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How much does a telehandler operator earn in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, a telehandler operator can expect to earn between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum, depending on factors such as experience, location, and the specific requirements of the job. Specialised or more experienced operators can even command higher salaries. In this article, we delve into the various factors that influence these earnings and discuss career progression in this field.

Understanding the Role of a Telehandler Operator

Job Description

A telehandler operator is responsible for operating a telescopic handler, commonly referred to as a telehandler. This piece of heavy equipment is similar to a forklift but has a boom, making it more versatile. Telehandlers are widely used in construction, agriculture, and various other industries for lifting and moving materials.

Key Responsibilities

  • Operating the telehandler safely and efficiently
  • Following established safety protocols
  • Loading and unloading materials
  • Maintaining the machinery

Factors Influencing Salary


Like most professions, experience plays a critical role in the earning potential of a telehandler operator. Entry-level operators may start on the lower end of the salary spectrum but can expect incremental increases with years of service and skill improvement.


The region where you work can significantly influence your earnings. Operators in London and the South East generally receive higher wages to offset the higher cost of living in these areas.


The industry in which a telehandler operator works also impacts their salary. For instance, construction and oil & gas sectors generally offer higher pay compared to agriculture.

Salary Statistics

“The salary data varies but presents a general pattern of higher earnings for more experienced operators and those willing to work in specific industries or locations.”

Average Annual Salary

Experience LevelAverage Salary
Entry-Level£20,000 – £25,000
Mid-Level£25,000 – £30,000
Experienced£30,000 – £35,000+

Salary by Location

  1. London and the South East: £30,000 – £35,000+
  2. Midlands: £25,000 – £30,000
  3. North: £20,000 – £25,000
  4. Scotland: £22,000 – £28,000
  5. Wales: £21,000 – £26,000

Career Progression

Career growth is possible in this field, with opportunities to move into supervisory or managerial roles. Advanced certifications can also open doors to specialised work, which often comes with higher pay.

Training and Certification

In the UK, specific qualifications are available for those looking to become certified telehandler operators. These certifications are typically offered through recognised bodies and training providers, making you more employable and potentially increasing your earning potential.


Telehandler operators in the UK have the potential for a rewarding career, both in terms of job satisfaction and financial remuneration. While the starting salary may range from £20,000 to £25,000, there are numerous opportunities for skill development and career progression, which can lead to higher earnings in the future.

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