How to Get a Job as a Material Handler

Jun 29, 2016

Many manufacturers and warehouses in Western North Carolina are looking to hire experienced fork-lift drivers right now. If you know how to drive a forklift, you have a valuable skill that many local employers need. If you are looking for a new career opportunity and are interested in learning how to operate a forklift or get Material Handler job experience, this blog will help give you some valuable information about these jobs and what you’ll need to do in order to get hired.

What does a Material Handler do?

A Material Handler uses forklifts and other motorized and non-mechanical equipment, such as hand trucks, to move pallets of materials and finished products around manufacturing facilities and warehouses. Material Handlers must have the skills to drive and operate forklifts of many kinds. A list of forklifts a Material Handler may need to know how to operate includes sit down forklifts, stand up forklifts, cherry-pickers, counterbalance forklifts, and clamp and reach forklifts.

What Other Skills are Required?

You’ll need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions. Basic math and reading skills are required to accurately keep track of inventory. Basic computer skills are also often necessary, as you might be required to log information about materials and products. Material handlers are sometimes also asked to inspect material handling equipment and troubleshoot problems, so mechanical aptitude is also a plus.

How Can I Learn How to Drive a Forklift?

Community colleges offer Forklift Safety and Operation courses that will teach you the basics along with all OSHA regulations and requirements.

For instance, the Production Technician course through Haywood Community College will give you the opportunity to earn your OSHA Forklift Certification, along with an OSHA 10 Hour Safety Certification and a Career Readiness Certification plus a certificate in Workplace Observation.

AB Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing occupational training program also offers a Forklift Safety and Operation certification program that teaches safe forklift operation skills.

Sample Ad for a Material Handler Job

Now hiring for a Material Handler position.

Job Requirements

  • Candidates are required to have previous forklift experience. Must have current certification or be able to pass a forklift re-certification test.
  • Must have earned a high school diploma or GED.
  • Must be able to follow daily production schedule and all instructions.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare packaging materials by retrieving items from storage, applying labels to containers, setting up and loading filling machines, stacking and palatalizing products.
  • Operate various automatic and manual packaging machines, scales and printing devices, industrial lift trucks, pallet jacks and other material handling tools and equipment.
  • Maintain accurate written and electronic records as required by specific tasks.
  • Communicate immediately to Operators, Supervisors, or any member of management all circumstances which may affect quality or are considered questionable and unsafe.
  • Maintain a clean, safe and orderly work environment by properly identifying and storing ingredients, supplies and products as directed by supervisors.
  • Conform with and abide by all regulations, policies, work procedures, safety rules and instructions.

Friday Services Can Help You Find the RIGHT Material Handler Job for You

The Friday Services team is happy to talk to you about what it takes to build a successful career as a Material Handler in Western North Carolina. Feel free to contact us. Or if you are ready to begin the process to register as a Friday Services worker fill out our online application and we will call you.


If you see a lot of potential in yourself – so do we! Start your job search and learn about the opportunities and benefits offered.


Friday Services is independent and locally owned. We offer Western North Carolina employers strategic flexibility with greater attention to detail.