If you are considering a career working with unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones, you are in good company. This niche industry has seen exponential growth in recent years as technological advances have been made, and it is projected to grow over 50 percent in the next eight years. This means more available jobs than ever before in this promising industry. 

Until recently, the prevalence of jobs for drones was scarce, as this technology was reserved for use by government entities. However, as drones are becoming more available for public use, they are proving valuable in a variety of ways. From aesthetic photography to delivery, drones are quickly becoming a part of everyday life. 

Because of the fast-paced growth of drone usage, regulations are just starting to be implemented. In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration banned commercial use of drones above 500 feet and outside the view of the pilot. For this reason, if a business wants to use a drone in any capacity, they must outsource to a licensed pilot. 

The licensing procedure for a drone pilot is rather lengthy and requires a unique understanding of policy combined with the technological skills necessary to pilot an aircraft. Pilots must acquire a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA in order to earn a license. To qualify for this certificate, you must be at least 16 years old, be fluent in written and verbal English, be physically and mentally capable of flying a drone, and pass the aeronautical knowledge exam. The actual test must be taken at a certified Knowledge Testing Center and renewed every two years.  

Job titles for those licensed in unmanned aerial systems include: 

  • Drone Journalist
  • Police Drone Operator
  • Property Management
  • Aerial ISP
  • Drone Cinematographer 
  • Drone Package Delivery Services
  • Search and Rescue

Becoming an Unmanned Aerial System Pilot


If you are interested in pursuing a career as a certified unmanned aerial system pilot, the first step you should take is gaining the knowledge required for this job. While a degree is not required to become a drone pilot, it is a great way to set yourself apart from the others trying to enter this field. A degree is especially valuable to those interested in working in government jobs or for large corporations.

Everglades University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation/Aerospace with a concentration in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) that prepares students for a career as a drone pilot with practical application to ensure success. This degree program includes courses like Aviation Insurance and Risk Management, Airline Management, and Aviation Safety, as well as UAS specialty courses like UAS Videography/Photography Applications, UAS Construction Applications, and more. This program is offered both in-person and entirely online, allowing students to obtain a Bachelor’s degree on their own time. EU is also an approved testing facility for the FAA-approved computer-based testing, and the courses included in this program cover all areas addressed in the exam. 

For more information, visit https://www.evergladesuniversity.edu/courses/unmanned-aerial-systems-degree/