Forklift License in Washington, The Evergreen State

Chances are: You are here because you want to get more information about forklift certification in Washington.

In that case, you have come to the right place.

In this article, you will learn all of the information you need to land an awesome forklift operating job in the great state of Washington.

This is a great plan because Washington has so many opportunities for someone like you who is ready and willing to get certified!

In order to become qualified to work as a forklift operator in a warehouse or storage unit, the first thing you must do is attend a good training school, and get your forklift license in WA.

Without a valid forklift certification and proper training, your dream of driving the powered lift truck will remain only a dream because the law does not allow it.

The Federal law allows a person to operate the powered industrial truck only if he/she satisfies these requirements.

1. Over the age of 18 years.
2. Properly trained to operate a fork lift.
3. Have a valid forklift certification.

Like most other states, there are several steps and laws that you will need to follow in order to become certified to drive a forklift. It is well worth it though because as stated by the US BLE: the state of Washington has the potential to offer the best pay for forklift operators until 2020.

We will go over everything that employers will require of their future employees to get you prepared for the job.

What makes an instructor qualified? What type of training should I take? How do I pick a legit training school?

We will answer all these questions that you may have so you can pursue your dream career as a successful forklift operator in WA.

Forklift Training in Washington

OSHA Forklift Training in Seattle

Requirements for The Forklift Certification in WA

Most states have specific laws in order to keep their citizens safe, but Washington just goes with the industry standard. All training standards are overseen and made by OSHA, which all states are required to adhere to.

OSHA requires many things of future forklift operators that wish to obtain their forklift license in Washington.

The first being is that you need to pass a forklift training course successfully and obtain your certification. You are highly unlikely to get a job as a forklift operator in this state without proof of proper training.

You must also be able to prove that you are a legal adult and be over the age of 18 to operate a forklift. Be sure to bring a state issued I.D. to your interview as proof of your age.

Having the basic lift skills are something that every employer looks for. This is why it is important for anyone applying for this job that they have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Basic reading, communication, and math skills are needed for this job, not only for inventory purposes, but for safety reasons as well.

On your forklift resume don’t forget to put all of your past experience in the field.

Make sure you come into your training with all of your safety gear in tow. This includes a hardhat, safety vest, goggles, long pants/jeans and boots, most training facilities will not accept you without the proper safety gear as it is a liability.

Make sure to check with the hiring manager to make sure you have everything you need for your first day on the job.

Obviously having good physical health is a must because this job can be physically demanding. Being mentally on top of everything going on is crucial to the safety of you and your coworkers. You cannot be on top of your game with having drugs or alcohol in your system, so just say no!

Once you get past these basic requirements, it will be easy for you to achieve a job in this opportunity-filled state.

Forklift Certification WA

OSHA Forklift License in WA State

How to Get a Forklift License in Washington

With all of these questions to answer, we better get started on exactly how to go about getting your forklift certification in Washington. We will make it simple for you by going step by step, which will make it easier for you to understand and reach your goal.

Finding a forklift training school is the number one step you will need to take. Not just any training school, you will first need to find an in-person training facility that will do one on one training with you.

This is because the state of Washington follows OSHA standards when it comes to training. OSHA states that a forklift operator must be taught by a trained professional in the field.

Start off by opening your web browser and doing a simple internet search. Don’t get confused by all the ads that come up on how you can get your forklift operating license online. Just ignore these ads and focus the in-person training facilities.

To make this search easier, you can just simply type in “forklift training schools near (insert your city).” You will need to know what specific forklift you will need to train on, so carefully read the operator’s job description and call the company with any questions.

Having this information is crucial to finding the right training school for you. The course must contain all three parts that are necessary to learn how to operate a forklift successfully. This will include the lecture, written test, and evaluation; so be sure to call the training facility and make sure they offer all of these parts.

This type of training is more than just a law and will give you all of the skills you need to thrive in this environment.

The instructor must have the right experience in order to teach this course in a lawful manner. The most obvious qualification that an instructor must have is a forklift license.

Not only that, an instructor must have an extensive resume; meaning that he/she must have been operating forklifts for a substantial amount of time. Knowing all of the ins and outs of operating and maintaining all types of forklifts is the main component to being a forklift instructor.

Following these steps will get you your forklift license in WA, which will be your ticket to your dream forklift job in Washington.

Learn how to pass the forklift training test!

Forklift Certification Seattle

Forklift Certification in Vancouver WA

Forklift Training Schools in Washington

To obtain your forklift certification in WA (Washington), you will need to enroll in a OSHA forklift training class and complete your training. Here is a list of schools for forklift training in WA state where you can get your forklift certification.

Fork lift training schools in the alphabetical order.

Clover Park Technical College4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499253-589-5800
Columbia Industrial Training and EducationBattle Ground, WA360-901-2961
Evergreen Safety Council12545 135th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034425-814-3868
Forklift Certification Mount Vernon1117 Dale Ln, Mt Vernon, WA 98274888-254-6157
Forklift Operator Certification ServicesPO Box 142 Lakebay, WA 98349888-801-9991
Forklift Training in Seattle17300 W Valley Hwy, Tukwila, WA 98188888-254-6157
Industrial Training ServiceBothell, WA425-487-6655
Inland Northwest AGC4935 E Trent Ave, Spokane, WA 99212509-535-0391
IVES Training Group8810 S 208th St, Kent, WA 98031800-643-1144
Leavitt Machinery17300 W Valley Hwy, Tukwila, WA 98188425-251-0600
MidCo Material Handling4138 B Pl NW, Auburn, WA 98001253-854-5438
Mid-Columbia Forklift4138 B Pl NW, Auburn, WA 98001253-288-0383
Mid-Columbia Forklift Inc.2605 N Commercial Ave, Pasco, WA 99301509-547-7413
North West Handling Systems1100 SW 7th St, Renton, WA 98057425-255-0500
Operating Engineers16921 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926509-968-3203
Overton Safety Training2839 W Kennewick Ave, Kennewick, WA 99336503-356-0417
Puget Sound Training Center270 SW 43rd St, Renton, WA 98057425-656-5950
Raymond Handling Concepts Corporation3500 W Valley Hwy N Suite 101, Auburn, WA 98001253-333-2100
Statewide Forklift Certification School11002 34th Ave S, Lakewood, WA 98499253-286-8314
T Enterprises, Inc.210 E Lewis Pl, Pasco, WA 99301509-547-2441
Teamsters Training School2410 E St Helens St, Pasco, WA 99301509-545-8297
Toyota Lift Northwest19305 72nd Ave S, Kent, WA 98032253-872-7114
Washington Liftruck, Inc.700 S Chicago St, Seattle, WA 98108206-762-2040
West Coast Training3805 Dike Rd, Woodland, WA 98674360-225-6787

The list of forklift training classes and schools was last updated on April 1, 2024. If there are any inaccuracies, please report it to us.

Employment Opportunities for Forklift Workers in Washington

You may be thinking that this may seem like a lot of work to get a job. To that, I say that it is more than worth the effort!

Washington contains one of the biggest port cities that move literally tons of product in and out of the country. Forklift operators in this state are in high demand, and companies will pay good money to hire a great forklift operator.

With all of this cargo coming in and out, there is always a need for ambitious forklift operators willing to work hard. Not only are there many jobs in the ports, but there are also many companies that have massive warehouses throughout the state so they can store their products in.

The list of huge companies with warehouses is endless: Amazon, Costco, Starbucks, and Microsoft to name a few. These names are known globally, just think of the opportunities you could be offered to you when working for these companies.

Not only that, because of how successful they are, they have the ability to offer awesome great benefits.

Located in Seattle, Washington’s capital is the thirteenth busiest in America, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. If you happen to live in the Seattle area, then this could be a great opportunity for you to land a great job.

There is no reason not to find a job in this industrious state, with the correct training a drive.

Forklift Training Washington State

Forklift Certification in Tacoma WA

Benefits of Having a Forklift License in WA

There seem to be only benefits to obtaining a forklift license, and not many disadvantages at all. Employees benefit greatly from having a forklift operating license, for one this is their ticket to getting a job in the field.

Most companies will not hire someone that does not have their license. Not only that, a forklift operator will be well trained for their first day, and ready to start the job.

Also having your forklift license and being well trained on numerous vehicles increases your chances of getting promoted.

There are also many pros for employers to hire someone with a license as well.

Hiring someone that is trained and ready to dive into work saves them major dollars by not having to send them to training or spend time training on the clock.

Also, it is a fact that hiring a licensed operator prevents accidents in the workplace This in turn also saves the employer money from potential lawsuits and court costs.

These are just a few reasons why most companies will only hire operators who are licensed. So, just save yourself the trouble and show up to your interview with your flashy new license!

Forklift Jobs in WA

OSHA Forklift Certification in Seattle

Salary of a Forklift Operator in Washington State

By now you must be adding up all of the training fees that you will have to pay and wonder if it’s worth it.

As stated earlier, Washington pays its forklift operators, on average, more than the rest of the states. So, the answer to this question is yes, you will make your return on this investment rather quickly.

The only catch to this is that you will need to be licensed in order to reach these rates. So good news is that if you are a licensed forklift operator in Washington, then you will make an average of $34,500. This figure is right at the national average of $34,819 according to

As stated earlier, in Seattle, they have a high need for great forklift operators, so they can be paid up to $43,000 a year.

If you are unlicensed and happen to get a job, then the company can and probably will pay you far less. So yet again it is worth getting your license before starting your job, as it will pay off in a short amount of time. The more training you have, the more money you can make.

While you’re in training, why not take some extra courses just to prove your worth to the company? Not only that, but you can also use your training to negotiate a salary even above the average salary.

With awesome salaries like this, you are sure to pay off all of your debts and become financially independent.

So let’s look at how much does a Fork Lift Operator make in Washington state.

The table below shows forklift operator’s annual base salary for 20 major cities in the Washington region.

Federal Way$37,828Seattle$38,821

* Forklift operator salaries were last updated on April 1, 2024.

Now: Did you know, a fork lift operator in New York gets paid at $16.50/hour on average?

Well, they do and if you are looking to get forklift license in New York, then you must check our guide to see how to get your forklift license.

Forklift Training Seattle

Forklift Jobs in Tacoma WA

Renewing Your Forklift License in WA

By law, it is required of every forklift operator to renew their license every three years. There are a few good reasons on why this is a law and needs to be followed.

The first one being is that it is the law and could result in fines and stripping of your license. This law is set by the industry standard: OSHA. Another great reason to adhere to this policy is so that you can keep fresh and up to date on all safety regulations, as they can change quite frequently.

Every three years is the minimum requirement, but in the event of an accident, you may need to take a refresher course before then. In this unfortunate situation, at the very least you will need to be retrained on how to effectively operate a forklift.

In order to move up within a company, especially if you want to become a forklift trainer, you will need to take a refresher course as well.

There are many different courses offered that will help you reach any goal you set out to meet. Most of the time you will just need to take an online refresher course, but in certain cases, you will need to take the whole course.

If an accident happens or you need to be trained on specific vehicles, the whole 3-part course will most likely be necessary. Always ask your employer or OSHA representative to see which is necessary in your situation.

If it is an online course, you can do a simple search and pick a popular site with reviews.

Ask your employer which he/she recommends, because when all is said and done, they will be the ones accepting it. If you need to take the whole 3-part lecture, then you will need to search for forklift training schools near you. There are many great establishments to get your forklift license in Washington, so picking one should not be an issue.

This refresher course should be a breeze if you have been well trained, but always be sure to pay attention to any new laws that come out.

Forklift Certification Tacoma WA

Forklift Training in Washington State

Get in Touch With The Authorities

If you still have any question or need more information about forklift certification in Washington state, then you can get in touch with the Washington State Department Of Labor & Industries or an OSHA Area Office in Washington.


Washington State Department Of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414
Phone: 360-902-5800

OSHA Area Office
Olympia Area Office
PO Box 44600
Olympia, WA 98504-4620
Phone: (360) 902-5495
Fax: (360) 902-4202

In Conclusion

The rewards after landing an operator’s job far outweigh the work you had to put into obtaining your forklift license. Once you are armed with the knowledge of how to go about getting your license, then you are halfway there.

Taking the 3-part course is mandatory to obtain your forklift certification in WA, but no worries because if you have the skills, it should be a breeze!

This will be your ticket to your new job so be sure to pay attention and do well on your tests. Making sure to take all the right steps ensures your spot on a great warehouse team!

Applying for forklift certification in Pennsylvania, check our PA guide!

Share the article
Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest

Comments →

  1. Kevin Shawn Miller

    I’d like to know where, and how much it costs to be trained to become a forklift operator.


    1. Kevin,

      I have already provided a list of schools along with their phone numbers in the state of Washington which conduct on-site Forklift training. You can call them up and ask them about the actual cost of the training.

      I hope this helps.

  2. David

    So, if I go through all the training, where would I apply? Most places I see listed are looking for 6-12 months experience, with a few wanting 3+. The pay rate is decent, lots of jobs available, for experienced people. So, where do I get the entry-level experience.

    1. Hi David,

      You can find jobs on online job boards like, or You can also get in touch with local employment agencies.

      Additionally, you can also get in touch with warehouses in your local area.

  3. Yousef

    hi i am working in wood factory i have trained 5 months i drove forklift 5 month but now i am not driving forklift i am another machine operator , do i need study class or i can do writing test and driving test ?

    1. Do you have your certification? If not then you should get it first. And it’s always recommended to take writing test as well as driving test.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *