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.

What is the CFT?

The CFT is a nationally portable, industry-led, hands-on training and assessment certification program developed through the MHEDA and MSSC partnership to prepare individuals with in-demand skills to maintain, service, and repair forklift trucks.

Download CFT Brochure

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.

What Does the CFT Curriculum Cover?

The MSSC courses for CFT cover core competency areas, as defined by MSSC’s industry-led, nationally validated skills standards for higher skilled, front-line material handling workers working to maintain, repair and service forklifts. Individuals are assessed on the key activities below which encompass those skills desired in the forklift industry.

How Can a Forklift Dealer Get Involved?

MHEDA encourages dealers to work with local schools to offer this program:

  1. Identify Schools
    Choose your preferred community colleges, and technical schools with which you have a working relationship. If you do not have a relationship, MSSC will connect you with MSSC schools in your local area.

  2. Identify Instructors
    Help schools identify instructor if they do not already have one in place to deliver the CFT course.

  3. Qualify Instructors
    Host training and testing at your dealership for the instructor who will need to pass a hands-on assessment at the dealership, provided by MSSC.

  4. Connect with CFT Students
    Dealers must communicate their need for forklift technicians and ensure that every student who graduates with an MSSC Certified Forklift Technician Certificate receives preferential hiring treatment by visiting schools, hosting student visits to the dealership, and offering scholarships.

  5. Hire or Engage CFT Students
    Administer hands-on program and train students at dealership so they can have working knowledge and aptitude of CFT key work skills.

  6. Assess CFT Students
    Administer hands-on assessment to students at dealership to verify their understanding of CFT key work skills

As a further step, dealers can become an MSSC authorized assessment center to offer the CFT courses and assessments at their facility. Contact Raquel Davila at 703-739-9000 ext 2223 or rdavila@msscusa.org for more information.


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.