Hoist & Winch Operators

realistic interests reposition hoists move levers equipment gauges fix problems load cable crane

Hoist Operator, Hoistman, Material Handler, Service Operator

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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 Hot Technology

Word processing software

  • Microsoft Word Hot Technology


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
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
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