Fork lift operators are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, fork lift operators rate their career happiness 2.5 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 5% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy fork lift operators are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Derrick operator
2.6
$47k
Roofer
2.6
$47k
Butcher
2.6
$36k
Glazier
2.6
$47k
Exterminator
2.5
$38k
Fork lift operator
2.5
$38k
Metal worker
2.5
$36k
Machine assembler
2.4
$47k
Postal service worker
2.4
$52k
Garbage collector
2.4
$38k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are fork lift operators happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do fork lift operators find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as fork lift operators?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are fork lift operator’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are fork lift operators making the best use of their abilities?

Are fork lift operators happy with their salary?

Fork lift operators rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.8/5. Fork lift operators tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

We asked fork lift operators how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.8 out of 5 stars

514 fork lift operators

5 Star
8%

8% of fork lift operators rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
23%

23% of fork lift operators rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
30%

30% of fork lift operators rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
23%

23% of fork lift operators rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
16%

16% of fork lift operators rated their compensation 1 stars

Do fork lift operators find their jobs meaningful?

On average, fork lift operators rate the meaningfulness of their work a 1.9/5. The majority of fork lift operators struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked fork lift operators how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

1.9 out of 5 stars

512 fork lift operators

5 Star
3%

3% of fork lift operators rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
6%

6% of fork lift operators rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
14%

14% of fork lift operators rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
30%

30% of fork lift operators rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
47%

47% of fork lift operators rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as fork lift operators?

Fork lift operators rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.5/5. The majority of fork lift operators find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked fork lift operators how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.5 out of 5 stars

545 fork lift operators

5 Star
22%

22% of fork lift operators rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
30%

30% of fork lift operators rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
30%

30% of fork lift operators rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
12%

12% of fork lift operators rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
6%

6% of fork lift operators rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a fork lift operator’s work environment?

As a whole, fork lift operators rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.1/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked fork lift operators how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.1 out of 5 stars

541 fork lift operators

5 Star
13%

13% of fork lift operators rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of fork lift operators rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
28%

28% of fork lift operators rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
20%

20% of fork lift operators rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
12%

12% of fork lift operators rated their work environment 1 stars

Are fork lift operators making the best use of their abilities?

Former fork lift operators on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.2/5. Most feel that their skills are being underutilized in the career, probably leading to more general dissatisfaction with being a fork lift operator.

We asked fork lift operators how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.2 out of 5 stars

544 fork lift operators

5 Star
8%

8% of fork lift operators rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
10%

10% of fork lift operators rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
17%

17% of fork lift operators rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
31%

31% of fork lift operators rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
35%

35% of fork lift operators rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars