Derek Graham

How do I get a future in the drone industry?

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I am a senior in a MN high school looking at colleges and degrees for entering into the drone industries future.  I would love to fly, but I wish not to spend $60,000 on getting an ATP or any other expensive certificate. I am just learning about the drone market. I do not own one, but I want to buy one and experience flying without the actual cockpit ordeal. I am wishing to enter into the drone industry and have a career in it, preferably on the agricultural side. I am struggling to find out what degrees I would need to get in college to be successful: agriculture degree, agronomist, or professional Pilot? I have no clue what companies would look at for job requirements. Any help would be much appreciated. Or information on who I should talk to, so that I can have a future in the drone industry. 

 

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Hi Derek,

Thankfully, due to part 107 regulation the FAA passed in August 2016, you do not need a full pilot license. As long as you are 16 years old, you can take the Remote Pilot exam from the FAA. I would highly recommend the course at http://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/enroll/?coupon=ENROLL50&gclid=CNWa5uC_jdICFQhYDQodmLcBFg to study and prep for the exam. Once you study up and pass the FAA exam, you will be clear to fly commercially. 

The main thing is to start logging hours you fly. Write it down or store the information somewhere so you can show prospective employers how long you've been flying. Which means, if you can, fly one now as a hobbyist (since no license is required) and log those hours. 

As for other complimentary degrees, I'll leave that question for answer by others in the AG market, not my specialty. 

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Our local college has several options. I would guess there is a college near you as well. They have certifications and degrees. I would do some searching and see what you can find out.

If you would like to look into what they offer in my area you can read them here: https://www.nmc.edu/programs/academic-programs/aviation/uas-courses.html

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