Drone pilot career – expected earnings and opportunities

As we enter 2016, the use of drones has skyrocketed from being a new technology reserved for the science lab, to being a readily available piece of equipment within an affordable price range for many.  Flying drones recreationally has quickly become a much loved hobby for any gadget loving explorer. Now however, as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been tested and have become more established within different industries, did you know there is an attractive new career path opening its doors for qualified drone pilots?

A healthy job market
There are many uses for flying a drone in many different industries but to do so a trained pilot is needed, requiring highly sought after skills and qualifications which are currently rare to find. Many already existing traditional pilots are making the move from operating aeroplanes to vehicles a fraction of the size, whilst the most serious of hobbyist pilots are taking the next steps needed to commercially fly a drone. When you look at the figures it is easy to see why. In 2013 it was reported by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International that around 100,000 new jobs would be created in the first 10 years after unmanned vehicles are allowed to take off for commercial purposes. The U.S Federal Aviation Administration also predicts that there will be 70,000 jobs created within the drone industry by 2018. Even as a prediction, these numbers are huge and with the industry still being so niche, any person qualified and skilled within operating a UAV is guaranteed to be highly sought after by many different companies.

There are a wide range of industries utilising the use of drones which means it is a great career path for anyone who wants to say goodbye to monotonous employment! One of the most popular applications is for photography and filming used for wildlife and nature projects, as well as in popular TV and cinema for example. Emergency services and engineers are also benefiting from the versatility that a drone can bring to any task and they are using them to make their jobs safer. As such, opportunities are arising too for specialists within these industries ie camera operators are training as drone pilots in order to offer their skills to their film and TV industry in an up to date way.

The exact earnings made by a drone pilot will depend on many things such as the industry you choose to specialise in and whether you work as a freelance pilot or look for an ongoing role. It should also be noted that those willing to work overseas can expect to earn more money than those who don’t. Regardless of this, in these early stages, the role of a drone pilot is one which is becoming increasingly in demand by many companies and as with other highly skilled and specialised roles, the salary you can earn will reflect this, making it an attractive and exciting career to consider.