hourly pay for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
do Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators make a lot of money

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Other names for this job might include Carrier Driver, Carry All Driver, Cat Driver, Cat Operator, Cat Skinner, Cat Tender, Caterpillar Driver, Caterpillar Operator, Caterpillar Tractor Operator, Charging Car Operator

  • $34260
  • 53%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • Bad
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Forklift Drivers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as an Industrial Truck and Tractor Operator will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$34260 per year

Hourly wage
$16.470 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Forklift Drivers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Forklift Drivers is $34260. Their salary can also be as low as $22570 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $48850 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $16.470 and can range from $10.850 to $23.480 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Forklift Driver will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Forklift Driver to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Forklift Drivers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of D.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$23.480$48850
Senior (Top 25%)$19.110$39750
Middle (Mid 50%)$15.610$32460
Junior (Bottom 25%)$12.890$26800
No experience (Bottom 10%)$10.850$22570

Entry-level Forklift Drivers who starts out at $26800 can expect to make $32460 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $10.850 per hour while the top 10% makes over $23.480 per hour.

While the median wage is $32460 per annum or $15.610 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution25.9754030
Rail Transportation23.7849460
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing23.3648600
Motor Vehicle Manufacturing22.9347680
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation22.6447100
Metal Ore Mining22.6147020
Support Activities for Transportation22.5646930
Federal government, including the US Postal Service21.945550
Federal Executive Branch21.8445440
Scientific Research and Development Services21.4644640
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences21.4644640
Coal Mining21.2344150
Support Activities for Mining20.6442930
Electrical Contractors and Other Wiring Installation Contractors19.8841350
Roofing Contractors19.640780
Computer Systems Design and Related Services19.5640690
Ship and Boat Building19.440350
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services19.2440020
Other Specialty Trade Contractors19.239930
Other General Merchandise Stores19.1839900
General Merchandise Stores19.1539830
Basic Chemical Manufacturing19.1139750
Water Transportation19.139730
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals19.0739660
Building Equipment Contractors19.0339580
Water, Sewage and Other Systems19.0139550
Facilities Support Services18.939310
Landscaping Services18.8939300
Educational Services, Local government owned18.8939290
Local government, including schools and hospitals18.8939290
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors18.8739240
Mining (except Oil and Gas)18.8339170
Oil and Gas Extraction18.8139120
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors18.7939080
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned18.7639020
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)18.738890
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)18.6938870
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills18.5738620
Lime and Gypsum Product Manufacturing18.5138500
Poured Concrete Foundation and Structure Contractors18.4838440
Boiler, Tank, and Shipping Container Manufacturing18.4838440
Federal, State, and Local Government18.4738410
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service18.4738410
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service18.4638400
Food Services and Drinking Places18.4638390
Special Food Services18.4638390
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)18.4338340
Other Building Equipment Contractors18.3738200
Casino Hotels18.3638190
Iron and Steel Mills and Ferroalloy Manufacturing18.3438140
Specialty Trade Contractors18.3238100
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing18.2838020
Accommodation and Food Services18.2637980
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing18.1937840
Utility System Construction18.1137660
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing18.0937630
Telephone Call Centers18.0537550
Traveler Accommodation18.0437520
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction17.9337300
Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing17.8237060
Beer, Wine, and Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers17.7836990
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction17.7836970
Nonmetallic Mineral Mining and Quarrying17.7436910
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing17.7136840
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned17.736830
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction17.6636730
Paper and Paper Product Merchant Wholesalers17.6536710
Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing17.6336670
Specialized Freight Trucking17.636600
Educational Services, State government owned17.5936580
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors17.5436490
Other Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing17.4936390
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing17.3936170
Engineering Services17.3336040
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services17.3236020
Paint, Coating, and Adhesive Manufacturing17.3136010
Primary Metal Manufacturing17.2935970
Drywall and Insulation Contractors17.2735930
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing17.2635900
Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing17.2435860
Truck Transportation17.2435860
Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing17.2235830
Masonry Contractors17.2235820
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing17.1735720
Beverage Manufacturing17.1635690
Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing17.1535670
General Freight Trucking17.1535670
Chemical Manufacturing17.1235610
Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing17.0835530
Grain and Oilseed Milling1735360
Paper Manufacturing1735350
Automotive Mechanical and Electrical Repair and Maintenance16.9835310
Dairy Product Manufacturing16.9735290
Couriers and Express Delivery Services16.9635270
Transportation and Warehousing16.9435240
Farm and Garden Machinery and Equipment Merchant Wholesalers16.9435230
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing16.9235190
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing16.9135170
Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers16.8935120
Couriers and Messengers16.8835110
Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction16.8535050
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing16.8435030
Nonresidential Building Construction16.8335000
Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel16.8335000
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services16.8335000
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing16.834940
Building Finishing Contractors16.7834900
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers16.7634860
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services16.7434830
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods16.734740
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations16.6734670
Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers16.6434610
Construction of Buildings16.6334590
Other Food Manufacturing16.6234560
Miscellaneous Manufacturing16.634530
Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing16.5834480
Machinery Manufacturing16.5734460
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing16.5634450
Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers16.5634450
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services16.4834280
Management of Companies and Enterprises16.4834270
Waste Collection16.4734260
Automobile Dealers16.4634240
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing16.4534230
Automotive Repair and Maintenance16.4534220
Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing16.4334180
Forestry and Logging16.4334170
Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing16.434110
Cement and Concrete Product Manufacturing16.3834070
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations16.3834070
Turned Product and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing16.3734050
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing16.3433980
State government, including schools and hospitals16.3333970
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing16.333910
Direct Selling Establishments16.2933890
Rental and Leasing Services16.2933880
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing16.2833860
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing16.2833850
Vocational Rehabilitation Services16.2733850
Wholesale Trade16.2733840
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals16.2433790
Waste Management and Remediation Services16.2433780
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing16.2333760
Animal Food Manufacturing16.1833650
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing16.1833650
Lessors of Real Estate16.1733630
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing16.1633610
Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers16.1333540
Support Activities for Rail Transportation16.1333540
Rubber Product Manufacturing16.133480
Inland Water Transportation16.0833450
Architectural and Structural Metals Manufacturing16.0833440
Nonstore Retailers16.0733420
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses16.0733420
Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging16.0433360
Social Assistance16.0433360
All industries16.0233320
Lumber and Other Construction Materials Merchant Wholesalers16.0233320
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing16.0133300
All industries, private ownership only1633280
Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers15.9933270
Repair and Maintenance15.9933250
Cutlery and Handtool Manufacturing15.9833230
Printing and Related Support Activities15.9633200
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing15.9633190
Office Furniture (including Fixtures) Manufacturing15.9533180
Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers15.9533170
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)15.8833030
Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing15.8532970
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)15.8432940
Real Estate15.8332920
Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing15.8132880
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing15.7732800
Food Manufacturing15.7432740
Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers15.7432740
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods15.7332710
Soap, Cleaning Compound, and Toilet Preparation Manufacturing15.7232700
Ventilation, Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing15.7132670
Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing15.732650
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services15.732650
Communications Equipment Manufacturing15.6932630
Warehousing and Storage15.6832620
Freight Transportation Arrangement15.6832610
Veneer, Plywood, and Engineered Wood Product Manufacturing15.6732600
Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing15.6632580
Waste Treatment and Disposal15.6532560
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance15.6132470
Air Transportation15.6132460
Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers15.5932430
Grocery Stores15.5932420
Industrial Machinery Manufacturing15.5832410
Household Appliance Manufacturing15.5632370
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing15.5532350
Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities15.5432330
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries15.5432310
Local Messengers and Local Delivery15.5232280
Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing15.5132270
Forging and Stamping15.5132270
Scheduled Air Transportation15.5232270
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries15.5132260
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation15.532250
Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing15.4832210
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)15.4832200
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services15.4632160
Plastics Product Manufacturing15.4132050
Services to Buildings and Dwellings15.3932010
Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing15.3631950
Machine Shops15.3531930
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers15.3431900
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries15.3331890
Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers15.3231860
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores15.3131840
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers15.3131840
Publishing Industries (except Internet)15.331820
Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers15.2931800
Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing15.2231660
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services15.2231660
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing15.2231650
Spring and Wire Product Manufacturing15.231610
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)15.1731560
Food and Beverage Stores15.1731550
Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing15.1631540
Drugs and Druggists' Sundries Merchant Wholesalers15.1431480
Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores15.1331470
Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing15.0931380
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers15.0731340
Clay Product and Refractory Manufacturing15.0631320
Specialized Design Services15.0331250
Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing14.9931190
Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing14.9831160
Office Administrative Services14.9831160
Hospitals, Privately owned14.9631120
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned14.9631120
Other Support Activities for Transportation14.9231030
Footwear Manufacturing14.8730930
Sawmills and Wood Preservation14.8330850
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores14.8330840
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers14.7330640
General Rental Centers14.7230610
Tobacco Manufacturing14.6930560
Wood Product Manufacturing14.6930550
Household and Institutional Furniture and Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing14.6930550
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers14.6930540
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers14.6530460
Other Support Services14.5830330
Other Furniture Related Product Manufacturing14.5330230
Newspaper Publishers14.5230210
Electronics and Appliance Stores14.5130180
Household and Institutional Furniture Manufacturing14.530160
Support Activities for Animal Production14.4930140
Vending Machine Operators14.4230000
Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media14.3929930
Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers14.3329810
Gasoline Stations14.3129760
Hardware Manufacturing14.2729680
Department Stores14.229540
Other Motor Vehicle Dealers14.1629450
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services14.1629440
Retail Trade14.1529430
Automotive Parts, Accessories, and Tire Stores14.1529430
Furniture Stores14.1129350
Other Wood Product Manufacturing14.129340
Textile and Fabric Finishing and Fabric Coating Mills14.0729270
Support Activities for Road Transportation14.0429200
Business Support Services13.9929090
Administrative and Support Services13.9729050
Employment Services13.928910
Specialty Food Stores13.8928890
Residential Building Construction13.8428780
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting13.728500
Fabric Mills13.5728230
Support Activities for Agriculture and Forestry13.5228130
Support Activities for Crop Production13.5128090
Textile Furnishings Mills13.528080
Animal Slaughtering and Processing13.4828040
Apparel Knitting Mills13.4628000
Textile Product Mills13.4627990
Health and Personal Care Stores13.3727810
Textile Mills13.3327720
Miscellaneous Store Retailers13.3127680
Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores13.2327520
Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores13.1727390
Apparel Manufacturing13.0727190
Other Textile Product Mills13.0527130
Personal and Laundry Services12.9726980
Drycleaning and Laundry Services12.9726980
Consumer Goods Rental12.8426710
Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers12.5526110
Building Material and Supplies Dealers12.5326070
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing12.2525490
Fiber, Yarn, and Thread Mills12.2225430
Home Furnishings Stores11.7424420
Used Merchandise Stores10.3821580

Not all industries pay the same for Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Forklift Driver is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like AK doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at AK may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Forklift Drivers are in the states of AK, DC, HI, WA and ND. The average salary in AK is $52630.

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