It's difficult to say with any certainty what the drone industry will look like in a few years time. Industry reports and predictions tend to vary, but most are extremely bullish on the potential growth of drones in business. Some are more sleptical on how widely they will be adopted given the current legislative landscape, among other things.
What we can say with confidence is that the industry doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon. This is especially the case in the photography sector, with aerial photography and video being the most popular use of drones today.
So what is it about being a drone pilot that makes it a job of the future?
Flexibility and independence
One of the most appealing aspects of becoming a drone pilot is the flexibility. In an economy in which more and more people are taking on flexible work and becoming self-employed, it makes sense to try and earn some extra cash doing what you love.
Being a full-time pilot is difficult while the industry is in its early stages. But there's plenty of money and experience to be earned all the same.
More businesses will adopt drone technology
The reason that so many projections are bullish about the industry's future prospects is the assumption that more and more businesses will adopt drone technology in one way or another.
So that might include real estate agencies increasingly using drones to shoot marketing videos for properties, or media companies searching for a cheaper way to grow their catalogue of aerial video.
And that's before you explore industries such as construction, oil and gas and agriculture, in which aerial sensors and automated data gathering are starting to gain traction.
We're a long way off from complete automation
In a perfect world, it's easy to imagine autonomous drones darting about, delivering packages, carrying out inspections and performing tasks without any supervision. Maybe one day they will even ferry us from place to place.
But in the meantime, the growing industry will need pilots behind the controls. Although automation is in many ways the holy grail, safety concerns, public perception and strict regulations mean that it's a long way off, despite recent advances in the technology.
For that reason drone pilots will be in demand for the forseable future.
Working at the cutting edge of technology
There aren't many industries that are so closely entwined with emerging technologies. Becoming a drone pilot gives you the opportunity to work alongside artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and computer vision. Not to mention the chance to see firsthand the progress of industry pioneers such as DJI and Intel.
We humans have always been obsessed with capturing moments. From the cave paintings of prehistoric man to the first video ever recorded. Becoming a drone pilot is the next evolution in that journey.
Thinking about becoming a professional drone pilot? Start your journey today by visiting our Pilots page.