How to become a Professional Drone Pilot in 2022?

From remote monitoring of construction sites to the filming of cinematographic films, the use of civilian drones is booming and affects many sectors.

Do you want to become a professional drone pilot? We tell you everything about this new profession to help you make it your profession.

Definition: What is a Professional Drone Pilot?

A professional drone pilot or operator is a licensed professional who is responsible for operating a drone; An unmanned aerial vehicle without a crew or passengers.

He runs missions on behalf of companies and businesses in various sectors: construction, engineering, agriculture, security, audiovisual, tourism… or even to government and military bodies.

Drone piloting can be a good paying profession. The gross annual salary of a specialist drone pilot can reach up to €60,000.

The pilot is not limited to taking off, directing and taking off the drone. He also has responsibilities that require very specific skills.

Overall, the missions of a pro drone pilot include:

  • Taking aerial photographs and videos for individuals (functions, events, etc.) or professionals (YouTubers, filmmakers, journalists, real estate agencies, etc.);
  • planning flight paths and monitoring drone flights;
  • Supervision of farms, construction sites, etc .;
  • Inspection and control of industrial site infrastructure, buildings, etc.;
  • Data taking (meteorology, navigation, aeronautics, etc.);
  • 3D modeling by drone;
  • Post-processing of collected data for discussion with customers.

What training to become a professional drone pilot?

You are probably wondering how to become a professional drone pilot. First and foremost, you need to be certified.

Indeed, from the end of 2021, in order to practice the activity of a civil drone remote pilot, it is necessary to have an Ultralight Motorized Aircraft (ULM) pilot’s license or a patent or a certificate of theoretical qualification of a remote pilot (CATT).

To obtain these certifications, you must undergo theoretical and practical drone pilot training.

Self-training is no longer accepted as it is mandatory to provide a certificate of follow-up training.

Theoretical training includes learning all the basics related to drones to pass the theoretical exam. Several courses in e-learning are also offered by training centers or institutes approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC).

The test is in the form of a multiple choice questionnaire, which is taken on a computer at the DGAC centre. At least 75% marks are required to pass it.

To register, all you have to do is visit DGAC’s Ocean site, create an account and select the exam in the Private Theory category.

After passing the theory exam, consider taking practical lessons. They will allow you to better control and control your drone in accordance with the climatic conditions and environment.

To complete your training, consider introduction to audiovisual, photography, aeronautics or surveying.

What is the legal status to become a professional drone pilot?

Become a Self Employed Drone Pilot

There are many positions suitable for exercising the profession of pro drone pilot, on the other hand the most advantageous position remains that of the auto-entrepreneur.

Becoming a freelancer is quite simple and quick. In terms of formalities and accounting, a self-employed drone pilot can benefit from attractive tax benefits to get started at a low cost. However, the level of auto-entrepreneur turnover is limited. So it can be interesting to anticipate changes by comparing different legal situations.

self employment options

Self-employment is not the only condition to consider. It is also possible to start in SASU or EURL if you practice alone, or in SAS or SARL, versions of them with multiple partners.

The formalities of starting your own business don’t suit you? Are you worried about making a mistake, or just don’t want to spend time on it? Legaltech is here to help you. For a few tens of euros, sites like Captain Contract, Legalstart or Legalplace will take care of your entire file, and can even help you with the choice of legal status.

legal start logo

It is thus possible to be accompanied by a chartered accountant who will guide you through this process of choosing and applying for your future legal status to become a professional drone pilot. His fees are naturally higher, but if the ceiling is exceeded, he can effectively advise you to convert your self-employed company to a SASU or switch from self-employed to EURL.

What Qualities Are Required to Be a Professional Drone Pilot?

With regard to professional skills to become a professional drone pilot, you must have complete control of your device (especially in aerial photography), an excellent sense of direction and impeccable GPS readings.

Beyond technical skills, you must possess certain qualities such as:

  • Caution and caution to avoid damaging the equipment or causing accidents;
  • Ability to actively listen and communicate to meet customer needs and requirements;
  • Organization and accountability to achieve its objectives on time;
  • Autonomy and rigor to make better decisions when needed.

What are the rules to become a professional drone pilot?

The activity of operating drones is a profession regulated by the DGAC. If you want to fly a civilian drone, you’ll need to respect a few rules necessary to keep your activity running smoothly:

  • Be at least sixteen years old: To be able to fly a drone for commercial use, you must meet the indicated minimum age.
  • Register your drone with DGAC: Once you pass the exam, you need to register your drone to get the certificate valid for 5 years. In case of drone theft without registration, you will have to pay a fine of 750 €;
  • Take the certificate of passing the exam: Before flying your drone, make sure you always have the certificate with you to avoid a fine of €450, especially in the event of an inspection;
  • Remove Liability Insurance: Check that RC Pro insurance covers all damages caused to other drones, persons, premises and property;
  • Complete and keep a Special Activity Manual (MAP): This administrative document contains all information related to the pilots and drones used, flight methods, terms of use, safety instructions, etc. The pilot must always keep it in his possession and present it during control.

questions to ask

Can you become a professional drone pilot without a diploma?

It is not possible to fly a civilian drone without a training follow-up certificate issued by a specialized training centre. You also need to obtain a professional drone pilot’s license by passing a dedicated exam.

What is the salary for a professional drone pilot?

The salary of a professional drone pilot varies according to his skills and experience. It also evolves according to the services offered. Typically, a starting telepilot’s gross salary is around €2,500 per month.

Where to find Drone Pilot Missions?

Like any other job, you can find drone piloting job offers on many general or specialized job boards (eg site monitoring). You can also find many assignments on freelance sites.

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