Hoist and Winch Operators

Hoist and Winch Operators: Job Duties and Requirements

If you love working with heavy machinery and like to work in challenging environments, being a Hoist and Winch Operator may be the perfect career for you. These professionals operate hoists and winches to lift or move heavy objects, such as machinery, raw materials, or finished products. They work in various industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing, and transportation.

Job duties of a Hoist and Winch Operator may include:

– Examining the equipment before operation to ensure it is in good condition
– Setting up, operating, and controlling hoists and winches
– Positioning equipment and controlling the movement of objects
– Monitoring equipment performance and making necessary adjustments
– Following safety procedures and protocols
– Maintaining accurate records of equipment usage and maintenance
– Assisting with the transportation of materials and products

Hoist and Winch Operators may also specialize in specific types of machinery, such as tower cranes, mobile cranes, cableways, or overhead hoists. Some examples of this specialty job include:

– Tower crane operators: These operators use tower cranes to lift construction materials and equipment to high buildings and structures.
– Cableway operators: These operators work in mining and quarrying operations to move minerals and material over uneven terrain or in areas where conventional transport is impossible.
– Overhead hoist operators: These operators operate cranes or hoists that lift or move heavy objects in manufacturing and warehouse settings.

Education and Training

Most Hoist and Winch Operators receive on-the-job training provided by their employers. Employers generally require a high school diploma or equivalent as a minimum educational requirement. However, some operators may need to obtain certification or licensure from the state or federal government. Certification programs typically include classroom and hands-on training and require passing written and practical exams.

To progress to higher-level positions or specialize in specific types of machinery, Hoist and Winch Operators may need to take additional courses or training programs. Some employers may also offer apprenticeships, which involve learning on the job from experienced professionals.

How to Get into the Field

If you are interested in becoming a Hoist and Winch Operator, you can start by looking for job openings in industries that need these professionals. You can also check with local trade schools, vocational schools, or community colleges to see if they offer courses or training programs specific to hoist and winch operation.

Once you have landed a job, focus on developing your knowledge and skills, and look for opportunities to specialize in specific types of machinery. Keep up with the latest industry trends and technological advancements, and stay updated on safety protocols and regulations.


A career as a Hoist and Winch Operator can offer you a challenging and rewarding experience. You will work with heavy machinery and contribute to the smooth operation of various industries. If you are willing to put in the effort and dedication, you can build a successful career in hoist and winch operation.

Hoist and Winch Operators

The occupation of Hoist and Winch Operators involves operating hoists and winches to lift, lower, and move heavy objects while adhering to safety regulations. They are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the equipment and ensuring it is in proper working condition.

Job Level and Salary Data

Job Level Annual Average Salary Hourly Average Salary
Full-time, All levels $75,088.00 $64,937.60
Time-based pay, All levels $68,827.20 $61,630.40

Union Effects

Unionization can have a significant impact on the job of Hoist and Winch Operators. Union members often negotiate better pay and benefits, as well as better working conditions and job security. Additionally, unions provide a platform for workers to voice their concerns, make collective decisions, and advocate for their rights.


The annual average salary for Hoist and Winch Operators varies by location. The following are two geographies where the job function is best paid and least paid on average:

  • Best Paid: San Francisco, California – $96,150
  • Least Paid: Shreveport, Louisiana – $48,030