Students who graduate from drone flight school are using their skills in ways that impact many industries. Some are pursuing careers in the field; others use their drone mastery as side gigs to supplement income.
Drone training programs are offered at colleges, four-year universities, and private companies. However, community colleges are well-positioned to offer training because they provide skills that can be applied immediately without conferring credit toward a degree.
Commercial Drone Pilots
Aspiring drone pilots can find employment in a wide variety of industries, depending on their experience, certification, and employer type. Pilots who have established a strong reputation in a particular industry can often command higher salaries than newer pilots.
Drones have become a popular tool for many industries, including agriculture, architecture, and construction contractors. Farmers use drones to identify failing crops and take inventory of their land. Architects and construction firms use drones to capture aerial photos and video footage for design and planning purposes.
The most common jobs for drone pilots include utility inspection and photo/videography. It is important for drone pilots to prioritize safety when performing these roles. Employers will look for a track record of safe operations and adherence to pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight safety checklists. Achieving these goals will set pilots up for long-term success in their careers.
Many captive-distribution insurance companies see tech and digital as core differentiators or the essence of their value proposition. As such, they need to clarify desired adjustments to their existing tech setup as they shift toward a post-pandemic digital world.
One key challenge is shifting offline processes online, such as medical underwriting. In our April 2020 survey, agents reported that their customers are looking for digital tools to simplify and expedite the process of purchasing coverage.
A remote pilot certificate is required to operate drones for commercial purposes legally. UD PCS offers hands-on drone flight training and FAA Part 107 test prep courses to prepare operators for this important certification. This eight-hour course covers multi-rotor and fixed-wing drone flight systems, maintenance, registration, certification requirements, safety, insurance, industry applications, featured systems (DJI, Yuneec, etc.), emerging technologies, and the latest FAA policies.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents can use drones to model properties, create fly-through videos, and collect and analyze data about a property. However, they also need to know how to operate a drone correctly to ensure it is safe.
You will need an FAA Part 107 remote pilot certificate to legally fly a drone for commercial purposes. UD PCS offers a comprehensive FAA drone pilot course that includes both ground school and flight lessons. The courses are offered online and include access to flight instructors, a money-back guarantee, and lifetime access so that you can learn at your own pace.
The classes are taught using Pix4Dmapper, an industry-leading drone software solution that turns images into point clouds, orthomosaics, 3D models, and reports. Participants will be able to test their models using a free trial account and demo image datasets provided by SkyOp.
The environmental industry provides advice to businesses and federal governments on controlling environmental contamination from pollutants, toxic substances, hazardous materials, and more. They also enforce environmental regulations.
With the increasing push towards sustainability, it is no wonder why environmental consulting firms have seen a boom in recent years. More and more companies have to reconsider their operational strategies to become more environmentally conscious, and they need expert help to guide them through this process.
Those interested in pursuing a career as an environmental consultant should consider completing a master’s degree in the field, such as a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences or Geoscience. This will allow them to study subjects like biogeochemistry and ecology in more depth. It may also be helpful for gaining relevant fieldwork experience. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door of industry and land a job as an environmental consultant.
Being a photographer is more than just clicking the shutter and editing – it’s business, investment, insurance, finding clients, file storage, accounting, maintenance, invoicing, and marketing. The most successful photographers find a niche and master it, becoming the go-to expert in their field rather than being a dispensable jack of all trades for everyone.
As the demand for drone photos grows, more and more photographers will be looking to capitalize on this trend. That’s why it’s so important for them to find a specialty and build a solid following on social media. This will give them the exposure and reputation necessary to compete in a saturated market.
Industrial photography has long captured the world of work, from the invention of new machinery to the faces of immigrant laborers. In a society where many consumers are unaware of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into producing and supplying the goods they consume daily, industrial photographers have a critical role to play in opening our eyes.
It takes a unique type of photographer to pursue this specialized field, a curious risk-taker and flexible problem solver with an eye for discovering how things work. From navigating sterile manufacturing facilities to standing atop a 120’ port crane, these individuals are the ones who are pushing industry boundaries and shaping how we view everyday life.
Top drone flight schools offer comprehensive curriculums that include FAA regulations and Part 107 certification, drone photography and videography, computational photography and mapping, and drone business management.
A successful commercial videographer is someone who enjoys multimedia and understands how to produce a wide variety of content. They are detail-oriented and disciplined, able to dive in and digest the nuances of evolving technology platforms, trends, and content delivery. They thrive working as part of a team to create high-end production value yet are not afraid to take charge and expertly handle client relationships.
In addition to learning how to operate drones, these students will learn about the FAA’s Part 107 knowledge test and a comprehensive overview of drone-specific regulations. They will also receive training in a variety of industry applications, including photogrammetry software, landscape mapping, and 3D modeling. This will give them a strong foundation to launch their careers in the field of drones.
Construction contractors must stay abreast of trends in the construction industry. This can be from new materials, improved design capabilities, or changing consumer preferences for the type of home they want to build. These large trends can impact construction costs and the quality of completed projects.
Due to supply chain issues disrupted by COVID-19, a number of building materials. This forced many construction companies to seek permanent regional suppliers for their material needs and strive toward maintaining larger inventories of essential materials.
Public two-year colleges that are part of the UAS-CTI program can partner with general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs. This will allow these institutions to provide graduates with real-world practical knowledge that can help them find jobs in the field of drone aviation.
Law Enforcement Officers
Law enforcement officers often have a wide network within the private sector, which could be beneficial during a career transition. Developing those contacts before retirement can help officers who are seeking a job with a private company.
Drone flight schools also teach students the legal aspects of drone operations, including how to navigate evolving privacy laws. This ensures pilots understand the implications of flying a drone, helping them to become responsible and reliable professionals.
Educators in community colleges say they enroll students who are looking to acquire new skills for their current jobs; take a second, part-time job; or change careers. Some are even starting their own drone businesses. The programs are also available through four-year college programs that offer drone training as part of their workforce development or industry solutions departments but don’t confer credits toward a degree.
Many security leaders agree that broad life experiences outside the professional realm and cross-marketed skills from non-security jobs or roles can boost a candidate’s chances of success. They also say that hiring candidates who can articulate their personal security “mantra” and mindset is crucial.
To legally fly a drone for commercial use, you must possess an FAA remote pilot certificate, known as Part 107. UD PCS’s Ground School and Part 107 Test Prep course prepares students for the exam by teaching them drone regulations, basic drone controls, and safety.
The instructor also helps them understand how to maneuver a UAV around the course and how to use the controller joysticks to produce desired movements. Once the students are comfortable with the controls, they can begin their first flight. The Range Safety Officer signals to the Pilot when it is safe to begin.