Are you searching for well-paying UAV jobs that are available to drone operators? Are you interested in finding out the drone pilot jobs currently in demand and what it takes to get one? In this article, we will do our best to answer these questions and more.
Whether you want to pursue a career as a professional UAV pilot or simply looking for an entry-level drone operator job there are plenty of opportunities available to explore.
Some of the most common UAV jobs include taking aerial shots and surveying, search and rescue operations, inspections, crop monitoring, disaster relief logistics, and many more.
Before we get into the kind of drone pilot jobs available, let us get down to the basics and understand the role, skills, and certifications needed to become an in-demand drone pilot.
A drone pilot is responsible for flying a drone, or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Drones are equipped with cameras and other sensors and are used for various purposes such as drone photography, surveying, and mapping.
As a drone pilot, you need to be familiar with the various drone controls to operate them effectively. You will also need to be aware of the regulations surrounding drone use in your area, as well as the safety procedures to follow to avoid crashes.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a drone operator, or even if you simply want to earn a bit of extra cash with your drone on the weekends, the first step is to obtain the part 107 certification issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). You also should consider taking formal training in aerial pictures, videography, and/or mapping. Once you have the necessary skills, you can begin searching for UAV jobs in your area.
To be a successful drone pilot, you will need strong proficiency with drone technology as well as good judgment and decision-making abilities. You will need to be able to operate the drone safely and communicate effectively with your team and/or clients.
Additionally, you may also need specialized certifications or training to find a career in UAV jobs, depending on the type of job you are pursuing.
Drone technology is constantly evolving. So you also need to keep up with the latest advancements and trends.
If you plan to pursue the creative side of the industry; verticals such as videography and cinematography, it will behoove you to have a working knowledge of editing.
Now that you know what it takes to be a drone operator, you may be wondering what kind of drone operator jobs are available.
There are a variety of drone pilot jobs available for you, depending on your interests, background, and skills.
Common positions include taking aerial images and videography, surveying and mapping, aerial inspections, cinematography, wildlife research, conservation, and many more.
Additional research from Markets & Markets reports that companies across industries will spend more than $16 billion on drones and drone services. This will act as a catalyst in the growth of the drone services market, creating 100,000 new jobs by 2025.
No matter what your goals are, there are plenty of opportunities available for you. Let’s explore the UAV job options available to you and start your journey toward a successful career as a drone pilot.
It is one of the most common industries that employ drone pilots. Aerial photography and videography are essential for marketing properties, and drones provide a unique perspective that can make listings stand out.
A single drone pilot working as a freelancer may capture aerial stills and video of a property for sale, which the real estate agent will use in marketing and promotion.
As a drone pilot in this field, you’ll need to be able to fly as well as shoot video or photographs.
To join this field you need to have a background in photography or videography, as well as experience in flying drones. With the right skills and training, you can offer your services to clients and help market their properties effectively.
If you are looking for a good camera drone that is specifically designed for photography and videography in this field, the DJI Mavic 3 is one of the best options available.
It offers an excellent combination of features, performance, and portability, making it a great choice for photography and videography.
The Mavic 3 is equipped with a high-quality camera, providing crisp and clear 4K footage. It also features intelligent flight modes that make shooting and editing easier, as well as long battery life for longer flights.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is another great drone for this industry, offering similar features and performance to the Mavic 3.
One of the main advantages of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is its obstacle avoidance system, which helps to prevent accidents and collisions. It also has a longer flight time than the Mavic 3, making it a better choice for longer shoots.
Overall, if you are looking for a high-quality drone that is perfect for this field of photography and videography, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 or Mavic 3 are both excellent options to consider.
There is a wide range of software available for you in this field, depending on your needs and preferences. Some popular options include Pix4D, DroneDeploy, and 3DR Site Scan.
Each software offers different features and capabilities, so you will want to do some research and find the one that is best suited to your needs.
When choosing software for drone work, it is important to consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility with your drone and camera, and the range of features offered.
With the right software, you can easily capture stunning aerial videos and photos for your clients, making it easier to market properties and connect with potential buyers.
The amount of money you can make as a drone pilot in this industry will depend on several factors, including your experience level, skills, and the types of clients you work with.
For example, entry-level drone pilots may be able to charge lower rates or offer their services on a freelance basis. On the other hand, more experienced pilots may be able to earn a higher salary or work for established firms.
In this industry, the drone pilot can make an average salary of $77,247.
There is a wide range of missions that UAV pilots typically fly, such as:
As a drone pilot, you will have the opportunity to work on a wide range of different work for your clients, giving you the flexibility and experience you need to succeed.
A recent report by Skyward found that the construction industry represents the largest pie of the commercial drone market.
The use of drones in construction has increased exponentially in a few years, making this industry one of the fastest commercial drone users.
And there are many reasons why.
A typical commercial construction project runs 20 months behind schedule and it inflates by nearly 80%.
The use of drones in construction is providing considerable advantages for companies in the industry.
UAV operators are helping these firms to save significant amounts of money by taking surveys that assist them with monitoring various elements of their functions, from stockpiles volume and location to project development progress in remote locations, to critical site safety issues. The cost savings benefit being realized with the use of drones in the construction industry is nothing short of amazing.
The construction industry has opened up some really interesting opportunities to join UAV operators such as:
Site Selection: You can fly a prospective site for the most updated view of the property and help with site selection and planning.
Zoning Meetings: Zoning meetings can be a tough task and it can cause unwanted delays. You can use drone data and send it to the zoning board thereby speeding up the process.
Legal Protection and Documentation: You can document the conditions of the roads by creating a map or doing a video. That way the construction team is aware of the site before the trucks and heavy equipment show up.
Construction Monitoring and Management: Construction contractors can get the most updated high-resolution maps of their job sites for better site monitoring and overall site management.
Construction Progression: You can Import the most up-to-date site plan to the drone map and compare the designs to reality – in both 2d and 3d. This can help construction companies accurately track the actual construction progress. It’s also a great way to keep interested parties, such as investors, apprised of the progress.
A construction firm may survey a huge region with a drone, process the data using specialized software, and determine where all of their materials are or where work may be falling behind.
Drones may also be used to help plan projects—a building firm could learn where it may or can’t construct using aerial data. This information may not be as accurate without a drone, because it must be gathered manually by surveyors or other personnel walking the full site on foot, which is both time-consuming and less precise. Drones can collect information more quickly and safely than humans because they can cover larger areas more efficiently and effectively.
According to a Skyward survey conducted in 2018, construction and engineering firms account for 35 percent of those who responded, indicating that they are employing drones in the commercial sector.
This is excellent news if you want to get into flying drones because it appears that there are a lot of opportunities available in this field.
Drones are being used for a variety of tasks in the construction industry, such as site surveys, progress monitoring, and safety inspections. Drones are widely used in the construction industry for applications such as aerial surveying and mapping, construction progression, safety, and quality inspection, field logistics, and progress monitoring.
The best drones for construction are those that are durable, versatile, and easy to use.
Some of the best drones on the market include the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Yuneec’s H520, ZeroZero V-Cptr Falcon, and DJI’s Matrice series; and as just about always, a drone pilot can’t go wrong with a DJI Phantom
The best software for drones in construction is that which is easy to use and provides the features you need.
Some of the leading software applications on the market include Pix4Dcapture, DJI Terra, Propeller, Pix4Dmapper, DroneDeploy, and Site Scan.
These software programs are designed to make it easy to capture high-quality images and data that can be used for a variety of purposes.
The average drone pilot’s salary in the construction industry is $79,368. While the salary of a drone pilot in construction also depends on factors such as experience, skill level, and the type of work you do.
The hourly rate starts at $50/hour for a beginner-level pilot and goes anywhere from $250/hr to $500/hr for a highly skilled drone pilot offering more complex deliverables.
UAV pilots working in construction typically fly a variety of different missions, including pre-building site inspections of the earth, possible drainage spots, and other factors to determine the best places to build, dig, or stockpile materials.
These types of missions require UAV operators to have a solid understanding of industry regulations and best practices when it comes to aerial data collection.
Whether you’re working for a large company or a small startup, there is plenty of demand for UAV pilots in this industry.
Click here to get aware of the new drone laws in the U.S.
Drones are also playing a role in the mining industry, where they are being used for tasks such as mapping, surveying, and safety inspections.
In the aggregates industry, drones are being used for tasks such as stockpile management, progress monitoring, and quality control.
A mining or aggregate firm could see which locations are better or worse for digging and stockpiling materials using a 3D map generated from aerial data.
A drone can gather the same amount of data in less than 20 minutes as a person on foot would require hours to accomplish. In addition, drones eliminate the need for personnel to go into potentially hazardous locations to gather data.
The benefits of using drones in these industries include increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved safety.
Companies in mining and aggregates industries are beginning to realize the potential of drones and are utilizing them in a variety of ways.
The best drones for mining and aggregates are those that are durable, versatile, and easy to use.
Some of the best drones on the market include the SwitchBlade-Elite Tricopter Drone, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Sony RX1Rii Payload, Propeller, and DJI’s Matrice series.
These drones are all built to withstand tough conditions and can be equipped with a variety of different payloads to suit your specific needs.
The best software for drones in mining, and aggregates is that which is easy to use and provides the features you need.
Some of the best software on the market include Delair.ai, Pix4Dmapper, DroneDeploy, and Site Scan.
The salary of a drone pilot in mining or aggregates can vary according to experience, skill level, and the type of work you do.
UAV operators can earn anywhere between $50 and $500+ per hour depending on the drone operator’s job, location, and skill level required. Some drone operators in these industries may even earn more than $100,000 per year.
UAS operators working in mining or aggregates typically fly a variety of different missions, including site surveys, progress monitoring, and safety inspections.
With the right training and experience, you can become a valuable asset on any mining or aggregates team.
The use of drones in filmmaking has become increasingly popular in recent years. Simply because they offer a unique perspective that can add life to any film sequence.
Drones are significantly more affordable than helicopters, as well as more versatile. Drones don’t come with the same operational or insurance expenses as helicopters. In addition, the use of drones instead of helicopters means eliminating the risk of injury to pilots. All of this means there’s more and more work for UAS operators in the film industry.
According to drone operators who work in the film industry, the majority of the film work available for drone operators will be for specific projects in which a drone pilot might be hired to capture an aerial shot of a chase sequence or a place, but will not be kept on staff throughout a shoot.
Drones can be used for a variety of different purposes in filmmaking, such as establishing shots, following action, and capturing aerial footage. The use of drones for location scouting is also becoming more and more popular.
The development of services and applications involving drones has been greatly promoted with the growth of the unmanned aerial vehicle industry. Moreover, many industries, such as the entertainment industry, use drones to perform tasks that are difficult or unsafe to perform by conventional methods.
There are a variety of different types of missions that UAV pilots can fly in the film industry.
As a drone pilot working in the film industry, it is important to be familiar with all of these areas of drone work and to be comfortable flying your drone in different conditions and scenarios.
The use of drones in the film industry is becoming more and more popular. Many different types of drones can be used for filmmaking, each with its unique advantages.
Some of the best drones for filmmaking include the DJI Inspire 2, DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, Mavic 3, and FreeFly Alta when super high-end cameras are needed.
These drones offer great stability and control, advanced filming features, and powerful performance in a range of conditions.
If you are looking to work in the film industry as a drone pilot, it is important to choose a drone that fits your needs.
Check out this in-depth video on how you can get work from a big production house like Netflix.
There are a variety of software options available for UAV pilots looking to work in the film industry.
Some recommended software tools for UAV operators include Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Adobe’s Premiere Pro, and DroneDeploy.
These tools offer advanced features for editing and post-processing footage from your drone, as well as advanced mapping and image processing capabilities.
Additionally, many of these software tools offer helpful tutorials and resources to help you learn the skills needed to succeed in this field.
The salaries for drone pilots working in the film industry can vary widely depending on many factors, including your level of experience, the type of work you are doing, and the company or studio you are working with.
You can expect about $200—$500 an hour depending on the work and type of work while the average salary of a drone pilot in the film industry is $69,107.
However, salaries can vary depending on the specific drone pilot job you are pursuing.
For example, UAV operators who are working as freelancers may have the potential to earn more money than those who are employed by a specific company or studio.
Additionally, drone operators who have more experience or who are working on larger projects may also have the potential to earn more. Another thing to keep in mind is that drone operators can include a “rental fee” in their contracts as another source of revenue. This is a fee that is charged to the production company for the use of the pilot’s equipment.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a drone pilot in the film industry, it is important to research the average salaries for drone pilots so that you can set realistic expectations for your earnings.
Drones have become an increasingly valuable tool for public safety officials, as they can be used for a variety of purposes such as search and rescue operations, firefighting, disaster relief logistics, and much more.
To be a successful drone pilot in public safety, you need strong communication skills and need to be familiar with the latest technologies and regulations surrounding drones. You also need to equip yourself with safety procedures for flying drones in high-risk situations.
According to a study from Bard’s Center for the Study of the Drone, over 1500 public safety organizations are using drones as of March 2020. This figure is almost twice that recorded in mid-2018, and it appears to be increasing by the day.
Some possible UAV job titles for drone operators in public safety include search and rescue drone operators, disaster relief drone pilots, or wildlife conservation drone pilots. Many of these are part-time depending on when the need arises, but they can be rewarding both financially and emotionally.
Drones have also been used by law enforcement to build 3-D maps of high-traffic locations, which may be utilized to assist with evacuation during a crisis, such as an active shooter scenario.
Both police and fire departments use drones in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as floods or hurricanes To locate people in need of assistance and to understand the scope of the damage so that they may best direct their resources to those areas that require them most.
Firefighters use drones to enhance their situational awareness during fires. They also use drones to create orthomosaic maps of local schools and other buildings/facilities where a fire might break out, allowing them to see where all the exit points are in case of a fire.
The ability to use drones in public safety may vary considerably based on the purpose.
To get started in this field, you may need to complete specialized training or certification programs. You want to learn the necessary skills and information required for working with drones in public safety. It helps to have some background in a related industry.
As one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, public safety is a rapidly evolving field with many exciting opportunities for UAV jobs.
Whether you are interested in search and rescue operations, disaster relief logistics, wildlife conservation, or any other area of public safety work, many different types of drones can be used to help you in your work.
Some of the best public safety drones on the market include Parrot ANAFI USA, DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced, DJI Matrice 300 RTK, DJI’s Matrice 300, and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.
There are many different types of software available for UAV pilots, depending on your specific needs.
If you are interested in public safety work, there are a few software programs that can be particularly useful, such as the DJI Terra, Pix4D Mapper, DJI GS Pro, Agisoft, and the DroneDeploy, etc.
The DJI GS Pro app is a powerful ground station software that allows you to plan and execute complex missions with ease.
DroneDeploy is great for public safety applications and includes features such as mapping and 3D modeling capabilities.
With the right software, you can effectively manage and analyze your drone data, ensuring that you have the information you need to make informed decisions in high-pressure situations.
There is a lot of potential for UAV operators in the public safety field to earn a good income.
While salaries will vary depending on your specific role and responsibilities, you can typically expect to earn a salary of $40,000-$100,000 per year as a public safety drone pilot.
There are a variety of different types of missions that UAV operators in public safety typically fly. Some of the most common mission types include:
Drones in the public safety industry are generally used in various missions, including:
Search and Rescue Operations:
One of the most common types of missions flown by public safety UAV pilots is search and rescue operations. In these situations, drones can be used to quickly and efficiently locate missing persons in difficult-to-reach areas.
Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras allow UAV pilots to locate missing persons even in dark, foggy, or otherwise challenging conditions.
Disaster Relief Logistics:
Another common mission type for public safety UAS operators is disaster relief logistics. In these situations, drones can be used to transport supplies and equipment to areas that have been affected by a natural disaster.
This can be particularly valuable in situations where roads and other infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed, making traditional methods of transportation inaccessible.
In addition to search and rescue operations and disaster relief logistics, another common type of mission flown by public safety UAS operators is wildlife conservation.
Drones can be used to make detailed maps of natural habitats, track animal populations, identify illegal poaching activities, and more.
Drones are increasingly being used by insurance companies in many different ways.
For example, Insurance companies are using drones to create 3D maps of properties. This helps them to assess risk and calculate premiums more accurately.
Insurance companies typically receive several insurance claims for roof damage following severe weather in a specific location.
To evaluate these claims, insurance companies have usually had to dispatch an insurance inspector or adjuster who physically goes to the location, climbs a ladder, and photographs each roof for which a claim has been made.
A drone pilot may take pictures of a damaged roof in 20-30 minutes and get all the footage needed to evaluate an insurance claim after flying a pre-planned pattern over it with a UAV.
This type of work is simple and in high demand, as it is a quick, cost-effective alternative to manual inspections.
The use of drones in the insurance industry is still in its early stages. However, it is expected that the use of drone services will continue to increase in the coming years, providing many benefits for both insurance companies and customers.
There are a number of different drones that are well-suited for use in the insurance industry. Some of the top models include the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, Yuneec Typhoon H, and the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is an advanced drone with impressive flight capabilities, making it ideal for use in a range of different applications.
The Yuneec Typhoon H offers superior image quality and advanced safety features, making it a great choice for insurance companies that need to inspect or survey large areas.
Lastly, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is an affordable drone with high-quality imaging capabilities, making it a good option for insurance companies that need to create 3D maps of properties.
A variety of software tools and platforms can be used to help UAV operators work more efficiently and effectively in the insurance industry.
Top options include Pix4D and DroneDeploy.
Pix4D is a powerful mapping software tool that allows users to create high-quality maps and 3D models.
DroneDeploy is a popular drone mapping software that offers an easy-to-use interface and advanced features that helps users to make detailed maps and 3D models.
In general, UAS pilots who are just starting out can expect to earn an average hourly salary between $60 and $200, depending on their skills and experience.
However, experienced UAS pilots with specialized skills can earn significantly higher salaries and may also be eligible for performance-based incentives or bonuses.
There are many different types of missions that UAV operators typically fly in the insurance industry.
Some of the most common types of missions include damage assessment, property inspection for purpose of documenting risk and/or an asset, mapping, and even some surveying.
Overall, UAV pilots play an important role in the insurance industry by helping companies to assess damages, inspect properties, and gather valuable data on a range of different areas.
If you are interested in becoming a drone pilot in the insurance industry, Drone U membership offers comprehensive courses and training available 24×7.
Additionally, many insurance companies offer drone pilot internships or apprenticeship opportunities that can help you to build your skills and gain real-world experience.
Drones are becoming a powerful force in journalism…the war in Ukraine proves the point!
Drones are utilized in journalism to provide another perspective on a story, as aerial stills and video footage can add more detail and drama to news coverage.
Drone footage can offer a unique perspective that traditional methods of photography and videography cannot. It can be used to capture images and footage that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Drones have become a frequent tool in journalism.
Aerial shots taken by drones allow us to comprehend news at a whole new level – like how a flood has damaged an area or the size of a crowd, or the breadth of a wildfire.
One thing to bear in mind about using drones for journalism is that there is a wide range of applications and degrees of quality required. Having the most advanced camera available may not be as crucial for breaking news or disaster coverage as having the footage in the first place.
On the other hand, if you’re attempting to capture an artistic still for a longer video-based narrative that you’ll be assisting to cover, you may want a more expensive drone with a customizable payload. That way you can attach your own high-end camera and get the greatest shots feasible.
Drones have quickly become an important tool for journalists, providing a new way to capture newsworthy events and stories. The skills required to operate drones in journalism also vary depending on your specific scenario. If you’re a documentary filmmaker, you may require considerable expertise in photography and videography for example.
There are a number of different drones that are well suited for use in journalism and news reporting. Some popular choices include the DJI Mavic Pro 2, DJI Mavic 3, Inspire 2, FreeFly Alta, the Parrot Disco, and the Yuneec Typhoon H520.
Each of these models offers unique advantages, depending on your specific needs as a journalist or drone pilot. The DJI Mavic Pro 2, for example, is a small and portable drone that offers excellent image quality and flight range.
The Parrot Disco, on the other hand, is a fast-flying drone with advanced autopilot features. This makes it ideal for capturing high-speed action shots and footage in difficult conditions.
The Yuneec Typhoon H520 is a professional-grade drone that offers exceptional image stabilization and long flight times. It also comes equipped with a number of safety features, making it an ideal choice for use in journalism and news reporting.
There are quite a few software programs designed specifically for drones in journalism. Popular choices include the DJI GO app, the FreeFlight Pro app, and the Litchi app.
Each of these apps offers unique features and benefits, depending on your specific needs as a journalist or drone pilot.
The DJI GO app, for example, offers a comprehensive set of features for flying and managing your drone.
The FreeFlight Pro app is another excellent choice for journalists and UAS operators, offering an intuitive interface and a number of advanced features.
Finally, the Litchi app is a great choice for those who need to create detailed flight plans.
Ultimately, the best software for UAV operators will depend on your specific needs and preferences as a journalist or drone pilot.
According to Payscale, beginning salaries for journalism students are about $35,000 a year on average. While photojournalists earn approximately $30,000 and news anchors make around $50,000 per year.
Of course, the amount you’ll earn in journalism is determined by a variety of factors, including where you live, and your experience level. A big city will usually pay more than a smaller one.
In general, UAS pilots in the journalism industry can expect to earn an annual salary of $53,000 with an experience of a minimum of 2-3 years.
Of course, salaries will vary depending on your experience, skills, and the specific industry you are working in.
To maximize your earnings as a drone pilot, it is important to gain as much experience as possible and to continually update your skills.
It is also important to network with other professionals in your industry, as this can help to open up new drone pilot job opportunities and increase your earning potential.
With hard work and dedication, you can become a successful drone pilot in the journalism field and earn a highly competitive salary.
There are a variety of different types of missions that UAV pilots can fly in the journalism industry. Some of the most common types of missions include:
According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the agricultural industry is expected to be the largest market for drone applications in the coming years.
As a drone pilot in the agricultural industry, you will need to be familiar with the various software tools and resources used for data analysis and management. You will also need strong technical skills, as well as good judgment and decision-making abilities when it comes to identifying potential crop issues or hazards.
A Normalized Difference Vegetation Index map, often known as an NDVI map, is one of the most common outputs given by a drone pilot to a farmer. These maps can be used to identify what plant is growing where on a piece of property and also how well each one is doing.
If you are interested in working in the agricultural industry, there are a variety of drone pilot jobs available to you.
You can work as a drone operator for a farm or ranch, or you can provide consulting services to agricultural businesses.
You could also start your own drone-based business, offering services such as crop mapping, scouting, or monitoring.
The agricultural industry is one of the most promising markets for UAS operators, and there are plenty of opportunities available for those with the right skills and training.
If you are looking to work in the agriculture field as a drone pilot, then there are a number of different options available to you. Some of the best drones for agriculture include the Agras T30, DJI Phantom 4 RTK, DJI Mavic 2, Autel Robotics X-Star, Yuneec Typhoon H, and Parrot Bebop 2.
These drones are all equipped with features that make them ideal for agricultural applications, such as high-quality cameras, long flight times, and stable flying in windy conditions.
A variety of software options are available to help with the agricultural drone business. Some of the best software for agricultural drones include Pix4D, DroneDeploy, PrecisionHawk, and Sentera.
Each of these software offers different features and benefits that can help you in your agricultural drone business.
The salary for UAV pilots working in the agricultural industry will vary depending on a number of factors, including your level of experience and training, the size and type of business you work for, and your specific job responsibilities.
You can expect an average hourly rate of $160/hr in the agriculture industry.
If you want to make a lucrative career as a drone pilot, then there is no better field than agriculture. With the right skills and training, you can enjoy a successful and rewarding career in this growing industry.
There are a number of different types of missions that UAV operators typically fly in the agriculture industry, including crop scouting, crop mapping, and livestock monitoring.
This data can be used to calculate the most effective planting patterns, water usage, and nutrient management.
The use of drones in transportation is an area of growing interest. Drones have the potential to revolutionize the way we move people and goods around, making transportation more efficient and less expensive.
In the transportation sector, drone usage is on the rise. In a 2019 study by AASHTO ( American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), they found that in 36 out of 50 states (72%), Departments of Transportation funded centers or programs for drone pilot jobs.
Traditionally, an inspector would have to walk the track and note any abnormalities one by one. These inspections can now be done much more quickly and provide more precise information using drones.
BNSF Railways was one of the first private partners of the FAA’s Pathfinder Program, performing research on Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights for railway inspections.
There are a number of different ways that drones can be used in transportation, including package delivery, taxi services, and even public transport.
To be successful as a drone pilot in the transportation sector, you will need to have solid technical skills and knowledge of aviation regulations. Additionally, good communication and problem-solving skills are essential for success.
If you’re interested in using drones for transportation, you’ll need to choose the right drone for the job. There are a number of different types of drones available on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Some of the drones for work in transportation include the following:
DJI Mavic Pro: With its compact size and high speed, the DJI Mavic Pro is an excellent choice for a drone that can be used in transportation.
Yuneec Q500 Typhoon 4k: This powerful drone is great for carrying heavy loads and has superior battery life compared to other models.
Additional options you can choose from are Yuneec H520, DJI Phantom series, and DJI’s Matrice 300.
In addition to choosing the right drone, you’ll also need to have the right software to support your work in transportation.
Some of the best software options for UAS pilots working in transportation include the following:
DroneDeploy: This comprehensive software solution offers a variety of features and tools specifically designed for transportation applications.
Pix4Dcapture: With its flight planning and routing capabilities, Pix4Dcapture is an excellent choice for UAV operators working in package delivery.
On average, UAV pilots working in transportation can expect to earn $85,715 per year.
According to the AASHTO’s study, mentioned above, a drone pilot may make $100 per hour conducting transportation inspections. For transparency, we’re taking this number from the AASHTO’s announcement that inspections that formerly required $4,600 and 16 hours of labor can now be completed in 2 hours for just $250 (with $50 going to rental equipment/data collection costs).
If you’re interested in a career as a drone pilot in transportation, it’s important to start preparing now in order to build the skills and experience you need for success.
There are a number of different types of work that UAV operators can be tasked with within the transportation industry, including:
Inspecting railway ties and tracks to detect difficulties before they become worse is an important task.
Monorails—Inspecting and assessing concrete support beams, rails, and other essential components.
Mitigating the dangers of rock falls, landslides, and floods by leveraging drone data.
Whether you’re providing package delivery services for businesses or transporting passengers in public transit applications, there are many exciting opportunities to explore in the field of drone-powered transportation.
Drones are a game-changing technology in the field of power line and solar panel inspections for energy firms.
For energy professionals looking to utilize drone systems in their work, there are many opportunities available. UAS operators can be employed by companies in the energy industry to perform a range of tasks such as aerial photos and videography, surveying and mapping, pipeline monitoring, oil spill cleanup logistics, and more.
One point worth noticing is that the Federal Aviation Administration is allowing, through their waiver system, energy firms to conduct BVLOS flights, which are normally prohibited by Part 107 regulations, to inspect larger areas in less time.
In April of 2018, the FAA issued the first BVLOS waiver to an energy company, Xcel Energy, for use in inspecting power lines outside Denver, Colorado. Xcel also announced that, following the completion of their mission in Colorado, they would expand BVLOS inspections to additional states throughout the United States.
As the FAA approves more BVLOS waivers for energy companies, drone work in the sector is poised to expand rapidly, as it soon will be possible for UAV operators to perform more inspections by acquiring more energy firms’ BVLOS exemptions.
To do this type of work as a drone pilot, you’ll need technical expertise in power lines, solar panels, and other energy-related infrastructure inspections. In general, these inspections are performed to identify regions that require maintenance so that difficulties may be detected early and addressed — but again, as software advances, this knowledge may become less vital.
For power line inspections, knowledge of aerial thermography is required. Magnetic interference generated by power lines may also affect your flight controller and make flying difficult. When conducting aerial inspections, a safe distance of at least 100 feet should be maintained from any power line, and if possible, flying between power lines should be avoided.
To succeed as a drone pilot in the energy industry, you will need strong technical skills and a high level of proficiency with UAV technology. Additionally, you may also need specialized certifications or training depending on the type of work you are pursuing.
There are many different types of drones that can be used in the energy industry, depending on your needs and goals.
Some of the top drones for energy professionals include the DJI Mavic Air, Yuneec Typhoon H520, DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, DJI’s Matrice 300, and Parrot Bebop 2 FPV.
When choosing a drone for your work in the energy industry, it is important to consider the specific task you will be using it for. For example, The DJI Matrice 300 is designed to resist magnetic interference. It can carry the ZenMuse Z30 camera, which was created with a strong, accurate zoom for tower and other inspection situations.
Many software tools can be used in conjunction with UAV technology to facilitate data collection and analysis. Some top options include DroneDeploy, PrecisionHawk, Auterion, PhotoScan, and more.
Regardless of the specific tools or software you choose, investing in high-quality drone systems can help you achieve success as a drone pilot in the energy industry.
The salary range for UAS pilots working in the energy industry varies depending on a number of factors, including your level of experience, specific job duties, and more.
However, most UAS pilots can expect to earn between $70,000-$100,000 per year or more depending on their skills, experience, and location.
There are many different types of work that UAV pilots can do in the energy industry.
To succeed in energy-related drone missions, it is important to be detail-oriented, efficient, and safety-conscious. Some examples of related drone-based work include:
In the telecommunications sector, drone operators are revolutionizing inspection procedures by doing tower surveys and inspections in a fraction of the time than sending a person up a tower, making the process both more cost-effective and safer.
The use of drones in the telecommunications industry is growing rapidly. Drones are being used for a variety of tasks such as cell tower inspection, network maintenance, and equipment installation.
AT&T has been employing drones for cell tower inspections for a while now, and Verizon sees a lot of potential in the drone sector that they bought Skyward, a drone firm, in 2017.
It’s vital to understand what to check for when doing these tower inspections and surveys.
The electromagnetic radiation given off by communication towers can cause your drone to crash if you fly too close (i.e., closer than 100 feet). It’s important to be a highly competent pilot and be able to snap photos from a long distance (using zoom) in order to work as a telecommunications drone operator.
One of the main advantages of using drones for telecommunications is that it allows workers to access hard-to-reach areas without putting themselves in danger. For example, instead of climbing a cell tower to inspect it for damage, a drone can be used to do the same job quickly and safely.
In addition, drones can be used to transport small parts and equipment to remote locations, saving time and money.
As the use of drones in the telecommunications industry continues to grow, there will be an increasing demand for qualified drone operators.
There are a variety of different drones that are well-suited for use in the telecommunications industry.
Some popular options include DJI Phantom 4, DJI’s Matrice 300, etc.
The DJI Phantom 4 is a great option for telecommunications work, offering excellent flight performance and stability.
With the right combination of technical expertise and communication skills, you can build a successful career as a drone pilot in the telecommunications industry.
Whether you are interested in inspecting cell towers, performing network maintenance, or installing equipment, many exciting opportunities are available for UAV pilots like you.
In addition to choosing the right drone for your work in telecommunications, it is also important to consider the software that you will use with your drone.
Some popular drone software options for telecommunications work include:
Depending on the type of work you will be doing, you may need to use more than one of these drone software platforms.
For example, if you will be performing cell tower inspections, you may need to use DroneDeploy for mapping purposes and PrecisionHawk for data analysis.
UAV operators in the telecommunications industry can expect to earn a competitive salary.
Glassdoor reports that the average salary for a drone pilot in the United States is $79,000 per year.
While a single tower climb for inspection purposes might cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the extent of the inspection.
However, your exact salary will depend on factors such as your experience level, the company you work for, and the specific drone software platforms that you use. With the right combination of technical skills and communication abilities, you can build a successful career as a drone pilot in the telecommunications industry.
Telecommunications work offers a variety of opportunities for UAS pilots. Some of the most common types of missions that drone operators fly in this field include:
Whether you are interested in dock management, emergency services, or environmental resource protection, there are many exciting opportunities available for UAS pilots like you in the telecommunications industry.
As a drone pilot, you have the unique opportunity to use your skills and knowledge to make a positive impact in education. Whether you are supporting classroom learning with new technology or performing research that advances our understanding of educational practices and trends, there are many ways for UAV pilots to contribute to this industry.
UAVs may be utilized in a variety of ways and can be used to address a wide range of instructional topics that are tailored to the instructor’s and students’ interests. Various sensors may be installed on a UAV to study many disciplines.
In the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has grown. This implies that UAV training should be incorporated into STEM education at a greater rate.
Some common roles for drone operators in this field include providing support for classroom instruction, conducting research on educational practices, and developing new applications for UAS technology in this industry.
A recent study in Michigan found that only 37% of 131 surveyed secondary agriculture, food, and natural resources teachers had incorporated UAVs into their curriculum. This was attributed to a lack of subject familiarity or access to technology because of funding constraints. Regulations for UAVs restrict who can legally fly a UAV and the flight location.
For example, in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires all UAVs over 0.55 pounds to be registered, and the UAVs must be flown at or below 400 feet within sight of the pilot.
While educational flights are exempt from additional restrictions under rule 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 107, all students must complete an aeronautical knowledge and safety course and pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), which is available online at no cost.
The following are some of the top college drone programs that we’re aware of:
There are many different types of drones that are well-suited for use in education. Some popular options include the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, the DJI Mavic 3, the Mavic Air 2, and the DJI Tello.
These drones offer a range of features that make them ideal for instructional applications, such as high image quality, long battery life, and easy-to-use controls.
When selecting a drone for use in this field, it is important to consider the specific needs of your students and educators. Some factors to keep in mind include the age of your students, the level of instruction you are providing, and the type of educational activity you will be using the drone for.
There are a variety of apps and curriculum resources available for drone pilots looking to use their skills.
Some popular options include the Remote Pilot Ground School app, which helps students prepare for the FAA Part 107 exam, and the Aerial Robotics Curriculum, which provides detailed lesson plans and activities for teaching drone technology in the classroom.
Other useful resources include DroneBlocks, which provides STEM and practical application of drone technology through apps, drone coding curriculum, simulator, and professional development. the DroneDeploy app, which allows users to generate and share 3D maps and models, and the Flight Projector app, which enables users to project a live feed of their drone’s camera onto a classroom screen.
There is no single answer to this question, as the earnings of drone pilots in this field can vary depending on a number of factors.
Some key considerations include your experience and skill level, the type of work you are doing, and the size and needs of the organization or institution where you are working.
That said, many drone pilots are able to earn a comfortable salary and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that their work is making a difference in the lives of others.
Depending on how long you’ve been at your drone operator job and where you reside, a middle school teacher may make around $40,000 per year. It might be more than twice that if you’re a college professor at an elite institution.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a drone pilot in this industry, be sure to research the salary expectations for your particular niche and location.
Another option is to start your own drone business. This can be a great way to use your skills and creativity to generate income, while also having the flexibility to work on your own terms.
If you’re interested in starting your own drone business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you will need to obtain the proper licenses and permits required to operate commercially.
You will also need to create a business plan, including goals, marketing strategies, and financial projections. Once you have all of the necessary paperwork in order, you can start advertising your drone services to potential clients.
With the right preparation and planning, starting your own drone business can be a great way to enter the exciting world of drone piloting. Do some research and explore the different options available to find the best path for you.
There are a number of steps that you can take to start your journey toward becoming a drone pilot.
Drone pilots employed by themselves can earn anything from $25 to $250+ an hour, depending on their skill sets, client base, quality of work, and how well-known their reputation is in their industry.
Here’s a look at seven things you may do to get started with your own drone services company:
1. Learn about the FAA’s standards for commercial UAV pilots.
The FAA considers all work done with a drone in the United States for any kind of compensation to be commercial. To conduct commercial drone functions in the United States, you’ll need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, which entails passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test (also known as Part 107 test).
At DroneU, our flagship test preparation and online training program guide you step-by-step through the knowledge you need to pass. Over 18,000 drone pilots have taken our training and passed the test with flying colors. Click here to sign up for the DroneU membership and start your training.
2. Connect with other drone pilots through a drone community: These can be online or even in person and local depending on where you live and fly.
3. Learn about the many varieties of drones available, from inexpensive start-up models to video drones to high-end professional drones.
4. Read about the top drone businesses and consider where your interests and existing relationships suggest you should start.
5. Fly, fly, and fly some more. Ultimately, the better you are on the sticks, the more opportunities you will have.
6. Consider the various elements of your business that need to be addressed. Everything from entity selection to insurance considerations should be evaluated and decided upon.
7. Identify the niche you may wish to work in, think about what marketing and sales might look like for your drone business, and do some preliminary company planning, including drawing up an initial budget and determining what market segments you’ll want to target.
Joining a UAV pilot network is one approach to obtaining freelance work as a UAV operator.
Joining a network may be an excellent approach to increasing your portfolio and knowledge—rather than doing free shoots for a friend to gain samples for potential customers, you may actually get compensated for doing shoots. This sort of work can also offer you experience working in airspace research, as well as build your professionalism on the job.
Here are a few recommendations:
As the sector develops, more employment opportunities are appearing in a wide range of industries. From software engineering to marketing to account management to finance, and more—in this part, we feature job listings from some of the top drone industry, including those that don’t always necessitate you to know how to fly a drone.
Here’s the list:
Aloft (formerly Kittyhawk) is a one-stop shop for everything you need to fly, log, and manage your UAV functions. They place a premium on delivering value to their pilots, which is reflected in the ease of use of their platform as well as the fact that they allow for limitless hours of recording.
Drone pilot jobs at Aloft here.
The AgEagle platform is designed to help farmers using aerial vehicle technology. They are specifically focused on farming, with the aim of assisting producers to increase yields and maximize profits while minimizing their environmental impact. They’re a data processing software firm that develops solutions to analyze drone-collected agricultural pictures.
Drone pilot jobs at AgEagle here.
AirMap’s innovative technology converts airspace below 500 feet into accurate, dependable, and trustworthy low-altitude navigational data and communication tools for the drone sector. AirMap’s software was created by GIS professionals, pilots, and experts in the policy. AirMap collaborates with industry leaders such as DJI, Intel, senseFly, and others to share their data within the flying applications they provide.
Drone pilot jobs at AirMap here.
ContextCapture is a 3D modeling tool from Bentley that allows users to create huge and difficult 3D models incorporating intricate real-world circumstances, such as city scales from simple photographs or point clouds, to easily and quickly provide context for design, construction, and operations decisions for all sorts of infrastructure work across the world.
Drone pilot jobs at Bentley here.
DJI is one of the world’s best-selling drone manufacturers. Many new drone service companies use their Phantom 4 Pro as a go-to device. According to data from the FAA, DJI’s Mavic and Phantom series aircraft are among the most popular purchased in the United States for commercial purposes.
DroneBase is a service that lets you either hire a drone pilot to complete a project or become their freelance pilot. They match each task and pilot based on location, availability, and equipment required.
Drone pilot jobs at DroneBase here.
DroneDeploy is a cloud-based drone software that works with any drone. It allows you to map 3D structures and create models, as well as analyze and share data from your smartphone or tablet.
Drone pilot jobs at DroneDeploy here.
The Drone Racing League organizes and promotes drone racing in the United States and across the world. To see if you have what it takes to be one of their newest pilots, check out the DRL racing simulator.
ArcGIS, which is developed by Esri and is one of the world’s most powerful mapping software, connects people with maps, data, and apps via geographic information systems (GIS). It’s a location platform that anyone can use, at any time, and any place they choose. Esri software is used in a range of business applications, from Fortune 500 corporations to national and local governments to public utilities and tech firms.
Drone pilot jobs at Esri here.
FLIR is a firm that develops cutting-edge sensing technologies for drones, including thermal imaging systems, visible-light imaging systems, locating systems, measurement and diagnostic systems, and sophisticated heat detection systems.
Drone pilot jobs at FLIR here.
Elios developed by Flyability is capable of creating the world’s first collision-tolerant flying robot that can stay stable after contact, and fly near humans, and is designed specifically for industrial inspection professionals. Flyability was presented with the UAE Drones for Good Award in 2015, which included a $1 million award.
Drone pilot jobs at Flyability here.
In addition to providing hardware in the form of commercial-focused drones, InSitu provides software for extracting intelligence from raw data gathered by drones and drone-related services for commercial purposes. Their ScanEagle drone is used for aerial imaging, with a variety of applications including agricultural assessment, oil and gas pipeline inspection, and force protection.
Drone pilot jobs at Insitu here.
Intel is the industry leader in terms of innovation and the development of new technology to meet growing demands. They’ve collaborated with Disney to create aerial light shows that might replace fireworks displays, using their Shooting Star drone. Intel not only develops drones but also the systems required for other businesses to manufacture their own drones.
Drone pilot jobs at Intel here.
Kespry produces drones that are designed specifically to capture, analyze, and produce aerial photos and survey data. The clients of Kespry are aggregates, mining firms, building firms, and surveying businesses.
Drone pilot jobs at Kespry here.
Matternet is a drone company that creates cutting-edge aircraft and sophisticated software. The Matternet One, the world’s first smart drone designed specifically for transportation, was created by them. In 2016, Matternet teamed up with Mercedes-Benz to develop an integrated delivery solution that will change how people receive lightweight items on demand.
Drone pilot jobs at Matternet here.
Measure was founded to assist companies to avoid the operational and financial risks of running their own internal drone functions. Customers in many countries around the world can benefit from Measure’s low-cost mapping and aerial imaging solutions.
Drone pilot jobs at Measure here.
PrecisionHawk provides data gathering and analysis tools that are easy to use. It covers everything from data processing to 3D terrain mapping. PrecisionAnalytics is a software suite from PrecisionHawk that transforms aerial photos into useful data.
Drone pilot jobs at PrecisionHawk here.
The Parrot Bebop drone is always a top choice on lists across the internet, and the new 2.0 version is even more robust than its predecessors, with 25-minute battery life and strong motors for flight in higher altitudes. Other than consumer UAVs and drones, Parrot creates, develops, and markets consumer goods for smartphones and tablets.
Drone pilot jobs at Parrot here.
Pix4D is a well-known photogrammetry software for business. In 2011, Pix4D was formed with years of scientific study and research. Pix4D’s software converts photographs taken by hand, drone, or plane into customizable outcomes that work with a wide range of applications and programs.
Drone pilot jobs at Pix4D here.
senseFly is a firm created by Parrot in 2009 and has rapidly established itself as an industry leader in the field of drone mapping. Customers in a variety of sectors, including surveying, agriculture, GIS, industrial inspection, mining, and humanitarian aid, use their data collection and analysis software.
Drone pilot jobs at senseFly here.
SLANTRANGE is a leading provider of multispectral sensors and an analytics suite for drone-based agriculture imaging. Users may take pictures and analyze them in 20 seconds after landing without a network connection, utilizing their innovative approach that allows for only 20% overlap, compiles imagery in 10 minutes and generates a distinct set of data outputs including true plant counts, weed maps, canopy closure, yield potential, and custom spectral filters with Smart Detection.
Drone pilot jobs at SLANTRANGE here.
SkyWard is a drone operations management system designed for independent fliers. Their platform may be utilized by “solopreneurs” to plan and monitor aviation, as well as large teams to manage efforts.
Drone pilot jobs at Skyward here.
The most popular drones used for aerial mapping, survey, and mineral exploration are Wingtra’s. Their WingtraOne fixed-wing aircraft takes off and lands like a multicopter but flies in the air like a fixed-wing plane. Drones using this technology can land without causing damage to the aircraft, carry heavier and better sensors, and still produce map coverage. Since 2017, Wingtra has worked with over 50 of the world’s most prominent equipment dealers to offer mapping drones internationally.
Drone pilot jobs at Wingtra here.
Yuneec, a Chinese company that specializes in electronic sports and remote control vehicles, began experimenting with aircraft before developing the first commercially successful, ready-to-fly fixed-wing RC plane. Finally, they progressed to their more popular aerial video quadcopters. They also sell a commercial drone called the H520 that was designed primarily for this purpose.
Drone pilot jobs at Yuneec here.
Zipline is a medical equipment and service provider that makes use of drones to deliver goods and services to places where land access is limited. In 2017, they supplied over 7,000 units of blood to people in Rwanda’s rural areas through collaboration with UNICEF and the Rwandan government.
Drone pilot jobs at Zipline here.
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