Getting a drone pilot job

Hundreds of Australian companies are using drones commercially. How do you become an attractive candidate for a drone pilot job?

There can be many facets to a drone pilot job. It is common that a drone pilot job role is coupled with job components such as processing of information. That might be survey information, editing of video or writing of asset reports. Drone pilot jobs, simply to fly the aircraft exist, but numbers are limited.

Drones are undoubtedly saving Australian companies hundreds of thousands of dollars and most large companies are using them in some fashion. There are a number of things you can do to position yourself to gain a drone pilot job.

Unfortunately some of the less esteemed training organisations use marketing hype to recruit new students on a promise of future success.

drone pilot job

drone pilot job

So, what do you need to be successful? Firstly, drop the impression that you will be a millionaire overnight solely because you can operate a DJI Phantom legally.


Understand the company you want your drone pilot job with

When incorporating new drone activities, or expanding current drone activities, a company has the option of taking on a new employee or upskilling a current employee. Recruiting is also a hard task for an employer, there is considerable risk in hiring the wrong person.

Solely having a drone licence may not make you the most attractive candidate at the time. Spend some time researching the company’s use of drones, including software packages they may use to control the aircraft or interpret information.

“A good drone pilot is one that understands the final deliverable, completing the mission first time, every time”

There is a list of all the Australian companies that hold Remote Operator Certificates, this means those organisations that potentially have the capacity for drone pilot jobs. At the time of writing this is some 1500 operators. The Remote Operator Certificate List can be filtered by region and application type.

Obtain the correct licence type for the drone pilot job

When applying for a drone pilot job position, it is expected that you come to the company with the correct licence type for the aircraft being operated. There are a number of different aircraft type used for different purposes. By far, the most versatile aircraft is the multirotor type , this aircraft is a good place to start.

Multirotor Fixed Wing Powered Lift
Photography, Film and TV Yes
Roof and solar inspection Yes Yes Yes
Real Estate Yes
Drones for mapping Yes Yes Yes
Drones for surveying Yes Yes Yes
Bridge and building inspection Yes
Power line inspection Yes Yes Yes
Drones in mining Yes Yes Yes
Stockpile assessment Yes Yes Yes
Vegetation crop mapping Yes Yes Yes
Wildlife tracking and stock inspection Yes Yes Yes
Aerial weed spraying Yes Yes Yes
Search and rescue Yes Yes Yes


Gain your training from a reputable organisation

These days, the quality of training available for the Remote Pilot Licence varies considerably. The top training organisations will equip you with the skills and knowledge to be an asset to a future employer. There is also a good chance the top training organisations are known by prospective employers.

Being a good drone pilot isn’t all about skills on sticks, there are many other facets of a drone pilot that are important to a company. Having a responsible drone pilot who follows company procedures protects the company. Ultimately the company is responsible for any incidents that occur.

“A good drone pilot is one that follows company procedures and manufacturer recommendations”

Some considerations or questions to ask when researching where to conduct your Remote Pilot Licence:


Give yourself the best chance to gain that drone pilot job

Consider the employer, employing people is not an easy task and this obviously extends to drone pilot jobs.

  • Gain your initial Remote Pilot Licence with an organisation that understand both the technical and non-technical skills required to become an asset as a drone pilot.
  • Once equipped with your Remote Pilot Licence, consider utilising the excluded category to gain some experience in low-risk areas.
  • Consider upskilling yourself by enrolling in additional courses, such as the aerial survey training provided by Remote Results.

Aviassist is a Civil Aviation Safety Authority certified company specialising in drone training and dedicated to providing aviation expertise to Australian Business. About Aviassist

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