10 Types Of Drone Jobs You Could Get: Drone Industries Explained
TranscendFPV is a reader supported product and review site. Clicking on links to learn more, or buy products, may earn us money, and support our work. Learn more about the history of TranscendFPV and our passion on our About page.
Do you have a drone or looking to get one? Either way, drones are ideal for taking epic vacation shots, ultra-romantic wedding videos, and much more.
However, the drone industry is large and versatile, allowing you to think bigger than just taking photos. What if, instead of taking pictures for yourself, you can use your drone for diving into a new and amazing job?
Types of drone jobs you could get
1: Real estate drone videography
If you are a real estate agent building your brand, the solution is right around the corner. Real estate marketing is often done by a single drone pilot working as a freelancer.
All you need is a set of skills in flying and photography. The great part is that you don’t need a high-end drone to be a competitive pilot in this industry. These two are among the best you might want to consider if you’re looking to use a drone in real estate:
This drone can fly for 28 minutes in the maximum control range of 3.1mi (5km). Its maximum speed goes up to 44mph (72kmh), and it can avoid obstacles automatically in the forward direction using ActiveTrack.
The best part of this drone is its excellent camera stability and smoother footage. It also features the Smart Return Home option that allows it to return to its starting point. Be careful not to sink it into the water because it’s not waterproof.
This one will last longer because it has one extra-intelligent flight battery.
It can fly up to 40mph (64kmh) and offers up to 4.3 miles (7km) of transmission range. You can fly by remote controller or by phone over Wi-Fi for much easier flights and smooth footage.
How much money can you make as a drone pilot in the real estate? Rates per hour can go from $25/hour all the way up to $200 or more.
If this field is not for you, you don’t need to worry. Drones can provide you job in many different industries, such as:
- Public Safety,
Over the past few years, drones have become a great tool in journalism. How? Do you remember seeing captured pictures or videos of a crowd or a big flood?
The drone did it. In general, drones are used for helping to tell a story or to add extra drama to news coverage.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is a spectrum of uses and qualities required. For breaking news, it’s essential to have fast footage and not the quality, so for this one, you can use cheaper drones.
On the other hand, if you’re making documentary-type footage for a longer video-based story, you may want a more expensive drone. These usually allow you to attach your own high-end camera for some better shots.
If so, recommended drones for working in journalism would be:
DJI’s magnesium-aluminum-clad Inspire 2 Quadcopter is a powerful tool used in cinematics and photography.
This drone supports CinemaDNG and ProRes Recording and is compatible with 5.2K Gimbal Cameras, featuring CineCore 2.0 Image Processing. It’s able to speed up to 50 mph in 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 67 mph.
The DJI Inspire 2 follows fast-moving subjects do shoot dramatic sports and action footage.
This one is equipped with the latest DJI technologies, including the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, Intelligent Batteries and Battery Management system. Several Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible and full integration with third party software and hardware make the M600 Pro ideal for professional aerial photography and industrial applications.
How much money can you make in this industry? While it all depends, with the right opportunity, you can make a lot of money. Half-day rate is $400, while an 8-hour day is paid $750.
3: Filmmaking and drone videography
More and more, we see incredible aerial shots in the movies or TV shows. By using a drone, producers get beautiful aerial shots that previously would have been very expensive.
To make sure you are protected, drone insurance is the best idea for this line of work (and for all lines of drone work, to be honest).
Best film drones:
4: Drone insurance surveying
We’ve already mentioned this, but let’s get into a bit more detail. Insurance companies typically receive numerous claims for damage done to the roofs of those holding homeowner’s insurance.
Traditionally insurance companies had to send out an inspector but not anymore! That’s where drone insurance inspections come in.
A drone pilot can fly a set pattern over a damaged roof in 20-30 minutes, and it is enough to get all the images needed. The job is quite fun, and the salary is also decent. DroneBase offers a payout of $70 per each mission. However, remember that this type of job is mostly seasonal since it follows the storm patterns.
Best drones for insurance work:
5: Drone education
Drones are being used in the classroom, from elementary to middle, to high schools. We also see them in community and four-year degree colleges.
Working in education means incorporating drones into classroom activities or maybe teaching people how to fly and do other things with drones. Here are some of the top college drone programs we know about, and we recommend:
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University
- Kansas State Polytechnic
- University of North Dakota
If you have an interest in this field or you want to go to one of these universities, you might want to try using the Mavic Air.
Mavic Air drone can capture 4K videos and 12Mp photos thanks to the 8GB of Internal Storage and 3-Axis Gimbal-Stabilized Camera. The Mavic Air offers multiple flight modes, and it can reach a top speed of up to 43 mph and offers a max flight time of up to 21 minutes.
And one of the favorite facts that customers love is the fact that Mavic Air uses an advanced flight control system.
If you’re still considering whether the job is for you or not, think about that the right opportunity could bring you around $40.000 a year.
Drone selection in the transportation sector is growing rapidly. To do this kind of work, you need to have a general understanding of what you’re looking for in these kinds of inspections.
In other words, you’ll have to make sure you get enough coverage of the assets being inspected—whether they’re railroad ties, roads, or bridges. This allows the problem areas to be identified using the data you collect.
The software develops can often simply upload the raw images collected and have the software identify problem areas, as Intel demonstrated last year at InterDrone.
Best drones option for this type of job is:
Similar to transportation, using drones provides faster, cheaper ways to inspect assets like power lines and solar panels for energy companies.
To do this kind of work, you’ll need technical knowledge of what is required in inspections of power lines, solar panels, and other energy-related infrastructure.
In general, these inspections are conducted to find areas that need maintenance so that problems can be detected early and addressed. Again, as the software develops, this knowledge may become less and less crucial.
- The great news is that, based on our research, people doing power line inspections make about $70,000—$100,000 or more a year, depending on where they’re located.
- Recommended drone for working in Energy is the DJI Phantom 4.
8: Public safety
In fire departments, firefighters use drones for greater situational awareness during fires. Law enforcement uses them in a similar manner, creating maps of highly trafficked buildings that can be used to help evacuate people during an emergency.
The skill level needed for using drones in public safety can vary greatly depending on the specific use case.
There’s also the question of how much can you make working as a drone pilot in the public safety industry.
According to data from 2015, you can make somewhat more than $50.000 a year up to $60.000 a year. One of the best options is the DJI Phantom 4.
Drone pilots changed the way inspections are done in the telecommunications industry by conducting tower surveys and inquiries in a fraction of the time required to send a person up to a tower. This made the process both cheaper and safer for those involved.
To do work as a drone pilot in the telecommunications sector, you have to be a highly skilled pilot, and be able to take very accurate photographs from a distance.
- The recommended drone for this work is usually the DJI Inspire 2.
Farmers have been using drones for a few years. Using a drone to see the farm is much faster than walking the entire farm on foot, and it’s also more accurate.
The good news about the work is that it’s reasonably straightforward. A general mission requires lots of coverage so that enough data can be collected to create a map, but it doesn’t necessarily require specialized skill sets. You should be able to fly well and safely, and the software will do the data processing.
- Drone pilots make anywhere from $40 to $150 an hour doing this work in agriculture, and they typically use the DJI Phantom 4.
If you’re interested in getting a job where you can use your drone flying skills, you might want to start at a reliable company. Luckily, a large number of companies and brands fly, so you can choose between:
- Draganfly Innovations
- DRL – The Drone Racing League
This company provides software to help people use drone technology in agriculture. It’s singularly focused on agriculture, with the goals of assisting farmers in increasing yields and maximizing the bottom line while reducing their environmental footprint.
Bentley – the creator of ContextCapture allows users to produce large and challenging 3D models that incorporate complex real-world conditions. This helps people easily and quickly provide context for design, construction, and operations decisions for all types of infrastructure projects throughout the world.
The brand is responsible for building ArcGIS. That is one of the most powerful mapping software in the world. ArcGIS is the way how you can connect people with maps, data, and apps through geographic information systems. It’s a location platform that’s accessible to anyone at all times. Esri software is used in a variety of applications, from Fortune 500 companies, national and local governments, to public utilities and tech startups.
DJI is one of the top consumer drones in the world. Their Phantom 40 Pro is a go-to drone for new drone service providers. According to data provided by the FAA, DJI’s Mavic, Inspire, and Phantom series are among the most-used in the U.S. for commercial work.
Parrot makes some of the best drones currently on the market. Their Bebop drone is a favorite in lists around the world, and the 2.0 version is even more robust than the original. It goes with 25-minute battery life and powerful motors for flight in higher altitudes.
Parrot also designs, develops, and markets consumer products for smartphones and tablets along with the consumer UAVs and drones. They recently created the Parrot Mambo FPV drone which can even pick objects up!