How to Make Money Flying a Drone – Sky High Profits
If you enjoy the hobby of flying drones, I am going to explain how to make money flying a drone that can be a nice source of income. You might be new to this concept but aerial videos and photographs are in huge demand with certain industries. Check this out!
Real Estate, Construction and Outdoor Advertising need drone operators
Not long ago when a real estate agent and developer or inspector on a construction project needed aerial footage of a piece of property, a camera was mounted on a helicopter or a crane. Now this can be easily accomplished and with better quality by using drones.
Think of the many different kinds of events where aerial photography can benefit. Not only are real estate and construction sites in need of quadcopter drone camera footage, so are advertising campaigns for any kind of outdoor activity. Here are about a dozen uses…
- Real Estate (Home Sales & Land Sales)
- Construction Sites
- Farmland Acreage
- Building Inspectors (Commercial & Residential)
- Transportation Monitoring
- Sporting Events (Baseball, Football, Golf, Soccer,…)
- Commercial Advertising (Malls, Stores, Companies)
- Recreational Advertising (Beaches, Amusement Parks)
- Outdoor Wedding Services
- Property Security
- Famous State Parks & Forests (Yosemite, Central Park NYC, Grand Canyon,…)
- Independent Film Production
There are even more ways where using a camera drone will greatly benefit the end user and earn the pilot operator some money. If you have been asking yourself, how can I make money with my drone, the above options plus what I reveal below is a great place to start.
It is important to note that if you should apply to be a drone operator for the purpose of being paid, you will need to be very good at the operation of your flying skills. This is especially true when maneuvering in tight spaces because sometimes you may be required to fly indoors.
Some REALLY REALLY important steps to consider
In order to prepare yourself for being able to make the most money possible, there are some important things you will need to get before you can set yourself up as a legitimate pilot operator. Even if you are really good at flying a quadcopter, there are rules you must follow.
Though you can always fly almost anywhere, the majority of drones that are personally operated by everyone cannot fly high in the sky. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has specific rules for a drone operator to follow when doing any kind of high flying.
The last thing you want to do is fly too high that it can endanger any low flying aircraft. This is why it is EXTREMELY important for a quadcopter operator to be licensed to fly and film for commercial purposes by the FAA. I will explain more about this below.
Another important step which you will need to get is 1-million dollar Liability Insurance. Then you will need to be vetted with a background check. All of these are a must if you intend to make good money with your camera drone. You need to be compliant.
Just like with any serious and legitimate business you must follow the rules to legally operate it. This is what separates those who make a lot of money over the long run and those who make quick money but lose momentum over time. It’s important to start correctly.
What is a Part 107 license for flying a drone
The following information is vital for anyone looking to earn real income flying quadcopters. You cannot just buy a drone, get good at flying it and expect to get flying gigs that pay well. This is the difference between the real drone operators and the hobbyists.
If you want to get hired working in any aerial photography niche and earning income, the first thing you will need is to take a certification test and get an FAA Part 107 Drone License. Without it you can forget about making any money flying a drone.
What is a Part 107 license? This is a specific FAA certification license for people who want to legally earn income flying quadcopter drones. The test is the multiple choice answer type that will test you on maneuvers, airspace safety, operating requirements and much more.
Though comprehensive, the Part 107 is basically a watered-down pilot test. You will have to go to a nearby FAA Part 107 test center to take it. This cannot be done online. Before you go I suggest learning what will be asked in the actual test. PilotInstitute can help.
Once you have this license you can accept filming jobs from large and small companies. The license is like your key to the opportunities that await you in your service as a camera quadcopter pilot. To find FAA Part 107 testing locations, check out this link here.
Benefits of Drone Pilot Certification from the FAA
Taking into consideration the above training, certification, insurance and license you would need to legally make money flying your drone, being able to skillfully fly it is a must too. Video editing of the final product is also vital, as you can see in the below video.
Once you have that drone pilot certification from the FAA, you can then go out and capture amazing videos in at least 4K Ultra HD. With that stunning footage you can then begin to make good consistent money flying. There are several ways to accomplish this.
Most people who are certified will earn income in different ways, even using the same footage. It makes perfect sense to utilize your flight time wisely, especially if you are the one doing the editing. You could film two or more projects during the same flight time.
For example, say you were contracted to film a hotel on the Atlantic City boardwalk. In addition to footage of the hotel, you could film some of the surrounding area like the boardwalk, beach and the shoreline. Then make a separate video with that extra footage.
Here are some other ways to earn income flying drones
In addition to the ways I listed at the beginning of this post, there are several other ways to use your drone and flight time to earn some income. This income may not be as much or as consistent, but it doesn’t hurt to take part in mixing these opportunities in.
Though the bulk of your income will come from paid projects, you can start a YouTube Channel in any niche like “Holiday Light Decorations” then monetize the videos. Take a look at the below video by an operator with a drone like the one pictured at the beginning of this post.
- Holiday House Lights (like the above video)
- Beaches of the world
- Spring Break destinations
- Outdoor sports stadiums
- Amusement parks
- Major cities of the world
- Auto Racing tracks and events
- Golf courses
- Cathedrals and churches
In addition to creating and monetizing a YouTube channel of various quadcopter drone videos you can also offer these videos for sale on the popular DroneVideos Stock Footage Store and earn a 50% Commission. People from all walks are always looking for quality video footage.
DroneVideos is the only company in the world that allows you to sell your own video footage you have personally filmed or that you had them film for you. Plus that 50% Commission is not a one-time payment. Learn more on how to make money at DroneVideos here.
Knowing how to make money with your drone is now easy
Not only is flying quadcopters a popular hobby, it is also a fast-growing B2B and B2C industry for earning an income. Once you become good at flying and get your drone pilot certification from the FAA, you can start to legally earn an income in any niche market you desire.
Think of all the opportunities you will have to enjoy your hobby and create different income streams at the same time. The better you get at your flying skills, the more money you can make, and that income can be both passive and recurring. Excited yet?
Even if you do not yet have a drone or are in the early stages of learning to fly, you can still earn some money. When you join DroneVideos broad network of drone operators and affiliates, you will have a few ways to make some cash, they will even film it for you!
The process has been simplified and the cost inexpensive in comparison to the amount you can earn. When you become a member of DroneVideos they explain three “Lucrative Income-Earning Opportunities” that you can choose. In fact you can do all three if you desire.
After buying my DJI Mavic 2 Pro I did months of research into how to make money flying a drone. DroneVideos is the only opportunity I have found that offers more than one way to earn income. They even provide you with SEO ready landing pages to promote your services!
Get into this industry today as the profits are flying high
Once you start to really pay attention to how outdoor advertising, news coverage and video views are being portrayed, you will soon realize that the majority of them were filmed using a quadcopter. That means a drone operator got paid for doing what he/she enjoys.
This can be you too! The technological advances have taken the first larger sized drones and have shrunk them down yet increased the quality of the camera. My DJI Mavic 2 Pro can fit in the palm of my hand. I am totally blown away at what this can do.
I see a great future for this industry and it is obvious that DroneVideos is taking the lead in helping people like me and you to take advantage of this industry and create income from it. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to what you can do with your flying skills.
I only offered you a little more than a dozen niche market ideas for earning income with your drone. There are so many more available and hopefully the two videos above will help you to find others. Do not be afraid to think outside of the box, you may find a gem of an idea.
Another thing to do after joining DroneVideos is to get tips from those who are already doing this for themselves. Another way is to do a YouTube search for “Aerial Drone Photography” and you can view so many tips for flying and filming. If you have any questions now, just leave them below.https://legitimatejobfromhome.com/how-to-make-money-flying-a-drone-sky-high-profits/https://legitimatejobfromhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Drone-Handsized.pnghttps://legitimatejobfromhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Drone-Handsized-150x150.pngMoney Making IdeasVideoFAA part 107 testing locations,how to make money flying a drone,make money flying drones
Hey Robert. I recently sold a property and part of the estate agents marketing package included drone footage of the property so I can certainly see the opportunity. The training, licensing and insurance requirements aside, what sort of costs would you be looking at in terms of a quality drone and the associated photographic and editing software. A genuinely interesting area to get into so I’d welcome your thoughts.
With drone prices coming down and camera quality going up, the main cost would be in the licensing and photo editing software. I can see it all costing within $500.
This post reminded me of an article that I read a few years ago by the title of “update yourself.” That article was all about keeping up with the new demands of the world.
Honestly, this is the best thing about living in the 21st century. Technological advancements have given birth to employment/income-generating opportunities that we never even thought of.
But if I’m being honest I have never thought of drone flying as a source of income? To me – it’s a toy for people with spare cash. But you have utterly changed my view it. And what is fascinating is the plethora of ways/niches to generate money from it!
Thanks again for this insightful post. I am sure it will help a lot of people.
You are welcome Femi. Technology certainly has played a major role in taking what many have initially though of as an expensive toy and brought it into the mainstream of photo and video journalism. Both amateur and professional photographers have now embraced the use of quadcopter camera drones because of the many different angles and heights they can now film at that ordinary cameras cannot do. Gaining a better understanding of basic photography will also help the drone operator.
To be truly successful in this niche one must not only have a drone and learn to fly it, but they must be certified by local flight safety agencies and obtain a drone license. Having liability insurance is also a must, to protect the drone operator of possible damages that may occur to property while filming. Thanks to DroneVideos, they can do the film editing for you, though I suggest one learn how to do this themselves to increase earning opportunities.
Hi Robert, great post and excellent advice on how to get an FAA license and the importance of insurance. A good friend of mine has been a freelance cameraman for 35 plus years now working mainly for the networks, international TV clients, and agencies mostly in the news field. When camera drones started one of the first things he did was to get himself a professional-grade drone.
Already years ago he was getting contracts for video production commanding serious rates. He has the advantage of already being an established cameraman bringing all the necessary camera skills and of course many of the business contacts. I would seriously recommend anyone trying to launch themselves in this business learn as much as they can about the principles of camerawork. Thanks for a great post.
Best regards, Andy
Thank you Andy for your comment and sharing the story about your friend. The technology and camera quality videos has greatly increased in the past 10 years. I remember when the professional drones first came out about 10 years ago. They were big, sometimes needing two hands to effectively carry them. Now they are small enough to fit onto the palm of your hand, but small does not mean a cheap toy. Both of the videos in this post above were filmed using a DJI Mavic 2 drone, similar to the one pictured above.
This is an opportunity for the novice pilot looking to make money flying their drone, as well as someone who already has experience in photography like your friend. Though I only touched on the basics of what one needs to have in order to consider earning an income, I will be publishing another post in the near future that will explain which drones are best for professional-quality camera footage. Gaining knowledge of both photography and video editing will greatly increase the chances of getting paid flying gigs.
This is such an interesting article, and I am really pleased I came across it. You won’t believe this but my nephew has asked for a drone from his Mum and Dad for Christmas. I am going to be with them on Christmas day, so I am going to show this article with my brother and nephew and see what they think. They will probably have lots of questions and ideas. So I will get in touch with you, if that is OK with you? Just to see what you think.
Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
All the best,
Thank you Tom. I am happy you liked what I shared here. This is a very popular niche that many people still have not considered as an alternate way to earn income. Of course in order to do so you must be good at flying the drone and become licensed.
Please do share this information with your brother and nephew. Getting a drone and becoming good at flying it is the first step to someday making money with it. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to answer them for you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Very comprehensive post on Drone Videos, thanks for providing tips and suggestions on how to make money flying video drones – In fact after reading your post my head is started to spin thinking about the umpteen opportunities…because I never looked at Drones as a new money making avenue. And you are right, now when I think, there are so many videos recently I have seen majority of them are shot from an height. I had a quick question – Does the FAA license differ from country to country ? Also, regarding the 1 million $ insurance – how much would that cost ?
It is amazing when you start looking at TV and video advertising just how much of it is filmed using a drone. Once one comes to the realization of that, money making ideas and opportunities start opening up.
I would imagine that the FAA license would differ slightly based on laws that are enforced in different countries. Most of the subjects for obtaining the license (operation, flight restriction and airspace safety) should be the same.
The cost of the insurance will differ based on insurance company and payment plan. It could start at $700.00 a year and up. The best option is to pay for the yearly plan in monthly installments. Again, each insurance company offer different rates.