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Washington

Interested in Future Career

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Hey all, 

I am intersted in a future career as a UAV pilot for SAR and other Emergency Services. I am working on flight training and certifications to prove my value and experience at the moment. However, I want to set myself up with the correct credentials to apply for certain positions. 

Any info would be great if anyone has experience or is on the same path. Or if anyone is in the field as a EMR and not necessarily a pilot, what should I know or be prepared for?

Thanks,

-Wash

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I am going to throw in my 2 cents and give you the thoughts of an old retired guy. This is a serious decision,  do a lot of research before you decide on a career path. First, in my humble opinion, I don't really see anyone making 60,-100k a year flying Phantoms and Inspires as a sole source of income. http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/drone-jobs-what-it-takes-fly-uav

http://www.pri.org/stories/2011-10-13/north-dakota-training-pilots-unmanned-aircraft

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/17/politics/air-force-pilot-shortage/index.html

The big money is in flying large package, multiple sensor fixed-wing aircraft (Predators, Reapers and others just now in R&D). There is a new school in North Dakota that trains civilians to fly the big birds, but I'm sure it is very expensive. Then you have to build up your hours. I don't see a lot of flight schools that will rent you a Predator like they do a Cessna(!) to build up your hours (aviation is all about hours in your logbook).

If I were a young man today with an interest in flying UAVs and no college degree, being poor as I was, I'd enlist in the Army to train in MOS 15W. http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/transportation-and-aviation/unmanned-aerial-vehicle-operator.html

Training is 23 weeks after completing basic training (9 weeks), held at Ft Huachuca, Arizona. If I had a 4-year degree I go for an Air Force officer commission (the Army uses enlisted soldiers to fly UAVs, the Air Force uses officers as pilots and enlisted as sensor operators) .You can count on eventually being deployed overseas but you'll be trained in the operation of several high dollar UAVs like the Predator and accumulate hours in your logbook, on the government's dime. Once you complete your enlistment you'll be in a perfect spot for a career with either a major aerospace company (General Atomics, Northrop, Grumman) or the government (ICE, CIA, Army-Air Force-Navy) as a civilian employee (operator or instructor).

BTW, many civilian employers are including a 4-year degree and a commercial pilot certificate/instrument rated in their qualifications. But that is where the big money is. Certification and experience.

https://www.ga-careers.com/job/-/-/499/2099342?apstr=%26codes%3DIIND

https://www.airployment.com/jobdetails.php?id=3152d8c5ef9a5f45869febb7fb1cca74

https://www.airployment.com/jobdetails.php?id=7320ab7f545c86e8b8e3529a80d4f382

http://generalatomics.jobs/grand-forks-afb-nd/uav-pilot-instructor/D7C34B03EFA44C56B12C86DD6D5780E2/job/?vs=1398

 

I am sure others here will have useful tips to add. As you can see it is a decision that requires lots of research. Wish you the best...ah, to be young again...

Edited by Uaviator53
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6 hours ago, Uaviator53 said:

I am going to throw in my 2 cents and give you the thoughts of an old retired guy. This is a serious decision,  do a lot of research before you decide on a career path. First, in my humble opinion, I don't really see anyone making 60,-100k a year flying Phantoms and Inspires as a sole source of income. http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/drone-jobs-what-it-takes-fly-uav

http://www.pri.org/stories/2011-10-13/north-dakota-training-pilots-unmanned-aircraft

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/17/politics/air-force-pilot-shortage/index.html

The big money is in flying large package, multiple sensor fixed-wing aircraft (Predators, Reapers and others just now in R&D). There is a new school in North Dakota that trains civilians to fly the big birds, but I'm sure it is very expensive. Then you have to build up your hours. I don't see a lot of flight schools that will rent you a Predator like they do a Cessna(!) to build up your hours (aviation is all about hours in your logbook).

If I were a young man today with an interest in flying UAVs and no college degree, being poor as I was, I'd enlist in the Army to train in MOS 15W. http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/transportation-and-aviation/unmanned-aerial-vehicle-operator.html

Training is 23 weeks after completing basic training (9 weeks), held at Ft Huachuca, Arizona. If I had a 4-year degree I go for an Air Force officer commission (the Army uses enlisted soldiers to fly UAVs, the Air Force uses officers as pilots and enlisted as sensor operators) .You can count on eventually being deployed overseas but you'll be trained in the operation of several high dollar UAVs like the Predator and accumulate hours in your logbook, on the government's dime. Once you complete your enlistment you'll be in a perfect spot for a career with either a major aerospace company (General Atomics, Northrop, Grumman) or the government (ICE, CIA, Army-Air Force-Navy) as a civilian employee (operator or instructor).

BTW, many civilian employers are including a 4-year degree and a commercial pilot certificate/instrument rated in their qualifications. But that is where the big money is. Certification and experience.

https://www.ga-careers.com/job/-/-/499/2099342?apstr=%26codes%3DIIND

https://www.airployment.com/jobdetails.php?id=3152d8c5ef9a5f45869febb7fb1cca74

https://www.airployment.com/jobdetails.php?id=7320ab7f545c86e8b8e3529a80d4f382

http://generalatomics.jobs/grand-forks-afb-nd/uav-pilot-instructor/D7C34B03EFA44C56B12C86DD6D5780E2/job/?vs=1398

 

I am sure others here will have useful tips to add. As you can see it is a decision that requires lots of research. Wish you the best...ah, to be young again...

Thanks for the info Uaviator53. This is definitely informative, and Ill be looking further into all the links. 

I wasn't necessarily looking to enlist in the Army, however, this may be a course of action if I do enough research and want the that specific lifestyle. I have family in the Army and Air Force, so I will be able to ask them questions when it comes time as well. 

Yes I am young, but sometimes I feel like its already too late in the game! 

Ill be up late searching around tonight! thanks for the links

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1 hour ago, Washington said:

Thanks for the info Uaviator53. This is definitely informative, and Ill be looking further into all the links. 

I wasn't necessarily looking to enlist in the Army, however, this may be a course of action if I do enough research and want the that specific lifestyle. I have family in the Army and Air Force, so I will be able to ask them questions when it comes time as well. 

Yes I am young, but sometimes I feel like its already too late in the game! 

Ill be up late searching around tonight! thanks for the links

i forgot to mention I served in the US Army from 1971-1979 (missed Vietnam by two weeks). I was an avionics technician, every two weeks a class was graduated and shipped to Vietnam until mine (1971-the war was already de-escalating). Instead I was sent to (ironically) Ft. Huachuca, AZ, many years before it became the Army's center for UAV training.

Joining the military is a serious step, considering all the "low intensity conflicts" around the world. Army UAV pilots can be deployed very near the combat area, The only exception are Air Force UAV pilots. Some of those jokers sit in air conditioned rooms at various US air bases. But the military is the cheapest path to training and building up your logbook.

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1 hour ago, Uaviator53 said:

i forgot to mention I served in the US Army from 1971-1979 (missed Vietnam by two weeks). I was an avionics technician, every two weeks a class was graduated and shipped to Vietnam until mine (1971-the war was already de-escalating). Instead I was sent to (ironically) Ft. Huachuca, AZ, many years before it became the Army's center for UAV training.

Joining the military is a serious step, considering all the "low intensity conflicts" around the world. Army UAV pilots can be deployed very near the combat area, The only exception are Air Force UAV pilots. Some of those jokers sit in air conditioned rooms at various US air bases. But the military is the cheapest path to training and building up your logbook.

Oh wow! Thanks for your service @Uaviator53. Definitely would consider it, but the steps before are crucial to see if its a good fit for myself. The risk to be deployed may be moderately high by the way things are coming ahead, but thats a whole other conversation! But overall it may be worth looking into!

Thanks again!

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