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How to Become a Drone Pilot [Updated Career Guide for 2022]

How to Become a Drone Pilot a career guide

Last Updated on March 26, 2022 by Admin

As the drone industry continues to grow, more and more people are choosing to pursue a career in the drone industry. If you are considering this career path, then you will want to read this article on how to become a drone pilot & how to become a commercial drone pilot, drone pilot salary, training, jobs, and career path.

As drone technology continues to advance, drone pilots are quickly moving into a large role in the world of aviation. But if you’re wondering how to become a drone pilot, or what it’s like to work with drones as a profession, read on to learn drones and drone piloting!

What is a drone?

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that have autonomous intelligence and the capacity to carry out missions by remote control. Drones can be controlled from any ground or air position without putting a pilot at risk. Drones are also called UAS, abbreviated as Unmanned aircraft system

Most drones operate autonomously and just need human interaction for takeoff, landing, loading/unloading cargo, or patrolling applications. One of the most attractive benefits of drone technology is that there are many ways in which they can save lives – monitoring wildlife, conducting surveys and search-and-rescue operations, filming productions, and creating 3D maps.

They may also be equipped with explosives or missiles to fire at targets. A drone can carry video cameras or still photographs as well as specialized infrared, ultraviolet, radar, laser, and acoustic equipment.

What is meant by a Drone Pilot?

What is meant by a UAV Pilot? Drone pilots are individuals who fly unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. There are many job opportunities for drone pilots across the world in industries such as agriculture, construction, and transportation.

Drone pilots operate unmanned aerial systems. Drones are programmable, remotely controlled unmanned aircraft that employ a variety of advanced sensors, global positioning satellites (GPS), and imaging technology.

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Roles and responsibilities

Drone pilots have many jobs within their roles. Some of these roles include assessing targets to ensure safety and highlighting them for the other team members, testing wire-guided aerial torpedoes, managing and identifying sensor data, inspecting cleared airspace, and fully controlling unmanned airborne vehicles.

  • Remotely pilots and operates vehicles for various purposes including, but not limited to, aerial photographing and progress tracking, reconnaissance, surveillance, and terrain mapping.
  • Conducts UAV systems testing and maintenance and assists in the planning, development, and execution of flight test events and demonstrations.
  • Ensures drone operations comply with laws and regulations as necessary.
  • These can include types of missions like conventional takeoff and landing, static line towers, and personnel deployments.
  • A drone pilot may possess specialized certifications that cover areas such as piloting, protection of the environment, hovering with stabilization methods, radio use, and flight formations.
  • They provide transportation for shipping and food delivery, from renting boats to outer-space research.
  • They also find lost items and serve humanity by tracking disaster areas and testing government codes of law.
  • Previous drone skills may include experience driving, working as a computer-based data entry clerk, or handiwork in a wide variety of creative and mechanical fields.



Criteria to Become a Drone Pilot

In India, all the conditions must be fulfilled – your age must be 18-65; you should have passed class 10th or equivalent examination from a recognized board; you should have completed the training prescribed for the applicable class of remote pilot license from an authorized RPTO.

Remote pilot licenses come with a validity of 10 years unless suspended or canceled. Also, a remote pilot license is valid only if it is unlisted on the Digital Sky Platform.

Becoming a pilot is possible once you have graduated from an academy and specialize in drone aircraft operations.



UAS types as per DigitalSky DGCA, India

UAS is abbreviated as Unmanned aircraft system – It means an aircraft that can operate autonomously or can be operated remotely without a pilot on board.

“DigitalSky platform” means the online platform hosted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India, for various activities related to the management of unmanned aircraft system activities in India.

The unmanned aircraft system shall, based on the maximum all-up weight including payload, be classified:

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams
  • Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg
  • Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
  • Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
  • Large: Greater than 150 kg.

The unmanned aircraft system shall be categorized into the following three categories, namely:

  • Aero plane
  • Rotorcraft and
  • Hybrid unmanned aircraft system

The aero plane, rotorcraft, and hybrid unmanned aircraft system shall be further sub-categorized as follows:

  • Remotely piloted aircraft system
  • Model remotely piloted aircraft system
  • Autonomous unmanned aircraft system

You can check the DigitalSky website for all the details to get your remote pilot license.


What is a Remote Pilot License?

A remote Pilot License is equivalent to a driver’s license for a car. A license is required to fly a drone for commercial purposes in India. Flying commercially without a Remote Pilot License would be termed illegal.

Overview of the drone pilot training program

You need to be trained from a DGCA-authorised training center to become a drone operator

If you wish to be a drone pilot then you should be trained from a training center authorized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). You need to have proper documents and will have to register as a “Remote Pilot” to obtain your “Pilot Identification number” and Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).

Utilizing drones for commercial purposes that include:

  • Aerial surveillance, Monitoring & Law enforcement
  • Geographical Mapping & Surveys
  • Agriculture, Aquaculture & Forestry
  • Search & Rescue / Disaster Management
  • Aerial Cinematography, Videography Journalism & Photography
  • Cargo Delivery & Logistics
  • Air taxis & Urban Air mobility



What is the duration of training to become a drone pilot

Most drone training programs are short and mostly around five to seven days. You do not need to own a drone to get trained. All required training kits including the drone are provided by the training institutes.

What is the cost of drone pilot training in India?

The five to seven days of drone pilot training course at any of the DGCA authorized training institutes are mostly upwards of Rs 65,000 and less than Rs 1 lakh. The fees include all kits and training materials.

What Can You Do With a Drone Pilot Licence?

Now, because there’s been so much progress in recent years, it’s expected that drone pilot licenses will become more commonplace in the future. For anyone who is interested in a career as a drone pilot, this is good news.


What are the different types of market opportunities where you can use your skills?

One lucrative opportunity is aerial photography and videography for businesses, local governments, and environmental consulting companies. Amazon is one of the biggest examples of an organization that works with aerial photographers on their projects and hires on projects to assist them. Another big way drones could be applied would be in search and rescue operations.

A drone pilot license means you can fly small, unmanned aircraft through the air using your own creativity. This can be a fun and exciting occupation meaning you in no way have to sign up for boring office work again. Drones are becoming more accessible with their micro size, low cost, and autonomy meaning it is the perfect time to consider becoming a drone pilot.



Where to get the Drone pilot Training

Following are the DGCA authorized Remote Pilot Training Organisations (RPTOs)where you can enroll for your drone pilot training.

Alchemist Aviation Pvt. Ltd.

Ambitions Flying Club Pvt. Ltd

Flytech Aviation Academy

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi

Pioneer Flying Academy Pvt. Ltd

Redbird Flight Training Academy Pvt. Ltd.

The Bombay Flying Club

Telangana State Aviation Academy

CASR Anna University

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademy(IGRUA)

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademy (IGRUA)

Drone Destination Pvt. Ltd.

Ganpati Aviation Solutions

Government Aviation Training Institute (M/s Global Avianautics Ltd.)



Drone pilot salary

The average salary for a drone pilot is ₹3,23,074 per year in India.

The average salary for a drone pilot is $58,490 per year in the United States.

Source: www.indeed.com (Note: data recorded on 26th Feb. 2022)


Drone Pilot Career: Scope for the Future

As per a recent report global UAV Drones Market to Reach US$58.5 Billion by the Year 2026

The global market for UAV Drones estimated at US$27.2 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$58.5 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.9% over the analysis period. Multirotor, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to grow at a 15.2% CAGR to reach US$32.3 Billion by the end of the analysis period.

After a thorough analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the Fixed-Wing segment is readjusted to a revised 14.1% CAGR for the next 7-year period. This segment currently accounts for a 27.3% share of the global UAV Drones market.

By 2030, the demand for UAV pilots should triple due to the change in realism in science and technology as well as the use of drones for military, government, and commercial purposes.

There are many jobs available with large companies such as Alibaba and Amazon, however, you need a specialized degree and experience in aerospace engineering. You will also need certifications, a few hundred pounds per month salary, and flight insurance for your drone.

There are many different career paths individuals can take today. If a person is looking to add to their income, an occupation such as a drone pilot is filled with many opportunities in the upcoming years. One of the most exciting facets of these future pilots will be UAVs. Within the next few years, transformational technologies like autonomous flight and onboard computing will revolutionize how drones are used in day-to-day activities around the world.




In the near future, drones have become as much a part of our lives as cars. Drones have made many people’s lives easier by doing search and rescue, going where helicopters cannot, mapping geography, and more.

With this in mind, the market for these types of careers has expanded dramatically and is growing exponentially. As the drone industry grows while the need for qualified pilots increases each day, it becomes clearer how dangerous drones-and other related professions can be to both those who operate them and their surroundings.

In the developing world, opportunities for drone pilot careers are relatively plentiful. The critical aspect of this career is specialization in a particular sector like agriculture, infrastructure, security, or sports due to the increasing demand for drone services. Another key element of being a successful drone pilot is being able to utilize machine learning and deep learning techniques that are happening at an exponential rate.

With the increasing interest and applications for drones, there will be a significant need for new drone pilots. It is essential for you to start building your skill-set today if you want to increase your chances of getting hired before the demand completely outstrips supply.

The Indian government is actively promoting and facilitating the growth of the drone industry. With this growth, the demand for drone pilots is set to grow significantly. It is a good career option as the industry has already started taking shape.



Drone pilot jobs in 2022

Kindly check the below resources to search and find a drone pilot and related jobs from the drone industry.

Drone Pilot jobs on indeed.com

Drone Pilot, Drone Operator, Drone Instructor Jobs on Google jobs

Drone Pilot, UAV Pilot, UAS Pilot, and Drone operation specialist Jobs on Linkedin Jobs

Drone Pilot Jobs on Naukri.com

Conclusion

You may be asking yourself, “What are the best careers to pursue in the year 2022?”. The conclusion is that this time has never been better than now. If you are motivated to become a drone pilot, there will be plenty of opportunities before anyone graduates in these lucrative jobs. This article is one of the most updated career guides for drone pilots who are eager to start their careers in the drone industry. This guide will tell you everything about drones and what it really takes to become a pilot.


Drone Pilot FAQs

Q.1. What does a drone pilot do?

Ans: A drone pilot is a person artistically trained to fly unmanned aerial vehicles for the purpose of capturing footage and images. Drone pilots also assist in public service by monitoring environmental conditions such as rain, snow, visibility, air quality, as well as weather.

Q.2. How can I become a drone pilot?

Ans: In India, all the conditions must be fulfilled – your age must be 18-65; you should have passed class 10th or equivalent examination from a recognized board; you should have completed the training prescribed for the applicable class of remote pilot license from an authorized RPTO.

Q.3. Is drone pilot a good career?

Ans: Drone pilots are in demand now more than ever. They operate drones to take photos and videos while they sit on the ground or in the air. Some of the most exciting uses involve drone delivery systems, where a drone is used to deliver products from a warehouse to customers on demand. It’s a high-paying career with many opportunities for growth.

Q.4. Do drone pilots make good money?

Ans: The money that drone pilots make depends on what location they focus their career on, as well as the size of the company. Some drone pilot companies pay hourly, with a salary and base bonuses. Others offer annual or even monthly salaries – but some do not pay anything at all.




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