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Hoist and Winch Operator

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What is a Hoist and Winch Operator?

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

List of Hoist & Winch Operator Job Duties

  • Oil winch drums so that cables will wind smoothly.
  • Attach, fasten, and disconnect cables or lines to loads, materials, and equipment, using hand tools.
  • Climb ladders to position and set up vehicle-mounted derricks.
  • Signal and assist other workers loading or unloading materials.
  • Start engines of hoists or winches and use levers and pedals to wind or unwind cable on drums.
  • Apply hand or foot brakes and move levers to lock hoists or winches.

Hoist & Winch Operator Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Hoist and Winch Operators say are important on the job.

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.

  • Derrick Hand
  • Casing Puller
  • Rigger Up
  • Scrap Hoist Operator
  • Hoistman

Job Demand 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 400 job openings in this field each 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 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.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Hoist and Winch Operators in different U.S. states.

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 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 or degrees do I need to become a Hoist and Winch Operator?


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


Where Hoist and Winch Operators Are Employed


Below are examples of industries where Hoist and Winch Operators work:


You May Also 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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