What jobs are there for drone pilots?

Fecha de publicación: 01/08/2023
Fecha de modificación: 21/03/2024

With the passing of time and technological advancements in all sectors, you may have discovered the making of new professions, as is the case for drone pilots. Has the world of professional drone piloting ever caught your attention? Well, you are in luck! There is currently a large demand for jobs involving drone pilots, it is a sector of clear growth and with a high demand for professionals. 

If you have already obtained the official license for professional drone pilots (RPAS) that has provided you with the necessary knowledge and skill, all that is left for you to do is search for the professional opportunity that motivates you the most. 

 

 

I have my license, now what? 

Job offers around the world for professional drone flying are constantly on the rise. There is a wide range of opportunities for pilots who are in possession of this license, throughout numerous sectors: audiovisual, engineering, logistics, or investigation, among others. 

Nonetheless, thanks to specialization, the number of specific activities that can be carried out as a drone pilot is extremely wide. Le us give you some examples: 

  • Photography, filming, aerial surveys. 
  • Aerial advertising and filming of events. 
  • Observation and surveillance, including forests and fires. 
  • Emergency operations, search and rescue. 
  • Investigation and development. 
  • Meteorology. 
  • Instrumental investigation and studying. 
  • Geolocation. 
  • Military use. 
  • Telecommunications. 
Join the labor market of any specialty as a Drone UAS pilot
Join the labor market of any specialty as a Drone UAS pilot

Sectors and employments to work at as a drone pilot 

These would be the sectors with the most job opportunities for a drone pilot. 

Surveillance and Search and Rescue 

When working at locations that cover a vast area of land, carrying out surveillance or inspection with a team composed of only humans would be a lengthy process which, in many cases, time can be key to saving someone’s life. On the other hand, drones can take on this task in a shorter span of time, while also collecting valuable information about said terrain. 

In the case of maritime search and rescue, the drones employed for this job are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the sea, whilst reaching the victim quicker and being equipped with flotation devices for such. Drones can also operate automatically and allow for a quicker search and rescue operation. 

Examples of drone pilot jobs in this sector: 

  • Forest surveillance. 
  • Aid in emergencies. 
  • Road controls. 
  • Work-related safety control. 
  • Perimeter surveillance. 
  • Fire control. 
  • Supervision in areas of difficult access. 
  • Crop controls. 
  • Maritime rescue. 

Technology and Science 

It is becoming more common for private businesses to hire drone pilots to carry out various activities that, especially for larger companies, can lower their production costs. Carrying out such a wide range of revisions and monitorizations another way would likely take more time and money. 

Examples of drone pilot jobs in this sector: 

  • Drones to carry out tasks involving mapping, photogrammetry, or topography. 
  • Drones with thermal cameras for the inspection of solar panels, agriculture, and industrial inspection. 
  • Collecting samples from areas of difficult access for scientific use. 
  • Controlling the interior of meteorological phenomenon such as tornadoes, or storms. 

Engineering and Environment 

The use of these unmanned small aircraft in nature and the environment is one of their most common applications. Most of the time it involves collecting data, samples, and measurements at larger geographic areas. 

What professional opportunities are there for drone pilots in this sector? 

  • Flying drones that carry multispectral cameras: for areas of vegetation, to determine the humidity concentration of the earth/soil, how humid the vegetation is in certain areas, as well as the detection of hot patches. 
  • Inspection of buildings. 
  • Revision of power lines and cables. 
  • Pest control in areas of vegetation. 
  • Cadaster control. 

Agriculture 

This is another one of the sectors with the most professional opportunities for drone pilots. 

These aircraft integrate advanced technologies to take on agricultural jobs, easing works such as spraying and fumigation, detecting diseases within the crops, and applying the necessary treatment. 

The pilot can plan and manage flights in real time while monitoring a screen that displays both the state of the aircraft as well as that of the terrain it is analyzing. Some types even include small spraying systems and quantity sensors that allow them to carry out jobs of all sorts, combining the necessary speed and power to work at a much faster pace than it would manually. 

Job offers you may find as a drone pilot in this sector: 

  • Spread of fertilizers, pesticides, and crop control: Intelligent systems allow for the control of the aircraft’s speed, applying a sustained and continuous spray resulting in a homogeneous coverage of the programmed area, avoiding the contamination of others. 
  • Terrain temperature control. 
  • Pest control. 
  • Aerial orthophotography: This combines the detailed characteristics of aerial photography with the geometric properties of a plane to figure out the exact measurements of a piece of land. 
  • Climate control in different areas of plantations. 
  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI): To estimate the quantity, quality, and development of the plants, by using remote sensors installed, in this case, on a drone. 

Other sectors and job services with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) 

In reality, the world of drone piloting is as broad as one can imagine. New utilities for drones are being discovered today, this will be the case for years to come, utilities that allow to reduce the time and cost of production of businesses and companies’ jobs at, as we have discussed, the most diverse sectors. Let us include some other examples of professional opportunities you may come across as a drone pilot: 

  • Order/package delivery (according to each country’s legislation). 
  • Filming of events, shows, and concerts. 
  • Aerial photography. 
  • Remote assistance. 
  • Filming for television and press. 
  • Following all sorts of events: cultural, sports, etc… 
  • Control of athlete training. 
  • Installation and infrastructure revision. 
  • Supervision of constructions and other infrastructures. 

If you are still not in possession of a professional drone pilot license but would love to work at any of the jobs we have discussed, do not hesitate to take the final step and get in touch with us to request all information you need and answer any question you may have. 

 

 

 

What can be the salary of a drone pilot? 

The salary of a drone pilot can vary, it depends on if they work individually or for an employer, the latter will depend on the agreement you as a pilot will reach with the contractor. As for the case of self-employment or working individually, the salary will be determined by numerous factors, amongst which you may find your experience as a drone pilot, the equipment you use, your past formation, and the time it takes to complete a certain job. 

In Spain, for instance, a drone pilot working in the field of audiovisuals can earn from 2,000€ to 6,000€ per month. As for someone who works individually, the standard pay in the sector for half a workday can be around 300€ as a drone pilot, not considering transportation, accommodation/housing, or handling of the data/images collected with the drone. As previously mentioned, there is a wide range of factors that affect the final earnings of a drone pilot, whether it be the experience, equipment, or even the type of job that is being carried out, at the end of the day, the stated earnings may not be accurate and are only suggested values. 

We will be delighted to help you as you step into the professional world as a drone pilot!