How Much Does a Forklift License Cost in 2024? (By Country)

how much does forklift license cost

Are you curious about how much it costs to get a forklift license in 2024? Let’s break it down in simple terms so you can understand the expenses involved in obtaining this certification. Whether you are looking to boost your job skills or need the license for your current role, knowing the costs upfront helps you plan better.

How Much Does Forklift License Cost By Country

In the US

The cost of obtaining a forklift license in the US can vary depending on whether you opt for online or in-person training, the type of certification, and the provider. Generally, online forklift certification courses range from $50 to $200. These courses are convenient as they can be completed at your own pace and often include all necessary materials and certification exam fees​.

For those preferring hands-on experience, in-person training typically costs between $150 and $200 for a one to two-day course. Some training centers might offer more intensive or specialized courses at different rates. It’s also worth noting that some community colleges and private training schools might provide forklift training, which can include practical hands-on sessions in addition to theoretical learning​​.

Employers sometimes provide forklift training for their employees, which can be a cost-effective way to receive certification if such programs are offered at your workplace​​.

Before deciding on a training program, consider whether the convenience of online learning or the hands-on experience of in-person training better suits your learning style and career requirements. Also, check if the program covers all OSHA requirements to ensure it meets safety and operational standards.

In the UK

In the UK, forklift training is categorized into several levels, each catering to different skill sets and experiences, and the costs vary accordingly:

  1. Novice Training: This level is for individuals with no prior experience operating forklifts. It typically lasts four to five days and is the most comprehensive, covering all the basics required to operate a forklift safely and efficiently. The cost for novice training ranges from approximately £650 to £800​​.
  2. Experienced but Untrained Operator Training: This is for operators who have experience using forklifts but have never received formal certification. The training focuses on formalizing their skills to meet safety standards and regulations.
  3. Conversion Training: Aimed at experienced forklift operators looking to learn how to operate a different type of forklift. This course is shorter than the novice training as it skips the very basic elements common to all forklifts​​.
  4. Refresher Training: Recommended every three to five years or if the operator has been involved in an accident or near miss. This training updates operators on the latest safety protocols and operational techniques. It’s the shortest and typically the least expensive, costing around £100 to £150​​.

The cost for these trainings can vary based on the training provider’s location, the type of forklift for which training is being provided, and the class size. In general, the cost of obtaining a forklift training certification can range from £100 for a refresher course to £750 for a comprehensive novice course​​.

It’s important to choose a training provider accredited by recognized bodies such as the RTITB, ITSSAR, or CITB to ensure the quality of training and the validity of the certification​ (Forklift Licence)​.

In Australia

In Australia, the cost of obtaining a forklift license varies depending on your experience level and the training provider you choose. Generally, for those with some experience in forklift operation, a one-day course can cost between $350 and $500. For beginners, the courses are usually longer and may cost between $500 and $550. These courses are comprehensive, covering both practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to operate a forklift safely.

In Australia, obtaining a forklift license also requires applying for a High Risk Work Licence (HRWL), as forklift operation is considered high-risk work. The application fee for the HRWL varies by state:

  • New South Wales: Approximately $77 per application.
  • Queensland: Around $100 per application.
  • Victoria: About $67 per application.

These fees are paid to the state regulatory bodies like WorkSafe Victoria, SafeWork NSW, or WorkSafe Queensland after successfully completing the forklift training course. The HRWL needs to be renewed every five years, and the costs for renewal might vary slightly compared to the initial application fee.

For detailed and accurate pricing, it’s important to check with the relevant state’s workplace safety authority where you plan to work, as they manage the licensing and regulate the training standards for high-risk operations​.

In Canada

In Canada, the cost of forklift certification varies depending on the training provider and whether you choose an online or in-person course. Online forklift certification courses generally range from $50 to $200. If you prefer in-person training, which typically includes both theoretical and practical components, the costs can range from $150 to $200, depending on your location​​.

It’s important to select a reputable training provider. Look for those with good reviews and proper accreditation, ensuring they meet Canadian safety standards. After completing the training, you’ll need to pass both practical and theoretical assessments to receive your certification​​.

For further details on training providers or specific courses near you, it’s best to check directly with local training centers or online platforms offering certified forklift training in Canada.

Factors That Affect the Cost

When you’re looking to get a forklift license, the cost can change based on a few key things:

  1. Training Programs: The type of training program you choose plays a big role in how much you’ll pay. There are different kinds of courses depending on your experience level—like beginner courses for people new to forklifts, or advanced courses for those who have some experience. Generally, more detailed and longer courses for beginners cost more because they cover everything from scratch. On the other hand, shorter refresher courses or specialized training for experienced operators usually cost less.
  2. Location: Where you are in the country—or even in the world—can make a difference in training costs. Prices might be higher in big cities due to higher living costs there, or in places where there are fewer training centers because less competition can mean higher prices. In some countries, training and certification might be more expensive due to stricter regulations or the need for more comprehensive training.
  3. Type of Certification: The specific forklift you’re being trained to operate can also impact the cost. Basic certifications for common types of forklifts might be cheaper. But if you need to learn to operate specialized or more complex machinery—like a telescopic handler or a heavy industrial forklift—the training is more intensive, and that can make it more expensive.

When you’re budgeting for forklift training, it’s important to think about what kind of training you really need, where you’re planning to get trained, and what type of forklift you’ll be certified to operate. Each of these factors can either increase or decrease the cost.

Typical Costs of Forklift License Training

When you’re thinking about getting forklift license training, the costs can vary quite a bit, but generally, here’s what you might expect:

  1. Typical Costs:
    • Online Training: This might be the cheapest option, often ranging from $50 to $200. These courses can be done from home and usually cover basic forklift operation and safety.
    • In-person Training: Costs for this more hands-on approach range from around $150 to $600 or more, depending on the depth of the training and the location.
  2. What’s Included:
    • Classroom Learning: This part of the training typically involves learning the theoretical aspects of forklift operation. It includes understanding the different types of forklifts, safety regulations, and proper operation techniques.
    • Hands-On Training: In addition to classroom learning, most courses offer practical training where you actually get to operate a forklift under supervision. This is crucial because it gives you real experience.
    • Assessment and Certification: After you’ve completed the training, there’s usually an assessment to test what you’ve learned. Passing this test is how you earn your certification, which is needed to legally operate a forklift.

These costs generally include all the learning materials you might need, such as books or online resources, as well as the fees for the certification test. Sometimes, they might also cover gear like safety helmets or vests, but that’s not always the case.

When choosing a training program, it’s important to consider both the costs and what is included to ensure you’re getting good value and the right kind of training to meet legal and job requirements.

Additional Expenses to Consider

When getting forklift training, there are some additional costs you might need to think about:

  1. Equipment Costs:
    • Using or Renting Forklifts: Sometimes, the cost of using a forklift during your training isn’t included in the upfront training fee. If the training center doesn’t own its forklifts, you might need to pay extra to rent one. This cost can vary, but it’s something to ask about before you start your course.
  2. Renewals and Refreshers:
    • License Renewal: Like many professional certifications, forklift licenses need to be renewed every few years to make sure you’re still up to speed with the latest safety standards and operations. The cost for renewing a forklift license can range from $100 to $200, depending on where you are and the specific requirements of the renewal process.
    • Refresher Courses: It’s also a good idea to take refresher courses, especially if you haven’t operated a forklift in a while or if there have been significant changes in regulations or equipment. These courses help ensure you remain competent and safe on the job. The cost of refresher courses can vary, but they are generally less expensive than the initial training.

These costs are important to consider as they can add up and impact your overall investment in becoming a certified forklift operator. Always check what’s included in your initial training fee and what might be extra to avoid any surprises.

Tips for Saving Money

If you’re looking to save money on forklift certification, here are a few tips that can help you find more affordable options and ensure you’re getting good value for your investment:

  1. Research and Compare Training Providers:
    • Shop Around: Don’t settle for the first training program you find. Look at different training centers and compare their prices and what they offer. Prices can vary significantly from one provider to another.
    • Check for Inclusions: Ensure you understand what’s included in the fee. Some training centers might include the cost of textbooks, equipment use, and even the certification exam in the course fee, while others might not.
  2. Look for Package Deals:
    • Bundled Courses: Some training centers offer discounts if you sign up for multiple courses or if you book a course as part of a group. This can be a great way to save money if you can organize a few people who also need training.
  3. Check for Subsidies or Grants:
    • Government or Industry Subsidies: In some regions, government programs or industry associations offer subsidies or grants to help cover the cost of vocational training. Check if such options are available in your area.
  4. Consider Online Courses:
    • Online Training Options: Some parts of the certification process, especially the theoretical learning, can be completed online. Online courses are often cheaper than in-person training sessions.
  5. Evaluate the Total Cost:
    • Consider Travel and Accommodation Costs: If the training center is far from your location, you might end up spending more on travel and accommodation than you would save on the course itself. Try to find a good training program close to home.
  6. Ask About Future Discounts:
    • Refresher Discounts: Since forklift certifications need to be renewed or refreshed periodically, some training providers offer discounts for returning students. This can help reduce the cost of maintaining your certification over time.

By carefully comparing training programs, checking what’s included in the course fees, and looking for any available discounts or subsidies, you can make forklift certification more affordable. Always ensure that the training provider is accredited and offers the necessary depth of training to meet safety and regulatory standards.

To Make a Conclusion

The cost of getting a forklift license in 2024 can vary quite a bit depending on a few things, like where you’re getting your training, what type of forklift you’ll be learning to operate, and how much experience you have.

Generally, if you’re starting from scratch, you might pay between $150 to $600 in the U.S. or between £650 to £800 in the UK for comprehensive training. This price often covers both the classroom lessons and the hands-on driving experience you’ll need to safely operate a forklift. Keep in mind, costs might also include fees for using the training center’s forklifts and taking the certification tests.

To make sure you get the best deal, it’s a good idea to shop around, compare different training programs, and check if there are any subsidies or discounts available. Remember, investing in a proper training course not only helps you get certified but also ensures you’re prepared to operate a forklift safely, potentially preventing costly accidents.


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