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Where are the drone jobs?

Where are the drone jobs?

January 2018 update on RPAS industry jobs.

With this 2018 update, we’ve gone through and re-evaluated each of the areas drones are used and re-assessed the job prospects in each of them. I’ve summarised the updates below but I recommend reading through the original article here to get a good idea of what’s changed in the industry and how it affects you. I’ve noted the 2018 updates in each section.

2018 Updates

  • Massive growth of the drone industry continues
  • Companies still outsourcing drone operations to external providers
  • Increased demand for higher quality pilots
  • Increased demand for higher quality photos and videos
  • Inspection market is continuing to grow rapidly
  • Sectors experiencing significant growth – Inspections, 3D mapping, Surveying and Agriculture

2018, what we are seeing: The drone industry has continued its massive growth with larger enterprise realising the benefits that drones can provide, this includes government organisations! This provides increased opportunity as most of these companies are outsourcing their drone operations to external providers for work such as asset inspections and 3D mapping.

The employment market has shifted slightly over the last year, through our conversations with the industry, we have seen an increased demand for quality pilots. Companies are starting to expect pilot that are fully aware of what they can and can’t do with drones and have the ability to adapt to different situations in the field. What this means for you is that to gain employment in the industry you need to make sure that you can provide as much value to your employer as possible. The best way to do this is training and practice, it’s a good idea to have around 50 hours of flight time before applying for jobs as this ensures that you are very confident in flying and capable of handle a wide variety of circumstances.

The Sectors

As we’ve said there are many sectors in the drone industry and it’s important to target only two or three when you are operating professionally. Here is an outline of each sector painting a clear picture of the sector and the best way to get into it.

Drone photography and videography
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(5 / 10)

(7 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(7 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Real Estate
  • Events
  • Corporate Videos
  • Property Development
  • Documentaries
  • TV Shows
  • Movies

2018 Update – There has been a slight increase in the complexity associated with using drones for photography and videography. This is due to the increase in the expected quality of these photos. Businesses these days, will expect high quality imagery, what this means for you is that post-processing is a must. It’s a good idea to become familiar with some basic image enhancement tools to allow you to get the most out of the videos you take.

Industrial inspections
(Updated for 2018)

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(8 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(8 / 10)

(8 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Mining
  • Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Oil & Gas
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Basically, any industry that has assets

2018 Update – This sector has definitely grown over the last year, a lot more companies have realised the need for drones in their operations and have taken steps for be able to use them for all sorts of inspections. This realisation has lead to an increase in jobs associated with this type of drone work. A good way to increase your skill in this area is conduct practice inspections on building in your local park for example. Try and treat it as much like a job as possible, this means, create a brief and goal for the operation, plan the operation properly, conduct it safely and process the data so that insights and value can be gained from it. Record this process for your portfolio as this will be a great tool to bring out in an interview as example of what you can do!

3D mapping
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(7 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(8 / 10)

(7 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Mining
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Surveying
  • Energy
  • Telco
  • Infrastructure Management

2018 Update – Similarly to inspections, to a lot of companies, this is one of the most valuable ways a drone can be used. With the increase in the usability of aerial mapping tools like propeller aero and 4D mapper, it is getting easier to create high quality, accurate 3D maps of large areas as well as complex structures. The structure mapping is the main area that we’ve seen grow over the past year and think will continue to grow as more companies figure out better ways of using the data. Practice and training is key here, it is still a complicated process to create a high quality 3D map so making sure that you have practice the entire process and are familiar with each of the steps is important to be able to get the accuracy and quality to need to create value.

Surveying
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(9 / 10)

(4 / 10)

(8 / 10)

(8 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Surveying

2018 Update – As drones become more popular and the value that can be gained from their proper use increases, so does the surveying industry. Many surveying companies are now using drones as a crucial part of their operations and this is shown in the increase of the job opportunities in this industry.

Emergency services
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(6 / 10)

(7 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(5 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Fire
  • Police
  • Search and Rescue
  • Damage Assessment

2018 Update – The emergency services sector has been increasingly using RPAS technology, with many emergency services getting onboard and going through the process of adopting drones. This presents an opportunity for people in the emergency services to expand their skill set and for drone companies to offer on-demand drone support.

Scientific research and environmental monitoring
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(10 / 10)

(7 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(5 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • University research project
  • Environmental monitoring

2018 Update – Universities have been working with business to develop innovative drone solutions for various problems. This presents an opportunity for collaboration with researchers to be able to help with this solutions. To get into this area, a reasonably large amount of drone experience is needed, however, it is a very exciting field that can open up many doors.

Agriculture
(Updated for 2018)

Quick Look

Complexity

Competition

Pay

Opportunities

(6 / 10)

(5 / 10)

(6 / 10)

(7 / 10)

 

Services Industries

  • Farming

2018 Update – Similarly to a lot of other industries, there has been a growth in the number of applications of drones in this sector. This means that there is also a significant opportunities available in the industry. Farmers are working with drone pilots to do everything from mapping area to water points to crop spraying to using drones as network relays. This presents a significant opportunities for people with agricultural knowledge to use drones for themselves or others.

If you are interested in finding out more about UAVAIR’s training courses you can get in contact with a drone expert on 1300 893 340.