Drone jobs are in high demand and the trend is expected to continue. You can take your hobby of flying drones to the next level and get paid? From software engineers to sales professionals and project managers, there is a wide variety of drone jobs available today.
One of the most coveted drone jobs is that of a drone pilot. Drone pilots work for a variety of different clients. Many times this is on a freelance basis. In recent years the number of full-time drone pilot jobs out there has increased. If you are interested in taking flight with this rewarding career, read on for a few of the industries that have drone jobs.
Most of these jobs require (or strongly recommend) an FAA part 107 license or certification. A part 107 is a standard pilot’s license for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone. You’ll find that lots of experience is required. In many cases it can be achieved easily by drone training.
Drone Jobs in Agriculture
While it may not seem like a hotbed for drone employment opportunities, the agricultural industry has put drone technology to good use. Drones can survey and collect data more quickly on crops whose fields are too big to walk. This is particularly useful when inspecting and cataloguing damage after large-scale crop loss. They can also be used to efficiently and evenly spray pesticides and fertilizer.
Owners of smaller farms may opt to learn to fly drones themselves to cut down on costs. On larger farms, drone pilots are needed to guide the devices that will aid in a more bountiful harvest. Drone technology can also accelerate the planting and seeding process. Heavy-lift drones can deliver seed pods aerially. This technology can even be applied for the greater good through programs that focus on reforestation. After a fire or other large natural disaster drones can plant seedlings
If you’re an amateur photographer, consider literally taking your photography to the next level with a drone. Drone photography allows you the chance to capture amazing views. Views that you could never get from land. Drones put the perfect shot within your reach. Many beginner drones have built-in wireless cameras and are more budget friendly. You can get use to operating the technology before spending the money for a higher-end drone. When you’re ready to level up, there are several types of high-end drone to choose from.
Journalism is another avenues of drone photography that may interest you. Television broadcasting companies and digital media agencies are always looking to produce engaging content. Engaging content for internet, tv, and mobile applications. You can either script, shoot, and edit footage for your own clients. You can simply be a freelance videographer that captures the images and hands them off for the next steps that will make them content-ready. A highlight video reel can be used in marketing for events, products, and experiences. Drone footage can really make those reels pop.
The world of film and television production also uses drone footage frequently. If you’ve ever dreamed of being in Hollywood, this could be your star turn! Drones capture aerial shots of landscapes to hard-to-capture angles in chase scenes. They can also capture dramatic skyline views. Drones allow the viewer to feel like they’re soaring through the air through the eyes of a bird, a plane, or a superhero.
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Real estate agents need to get shots of the houses they sell from every angle. This can be a time-consuming task and in a business such as real estate, time equals money. That’s where having a certified drone pilot can come in handy. Clients love to see good-quality photos, 360 degree videos and aerial floor plans of a house.
Sometimes these shots are difficult to catch with a traditional camera. This is due to the size of the room or the layout of the house. Real estate agents will often hire drone pilots to snap high-impact shots with extra high definition cameras. Having this content available to clients helps to elevate ordinary real estate listings. This pushes listings to the next level and makes even the smallest of houses more expansive and more intriguing.
The more a potential home buyer can virtually see themselves in a home, the better chance the realtor will sell the home.
Drones have a number of uses within the government. Job opportunities in this sector are plentiful. The Army, Air Force, and many private government and military contractors hire drone pilots to gather intelligence for operational and tactical planning.
Drone pilots help with aerial surveillance, including the monitoring of international border crossings. This allows Border Patrol the ability to watch locations without physically being present. There are also applications for drone usage when it comes to weaponry and strategic air strikes. Drones can provide close air support and real-time battle damage assessment using state-of-the-art technology. Drone pilots are also intelligence specialists who provide information about enemy forces and areas of battle.
Remote pilots are responsible for:
- planning and analyzing their flight missions
- performing maintenance on a range of mechanical equipment
- performing pre-, post-, and inflight checks
- procedures to ensure safe and efficient operation of their drone
Sometimes called Unmanned Aircraft Systems Officers, remote drone pilots fly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) for reconnaissance and surveillance. UAV’s are also ideal for conducting targeting and acquisition missions. Important skills for pilots include mastery of computer programs, analyzing aerial photographs, reading maps, and preparing charts and reports.
Attention to detail and passion for remote control vehicles and related technology is a plus. If these kinds of missions sound fun and exciting, consider a career as a government drone pilot.
Construction is another industry that you may not think would have a need for drone pilots. Drones are being used with more frequency to help monitor construction worksites. This allows work crews to come up with a solid plan of action as well as to survey their work. Since many construction crew workers are not familiar with how to fly a drone, some crews will hire drone pilots.
This technology is very useful for inspections on residential and commercial construction sites. This includes monitoring roof conditions and measuring elevations. Drones are also used for insurance underwriting and claims purposes. This role might require you to work directly with the property owner and/or construction company and/or insurance agency.
This means means presenting yourself professionally at all times is a must. This role might not be for everyone. If you like engaging with a variety of professional people and appreciate using your drone to gather helpful information, this might be a great job for you.
Local law enforcement is another arena for drone pilots. You put your skill set to good use doing this type of work.
The police use drones to help with surveillance of large crowds:
- during events like political speeches
- criminal investigations
- locating stolen property
- even chases on foot or in a vehicle
The Department of Transportation uses drones to monitor traffic patterns, accidents, and other conditions. Law enforcement drones are often equipped with extra high-definition cameras that allow them to transmit images back in real-time to be analyzed.
This technology can be time-saving (and life-saving) during a critical situation. Drone cameras can also contain facial recognition technology and thermal imaging. Whether they are hiding in plain sight or deep in a wooded area thermal imaging aids in finding people. Drones intercepting cell phone calls, read license plates, and find GPS location information.
Through still photos and video transmissions, sophisticated drones can also identify if there are footprints or tire tracks on the ground. Sophisticated drones can also tell if someone is carrying a gun. If using your drone to help solve mysteries and fight crime appeals to you, consider working as a law enforcement drone pilot.
Training & Development
If you love flying drones, why not share that passion with others? Many universities, professional development programs, and private training academies give classes on all aspects of drone flight and usage. Sharing your skill set and knowledge would be a great way to inspire future generations of drone operators.
As a teacher and subject matter expert, you would be responsible for writing and implementing a syllabus or course of study. Another responsibility is monitoring student learning outcomes.
Qualifications for this job include:
- knowledge of safety and ethical guidelines
- skilled piloting of several types of drones
- experience working with students (including adult learners)
- effective written and verbal communication
- real-world experience (professionally or otherwise) like piloting drones.
Do you love taking your drone apart and putting it back together? Does technology have you fascinated by inner workings? If so, you will enjoy working with the companies that make drones. As a pilot, technician, or engineer, you could be responsible for
- flight testing new models
- acquiring data about the equipment’s performance
- programming parameters
- honing camera sensors
This job requires you to be exceptionally well-versed in the technology and familiar with its different components. Having experience with drone hardware is helpful to use for commercial applications.
Wrap Up of Drone Jobs
No matter what your hobbies and passions are outside of drone flying, chances are good that you’ll be able to find a way to unite the two in a potentially lucrative job. Whether you choose to be a full-time drone pilot or a freelancer there are many options. You can work small jobs as you see fit. You will have several options to grow and supplement your income in a fulfilling way. Now go ahead prepare for drone jobs. By getting a pilot certification you will be ready to book your first job! Happy flying.
Hal SimmonsWhen I first started flying drones I was always afraid of damaging my drone. I would always be thinking what if. I questioned myself often and as a result it made me question various aspects of flying drones. In the process I learned a lot. This is why I feel I have a lot of information that will be helpful to beginners and intermediate drone enthusiasts. Of course I still have a lot to learn so join me on this journey and I am sure you will enjoy the adventure ahead of us.
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