Drones have become an integral part of our world. From law enforcement to search and rescue to agriculture, drones are working in dozens of industries today. There are even drones working security in the private sector!
Despite our technological advances, these industries still need humans to help pilot UAVs. Drone pilot salaries can average anywhere from $25,000 to over $90,000 annually, depending on which sector and industry you choose to work for.
If you’re dreaming of becoming a drone pilot, read on. We’ve pulled together five steps to help you navigate the requirements for drone pilot certification.
Learn the Rules
Learning to pilot a drone is much like earning your driver’s license. Before you can show off your drone pilot skills, you need to learn the basics of flying the drone, as well as pre and post flight basics.
Important skills to master include:
It’s best to purchase a basic drone to practice these skills. Once you’ve mastered the basics of flying a drone, you can upgrade to a higher-end, professional grade model.
Mastering your drone piloting skills is the first step. Next, you’ll need to take - and pass - an aeronautical knowledge test. According to the FAA, first-time pilots must also: be at least 16 years old; be able to read, write, speak, and understand English; and demonstrate physical and mental ability to safely manage a drone. You can learn more about the test components and certification requirements on the FAA website.
Once you complete the test you’ll fill out the necessary forms to receive your drone pilot certification. This certification is valid for two years and costs $150. Remember to keep your certification on you anytime you are flying a drone, as proof that you are qualified and certified!
Get the Word Out
Once you’ve completed your drone certification, it’s important to register any drones you currently own. You may not need them for a job - but owning a high-quality drone can help you land work as an independent contractor.
Once you’ve completed these steps - congratulations! You’re a drone pilot! You’ve entered a fun and challenging career that has dozens of employment options.
Drones are predicted to continue growing and expanding as a business industry. Start the path to your drone pilot certification today and before long you’ll be enjoying your new and exciting career!