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Forklift vs. Auto Mechanic: Similar Jobs, Different Pay

Forklift vs. Auto Mechanic: Similar Jobs, Different Pay

Forklift vs. Auto Mechanic - Similar Jobs, Different Pay

Are you an auto mechanic looking for better pay and less repetitive work? We’re looking for friendly, helpful people who want to become forklift mechanics, or as we call them "forklift technicians." 

Basically, if you can work on a car, you can work on a forklift. They have engines, transmissions and brakes similar to passenger vehicles, and you’ll use the same tools you’re already familiar with. We provide extensive training with master technicians (many of whom were once auto mechanics).

Read our forklift mechanic job description to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a forklift technician, or forward it to someone you know. Keep reading to learn about the similarities — and one important difference — between working as an auto mechanic vs. a forklift technician.

A Photo of a Forklift Technician - The Lilly Company

Forklift and Automotive Technicians Have a Lot in Common

Both forklift technicians and auto mechanics:

  • Uncover problems using computer diagnostics 
  • Use ratchets, impact wrenches, welding tools, etc. 
  • Work on engines, transmissions, brakes and steering 
  • Learn what issues to expect on different makes and models over time

Forklift technicians maintain and repair hydraulics and electric forklifts, but don’t worry. We provide hands-on training from master technicians, and you’ll never be on your own until you feel like you’re ready. It’s actually much easier to start as an auto mechanic and switch to forklifts vs. the other way around. 

Here are a few other differences between the day-to-day life of an auto vs. forklift mechanic.

  • Forklift technicians rarely work weekends; vacation time is encouraged!
  • Every day is different. One day you’ll work on differentials or rewire an electric forklift. The next week you’ll work on an engine rebuild. 
  • Road techs get to go behind the scenes of different industries as they travel around and complete on-site repairs.
  • More respect: forklift technicians are superheroes for local businesses 


The biggest difference between working as an auto mechanic vs. a forklift tech is the pay.
Across the board, the average salary for a forklift technician was equivalent to the top salary of an auto mechanic.

Auto Mechanic Salary vs. Forklift Mechanic Salary

In other words, the best-paid auto mechanics make the same salary as an average forklift tech and $15,000-$20,000/year less than the top-paid forklift technicians.

  • We pay a premium salary to individuals with 5+ years of mechanical experience
  • All forklift technicians receive medical, dental, vision, life, disability and a 401K with company match 
  • You can also earn commission from parts sales


Now Hiring Mechanics in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee 

Ready to start a new career as a forklift technician? Read our forklift mechanic job description and request an interview.

Questions? Contact us online, by phone at 844-LILLYCO, or come say hello at one of our 13 locations across the Mid-South. We can show you the shop and introduce you to some of our forklift technicians so you can get the straight scoop on what the job is really like. 

The Lilly Company is a well-respected, industry-leading company that treats its employees like family. We offer great pay, great benefits, and most importantly, a great atmosphere. 

Further Reading:
All Job Openings at The Lilly Company (
Lilly Company locations
The 100-Year History of The Lilly Company

Careers at The Lilly Company - We're Hiring!