Thinking about becoming a certified commercial drone pilot?
Commercial drone pilots have the ability to work for themselves, or within larger organizations, doing all kinds of aerial services—like videography, inspections, or surveying, to name just a few.
And with DroneBase, as you might already know, you can make extra money as a commercial drone pilot by signing up to fly different missions in your area, or by submitting and selling stock media. DroneBase pilots make a set amount of money for each job they complete, and some are doing really well for themselves.
There were numerous days where I was going pedal to the floor and doing 10 missions per day and pushing close to a thousand dollars a day. Ultimately it ended up leveling off at about 3-4 per day, which, allowed me to do about $5,000 per month for most of the summer and fall. - Andrew Dean, DroneBase Pilot
So what does it take to become a certified commercial drone pilot in the U.S.?
Here are the FAA’s requirements for becoming a commercial drone pilot:
- You have to be at least 16 years old.
- You have to be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.
- You have to be in sound physical and mental condition.
- You have to pass the UAG Aeronautical test (also called the Part 107 test).
- You have to apply for a license through the FAA’s IACRA system.
- You have to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate.
Of all these items, the Part 107 exam is the biggest hurdle you’ll face in the certification process—many people report taking anywhere from 15-20 hours to study for the test, and some take even more time.
About the Part 107 Test
Here are some key details about the FAA’s Part 107 test, also known as the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test:
- It has 60 questions (or occasionally 63 questions, because the FAA likes to test new questions).
- You have two hours to complete the test, or two minutes per question.
- You must score 70% or higher to pass.
- There is a $150 test fee to take the test, paid directly to the testing facility.
- There are about 700 test facilities available throughout the country.
- After passing it typically takes 1-2 weeks to get your temporary certificate.
The 60 questions in the test cover five main topics: Regulations, Airspace & Requirements, Weather, Loading & Performance, and Operations. Those topics are typically broken down like this:
So how should you prepare for the Part 107 test?
But the truth is that there are gaps in these materials, and it can be a lot of work to use only these resources to prepare for the test—many pilots we’ve heard from spent dozens of hours digging through these resources as they got ready for the test, only to give up and turn to support from an online course to help them get ready.
“Drone Pilot Ground School streamlined my studying for the FAA Part 107 test providing me the confidence to take the test in a week and a half from starting the course! Passed with a 90%. The overseer of the exam mentioned that she had never seen a score that high and that most who take the test barely pass.” - Daniel, Drone Pilot Ground School student
Drone Pilot Ground School—DroneBase’s Recommended Part 107 Test Prep Course
Many of the pilots that fly for DroneBase have used the online test prep course Drone Pilot Ground School, offered by UAV Coach, to help them prepare for their Part 107 test.
Here’s what we know about how Drone Pilot Ground School’s support for drone pilots looking to pass the Part 107 exam:
- Impressive results. They’ve trained over 10,000 drone pilots, and over 99% of their students report passing the test on the first try.
- Excellent customer support. Students get a lifetime membership when they enroll, and can reach out with questions at any time—even after passing the test—with questions about waivers, SOPs, software or hardware recommendations, and more.
- Cutting edge Part 107 test prep. The course was recently rebuilt from the ground up, and now includes lots more (and tougher) test questions, high quality videos, and detailed explanations for the questions provided.
- Real world resources. Drone pilots we’ve spoken with say that the course goes beyond preparing you to pass the Part 107 test, and emphasizes the importance of real world training, including extra lessons on airspace research, flight proficiency, how to price aerial services, legal considerations, real estate marketing, and more.
You can check out this video to get a sense for Drone Pilot Ground School’s course materials:
We recently partnered with Drone Pilot Ground School to make the course available at a discounted rate for our community. If you decide to enroll, make sure to use the code DRONEBASE50 to get $50 off the enrollment cost of $299.
Want to learn more? Check out the full Drone Pilot Ground School curriculum here. Also, make sure to take a look at all their free resources for drone pilots, including step-by-step guides on how to get a Night Waiver, Airspace Authorization, and more.
Want to learn more about the Part 107 test? Make sure to check out our free guide to the Part 107 test here.