The world of remote pilots specialising in drones is rapidly gaining traction across an array of industries, spanning marketing, military, security, agriculture, sports, cinematography, photography, and more. Given the diverse applications of these unmanned aerial vehicles, it’s hardly a surprise that drone piloting offers a plethora of career opportunities. If you’re eager to embark on this thrilling journey, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to get you started.
- Identifying Your licence Type
Your first step towards becoming a drone pilot is to determine the type of drone that aligns with your career aspirations. Different drones, such as multi-rotor, fixed-wing, or powered lift, may necessitate distinct licences. Your choice of drone is pivotal, as it shapes the licence you’ll require to operate it effectively.
- Obtaining Your Remote Pilot licence (RePL)
In Australia, the fundamental prerequisite for operating a drone is securing a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL). However, some organisations offer more advanced and comprehensive licences, broadening your future job prospects. It’s essential to understand the specific requirements of your desired career path and select the licence that best suits your ambitions.
- Acquiring Training from a Reputable Institution
For thorough drone pilot training, we strongly recommend enrolling in a program provided by a well-established organization such as UAV Training Australia. Successfully completing their RePL training courses not only awards you a CASA Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) but also grants you the capability to operate RPAS up to 25 kilograms, T30, or T40 agras drones, and the proficiency to conduct night flights, among other skills. This extensive training program stands as the pinnacle qualification for those with ambitions in the unmanned pilot industry, equipping you with the essential skills and knowledge to jumpstart your career.
A Glimpse into Australia’s Leading Drone Careers in 2023
Australia’s drone careers in 2023 are diverse and promising. Asset inspection is a notable field, where infrastructure assets like roads, bridges, tunnels, and power transmission poles are meticulously examined. These assets are integral to our daily lives and require constant upkeep. Various entities, including government bodies, insurers, engineers, and construction firms, are increasingly turning to drones for maintenance purposes. Drones have the unique ability to swiftly and safely capture images, videos, and 3D models of these assets, facilitating the detection of defects. Traditionally, asset inspections were arduous, high-risk, and time-consuming manual tasks. Drones have revolutionised this process, making it quick, safe, and cost-effective. As a drone asset inspector, you’ll operate specialised drone platforms to capture critical data and identify defects in assets. This role offers remarkable diversity, from inspecting public infrastructure in bustling city centres to navigating remote power transmission lines in the vast Australian Outback to detect signs of damage.
Surveying and Mapping
Drones also play a pivotal role in surveying and mapping, providing invaluable capabilities for collecting information about extensive land areas. Unlike humans on foot, drones aren’t constrained by distance or challenging terrain, making them indispensable for surveying and mapping. Drone surveyors employ Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) to document information concerning properties undergoing development, such as new construction projects. Drone mapping supports planning and project delivery by generating maps for area assessments. This field has extensive applications across various industries, including construction, mining, city planning, agriculture, forestry, and nature preservation. As a drone surveyor, you’ll utilise state-of-the-art drone platforms to capture detailed images, LiDAR data, GPS information, infrared imagery, and other sensor data over designated areas. Subsequently, this data is transformed into precise survey data and 3D models using specialised software, and you’ll play a pivotal role in both data capture and interpretation, assisting clients in extracting the information they need.
Agriculture and Crop Spraying
In the realm of agriculture, drones have transformed the landscape. Modern agriculture operations are vast and often challenging to manage effectively. Drones have made a significant impact, allowing operators to monitor their farms comprehensively and efficiently. Agricultural drones are specialised equipment used to assess crop health, plan projects, create maps, survey plantations, and execute crop spraying regimens. This results in substantial cost and time savings for farmers and even enables the automation of routine tasks such as spraying. As an agricultural drone operator, your responsibilities will encompass using RPAs to monitor and evaluate crops, apply herbicides and other chemicals, track wildlife, and monitor crop yields.
Aerial Photography and Videography
Another noteworthy facet of the drone industry is aerial photography and videography, which is employed for various purposes, including surveying, mapping, inspection, real estate, and entertainment. Drone photographers and videographers utilise RPAs to capture intricate imagery. These specialists distinguish themselves from other drone operators by focusing on the creative aspects of the business. Mastering the art of capturing beautiful photos and videos represents a unique skill that extends beyond the capabilities of typical drone pilots. As an aerial photographer and videographer, you’ll employ commercial drones equipped with high-end cameras to create compelling footage for use in movies, TV shows, advertisements, real estate marketing, weddings, and a wide range of creative projects.
Emergency and Disaster Management
During times of emergency, every moment is critical. Drones, with their speed and versatility, are uniquely suited for emergency response. When disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, or other crises occur, first responders face the challenge of locating and aiding affected individuals, particularly in dark, smoky, or remote areas. Drones prove to be invaluable tools in overcoming these challenges. Equipped with state-of-the-art cameras and sensors, drones can locate survivors in all conditions, providing crucial information that rescuers can use to plan and execute missions. As an emergency response drone pilot, you’ll work in demanding and challenging conditions to support rescuers, plan missions, locate affected individuals, assess impassable terrain, and more. Your piloting skills will be of paramount importance in providing aid to those in need during disasters and emergencies.
Starting Your Career as a Drone Pilot in Australia
The evolving landscape of drone technology presents more opportunities than ever to break into the industry. If any of the aforementioned drone careers pique your interest, the first step is to undergo Remote Pilots Licence (RePL) training. The RePL is a certification issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) that authorises you to operate drones commercially on behalf of businesses offering services such as aerial photography, mapping, surveying, crop spraying, asset inspection, and more. If you aspire to establish your drone business, obtaining a Remote Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) is also necessary. With a ReOC, you can operate a drone business in some of Australia’s most lucrative industries. Both the RePL and ReOC can be acquired by enrolling in drone training courses offered by accredited providers.
Embark on Your Drone Career with UAV Training Australia
Joining the drone industry is a gateway to the most cutting-edge technologies worldwide. To explore the endless possibilities of drones, your journey starts with enrolling in courses offered by UAV Training Australia. They are a registered provider of drone training programs, operating in major Australian cities, offering a wide range of courses. These include RePL and ReOC programs, as well as advanced training in areas like photography, night operations, and crop spraying. Their courses are delivered by seasoned pilots with real-world experience, ensuring that you gain the skills and knowledge required to elevate your career to new heights. Feel free to browse their courses online at your convenience, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them for guidance on selecting the best drone training program tailored to your career ambitions.
As the drone industry continues to expand and evolve, now is the perfect time to embark on your journey in this exciting and promising field. With the right training, a world of opportunities awaits, enabling you to be at the forefront of this dynamic industry and make a significant impact in the years to come. The sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning of your drone pilot career.