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Hoist and Winch Operator

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What You Need to Know About Hoist and Winch Operator

Job Description: Operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.

What Do Hoist and Winch Operators Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums.
  • Operate compressed air, diesel, electric, gasoline, or steam-driven hoists or winches to control movement of cableways, cages, derricks, draglines, loaders, railcars, or skips.
  • Observe equipment gauges and indicators and hand signals of other workers to verify load positions or depths.
  • Signal and assist other workers loading or unloading materials.
  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.
  • Oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.

What Every Hoist & Winch Operator Should Know

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.

  • Well Puller
  • Casing Puller
  • Winch Stripper
  • Electric Fork Operator
  • Service Operator

Are There Job Opportunities for Hoist and Winch Operators?

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 Salary

The salary for Hoist and Winch Operators ranges between about $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

Becoming a Hoist & Winch Operator

What kind of Hoist and Winch Operator requirements are there?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Hoist and Winch Operators Sector


Hoist and Winch Operators work in the following industries:


Those interested in being a Hoist and Winch Operator may also be interested in:


Image Credit: Hic85 via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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