Career in the drone industry

With drones being used across many sectors and industries, what are the opportunities available?

April 23, 2022 01:26 pm | Updated 01:26 pm IST

 Drones have gone from niche to mainstream and are used in a variety of sectors.

 Drones have gone from niche to mainstream and are used in a variety of sectors. | Photo Credit: Freepik

The emergence of new-age technologies has seen the job market evolve rapidly and open career opportunities in new industries. One such is Drones, which have gone from niche to mainstream in the past few years and have become a critical developing technology in the deep-tech sector. In India, the introduction of the new liberalised rules is helping release India’s airspace for drone operations. The industry is expected to grow significantly over the next decade and will open new career avenues.

Emerging job roles

Design engineers and assemblers: The industry needs people who can develop drones based on their expertise in engineering branches such as Aeronautical, Electronics and Electrical, Mechanical, and Robotics Engineering. Additionally, occupations such as manufacturing engineers who build drones and assemblers who assemble them are emerging.

Drone pilots: As the demand for drone operations increase, companies will need trained professionals who can remotely manage a drone’s flights. Drone pilots play a critical role and require training and certification with sector-specific specialisations. A drone can be hired for cinematography, aerial photography, mapping, modelling and several other uses.

Pilot trainers: Certified trainers are needed to train candidates who aspire to be drone pilots. They play a critical role in ensuring safer flying.

Drone flight planners: This involves determining flight schedule, altitude, weather-related specifications and image or video capture specifications to meet the data goals. Drone flight planners also need to understand the specific use-case, the location of the flight, zone in which the area falls under (red, yellow, green).

Drone software engineers: Developing software for flight operations is crucial. It is critical to develop indigenous software to eliminate the risk of cyberattacks. Since the use cases and the concept of leveraging drones for business operations is new and unique, software developers must upskill themselves for drone-related software development.

Drone data specialists: Drone data specialists and GIS engineers coordinate the data processing and analysis of datasets. GIS Professionals help companies interpret images, videos and maps to recognise trends and potential problem areas. The industry will also see a significant rise in demand for sector-wise experts who will convert drone data to actionable insights.

Relevant courses

For starters, one must be well-versed in the regulatory legislation governing commercial drone piloting in India in order to pursue a job in this industry. In terms of formal training, training schools approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) offer guided training to drone pilots. Special partnerships and associations with universities help facilitate courses on the design and development of unmanned aerial vehicles and training on mapping and inspection.

The writer is CEO & Co-founder Skylark Drones 

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