Many material moving occupations require little or no formal training. Most training for these occupations is done on the job. For those jobs requiring physical exertion, employers may require that applicants pass a physical exam.
Material movers generally learn skills informally, on the job, from more experienced workers or their supervisors. Many employers prefer applicants with a high school diploma or GED, but most simply require workers to be at least 18 years old and physically able to perform the work.
Workers who handle toxic chemicals or use industrial trucks or other dangerous equipment must receive specialized training in safety awareness and procedures. Many of the training requirements are standardized through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but training for workers in mining is regulated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This training is usually provided by the employer. Employers also must certify that each operator has received the training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years.
For other operators, such as crane operators and those working with specialized loads, there are some training and apprenticeship programs available, such as that offered by the International Union of Operating Engineers. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction.