How to Become a Commercial Drone Pilot

Written by Jack Brown

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Nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities to make money with a drone. Drone technology has skyrocketed – literally! – in the past decade, and the opportunities to cash in drone-related checks are essentially endless. 

But before you can start making money, the best way to present yourself as a legit drone expert is to become licensed as a commercial drone pilot. In fact, it’s the law! If you want to start flying for non-recreational purposes, then the government states that obtaining this license is a must.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the steps involved in how to get licensed with the official FAA Part 107 certification to start flying drones non-recreationally. 

What Is the FAA Part 107 Certification?

Before you can even think about applying for the FAA Part 107 cert, you first have to know a bit about it and whether or not you can benefit from going through the process. 

FAA, short for Federal Aviation Administration, is a part of the United States Department of Transportation. The FAA Operations Over People rule was passed in April 2021, and Part 107 is specifically geared towards giving remote pilots certain rights. It also provides them with specific regulations on how to operate a drone aircraft safely.

Under these guidelines, the rules state that anyone with a Part 107 cert can fly for work or business (as long as the drone is less than 55 pounds). 

Who’s eligible? 

Prior to filling out the application and taking the remote pilot knowledge test, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re eligible to be classified as a commercial pilot. As of right now, there are just 3 eligibility requirements, including: 

  • You must be at least 16 years old
  • You must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English
  • You must be in a healthy physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System)

So as long as you’re at least 16, you have a solid knowledge of the English language, and you’re in good enough condition to handle a drone, you’re eligible. 

Steps for Getting Certified Under FAA Part 107

Once you’ve determined that you’re actually eligible, the certification process can begin. There are 3 major steps to go through: 

  1. Learn and understand the rules of Part 107 (there are quite a lot!)
  2. Pass the Knowledge Test to become FAA certified
  3. Register your drone with the FAA

These 3 steps may make the process sound simple and easy, but keep in mind there’s a lot involved within each one. For example, Step #2 includes actually studying for the exam, completing the right forms, getting an FAA tracking number (FTN), and scheduling the exam at one of the approved Knowledge Testing Centers

In other words, the process of getting certified as a commercial drone pilot can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to the exam. That’s why it’s best to sign up for a training course beforehand that will teach you all of the necessary skills and rules to pass the test. 

Where to Take the Course

There are quite a few resources out there that can help you prepare for the licensing test, but the best in the biz is the UAV Coach Drone Pilot Ground School.  

At UAV Coach, they literally set you up for success by giving all students everything they need to pass the test. The course covers all 120+ knowledge concepts that the FAA requires within more than 70 video-based lessons, and it’s all online. 

Best of all, you’ll be walked through each step of the registration and test scheduling process, and you can even sign up for bonus lessons to enhance your piloting knowledge even more. 

Become a Certified Drone Pilot Today!

By becoming a certified commercial pilot, you’ll open so many doors to making money with a drone. Whether you’re interested in wedding photography, public safety, or general photography, you’ll definitely want to check out UAV Coach for the full Pilot Ground School course. 

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About the author

Jack Brown

Jack is the Chief Pilot at bringing experience, expertise and knowledge in this quite new industry. He is a graduate of the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Besides having all the necessary technical knowledge when it comes to drones, Jack and his team love to spend the time outside by the ocean, working on new features and teaching others how to pilot these amazing and exciting new robots.