The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates training for all forklift operators. Online forklift certification courses teach critical forklift safety practices and OSHA rules and regulations surrounding forklift operation. Participating in online training is a convenient way to meet the non-hands-on portion of the required OSHA training.
The best online forklift training programs are fully OSHA compliant and affordable. They also offer fast and engaging learning options and make it easy to take your certification exam as many times as you want until you pass.
Best Online Forklift Certification Programs of 2021
Best Overall : Forklift Academy
Forklift Academy’s affordable and easy-to-navigate online forklift certification training features on-point videos of workplace forklift scenarios and boasts an exceptional customer satisfaction rate.
Engaging video training
Unlimited certification exam retakes
Strong customer reviews
No money-back guarantee
No training preview before purchase
Forklift Academy has offered forklift certification training for 15 years. The Academy is devoted to providing affordable and practical safety training that complies with federal rules and regulations.
The Academy’s Forklift Certification Package for Individuals meets OSHA’s standards for forklift education. To be fully OSHA-compliant, you also need to participate in hands-on training, though this does not need to be via a formal class since many beginner forklift drivers get their hands-on training through their employers. Forklift Academy offers hands-on training in nine U.S. cities with fees ranging from $280 to $550.
Forklift Academy’s online training covers all seven classes of forklift equipment including essential operator rules and forklift safety laws. You’ll also view examples of safe and unsafe forklift use in real-world environments. A daily forklift inspection checklist, which OSHA requires, is included with the program.
The course features text-based explanations of OSHA regulations, video training, and a final exam that tests comprehension. You must pass the exam to earn your certification but you can take the test as many times as you like. To get an idea of what to expect, Forklift Academy features a free sample certification test on its website.
You can complete the training in under an hour, though you are allowed as much time as you need with this self-paced program. Your certificate of completion is available immediately after passing the final exam.
Best for Beginners : National Forklift Foundation
The self-paced OSHA Forklift Certification course offers an effective way for beginners to learn best forklift safety practices and OSHA rules and regulations before receiving hands-on forklift instruction.
30-day money-back guarantee
Available in English and Spanish
Customer support via text and phone
No training preview before purchase
No discount for recertification training
No hands-on training available
Beginners who want to learn at their own pace will appreciate this safety training from the National Forklift Foundation (NFF). This OSHA-compliant online training features interactive lessons that include animated videos. The text-based course materials offer detailed explanations of essential forklift safety rules and regulations, which is especially helpful for beginners. A short quiz follows each lesson to test understanding and retention.
When you’ve completed all the lessons, you move on to the final exam with unlimited attempts to pass the final exam. Upon completion of your training, you’ll receive a digital wallet certification card with an embedded QR Code so you can authenticate your certification from anywhere.
This course covers all forklift safety rules and regulations OSHA mandates that forklift operators understand. Your NFF OSHA Forklift training certifies you to operate 17 different powered industrial trucks, aka forklifts. Beginners usually complete the training in two to three hours, while experienced forklift drivers can complete the training in about an hour.
If you’re a manager buying the program for your employees, NFF makes it easy to assign training to your employees. You can also track employee progress through your NFF dashboard. Trader Joe’s, P&G, Disney, Honeywell, and Ace Hardware are just a few of the many companies that have trained employees on forklift safety through NFF courses.
Best Value : US Forklift Operator Certification
The US Forklift Operator Certification exceeds OSHA safety training requirements at a price considerably lower than alternative training options.
Course preview available
High customer satisfaction rate
Limited customer support
Text-based training; no video
Instaprint certificate not available in Silver plan
US Forklift Certification (USFC), based in Tomball, Texas, has delivered forklift safety training for more than 15 years. Individuals can earn their OSHA certificate for as low as $38 with the USFC Silver plan, making it our pick for the best value for this type of certification.
The primary disadvantage with the low-price Silver plan is that you can’t print your certificate of completion; instead, your card is mailed to you within seven to 10 days of passing the final exam. The Silver plan also doesn’t allow you to verify your forklift safety card number online like you would with the $48 Platinum plan.
If you’re a manager who needs to train a group of employees on forklift safety, you can save even more. Groups of ten or more can earn their certification for $28 per person.
USFC’s forklift safety course covers OSHA safety guidelines and regulations, forklift loading and unloading, charging and parking, backup up, safe lifting, forklift safety maintenance, and more. You’ll take a short quiz after each lesson to ensure that you understand essential concepts. When you complete all lessons, you’ll take a final exam which can be retaken as many times as you’d like.
You can preview this course on the USFC website. Note that the program is 100% text-based which might not be right for you if you prefer video training. The course is also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee and refunds must be requested before taking the final exam.
Best Live Program : NITCO
This live online course is led by a certified instructor who tailors forklift safety training to your organization’s unique needs and the equipment you use.
Training customized for equipment you use
Learn live along with other forklift operators
No live online training for individuals
Higher price than self-guided training
NITCO is an Alta Material Handling company based in New England. While NITCO’s primary business is selling materials handling equipment, NITCO also provides online forklift safety training and is one of the few providers that offer a live training option.
Your NITCO forklift certification course is customized to your organization’s needs and equipment. Training programs are conducted live via Zoom. You’ll need to contact a NITCO representative directly to get a custom quote for online forklift certification for your organization.
Course sessions take two hours, and NITCO provides all materials for the training. Live training means your employees can ask questions and have them answered in real-time. All participants take a certification exam following homework and training completion. NITCO issues a forklift safety wallet card for each employee and a training certificate that you can keep on file at your organization.
Best Self-Paced Option : ForkliftTraining.com
The Online Forklift Operator Certification program from ForkliftTraining.com features five interactive learning modules that make it easy to start, stop, and resume the training whenever you want.
Available in English and Spanish
Customer support via chat, email, and phone
No final exam
Price a little high
ForkliftTraining.com has delivered online courses in forklift safety since 2010. Professionals from top companies, such as Subway, The Home Depot, FedEx, and Amazon have participated in this certification course.
Experienced forklift drivers can complete the training in about an hour, while beginners typically take two to fours to finish the course. The program covers forklift classes one through five as well as seven.
ForkliftTraining.com’s self-guided training allows you to learn at your own pace as you work through the five-course modules. Subjects covered include OSHA regulations, pre-operational inspections, forklift stability and capacity, general operation, and refueling/recharging. Each module concludes with an interactive quiz that ensures you absorbed vital safety principles. Unlike other online forklift courses, there is no final exam that tests overall comprehension.
For individuals, the cost for this program is $59. Organizations that need to train several employees pay $29.95 to $49 per course registrant. You’ll need to have more than 100 employees to get the lowest price of $29.95.
ForkliftTraining.com backs its program with a money-back guarantee. If you start the training and decide it’s not for you, you can receive a full refund up to 15 days after purchase provided you haven’t completed the course.
Best Spanish Language Program : Liftoff Certifications
Liftoff Certifications provides both a Spanish and English version of their training with every purchase, for the price of one. This option is ideal for those who speak English but struggle with reading it as well as those who neither speak nor read English.
Spanish and English training available
Excellent customer service via email and live chat
Comprehensive 10-module training
Money-back guarantee has strings
Support only available Monday through Friday
Liftoff offers both a basic Certification course for those who’ve never received training or who feel they need a comprehensive refresher and a Recertification course for intermediate and advanced forklift drivers.
When you purchase either, you are automatically enrolled in both the Spanish and English versions of the training. That’s unusual since the few online providers that offer Spanish forklift training typically force you to choose one language or the other.
Individuals pay $59 for Liftoff training, regardless of which program they purchase. Employers who enroll multiple employees in either training program can save 5% to 30%, depending on the number of programs purchased.
Liftoff’s basic Certification course features 10 learning modules plus a final exam. The program covers 35 topics, including OSHA rules and regulations, forklift classes and attachments, forklift components, stability and load balancing, pre-operation inspection, load handling, and fueling/recharging.
Both Liftoff certification programs allow you to begin and then pause the learning modules at any time. When you’ve finished the lessons, you’ll proceed to the final exam. You must score an 80% to pass the test, but unlimited retakes are allowed. You can download your certificate of completion immediately after passing your exam.
If you want to get a sense of what the training will be like, watch a course demo and take a free practice exam on the Liftoff website. Liftoff also guarantees that your employer will accept their certification, or they’ll give you your money back. (Note that refunds are not issued for any other reason.)
The best overall online training solution for forklift certification comes from the Forklift Academy. The Academy has a stellar reputation for customer satisfaction, its certification course is affordably priced, and the course features compelling videos of real-world forklift scenarios, which means the training hits home.
Compare the Best Online Forklift Certification Programs
|Forklift Academy Best Overall||Self-paced||$49.50||1 to 2 hours||Beginner to advanced|
|National Forklift Foundation Best for Beginners||Self-paced||$49.50||1 to 4 hours||Beginner to advanced|
|US Forklift Operator Certification Best Value||Self-paced||$28 to $48||1 to 2 hours||Beginner to advanced|
|NITCO Best Live Program||Live, instructor-led||Custom pricing||2 hours||Beginner to advanced|
|ForkliftTraining.com Best Self-Paced Option||Self-paced||$29.95 to $59||1 to 4 hours||Beginner to advanced|
|Liftoff Certifications Best Spanish Language Program||Self-paced||$59||1 to 3 hours||Beginner to advanced|
How to Choose the Best Online Forklift Certification Programs
The best forklift certification course for you will meet your unique needs. Here are some of the things to look for when considering your training options:
- OSHA compliance: Verify that your forklift safety course complies with OSHA’s training directives.
- Customer Support: Consider how customer support is delivered; for example, can you get help via phone, email, or chat?
- Customer Reviews: Check out what former participants say about the program you’re thinking about buying.
- Language: If you’re more comfortable speaking or reading a language other than English, double-check whether the training you select is available in your preferred language.
- Refund Policy: If you’re on the fence about whether the program you want to take is right for you (and a free demo or trial is not available), be sure the training company offers a money-back guarantee.
- Overall Value: The lowest price isn’t always the best price. Consider total course fees in light of the overall value you receive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Requirements for an Online Forklift Certification?
OSHA mandates that all those who operate a powered industrial truck, also called a forklift, be adequately trained and certified. Employers are responsible for making sure all their forklift operators are taught proper forklift safety practices as well as OSHA rules and regulations. An employer must keep up-to-date records that verify each forklift operator satisfies OSHA certification requirements.
Forklift drivers must receive both hands-on forklift operating instruction plus in-person or online forklift training. Forklift courses must include instruction on best practices in forklift safety and related OSHA rules and regulations. All of the courses listed on our list of best online forklift certification programs meet OSHA compliance standards for the non-hands-on portion of OSHA’s training requirement.
You must be at least 18 years old to earn your forklift certification. Your forklift certificate expires every three years, at which time you must participate in OSHA safety training and provide your employer with documentation of that training. OSHA also requires that you participate in certification training anytime you’re involved in a forklift accident.
Is It Worth Getting an Online Forklift Certification?
If your job requires you to drive a forklift, you need to be certified. Online certifications are an affordable and convenient way to meet OSHA’s requirements for the non-hands-on portion of your training. The average price for online certification is around $50. Expect to pay $200 or more for in-person, hands-on training that teaches you how to operate a forklift plus includes the traditional classroom-style portion of your safety training.
What Is the Typical Path to an Online Forklift Certification?
Registering for online forklift certification requires finding the best course for you, paying the registration fee, and then taking the training and passing the certifying exam. Forklift operators typically earn their certification after taking a job with an employer that needs their employees to operate a forklift. Employers often pay for online certification programs.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Forklift Certification?
If you have hands-on experience driving a forklift, you can earn your online forklift certification in around one to two hours. Beginners typically require two to four hours to earn their online forklift certification.
We reviewed more than 20 online forklift certification programs to develop our list of the best courses. Programs were evaluated based on various factors, including price, course format, customer reviews, training length, and whether the programs satisfied OSHA compliance standards.
We also looked at forklift certification providers that offer an advantage for those with specific learning preferences. For example, some people prefer video training over text-based training, while others require training in Spanish.