How to Make Money Operating Drones

It’s time to take your love for toys to a whole new level. However exciting and beautiful it is operating drones all day, it’s better when you are getting paid for it.

Using your drone piloting skills, there are several ways you can start earning, but first, you must be at least 13 years old or above and have an FAA certificate (depending on what state you live in).


We have compiled for you some jobs you can easily make money doing as a drone operator. Read on to learn more.

operating drones
How to Make Money Operating Drones

Aerial Photography

Here, you will use camera drones to capture pictures for business owners. Real estate agents, who want unique pictures for their websites or blogs, often turn to aerial photographers. You have to consider precisely what the client wants; for instance, you could have an over-the-top view of a house or any property to give clients a better view of their house. Also, if you are a photographer, consider getting a drone, as these kinds of pictures are in demand.

Freelance Drone Pilot

Are there areas that are hard to reach by foot? You can be contracted with your drone operating skills to make surveillance. However, you need to do prior research and find out exactly which items have to be carried out to help you carry out the activity smoothly.


Buy, Refurbish, and Sell Used Drones

Yes, your love for toys can be turned into a money-making venture, where you can make money operating drones. There is someone out there looking to fix their drone at a cheaper price, so why not take advantage of that and make some extra income? Do the research and purchase broken and old drones, and use some of their spare parts to fix other drones. You can either disassemble and salvage the parts that can be used to repair or resell them.

Wedding Photographer

Nowadays, brides prefer taking pictures using drones to capture different angles and to keep memories. The argument is that drones capture details a typical photographer would not have covered. To get more clients, print business cards and give them out to different bridal shops within your area. You can even place advertisements in bridal magazines and websites.

You can also do videography with your drone. These services are not only needed at weddings but at concerts as well, corporate meetings, real estate agents, and many other events. If well-advertised, this can bring in some decent pay.


Search and Rescue Permit

We have all seen cases where natural disasters took a toll on the environment and things; people all go missing. In most cases, the search team usually flies drones over the affected areas to find out if there are any people or animals still stuck underneath.

Typically, this is done on a volunteer basis, but if they desperately need your services, they will pay you for it. In order to be eligible for this position, you will need a search and rescue permit.

Drone Racing

Did you know you can participate in drone racing and earn more than $100,000? Yes, it is possible. However, you must be skilled and experienced to take on such a show; otherwise, it will backfire right before your eyes. So many pilots from all over the world participate in drone racing; there is even a drone racing league that you can join to learn more about this.


Your drone may be used for a wide range of purposes. Simply put, this was the tip of the iceberg. You can use your drone to do Agricultural Inspections, to inspect pipelines or power lines, and so much more. The list is endless. To get started, visit your local regulations and find out what you need to do to get started making money operating drones.

Also read – How to Start a Career as a Pilot