REVEALED: Best places in the UK for forklift jobs

9 Dec, 2022

2 min read

The UK has a large industrial sector and there are many companies that require forklift operators. However, the demand for these jobs and the availability of opportunities can vary depending on a number of factors, including location and experience.

What are the requirements to become a UK forklift operator?

To work as a forklift operator in the UK, you must have a valid forklift licence. This licence is obtained by completing a training course and passing a practical and theoretical test. The training course covers topics such as health and safety, operating procedures, and proper use of the forklift. Once you have obtained your licence, you can start looking for forklift jobs in the UK. These jobs can be found through job search websites, recruitment agencies, and by directly contacting companies that are in need of forklift operators.

What does a UK forklift job involve?

The duties of a forklift operator typically include loading and unloading goods, moving materials around the warehouse or factory, and ensuring that materials are stored safely and securely. Forklift operators may also be responsible for conducting routine maintenance on the forklift, such as checking the fluid levels and replacing worn parts.

Forklift operator UK

LPG counterbalance forklift

The working hours for forklift jobs in the UK can vary depending on the company and the specific role. Some forklift operators may work full-time, while others may work part-time or on a casual basis. Shift work is also common in this field, as warehouses and factories often operate 24 hours a day.

Availability of forklift jobs by location

The availability of forklift operator jobs varies considerably across the country, which may reflect economic imbalances, skills shortages and varying demand. The heatmap below shows the number of available jobs in UK counties, in addition to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Heatmap of forklift jobs by UK county.

Heatmap of forklift jobs by UK county. Source: Data source: Correct as of Dec 2022.

The heatmap shows a predictable concentration of jobs in London and the east coast, as well as some more surprising results elsewhere around the country. New trends such as online shopping have altered the availability of forklift operator jobs, with traditional locations such as container ports competing with inland warehouses.

The average wage for forklift operators

The pay for forklift jobs in the UK can also vary depending on a number of factors. These factors may include the location, the size of the company, and the level of experience of the forklift operator. On average, forklift operators in the UK can expect to earn around £24,000 – £30,000 per year.

Is it worth being a forklift operator in the UK?

Whether or not being a forklift operator is a good job depends on a number of factors, including an individual’s personal interests, skills, and goals. Some people may enjoy working as a forklift operator and find it to be a fulfilling and rewarding job, while others may not find it to be a good fit for them.

There are some great advantages to working as a forklift operator. For example, many jobs offer a decent wage and several provide opportunities for advancement. Forklift operators may also have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, such as warehouses, factories, and construction sites. There are also several types of forklifts that you may gain experience operating.

Telehandler forklift on construction site

Telehandler forklift on a construction site

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to working as a forklift operator. This job can be physically demanding, as it involves operating heavy machinery and lifting and moving materials. It can also be potentially dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Location is also an important factor as shown in our heatmap above, and you may struggle to find adequate jobs depending on where you live.