Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.
Sample of reported job titles: Checker Loader, Fork Lift Technician, Fork Truck Driver, Forklift Driver, Forklift Operator, Lift Truck Operator, Shag Truck Driver, Spotter Driver, Tow Motor Operator, Truck Driver
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
- Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
- Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
- Position lifting devices under, over, or around loaded pallets, skids, or boxes and secure material or products for transport to designated areas.
- Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
- Signal workers to discharge, dump, or level materials.
- Weigh materials or products and record weight or other production data on tags or labels.
- Perform routine maintenance on vehicles or auxiliary equipment, such as cleaning, lubricating, recharging batteries, fueling, or replacing liquefied-gas tank.
- Operate or tend automatic stacking, loading, packaging, or cutting machines.
- Turn valves and open chutes to dump, spray, or release materials from dump cars or storage bins into hoppers.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Inventory management software — Argos Software ABECAS Insight WMS; BarControl Enterprise Manager iBEM; IntelliTrack Warehouse Management System WMS; RedPrairie DLx Warehouse (see all 7 examples)
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — SSA Global Supply Chain Management; Symphony GOLD
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
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- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Peripheral Vision — The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one’s side when the eyes are looking ahead.
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- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
- Load shipments, belongings, or materials.
- Position material handling equipment.
- Secure cargo.
- Communicate with others to coordinate material handling or movement.
- Inspect cargo areas for cleanliness or condition.
- Move materials, equipment, or supplies.
- Mark materials or objects for identification.
- Weigh materials to ensure compliance with specifications.
- Clean vehicles or vehicle components.
- Maintain vehicles in good working condition.
- Operate packing or other material processing equipment.
- Install parts, assemblies, or attachments in transportation or material handling equipment.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 82% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 74% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 68% responded “Every day.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 63% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 14% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 22% responded “Moderate results.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Contact With Others — 19% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 49% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 20% responded “Fairly important.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 24% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Level of Competition — 28% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “High responsibility.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 33% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 47% responded “Every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent
|Not available||Less than high school diploma|
|Not available||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$18.06 hourly, $37,560 annual|
|Employment (2020)||631,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||75,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Transportation and Warehousing
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Industrial Truck Association
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- International Union of Operating Engineers
- International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
- National Commission for Certification of Crane Operators
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Material moving machine operators
- The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
- United Steelworkers
- Warehousing Education and Research Council
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