What Do Hoist and Winch Operators Do?
Many organizations throughout water, mining, logging and power require the presence of hoist and wench operators. In this position, you will be responsible for lifting and maneuvering loads with power operated cables and other equipment. However, you will not be dealing with crane and tower operations. Jobs in this field are expected to only experience small growth over the next few years with an increase of only 3%. There are only expected to be 100 jobs annually available across the industry.
Hoist and Winch Operators Skills and Abilities
Because operators are dealing with complex heavy machinery, they will be expected to have a strong understanding of mechanics and the equipment they will be using. You must be able to not only use the equipment but also maintain and repair it. You must also have a keen eye for recognizing issues and possess the problem solving skills to address them. Safety is also an important piece of the job, and you should have a clear understanding of safety procedures to prevent injury and hazard. You will also need to possess a range of physical abilities including Arm-hand steadiness, control precision, depth perception and solid reaction time.
Hoist and Winch Operators Duties
You will be expected to use a variety of levers, pedals and throttles to operate a number of different hoist equipment. You will work with other workers and must observe equipment and others to accurately position and maneuver loads. You will regularly be expected to maintain and repair the equipment that you use on the job and must quickly identify potential issues. You will utilize specific processes to complete tasks with these machines. You will also be expected to complete the following activities.
Hoist and Winch Operators Tools and Technology
You will be dealing specifically with equipment, so it is important to have a firm grasp on the tools that you will be utilizing. Most obviously, you will be dealing with the tools and mechanisms that make up hoists and wenches which include adjustable wrenches, belt conveyors, floor or platform scales, forklifts and a variety of hoists. You will work with power hoists, pneumatic hoists, gas powered hoists and electric hoists. At various points, you will also be expected to utilize computer programs including data entry software, spreadsheets and word processing.
Education and Training for Hoist and Winch Operators
While the majority of individuals in the field possess a high school diploma, there are a number that have not completed their degree. You do not have to have any experience to obtain an entry-level position. However, you will be expected to complete short-term on the job training before diving into the specifics of the job. While not required, there are a number of related instructional programs in earth moving equipment, construction and heavy equipment that you can complete before getting started.
Hoist and Winch Operators Salary
Hoist and winch operators can make a decent salary, and the national median salary for the position is $39,600. However, with experience, you could make substantially more. The top 25% of workers make $66,300 and the top 10% of workers make $87,000.
Hoist and Winch Operators Jobs by Geography
Illinois and Minnesota provide the highest median salaries at $88,400 and $70, 200. New York, and Connecticut trail shortly behind. However, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas are expected to have the largest percentage of job growth over the next few years. Ultimately, job availability and related salary will depend on your location.