Workforce Development

Navigating the Skies of Opportunity – The Current Drone Industry and its Career Landscape

The drone industry is experiencing an unprecedented surge in innovation, adoption and making an economic impact. Once considered the playthings of hobbyists and the instruments of military operations, drones are now reshaping industries from agriculture to cinematography and even parcel delivery. With this unprecedented growth, a host of new job opportunities have taken flight, requiring a unique blend of technical expertise, regulatory knowledge, and practical skills.

Drone Industry Growth and Statistics

The global drone industry is not just soaring; it’s accelerating at a breathtaking pace. According to a 2023 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report, the number of commercial drones in the United States is projected to grow from 42,000 units in 2017 to over 352,200 in 2023. As of late 2023, there are over 863,700 drones registered with the FAA. As reported by the Business Research Company, the commercial drone market size was valued at about $1.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to nearly $1.8 billion by 2023. According to the most recent forecasts, the commercial drone market is estimated to grow by USD 44.85 billion from 2022 to 2027, growing at a CAGR of 38.97%.” 

Aerial photography and videography account for a significant slice of the commercial market, representing approximately 34% of drone-based services. Meanwhile, the agricultural drone sector is expected to expand at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 22.94% from 2022 to 2028, showcasing the increasing reliance on UAV technology for efficient farming practices. 

Other industries are currently growing within the drone sector as more and more companies are finding the benefits of utilizing drones as a tool in many trades and industries. 

Current Drone Jobs

  • Self-Employed Drone Operator- The rise in commercial drone use has led to a significant demand for certified drone pilots. The FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test has seen a consistent increase in test-takers, with over 331,570 individuals obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate by late 2023. Starting a drone business has many parts, and the DARTdrones Starting a Drone Business is a logical first step for any drone entrepreneur. 
  • Drone Aerial Surveyors- These professionals utilize drones to gather data for topographic surveys, agricultural planning, and environmental monitoring, providing insights that were once costly or impossible to obtain. Drone aerial surveyors need advanced drone training and equipment and additional software training for deliverables to utilize the drone fully. DARTdrones offers this type of advanced training in our mapping and modeling drone course. 
  • Drone Cinematographers- In the film and television industry, drone cinematographers offer a new angle on storytelling, capturing breathtaking aerial footage that enchants viewers. DARTdrones offers a foundational drone aerial photography and videographer course
  • Search and Rescue Drone Pilots and Coordinators- They leverage drone technology to locate missing persons and aid in disaster relief operations, where drones can go where humans and dogs cannot. Learn more about the SAR course at DART drones.
  • sUAS Industrial Inspectors- These inspectors use drones to check the condition of infrastructure, including bridges, wind turbines, and cell towers, minimizing the need for risky human involvement. Aerial Inspections are usually broken into two types of training: Aerial Inspections and Infrastructure Inspections
  • Drone Agricultural Specialists- Drones help in crop monitoring, irrigation management, and pest control, making the agricultural specialist role crucial for the modern farming ecosystem. UAVs can be equipped with different data collection sensors, such as RGB, multispectral (MS), hyperspectral or thermal cameras, or Lidar. Understanding how to gather this data can be a daunting task, but the DARTdrones Mapping and Modeling course helps our students gain the needed experience to gain the most out of their drones.
  • Drone Delivery Coordinators- These individuals manage the logistical aspects of drone-based delivery services, a field that is rapidly expanding as companies like Amazon push the envelope on e-commerce.
  • Drones in Construction and Mining- In the construction and mining sectors, drones are becoming increasingly vital, offering efficiency, safety, and precision. 

Training and Expertise

The drone industry, rich with opportunity, requires a diverse range of training and expertise to capitalize on its potential. Aspiring and novice drone pilots often face a barrier to entry into the higher lucrative jobs because of a lack of advanced drone training. DARTdrones is an industry leader in training drone professionals to be workforce-ready. 

  • sUAS Certification- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires commercial drone pilots to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, which involves passing the Part 107 knowledge test. This test assesses one’s understanding of airspace classifications, weather patterns, drone regulations, and operational procedures. DARTdrones offers both online and in-person 107 test prep courses
  • Advanced Technical Drone Training- Operating sophisticated drone systems requires technical training, often available through vocational schools, community colleges, or specialized online courses that cover drone mechanics, software, and troubleshooting.
  • Data Analysis- For jobs like aerial surveying, proficiency in data analysis and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software is crucial for transforming raw aerial data into actionable insights. DARTdrones offers in-person and virtual drone mapping courses. 
  • Film and Photography-  Drone cinematographers need piloting skills and a keen eye for composition, lighting, and motion, often acquired through film schools or workshops. DART drones was one of the first training providers to offer an exclusive film and photography drone course.
  • Emergency Services Training- Search and rescue coordinators require knowledge of emergency response protocols and may benefit from a first aid or crisis management background. DARTdrones has trained 100s of first responders in drone search and rescue as well as Disaster Response.
  • Agricultural Knowledge- Specialists in the agricultural drone sector must understand crop science and farm management to use drone-generated data best. Utilizing DroneDeploy, the DARTdrones Aerial Mapping and Modeling course will give you the knowledge you need to get started in the agricultural drone sector.

The drone industry is not just reshaping careers but creating an entirely new professional ecosystem. With the number of drone-related job postings spiking by over 200% from 2021 to 2023, the sector demands an adaptable, certified, and specialized workforce. The sky is the limit for those willing to soar with the opportunities presented by the current drone industry. DARTdrones is here to help you no matter where you find yourself in your professional drone pilot journey. 

About DARTdrones

DARTdrones is the nation’s leader in drone training, program development, and consultation, offering online and in-person courses in 15+ cities across the United States. DARTdrones takes pride in its comprehensive curriculum, industry knowledge, and expert flight instructors, who are all manned and unmanned aircraft pilots. Visit us online at, call 800-264-3907 or email the DARTdrones Team at [email protected] to learn more.

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Guide to How to Make Money With a Drone: Starting a Drone Business

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WHY DARTDRONES? We have a proven track record for training pilots in dozens of industries.


Our instructors have manned aviation experience flying airplanes and helicopters and have gained the highest drone piloting recognitions in the industry. Many own successful UAS businesses themselves.


As featured on ABC's Shark Tank, we are the nation's leading drone training company with an extensive network of alumni and partners throughout the country.


Created and refined by UAS training experts, our curriculum is the best in the industry and has been tried and tested by clients in dozens of industries.


With a community of over 65,000 drone enthusiasts across the US and internationally, DARTdrones is at the forefront of UAS technology.