Looking for a career change? Forklift Operators are in Demand! It’s Time to Get Licensed

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Looking for a career change? Forklift Operators are in Demand! It’s Time to Get Licensed

As a forklift operator, you will usually be working in factories and warehouses. Where you will be shifting cartons, crates and pallets.

Since you are the one moving the loads and goods received, you are responsible for maintaining a well-organised warehouse. Where the goods can be located easily for any orders made. You will also need to enter delivery slips and invoices after sending the orders as a side task.


You will need to have a High-Risk Work (HRW) license to become a forklift operator. To be eligible to apply for this certification. You need to be over 18 years old, an Australian resident, and master of the English language. Well enough to communicate verbally should emergencies occur at the workplace!

Before you apply for the license, you will need to undergo a training course and pass an assessment.


You can apply for the training course in any registered training organisation (RTOs) in Australia. The course itself can be completed within two days, and you can have the assessment at the end of the training course.

During the theoretical and practical lessons, you will learn how to plan your forklift work, conduct routine checks on your forklift and the surroundings, as well as how to shift load, shut down and secure a forklift truck.

The assessment will also consist of both theoretical and practical tests. However, you will first need to fit the course requirements, which we will explain further in the section below.


There are two classes of forklift licenses for which you can apply: class LF and class LO. If you are looking to work with an order picking forklift truck, you will need a class LO HRW license.

However, if your forklift truck is going to be equipped with a mast as well as an elevating load carriage, either with fork arms or other similar attachments, you will need to apply for a class LF HRW license.

Upon passing the assessment in the training course, you will be given a WorkCover NSW Notice of Satisfactory Assessment, which is valid for only 60 days. Within these two months, you will need to apply for the HRW license.

You can bring the filled application forms to the nearest Australian Post along with 100 points of identification. Be sure to bring a passport-sized photograph of yourself to the post office, as well.

As a side note, different territories in Australia might have slightly different requirements for an HRW license than those for NSW, so you should check the requirements for your working area.


Your HRW license will expire after five years, and you will be deemed ineligible to operate a forklift once it does, so be sure to renew it two months before the expiration date!

Two months before your license is going to expire, SafeWork NSW will mail the renewal application forms to your registered address. You will need to submit your application with the 100 identification points just as you did when you were initially applying for your license.

Image via Pixabay CC0 License
David Anthony

David has a background in Journalism and small business. David writes on culture, education and business. He also writes for Relevance and Medium.

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