An unmanned aerial vehicle or an autonomous aircraft fly under the control of automatic systems. It does not require the intervention of a human pilot. However, the autonomous control systems are reaching a point where various air taxis and associated regulatory regimes are under development. Now drones are not only used as a hobby but as a profession. With the advancement in drone technology, they have become a new tool to access dozens of lucrative careers.
Drone piloting can be a high-paying profession, as it is a rapidly expanding vocation playing an increasingly important role in many industries. Drones are finding their roles in various fields such as agriculture, real estate, construction, search, and rescue, etc. Apart from these fields, drones are now being used as delivery drones, fire suspension drones, passenger drones, etc. Hence, there are a lot of careers in the future regarding drone piloting.
Future Careers In Drone
The global drone services market was worth US $629.2 million in 2018 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 51.1% from 2019 to 2027 where it will reach US $24,882.2 million in 2027. The demand for the drone service is increasing day by day influenced by the growing demand for inspection, mapping, surveying, and supporting government regulations.
In addition, the governments of developed economies such as the USA, Canada, Germany, and the UK have launched different initiatives to boost the growth of the drone services market by implementing new rules and regulations to fly drones in all the regions.
The biggest advantage of the drone is the ability to get to places that are too far away or too dangerous for a human being. The military takes advantage of the drones to carry out missions deep into the enemy territory. Conservationists use unmanned aerial vehicles to protect and monitor fragile species in dangerous areas across the globe.
Conservationists are protecting rhinos and elephants from armed poachers in remote areas. In the United States, where regulations are tight, the US Geological Survey has obtained permission to use retired military drones to monitor a herd of black grouse in Colorado. It means, there are jobs of drone pilots as wildlife conservationists.
Drone mounted with thermal imaging brings a lot of applications. With this skill, one can find jobs ranging from working with the first responders to performing roof inspections. It has changed how these professionals see their work. Police and firefighters are among the largest users of thermal drone technology. Also, law enforcement officers are using drones for a variety of applications such as hunting suspects at night or in low visibility scenarios.
On the other hand, search and rescue personnel makes heavy use of drones. The technology has dramatically made an impact such as:
- Increased the likelihood of a successful rescue.
- Limited the risk to personnel
- Reduced the search time
Drones are now an important resource for search and rescue professionals. Thermal imaging drones are especially useful when the body heat stands out among the foliage and plant life. It makes it easier for the search and rescue team to find the casualties using thermal imaging in drones.
On the other hand, the thermal imaging software gives users the ability to take advantage of a variety of color palettes that makes it easier to detect the targets and people.
The Trans-Alaska Pipelines stretches 800 miles from the frozen oil fields of Prudhoe Bay in northern Alaska to the nearest ice-free port at Valdez. The 48-inch pipeline carries a sludge of natural gas and crude oil to the lower 48 states. The engineering marvel transports 15% of the United States’ national oil production.
British Petroleum (BP) is experimenting with drones that are fitted with thermal cameras. They are capable of detecting leaks and weak points along the pipeline at a fraction of the cost of deploying helicopters. Drones are now essential for inspecting the huge blades of wind farms which can be hundreds of feet above the ground.
The large solar farms with acres and acres of panels are also teaming up with the drone suppliers to detect the broken panels and faulty turbines using the automated aerial camera swarms. Also, the drones can be used to scare the birds away and other wildlife that could injure themselves or damage the remote equipment.
Drone Package Delivery Services
In 2013, Amazon, an online retailer Goliath, shipped around 608 million packages. Most arrive by courier in the United States or through a private parcel delivery service from Amazon’s global network of fulfillment centers, shipping everything from the books and diapers to ultra-HD 4K TVs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, then the package will be delivered in two days with less or no additional cost.
In August 2020, Amazon received a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the United States Federal Aviation Administration. It indicates the confidence of the FAA in the Amazon Prime Air services. In this case, the customers will get their package in only 30 minutes by using the Prime Air 30 Minute Delivery option.
Since Prime Air will be functional, they will be using heavy lift drones, also known as delivery drones which will create a lot of drone pilot jobs in Amazon in the coming years. The testing drones including efficiency, safety, and stability will be controlled by the drone pilots.
The newsroom of the future will include a fleet of drones armed with high-definition cameras to capture the live news events and provide a bird’s-eye or panoramic perspective on important stories. After a 2015 cyclone devastated the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, NBC News captured the striking footage of the recent wreckage with a drone.
Also, when the BBC put together a collection of reports in honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp produced a remarkable aerial video shot by the drone.
As of April 2015, FAA regulations still severely restricted the use of drones by journalists. For now, the journalists’ drones are permitted to fly the drone under certain circumstances and over the people and at night. The drones can now be used by journalists to move over the moving cars and crowds of people but the rules prohibited the use of drones in sustained operations including hovering and circling.
Mapping and Modeling
As drone technology is emerging day by day, mapping professionals are recognizing the importance of 3D modeling. The use of drones for 3D modeling has a great impact in the fields of mapping and surveying. The aerial photographers can capture the landscapes from unique angles. Such images cannot be captured with highly specialized and expensive equipment because of human error. But with drones, a few mouse clicks can capture the desired aerial photograph of a landscape.
Drone modeling and mapping are two different skill sets. UAV pilots capture detailed aerial images in the drone mapping to produce an accurate map. It means that these images can be used to calculate the area or distance from one place to another. The map images captured by drone technology provide a precise overview of the man-made structures or natural features of the terrain.
Additionally, aerial footage provides an idea of topographic depth and size. The drone maps provide a valuable resource for the professionals with data such as industrial information, thermal, agriculture, etc.
Drone Pilots – Careers In Future
When drones became available for commercial and private use, since then the manufacturers have been working on the advancement of drone technology. Also, drones are now being used in education to teach students in an interactive and fun way. As a result, kids are now more interested in drone pilot careers than traditional careers such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc.
Before you pursue a drone pilot career, make sure that you are well aware of the latest FAA rules and regulations regarding the usage of drones. Otherwise, you will be facing penalties or even lose your expensive drone. Several drone pilots’ jobs have emerged since drones became available in all fields. From drone delivery to wildlife conservationists to journalists, there will be plenty of careers in drone piloting in the future.