Drone PilotJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A drone pilot is responsible for operating a drone, which is sometimes called an unmanned aerial system (UAS). Drones are operated remotely, which is why drone pilots are also known as remote pilots. A drone pilot controls a drone, causing it to take off, stay on course, and land safely. Also, drone pilots conduct safety tests, oversee vehicle performance, and assess drone system’s capabilities. They may also operate cameras or other equipment the drone carries.

Sample job description #1

The pilots will be responsible for conducting drone delivery operations and other drone operations from our onsite Hub locations. The operators will fill various roles in the operation including serving as Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC), Safety Pilot, and Visual Observer. Knowing FAA rules and regulations is crucial and the operators must be able to operate in a safe and effective manner.


  • Part 107 Remote operator Certificate required
  • Strong knowledge of 14 CFR Part 107 regulations, airspace, and LAANC system
  • Experience with a variety of UAS platforms is a plus
  • Experience with one or more of the following: ArduPilot, ArduPilot Mission Planner, MAVlink protocol, QGround Control, Mavlink, RFD Tools, Radio Telemetry ,or DJI Go
  • Familiarity with Google Earth, Google apps, and UAV piloting apps
  • Experience with Radio Controlled airplanes or RC systems in general is a plus
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment


  • Visual acuity (e.g., needed to prepare and analyze data, to transcribe documents, to view a computer, to read, to inspect objects, to operate machinery
  • Balancing (e.g., maintaining equilibrium when walking, climbing, crouching etc.)
  • Stooping (e.g., bending the spine at the waist)
  • Reaching (e.g., reaching the arms or legs in any direction)
  • Lifting motion or lifting objects more than (30) pounds
  • Walking
  • Repetitive motions of any part of the body
  • Kneeling, crouching or crawling
  • Climbing (e.g., ascending/descending ladders, stair, scaffolding, ramps, poles, etc. using feet and legs or hands and arms to climb)
  • Grasping (e.g., use of hand to apply pressure)
  • Hearing
  • Talking
  • Capacity to reason and make sound decisions
  • Ability to regularly perform all job functions at Company’s office or work site
  • Ability to withstand environmental conditions (e.g., extreme heat or cold, grass, wind, sand, fumes, odors, gases, extreme noise, etc.)

Sample job description #2

Apply now to join our network. We will provide you with project support, training opportunities to hone your skills, and of course, missions to fly. Get paid to do what you love.


  • Own a drone
  • Current part 107 license
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Professional Demeanor
  • Ability to work well with a team
  • 50 hours of logged commercial flight operation experience
  • Strong understanding of safety, hazard identification, and risk management best practices
  • Attention to detail
  • Extremely literate with iOS and PC software and computers
  • Must be experienced with data uploading and transfer methodologies

Sample job description #3

Our client is searching for a skilled operator with extensive experience operating robotics via a Remote Control. The qualified candidate will act as an operations specialist assisting in the development and test of cutting edge safety related technologies. The role includes mission planning and lightweight maintenance duties. The candidate should demonstrate attention to detail, a safety-oriented attitude, flexibility, and enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology. This individual will also conduct limited operation readiness activities and logistics planning as needed.

Basic qualifications

  • 14 CFR Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate
  • 2+ years of Remote-Control pilot experience with excellent coordination and execution
  • Employees must, with or without reasonable accommodation, be able to lift up to 50 pounds on some occasions, stand/walk for up to 8-10 hours (with breaks), and be able to frequently push, pull, squat, bend, and reach
  • Experience leading small teams
  • Willingness to travel up to 75% of the year
  • Valid Driver’s License and able to satisfy driver eligibility criteria

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with commercial UAS industry
  • Aviation safety experience as a Safety Officer or similar
  • Current US fixed-wing or rotorcraft pilot’s certificate
  • Excellent communications and reporting skills

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a drone pilot is $59,900 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$59,550$80,550
Los Angeles, California$67,200$90,900
Denver, Colorado$56,000$75,750
Washington, DC$68,250$92,300
Miami, Florida$55,750$75,450
Orlando, Florida$51,450$69,550
Tampa, Florida$51,900$70,250
Atlanta, Georgia$54,450$73,700
Chicago, Illinois$62,600$84,700
Boston, Massachusetts$67,700$91,600
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$53,950$73,000
New York City, New York$71,250$96,450
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$58,050$78,500
Dallas, Texas$56,500$76,450
Houston, Texas$56,250$76,100
Seattle, Washington$65,150$88,150
National Average$50,900$68,850

Sample interview questions

  • What convinced you to become a drone pilot?
  • What prior experience do you have?
  • Has there ever been a time when you lost a drone or even caused damage to one? How did you handle that situation?
  • What would you say your top skill sets are that are important in this line of work?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?
  • What models do you have the most experience with?
  • Do you enjoy being a drone pilot?
  • Why did you choose to leave your last position?
  • How well do you know our company?
  • Would you say you work well under pressure?
  • In this line of work, what motivates you?
  • Would you say you are a team player?
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it? 
  • What is your least favorite part of being a drone pilot?
  • What motivates you at work?

Drone Pilot Jobs in Ashburn

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