The Top 5 Jobs for Small Drone Operators

small drone operatorsAs the drone industry booms, more and more businesses are using commercial drone applications.  But who is hiring the most small drone operators?  Based on data from our sister site,, here are the top 5 jobs for small drone operators.

Top Job #1: Real Estate

Whether the property market booms or busts, there are always realtors trying to sell homes.  Realtors have a history of embracing any new technology to help them market property- forget baking cookies before an open house, today’s real estate professionals have gone high tech.  Virtual reality tours are a given, and drone photography is the hot new tool.

“Servicing a clientele that is mostly located along Massachusetts coastline, drone shots are imperative to our business,” says Margo Maloney, a licensed realtor on the exclusive North Shore of Massachusetts. “They provide an invaluable big view of properties situated on or near the water – and they’re an incredible aid in showing buyers accurate proximity to the coast.”  With the ability to show the surrounding area, the landscaping, and a big scale – while hiding details like the cracked front step – aerial footage makes homes look their best, and realtors are hiring drone photographers constantly to get it.

Top Job #2: Film and TV

Yes, it’s true, Spielberg has his own crew and MGM’s drone cameras are probably not inexpensive.  But major studios aside; there are thousands of small advertising agencies, music video producers, independent film makers, and producers of educational and business video who want aerial footage for their work.  And they’re looking for small drone operators willing to travel to their preferred site to get it.  With jobs ranging from an afternoon shoot to a 1-2 month project, drone operators who can take great video are in demand.

Top Job #3: Weddings and Events

It’s no longer enough to take two hours worth of posed wedding shots.  And engagement shots.  And pre-engagement shots.  The new glamorous wedding must-have is the aerial view – guests, landscape and all.  Drone photos are especially popular for “destination weddings” where the bride and groom travel to some lush locale for an ocean-side ceremony; smart drone operators located in popular vacation spots should connect with the local wedding planner.

It isn’t only weddings using drone photography to save the moment – we’ve seen requests from camps, religious groups, sports teams and corporate parties all looking for a way to capture the true scope and size of a big event with an aerial view.

Top Job #4: Personal or Commercial Property Management

Drone footage does a lot of things well – especially showing people “the big picture.”  And one of the times customers need a big picture -showing their whole property at once – is when they’re dealing with a property management issue.  We’ve heard from customers who need a view of their property after flooding, views of their parking lots to show repair needs, or views of the perimeter to show where a suspected breach has occurred.  A good drone photographer who can zero in on trouble spots and show the whole property will find lots of work with individuals on large acreage or with businesses located on sizable industrial sites.

Top Job #5: Construction

There are many specialized drone applications for construction work, including thermal imaging and 3D mapping.  As technology evolves, lots of these can be performed with a small drone and a cloud-based platform to process the data.  But many construction managers and builders want drone footage at it’s simplest, just to get a good aerial view of a site showing all of the surrounding roads or waterways.  Cheaper, easier, and more easily communicated than a foot survey, the aerial view can be used to inform decisions about construction planning early in the process.

While big industries like mining, precision agriculture, and inspection services are showing exponential growth, small drone operators who are looking to fill their appointment books should hone their skills and consider working on these drone photography applications.

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