- Fly drones to capture footage for TV, film, or for other commercial uses
- You'll need creativity, technical skills and great hand-eye coordination
- If you work for yourself you'll need your own drone and equipment plus qualifications and licences
Drone pilots capture footage for all sorts of reasons, from film and TV production through to aerial surveys of development sites.
- Liaise with clients to plan shoots
- Storyboard shots
- Check locations
- Liaise with the Civil Aviation Authority to plan and gain approval for flights
- Film on site
- Review and edit footage
You'll often be outdoors, and will need to be able to carry heavy equipment on location.
This role would suit someone who likes working outdoors, has good coordination and motor skills, creative skills and a strong sense of responsibility.
To become a commercial drone pilot you'll need significant experience and training to gain your Permission for Aerial/Commercial Work document from the Civil Aviation Authority.
The easiest way to get this is to take an approved training course from a National Qualified Entity (NQE).
This normally includes a period of training, a theory exam, preparation of an operation manual for the drone you plan to use, followed by a flight test called the Pilot Competency Flight Assessment. You'll also need to have at least 40 hours of recorded flying time.
If you work for yourself you'll need to invest in training, certification and licences along with your own drone and kit. This can mean quite a significant outlay, and you'll need to keep your kit up-to-date as the technology is changing quickly.
Many drone pilots work for themselves, but as the industry grows there are an increasing number of full time jobs available at drone companies, or as a specialist working within other types of company.
There are also options to fly drones in the military.