Drone Pilot: Become One and Earn Money in Five Easy Steps

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Do you have experience flying drones? Have you mastered the art of videography and photography with drones? It is certainly not easy to pilot a drone from the ground and capture high-quality photos and videos of a targeted site. But if you can do this, then you can turn your hobby into a money-making opportunity by becoming a drone pilot.

Here are 5 steps on how to do this:

#1 – Get Certified with the Federal Aviation Association

You may have experience as a drone pilot, but you need to get your FAA certification before you can make money flying drones. There are numerous training courses and manuals on the internet for you to learn from. But if you prefer the traditional in-person courses, you can take those as well.

You may be required to get your FAA certification before you can even fly a drone in your state. Make sure you understand the rules about flying drones in your area, so you don’t get into trouble. Even in states that don’t require an FAA certification to fly a drone, they may still require an FAA certification if you want to make money from the drone. Freelancers and employees who fly drones on commercial jobs are required to have FAA certifications too.

Therefore, if you want to earn money as a drone pilot, then take FAA certification seriously. You cannot get most commercial drone pilot jobs without this certification, including freelance jobs.

#2 – Practice Regularly

If you have received your FAA certification, the next step is to practice your drone piloting skills. You probably have basic flight skills if you’ve already been flying drones for a while now. However, if you want to fly drones in a commercial capacity, then you need to know how to perform advanced maneuvers with them.

Give up your beginner drone if you’re currently using one. If you want to learn advanced maneuvers, then you need to upgrade to a better drone. Look for one that has a high definition camera built into the drone. It should also have lots of batteries for sustaining long flights and an altitude hold feature.

#3 – Know Your Niche

How are you going to make money by flying a drone? Are you going to become an agricultural sprayer for farmers? Are you going to work for realtors and take aerial pictures of houses and neighborhoods? Perhaps you can work as a freelance aerial photographer and sell pictures that you take. There are so many ways to make money as a drone pilot. Just figure out how you want to make that money with your drone and go do it.

#4 – Locate Clients Looking for a Drone Pilot

Okay, so who is going to pay you to do these things? Are there any full-time jobs in your area for drone piloting? If not, then you’ll have to work as a freelancer. This will require you to look around and propose your drone services to prospective clients. You may have to accept less money then you’d like in the beginning because you need to build your experience level. Once you have suitable references, then you can charge more to your future clients.

You can find clients by going through the classified ads in the newspaper or the local bulletin boards in libraries and supermarkets for job postings. You can also contact potential clients directly, such as farmers and realtors, and ask them if they need any drone services. Try going on social media and asking around on there too.

Think of it as a business. Create business cards and flyers which revolve around the niche of your drone piloting service. For instance, if you’re an aerial real estate photographer, then design flyers and business cards which show images of real estate and give a general idea of what you do. Then send your flyers and business cards to various realtors via mail.

#5 – Provide High-Quality Results

If you have gained a list of clients, then give them good results. If they’re happy with your work, they’ll tell their friends and colleagues about your services. This is the kind of word-of-mouth advertising that you can get you a lot of success in your business.


You can make drone piloting a new career or a way to make money on the side. If you follow the steps that are mentioned above, you can successfully make money as a drone pilot in no time.

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Jeremiah Burnett

What started as a gift for my two sons turned into a major hobby for me! After playing with my sons' quadcopter one winter afternoon, I quickly became obsessed with all things drone. I enjoy precision flying, creating stunning and smooth aerial videos, and taking beautiful photos of my hometown.

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