Over the past couple of years, drones have started to gain a whole new popularity and people have started to recognize the vast uses that can be done with them. However, since the industry is so new, there is a definite lack of capable drone pilots to hire for all of these new needs.
That means that if you are an experienced drone pilot or aspire to be one, there has never been a better time to start earning a living from your passion.
In this article, I am going to tell you 5 of the best ways that anybody can use a drone to make money. However remember that these are definitely not the only ways that you can make money with your drones, but just some of the best ways that I have seen people do.
First Thing You Need To Know
If you would like to legally do any of these jobs, you would need to be a certified drone pilot. It’s definitely not too hard and it’s meant to protect the public. Another great thing about needing this certificate is that it makes it harder for any competition from coming out of nowhere.
Here are the requirements that you would need to meet to become a certified drone pilot according to the FAA:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
- Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
- Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center
And if you’re a drone pilot that would like to get some help you can always sign-up for our free 5 lesson drone course.
Another thing that I would highly recommend that you get is some sort of drone insurance. However don’t worry, for the most part, drone insurance is quite inexpensive.
Some drone insurance companies can provide you with $1,000,000 in coverage for only about $600-800 per year.
Or you could use a company like Verifly, which will provide you with $1,000,000 in coverage for as little as $10/hr.
And before you think that this is a little too much for you remember that all of the things that I said should be done before you do any type of work can be done in a just a couple weeks.
Just remember that this is your own self-employed business. I have previously talked to drone pilots that are making over $10,000/month from some of the jobs that I will tell you in this article. But remember that they are experienced professionals but were once in your position.
So how Can I Make Money With My Drone?
1) Wedding Photography & Videography
Now this is a big one!
When it comes to weddings, married couples always want the best photographs possible so that they can always remember that day. And with the growing popularity of drones, more couples are realizing that the wealthy are no longer the only people that can afford to have those beautiful aerial photos.
I recommend that if you are still nervous about your abilities, you probably should not try to go after a job like this. You do not want to take any chances of injuring somebody and/or ruining the couple’s special day.
2) Music Videos
I’m sure that you’ve seen a music video with awesome aerial drone shots.
If you haven’t yet, here’s a great one:
For the most part, big studios would almost definitely go to bigger drone firms if they ever need a drone shot for their music videos. However, there are a lot of budding musicians that would love to have such a professional shot in their music video.
When starting out, you won’t make that much money, however, you will be building up your portfolio and growing your skills which will help you to land bigger clients in the future.
If you need help finding artists that might need your help, you should definitely check Craigslist. You can sometimes find some great gems in there.
3) Real Estate Photography
Real estate photography is arguably the biggest industry where drones have been making the greatest impact. This is mainly because of the bettering of the technologies which have allowed the drones to have better range and crisper imagery at an affordable price.
And this is a great market for new drone pilots because you are not going to put anyone in much danger. All you need to do to start is to approach real estate agents and ask if they would allow you to take aerial photographs of any property that they have for free. This will allow you to build up your portfolio and help you to land more paying jobs.
With over 124 million households in the United States, there is a lot of possibility as a drone pilot in this market.
4) Aerial Surveying
Another service that some drone businesses provide is Aerial Surveying. This is when a large facility would like to have a bird’s eye view of their facility to properly inspect for problems or potential problems which would be hard to see from the ground.
James Compton is a drone pilot that was able to make $50,000 in 5 days by providing this type of service to energy companies, power plants, oilfield operations, and wind farms. Now he’s definitely in a whole different league, but you can most definitely try to land one contract at a power plant near you and if you can land the contract, it will definitely help get your business going.
For these type of jobs you will need to look professional because when it comes to multi-million dollar operations, energy companies do not want amateurs potentially messing up.
So, as a new drone pilot the first thing that you would need to do is practice your drone flying ability, which can be done by joining our free drone course, then we can start working on getting you to become a certified drone pilot. This does not take too long to achieve, but you’d want to be the master of your drone before you go out into the world of business.
When you’re ready to step into the world of business, I would recommend that the first gig that you do is to work with real estate agents by providing them with beautiful aerial photographs of their property while building up your portfolio.