What is a Drone Operator?

  • Jack Collins

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, chances are you’re aware of the exploding drone operation field. According to some research, the drone operations field stands to increase by 16% every year until 2028. That makes it one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. In this post, we’ll look at drone operators, their jobs, and their salaries.

Drone Operators: Jobs

Drone operator jobs span across a huge variety of industries. While UAVs were once solely the domain of the military, that’s no longer the case. Today, you can find drones doing any job that’s too menial or difficult for any human. That includes work in agriculture, real estate, disaster response, energy, and even archaeology.

  • Agriculture: this is perhaps one of the fields that holds the most potential for drone use. Agricultural drones can perform jobs like pesticide application, watering, and surveying crops. This can not only significantly reduce the amount of time that farmers have to put into their crops, but also eliminate as much waste as possible.
  • Energy: outside of agriculture, the energy sector has a huge need for drone operators. Drones can keep an eye on the energy grid, and spot problems nearly as soon as they arise. They can also scout new sources of energy more efficiently and for less money than a human could.
  • Disaster Response: when it comes to disaster response, time is crucial. And it’s much faster to send a drone out on a search and rescue mission than it would be for a human. What’s more, we can equip drones with night vision and thermal sensors, making them ideally suited for disaster response.

Salaries for Drone Operators

Salaries for drone operators can vary widely depending on the amount of experience you have, what your exact job is, and what industry you’re working in. But generally, it can be a fairly lucrative career for those who choose it as a profession.

According to some research, even the bottom 10% of drone operators stand to make at least $34,000 per year. However, the vast majority of drone operators (the middle 80% or so) make about $50,000 per year. And once you get to higher-paying jobs that require more experience and skill, drone operators can make nearly $90,000 per year.

Although it will definitely take some training, drone operations is a legitimate career in a market that’s only going to expand in the near future.

Earn a Certificate in Drone Operations at SDI

Are you thinking about taking the plunge into a new career as a drone operator? There are plenty of openings in the UAV industry that need dedicated, hardworking operators. But you’ll need the right set of skills before you can lift off.

That’s where SDI can help. At SDI, we have the resources, knowledge, and staff to prepare you for a career in the expanding world of drone operation. Find out more about the programs we offer here

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