Certified Forklift Technician

As forklift dealers, you understand the extreme shortage of qualified forklift technicians. As many as 10,000 forklift technicians are needed within the next two years. MHEDA and the nationwide Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) have partnered to help fill this gap by creating the Certified Forklift Technician (CFT) program.

Download MHEDA CFT Endorsement letter.


What is the CFT?

The CFT is a national certification recognized by ISO, the leading body for training certifications. It is an industry-led, hands-on training and assessment certification program developed through the MHEDA and MSSC to prepare individuals with in-demand skills to maintain, service, and repair forklift trucks.

Learn More About CFT Key Activities

Why Create the CFT?

Currently for forklift technicians there is:

  • No national certification program
  • No clear career pathway or pipeline
  • No uniform documented training and assessment
  • High turnover rate

This national certification will give technical and community college students the tools and recognition to pursue this high demand career and give forklift dealers a resource to more easily find and train qualified technicians for their teams.

CFT Courseware

  1. 55 hours of industry-defined e-learning curriculum
  2. 92 Question Pre Qualification Online Exam
  3. Hands on Training at school or dealership
  4. Hands on Assessment at school or dealership

CFT Scenarios

Scenario 1:

A local school offers the 55 hours of curriculum and Pre-Qualification Exam. Passing these allows a CFT Candidate to earn a “Candidate Qualification Document”. This Document is a prerequisite to the hands on training. Training is conducted at a dealership, within the dealers apprenticeship program.

  • Ideal Schools: Schools with a close working relationship with forklift dealerships do NOT have an advanced Forklift Program
  • Ideal Students: Students ready to graduate and ready to enter the workforce. Dealers will only hire students who plan to enter the workforce and become a field technician upon completion of the apprenticeship.

Scenario 2:

A local school offers the 55 hours of curriculum, the online exam, the hands on training and the hands on assessment.

  • Ideal Schools: Schools with a close working relationship with forklift dealerships DO have an advanced Forklift Program.

Scenario 3:

Current Technicians in the workforce can earn their CFT by passing the online exam and hands on assessment. The 55 hours of curriculum and hands on training is optional and dependent on the technicians’ level of experience in the industry.

To learn how your dealership can utilize the CFT contact, watch the webinar with MHEDA and MSSC or contact Katie Richards krichards@mheda.org

Learn More About CFT Scenarios


In addition, MHEDA and MSSC produced the video “A Day in the Life of a Forklift Technician” which is available exclusively to MHEDA members to use in recruitment efforts. 

Order Video (member login required)


To discuss the program in more detail, contact Katie Richards at 847-483-5693 or krichards@mheda.org.