Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

risk level
Based on 90 votes
by year 2032
or $21.38 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

91% (Imminent Risk)

Imminent Risk (81-100%): Occupations in this level have an extremely high likelihood of being automated in the near future. These jobs consist primarily of repetitive, predictable tasks with little need for human judgment.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Finger Dexterity

User poll

69% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 91% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


Fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators' job openings is expected to rise 7.1% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators' was $44,470, or $21 per hour

'Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators' were paid 7.5% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 778,920 people employed as 'Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators' within the United States.

This represents around 0.5% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 194 people are employed as 'Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators'.

Job description

Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

SOC Code: 53-7051.00


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A forklift operator (Moderate) says
As robotics technology continues to develop over the years, it is likely that robotic machine operators will eventually become safer, cheaper, and more efficient than their human counterparts.

Exactly how far we are from that point is unclear, but I would be surprised if there wasn't some level of automation within the next 20 years.
Jul 24, 2022 at 03:40 AM
Gabe(Not full name) (Moderate) says
I voted likely because the job is very simple.1st get load, 2nd drive load to station. etc, 3rd then unload and get the check
Aug 07, 2021 at 04:32 AM
Mārtiņš (Low) says
Not likely, since tractors need people to control in case of a fault like a uneven field pulls out a part and the robot keeps doing the job ruining the field or the yield.
Mar 08, 2020 at 12:36 PM
Tom (Highly likely) says
Unfortunately they would be replaced
Sep 07, 2019 at 05:16 AM
Rich Demarco (No chance) says
Robots simply do not have the same intuition that human drivers do to detect and predict hazards around them
Jul 10, 2019 at 09:25 PM
Obraxis says
What a fool you are. In an autonomous warehouse ect. there are no hazards to predict... because there will be almost 0 of them. Its not that hard to think outside of your bubble.
Sep 23, 2019 at 07:16 AM
Piffer says
This is where self-driving cars and trucks come in
May 31, 2020 at 08:04 PM

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