Why We Love It
$56,320Potential Avg. Salary
0.7%Job Growth Rate
Growing DemandJob Outlook
Dependable Daily WorkloadCareer Attribute
UAV drone technicians perform maintenance and troubleshooting tasks on unmanned aerial vehicles. These may include small drones designed to take aerial photos or video of difficult-to-reach places, or larger drones designed to transport goods or assist with firefighting and other emergency operations.
What is an UAV Drone Technician?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in UAV drone technician roles:
- Conduct routine maintenance on UAV drones
- Troubleshoot malfunctioning or defective drones, and repair issues discovered
- Inspect drones for maintenance issues or possible malfunctions before flights
- Assist with the development of simulation exercises designed to test drones for real-word scenarios
A Day in the Life
UAV drones are unmanned aerial vehicles. UAV drones are designed by engineers and produced by manufacturing companies, but once they’re sold off for private or government use, the maintenance and repair work is conducted by UAV drone technicians. UAV drone technicians conduct maintenance and repair work on drones of a variety of sizes that are used in many applications. While traditionally used primarily for military operations, as the technology has advanced, there has been greater adoption.
UAV drones are useful in providing line of sight on or support to hard-to-reach destinations. They may be used to capture aerial photographs or video of places that would otherwise be impossible to view. They may also transport goods from one location to another when travel between locations is impossible or impractical. They’re also commonly used in emergency services to provide support for paramedics or firefighters.
UAV drone technicians enable drones to perform all of these tasks by keeping drones running, conducting routine maintenance, making repairs, and replacing faulty parts. Before missions, the UAV drone technician inspects the vehicle to ensure it’s in peak operating condition for the flight. The technician also proposes and educates people of the types of tasks that drones can assist with, creating simulation exercises to show off the drone’s capabilities in real-world situations.
Typical Work Schedule
The majority of UAV drone technician positions are full-time roles conducted during normal business hours. However, technicians who work for emergency services companies may need to work outside of normal business hours—in the evening and on weekends—to monitor drone health for emergency operations.
Projected Job Growth
As a result of advances in technology for UAV drones and wider availability and adoption, it’s expected that the demand for UAV drone technicians will increase significantly in the coming decade.
UAV drone technicians may be employed by the government—either as part of the military or for an emergency services agency—by manufacturing companies, or by private businesses who use drones to conduct business activities.
How To Become an UAV Drone Technician
The process for becoming a UAV drone technician is similar to the process of becoming an aircraft mechanic. The first step in this process is usually to earn a certification in aviation maintenance from a school that’s accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). After completing the certification program, aspiring UAV drone technicians must pass a written exam, oral exam, and a practical test. Passing all three exams results in an FAA-approved aircraft mechanic certificate that will allow you to find work as a UAV drone technician.
Conversely, students who do not want to complete the educational requirements can substitute the classroom education with practical, on-the job experience. With a high school diploma, aspiring UAV drone technicians can apply for an FAA repairman’s certificate that allows them to qualify for entry-level assistant positions to certified aircraft mechanics. Then, they need to accrue either 18 hours of experience working with power plants or airframes, or 30 months of experience working on both. With the required experience, repairmen can apply to take the aircraft mechanic certification tests.
However, because much of the work on UAV drones is working with computers, many aspiring UAV drone technicians opt to pursue associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in computer-related fields. Many study computer science, robotics, or electrical engineering degrees to increase their technical skills and become more competitive when applying for open UAV technician roles.
UAV Drone Technician Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do UAV Drone Technician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, UAV Drone Technician's can make an average annual salary of $56,320, or $27 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $41,600 or $20 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#311 Nationally for All Careers
Highest Education Among UAV Drone Technicians
- 0.5% Doctorate
- 2.6% Masters
- 15.2% Bachelors
- 21.6% Associates
- 33.5% College
- 22.6% High School
- 4% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs14,700
2024 Est. Jobs14,800
Job Growth Rate0.7%
Est. New Jobs100
How does UAV Drone Technician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 100 jobs for a total of 14,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 0.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#585 Nationally for All Careers
What Companies Employ The Most UAV Drone Technicians
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing||1,900||-200||0%|
|Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing||1,300||-200||0%|
|Support activities for mining||1,100||200||0%|