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What is a Hoist and Winch Operator?

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

List of Hoist & Winch Operator Job Duties

  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.
  • Attach, fasten, and disconnect cables or lines to loads, materials, and equipment, using hand tools.
  • Move or reposition hoists, winches, loads and materials, manually or using equipment and machines such as trucks, cars, and hand trucks.
  • 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.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment, such as jacks, slings, cables, or stop blocks, to facilitate moving items or materials for further processing.

Hoist & Winch Operator Skills

Hoist and Winch Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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

  • Air Lift Operator
  • Pitman
  • Electrical Traveling Overhead Crane Operator (ETOC Operator)
  • Cupola Hoist Operator
  • Well Puller

Is There Job Demand for Hoist and Winch Operators?

In the United States, there were 2,900 jobs for Hoist and Winch Operator in 2016. 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 Salary

Hoist and Winch Operators make between $28,420 and $110,430 a year.


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?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Hoist and Winch Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Data entry software

How to Become a Hoist & Winch Operator

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


How Long Does it Take to Become a Hoist & Winch Operator?


Where Hoist and Winch Operators Are Employed


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Hoist and Winch Operator might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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