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Hoist & Winch Operators

Also called: Electrical Traveling Overhead Crane Operator (ETOC Operator), Hoistman, Lineman, Material Handler

Where in the Navy? In the Navy: Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Aircraft Handling; Aviation Support Equipmentman; Machinist's Mate

What they do:
Operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.
  • Observe equipment gauges and indicators and hand signals of other workers to verify load positions or depths.


Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • customer service


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • keep your arm or hand steady
  • hold or move items with your hands
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Hearing and Speech
  • recognize spoken words
  • speak clearly
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Independence
  • Initiative
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Cooperation
  • Persistence


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word
Data base user interface and query software
  • Data entry software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
no high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about hoist and winch operators.