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Hoist and Winch Operator

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What You Need to Know About Hoist and Winch Operator

Hoist & Winch Operator Job Description Operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.

Hoist & Winch Operator Responsibilities

  • Select loads or materials according to weight and size specifications.
  • Move levers, pedals, and throttles to stop, start, and regulate speeds of hoist or winch drums in response to hand, bell, buzzer, telephone, loud-speaker, or whistle signals, or by observing dial indicators or cable marks.
  • Start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums.
  • Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.
  • Observe equipment gauges and indicators and hand signals of other workers to verify load positions or depths.
  • Oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.

Qualities of a Hoist & Winch Operator

These are the skills Hoist and Winch Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Types of Hoist and Winch Operator

  • Stevedore
  • Yarder Puncher
  • Rigging Up Worker
  • Dry Transfer Man
  • Stiff Leg Operator

What Kind of Hoist & Winch Operator Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 2,900 jobs for Hoist and Winch Operator in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Hoist and Winch Operator. There will be an estimated 400 positions for Hoist & Winch Operator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Hoist & Winch Operator are Arkansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, or Washington. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Hoist & Winch Operator Average Salary

The average yearly salary of a Hoist & Winch Operator ranges between $28,420 and $110,430.


Hoist and Winch Operators who work in Wyoming, Minnesota, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Hoist and Winch Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,010
California $57,950
Florida $49,830
Indiana $40,550
Kentucky $43,450
Maryland $48,830
Michigan $36,570
Minnesota $77,840
Nebraska $35,760
New Mexico $53,570
New York $53,030
Ohio $37,480
Oregon $47,210
Pennsylvania $45,360
Tennessee $37,820
Texas $43,100
Utah $53,350
Virginia $40,450
Washington $57,850
West Virginia $61,000
Wyoming $79,320

What Tools & Technology do Hoist and Winch Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Hoist and Winch Operators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Data entry software

Becoming a Hoist & Winch Operator

What education is needed to be a Hoist and Winch Operator?


What work experience do I need to become a Hoist & Winch Operator?


Where Hoist and Winch Operators Work


Hoist and Winch Operators work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

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Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

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