It seems like every week a new drone industry report comes out with exciting prospective figures and bold claims about how UAV technology will transform industries from agriculture to construction. There’s no shortage of people making predictions about drones five or ten years from now. But what about today? How does the market look? Are drone pilots in demand?
Reading between the lines
To understand if drone pilots are in demand or not, there are two factors we should take into account. The first is simple: are companies using drone technology? Are drones pilots proving to be an emerging need that businesses can actually harness to improve safety and efficiency?
To that, the answer is almost certainly ‘Yes’. There is a debate over exactly how ‘revolutionary’ drone technology is at the moment with regards to agriculture, for example. But there’s no doubting that the interest in adopting drone pilots is present across many industries.
According to the recent 2017 Drone Market Sector Report by Colin Snow of Skylogic Research, more consumer drones are being used for commercial work than ever before. Survey data shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of all drones in the US are purchased for professional purposes.
This is definitely positive: adoption rates are on the rise as companies are trusting the potential of drone pilots and the technology itself. The demand for drone pilots is there. But there is another angle to look at here, two sides to every coin.
Multiple service providers mean businesses are spoiled with choices
Further into the same report is an important point which impacts upon the demand for drone pilots: the supply. The FAA has confirmed that there are now more than 60,000 Part 107 registered pilots flying in the US, with about 79% performing one to five operations per month.
So while there’s clearly a high demand for drone pilots, it looks as though a majority share of pilots currently leverage flying drones as something to do on the side, rather than a full-time vocation. It’s hard to say how much of this is due to barriers to entry into the market, or that there’s a missing link between clients and pilots.
Luckily, we’re here to solve both problems. It’s our job at DroneBase to put those two camps together, connect skilled drone pilots with great clients, and make it easy for newcomers in the industry. As a part of the DroneBase network, pilots don’t have to make the pitch to work with some of the largest names in real estate, telecom, construction, and more, and our platform streamlines client-pilot communication to bridge the potential communication gap.
Want to find out more about becoming a Dronebase pilot? Visit our Pilots page today for more information.