What Is a Drone Operator and How Do You Become One?

Have you ever been walking in the park and see something small whiz by in the air? It isn’t a plane or a helicopter because that would be dangerously low. So what else is there?

It’s a drone. Drones have become increasingly popular for recreational use over the last few years.

However, certain businesses are taking advantage of the technology too. They’re hiring drone operators to help with their business processes and increase efficiency.

Are you interested in flying drones? If so, and you have been thinking about an aviation career, continue reading to learn how you can become a commercial drone pilot.

What Is a Drone Operator?

A drone operator is an individual that oversees the control of a drone or unmanned aircraft. They are responsible for all of the drone’s functions from the start of the operation until the end.

The drone provides aerial video and pictures of its surrounding, which can significantly benefit logistical processes. It can also help with potential marketing opportunities too. Operations will vary depending on the nature of the business.

How Do You Become a Drone Pilot?

The first step to becoming a drone operator is getting your drone pilot license. Anyone flying a drone for non-recreational purposes needs to have passed the licensing test issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

To be eligible for test registration, you need to meet three requirements:

  • You have to be 16 years or older
  • Be able to read and write English
  • Be in good physical and mental condition

If you meet these criteria, then you’ll be able to apply. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have any study materials. The FAA provides a two-hour online training course and study guide for test-takers.

Once you pass your test, you’ll be able to apply for the Remote Pilot Certificate. After filling out some forms, and TSA does a background check, you’ll be mailed a certificate officially recognizing you as an official drone operator.

Do You Need To Pre-Purchase a Drone?

To become a drone operator, you only need to apply and get licensed. But there are no official requirements that say that you need to have a drone before applying to become an operator.

However, it would benefit you to know how to fly a drone before applying for licensing. Click here to look at different drones you can buy. That way, after passing your test, you’ll be more proficient in flying drones and can land a solid job. 

How Much Do Drone Operators Make?

Salaries for drone operators will vary depending on the industry they work in. Most drone operators work on a freelance basis for hourly rates.

The salary range could start as low as $17/h and go as high as $78/h. So there is potential to make a large amount of money working as a drone operator. However, check the nature of your contract before accepting any work.

Launch a Career in Drone Operation Today

Being a drone operator allows you to have a solid career in aviation while working behind the scenes. If you’re interested in becoming one, start applying today. The skies are waiting for you.

Hopefully, this article has been helpful. If so, feel free to read some of our other posts.