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Making Money with Drones

Ian McLaughlin

Here's a quick rundown of some of the newest positions as a drone pilot

  1. Construction and infrastructure inspections

  2. Cinematography and photography

  3. Agriculture surveying

  4. 3D modeling

  5. Utility inspections

  6. Facade and roof inspections

  7. Natural resource management

  8. Public safety

  9. Natural disaster response

  10. Flight instructor

Drones have gained a foothold in nearly every industry, and their popularity is only growing year over year. Why would that be?

A lot of talk has been going around what’s been coined as “The Great Resignation”, and it sounds like quite an intriguing issue, and where there’s issues there’s also solutions to be had. Here we’ll go over what this number of unemployed Americans means for you, and an interesting opportunity that it magnifies.

Stick around- you’ll never guess what the answer could be.

A quick google search yields many articles all describing the same observation of many industries that can’t seem to keep employees on the shelves, but not as many will describe what could be done or point out how it could be a good thing for your family.

We always have problems, yet how often does a problem make another door to success look even larger? More accessible? More tantalizing- to the wallet and the smile? Not as many most are just problems at the end of the day. I’ll take this one, making it easier to land a job in certain areas, OR making an already barren team even more desperate to give you money as a bright side to all the social and economic problems that persist in this brightly colored time lived in by unprecedented populations.

Seems funny that at a time in the world where there’s never been more working age people, that companies are finding it difficult to find enough staff to meet needs; begs the question- why aren’t people working these jobs that have existed for decades, even centuries? In our highly decorated and unheard-of Era of Imagination, why is anyone not working? Especially when there are new and exciting jobs out there on top of the older ones?

Our guess is as good as yours, but my money is on the fact that they are old. They’re nothing new, nothing to scoff at, with rules and scripts that have been used and edited by the best of them. Your dream wasn’t to work at a hotel? Not in a restaurant? Well, that’s okay, there’s plenty of money to be had in many a creative fashion nowadays- curiosity still not piqued? Well maybe you’re like so many others, and just want good money and flexible hours so there’s more space and resources for quality time with family & friends- that we can relate to, you and I.

That’s why I’m writing this article about how to make money in an industry that PAYS WELL, is FLEXIBLE, and allows for PERSONAL FREEDOMS that other titles just can’t provide. Well maybe there are some, but none with companies and customers alike that can’t find your wallet to put money in it, why you ask? You aren’t a licensed DRONE PILOT yet!

Yes, we’re talking about those little (and big) buzzing aircraft your nephew got for Christmas, and no we’re not talking about toys. These craft have come a long way in a short time, and we think you’d be surprised at just how cutting edge an affordable one drone can be.

Into photography, filmmaking? Drones have you covered. Want to be your own boss? Drones will provide your foot in the door and guarantee more customers than you can take money from. Don’t want to be your own boss, just want more cash? You guessed it- drones will take you all the way from “late payments due” to “my savings are more than I need”, and everything in between. Want to work on your projects and hang with the family most of the week? Get your drone license.

Any commercial drone pilot is going to have the same certification, and it’s not like becoming a manned pilot. It’s called a Part 107, and you’ll be taking a test to get it with the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration) that permits you to fly a drone commercially in many capacities from shooting footage for a YouTube video to simply inspecting power-lines in ways that would otherwise be too difficult, risky or costly to achieve. With this certification under your belt, you’ll be fast tracked into a billion-dollar industry, and one that’s only just getting started.

There’s a lot to learn in this field, but not as much as other professions that pay so well. It was hard to find UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) pilots before this so-called Great Resignation, can you imagine how many positions and pay grades there are available right now? A lot. So just get started, there’s courses online that’ll help you get ready, and companies that’ll provide you with your drone so there’s no investment needed on your end to start making good money for not a lot of time, and time is your most valuable resource so using it wisely to read this is already paying off.

In a field that pays well, isn’t saturated, but has a great need for workers (seasonal, part-time, full-time as well as leadership roles) I have no doubts that my financial needs will be taken care of with even less investments of my time and stress than previously thought possible.

But what will it take to get these workers off the sidelines? So far, higher pay hasn’t been enough. In February, the average hourly pay for non-farm employees hit $31.58, an increase of 5.1%. One of the puzzles of the pandemic economy is the ongoing labor shortage, with business owners struggling to find workers amid the so-called "Great Resignation." But new research points to another — and more troubling — factor that helps explain the nation's shrinking workforce: long COVID.

The drone industry is struggling to hire drone pilots. That’s in some ways bad for the short-term growth of the drone industry — but it’s great news if you’re a qualified drone pilot. Your services are in high demand.

The 2021 Drone Market Sector Report, which was released earlier in September, has tons of statistics and insights, but one of the standouts is a fascinating tidbit about the challenges to train and hire drone pilots. The report — which was generated via both an online survey plus qualitative interviews based on a combined 1,800 respondents, representing 39 industries across 110 countries — asked drone service providers about their biggest challenges.

And while certainly not their biggest challenge, here’s their combined biggest problem in terms of year-over-year growth: “difficulty finding pilots.”

Better work arrangements and benefits may help. More than four in 10 companies reported plans to increase their employee perks and benefits in 2022, according to a survey by recruiting site

That boost can’t come soon enough——particularly in the case of employers granting Americans more autonomy over how they work. About 42% of overall workers reported that a flexible schedule is the benefit most likely to get them to consider taking a job, The Harris Poll found in a late February survey on behalf of Fortune.

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