It isn’t easy becoming a drone pilot
About every person who purchases a drone, imagines that he or she can start a business to fly drones full time. Unfortunately, therefore, nearly every drone owner is a potential competitor. There are job opportunities for qualified drone pilots if you have the right skill set.
I have been running a FaceBook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/dronejobvacancies for the past year. This faceBook group attracts many wannabe and already experienced drone pilots looking for work. New jobs are posted on average 4 times per week. Many people join the group imagining that we share details of people seeking drone pilots for one-off jobs, but most jobs we discover are for full time employment vacancies, working for drone manufacturers, that’s just the way it is. Drone manufacturers need employees with all sorts of skills, so we post job opportunities for software and hardware engineers plus every other type of job companies require such as finance, sales and marketing; the drone manufacturing industry is booming.
|Drone Pilot Jobs|
So far as one-off drone assignments, these are in short supply - the pandemic has restricted events, weddings and family gatherings - hopefully, as more people get vaccinated, in time we will attract more drone assignments.
In the USA, there are more manufacturers and opportunities. For example, real estate agents may require aerial footage of homes to show the extent of the plot, whereas in the UK, homes are far smaller, with less scope or demand for estate agency work. Having said that, the pandemic lockdowns have resulted in the need for virtual viewings, and drone pilots can exploit this opportunity by expanding their services with use of equipment such as Matterport Technology.
My advice to new drone pilots is to consider the many different applications for drone technology and to specialise in certain area - see Drone Applications for examples.
To make it as a drone pilot, in addition to photography and video skills, you will need the following:
Adaptability - to persist and get around obstacles, overcome hurdles.
Business skills - you may be a brilliant pilot, but can you run a business? Do you set an hourly rate to include travel time, consider equipment purchase and depreciation costs?
Customers - pandemic lockdowns have seen cancellation of weddings and events.
Equipment - Drones, Photo / Video and post flight footage editing software.
Experience - It takes time and perseverance to pilot, and then process photography and video footage.
Expertise - There are a number of different commercial applications with specific drone technologies.
Insurance - Check out companies such as Flock Insurance
Marketing skills - How will you promote yourself effectively? Do you have printed business cards to hand out at weddings and events? Do you use social media to promote your business? Have you joined FaceBook groups to target wedding, events and media companies? Do you have a website, do you list your website on other sites, such as Find a Drone Pilot? Have you created a YouTube show reel demonstrating your piloting and photography skills and listed this on Drone Media?
Optimism - and perseverance.
Permission - to operate in specific areas.
Qualifications - in country of residence/ operation.
Security clearance - For many jobs within the drone industry.
Specialisation - there are many niche applications
Work Permits - to operate where you wish to work.
Join our FaceBook Group to receive updates of drone job opportunities.