How to Become a Certified Drone Pilot

It wasn't too long ago that when you spoke about drones you were only referring to the types used by the military. But with the recent explosion in popularity of quadcopters for both private and commercial use, everyone seems to be talking about drones.

Drones have a myriad of uses, from performing aerial photography to use in the construction industry, and even the potential for parcel delivery - something Amazon has fully embraced with their 'Amazon Prime Air' service.

There are growing concerns around having our skies filled with drones being piloted by unskilled individuals, especially because of the potential for drones to wander into commercial flight paths. Based on this the FAA has introduced new rules for non-hobbyist remote pilots who want to become what's also called an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) pilot.

View the Drone Certification Test Prep

Becoming A Commercial Drone Pilot

The process of attaining a remote pilot certification under FAA Part 107 is actually a straightforward one, but there are certain prerequisites you have to meet. The first of these is that you need to be at least 16 years old to attempt the qualification, and you must also complete an FAA written exam before you're considered qualified to pilot a UAS.

At Metro Technology Centers we offer two different courses for future drone pilots, both to prepare you for the FAA test itself, proper UAS maintenance, and a second program where you get practical experience flying a drone in accordance with FAA regulations.

Drone Pilot Test Prep

This course prepares you for taking the FAA written exam, covering what you need to know to obtain your Part 107 remote pilot certification, and also correct maintenance of a professional UAS. The course itself costs $295 and involves no more than 15 hours of tutorials. Please note that the cost of the FAA exam is not included in course fees.

Drone Operations and Flight Practice

This is a follow-on course for students who have already completed the 'Drone Pilot Test Prep' training program, and also obtained their FAA remote pilot certificate. Students will learn practical commercial drone piloting skills, with no more than 9 hours of tutorials involved. This training course costs $185, and you can polish your drone piloting skills using either your own drone, or one provided by your drone pilot school instructor.

Professional Drone Pilot Salary

Although you obviously can't jump straight into a military drone pilot role, there's a growing demand for commercial drone pilots across a number of industries. Qualified drone pilots are currently being paid up to US$100,000 per year, or approximately $50 per hour (source: money.cnn.com). Even if you can't find a drone piloting job that appeals to you, completing these courses gives you the piloting skills to start your own business, or simply freelance as a drone pilot wherever your skills are needed most.

Call today for more information on this course, and take the first step towards a brand new career.