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 92%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 91%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 90%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 90%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 89%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 87%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 87%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 86%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 84%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 83%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 81%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 80%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 79%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 77%

    Bending or twisting your body

    Spend time bending or twisting your body.

  • 76%

    In an open vehicle or equipment

    Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).

  • 72%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7051.00 - Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators.


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